“Rob, are you hearing an issue regarding ‘individual CRMs?’ Where LOs are purchasing their own CRMs, which move with them to various companies, and then the compliance personnel at each company can’t effectively monitor the activities of the LO?” I am not a compliance expert – merely playing one on TV – but yes, and the big concern is that LOs are keeping more than just a name and a phone number in the system. And this opens cans of worms. (More below in the compliance & CRM section.)
Classes and Events
FHA announced that it recently launched newly redesigned and enhanced Electronic Courses on Loss Mitigation and Servicing System (ECLASS) and the Extensions and Variances Automated Requests System (EVARS) web applications. ECLASS is a portal to self-paced, online training for FHA-approved servicers, FHA-approved housing counseling agencies (HCA), and other non-profit housing counseling agencies. Our ECLASS web-based registration portal provides more opportunities for servicers/lenders and HCAs to easily self-enroll in the FHA National Servicing Center’s self-paced, online, and onsite training, and is accessible 24x7. EVARS is a web-based application that gives servicers the ability to request Extensions of Time and Variances related to FHA-insured Title II forward loans.
Fannie Mae released, “Check out our Ask-the-Expert live webinars now through March for guidance and information to support your Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) file submissions. The webinars feature live demos and feedback messaging in the UCD collection solution, plus Q&As with our subject-matter experts. Register for an upcoming session on the UCD Collection Solution page.”
Plaza Home Mortgage has posted its February webinar schedule. Trainings include: Analyzing Schedule E Rental Income, Freddie Mac Home Possible loan program, Calculating income for self-employed borrowers, Financial planner’s guide to reverse mortgage and more.
AmeriHome’s underwriting management team will be providing an Appraisal Review Webinar on multiple dates in February: Tuesday, February 6th at 1:00 PM Pacific; Tuesday February 13th at 9:00 AM Pacific.
MBA’s CREF Multifamily Housing Convention February 11th-14th in San Diego where market Makers Meet… Jamie Woodwell, Vice President of Commercial/Multifamily Research at MBA, talks about a strong economy ahead and provides a sneak peek of key data he and MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni, Ph.D. will discuss in the opening general session.
Join the TMBA for its 102nd Annual “EMPOWER. ENGAGE. EMBRACE" Convention at the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas on April 29th - May 1st.
Compliance and CRM's (Customer Relationship Manager)
What if every one of the tens of thousands of loan officers and brokers had their own CRM? It would be a compliance nightmare. For example, anything learned because the borrower does a transaction with you becomes private, which in turn is governed by The Gramm Leach Bliley Act’s Financial Privacy Rule which restricts the collection and disclosure of customers' personal financial information by financial institutions. (It also applies to companies, regardless of whether they are financial institutions, who receive such information.) And the cybersecurity of any CRM needs to be vetted by a company’s compliance team to make sure borrower identities aren’t compromised. And how can they do that if an LO uses their own private CRM? No one wants to run afoul of rules and regulations, right? Speaking of which…
The Department of Justice is investigating homebuilder Lennar's mortgage subsidiary, Eagle Home Mortgage. In its annual report Lennar told the world that the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a subpoena to Lennar Corp.’s mortgage division. Lennar is set to become the nation’s largest homebuilder upon completing the acquisition of CalAtlantic Homes in February. Eagle Home Mortgage provides loans mostly to buyers of Lennar properties, originated about 31,600 mortgages for $9 billion in 2017, according to the company’s annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
What’s in question? “The adequacy of certain underwriting and quality control processes related to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans originated and sold in prior years…We have provided information related to these loans and our processes to the DOJ, and communications are ongoing. The DOJ has to date not asserted any claim for damages or penalties.”
BJ Necel asks, “Remember the debt ceiling? Since Congress has been kicking the can down the road when it comes to the budget there has not yet been a permanent budget agreement for fiscal year 2018 nor have they suspended or lifted the debt ceiling. Since December 8th, when the ceiling was reinstated, the Treasury has been utilizing certain extra ordinary measures to prevent the United States from defaulting in its obligations. Those measures include: (1) suspending sales of State and Local Government Series Treasury securities; (2) redeeming existing, and suspending new, investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund; (3) suspending reinvestment of the Government Securities Investment Fund; and (4) suspending reinvestment of the Exchange Stabilization Fund. It is estimated that these measures support the Treasuries obligations until the middle of March. If next week’s continuing resolution expiration does not produce a budget deal for 2018, we could be headed to another debt ceiling showdown that could rattle financial markets.” Thanks BJ!
This week’s FOMC meeting is notable due to it being Janet Yellen’s final as Fed Chair, setting the stage for only the fourth change in leadership in nearly the last forty years. That, in addition to this being a non-press conference FOMC meeting, leaves the market expecting no changes in policy and potentially only minor changes to the statement at 2PM. Questions moving forward will be around changes in approach as Jerome Powell takes over as Chairman. The markets are still expecting three Fed rate hikes this year though the current economic momentum may cause officials to re-evaluate the timing, number, or size of those hikes. Unemployment is near a 50-year low, and the FOMC projected in December a jobless rate of 3.9 percent by late 2018. Inflation has still proved to be elusive, though policy makers expect it to approach their 2% target later in the year as well. Currently, the market is pricing in a 72 percent chance of a 25bps rate hike at Chairman Powell’s first FOMC meeting in March and 53 percent chance of another 25bps at the June meeting.
Looking specifically at rates, the 10-year Treasury note continued to creep higher and finished Tuesday yielding 2.73% ahead of the State of the Union (last night) and the FOMC policy statement (later today). For the day, the Case-Shiller home price index showed home priced increased 6.4 percent in November year-over-year and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index is close to a 17-year high at 125.4.
As mentioned, the main even for today will be the FOMC announcement, Janet Yellen’s last as Fed Chair. While the market does not expect a change in the target rate, changes to the policy statement will be scrutinized for any hint at future policy changes as the committee transitions to Jerome Powell.
Additionally, a lot of news crossed the tape overnight, including the Trump State of the Union, a slew of earnings, and a bunch of economic data. Overall, none of it dramatically changes the macro narrative of moving toward higher rates. This morning we had the MBA giving us last week’s mortgage application data (apps were -2.6% last week versus the prior week’s 4.5% gain, with purchases -3,4% and refis -2.9%), the ADP Employment Report (+234k in January), and Employment Cost Index (+.6%). On the calendar are also the Treasury Department’s refunding announcement for next week (up slightly), Chicago PMI, and the Pending Home Sale Index. The 10-year is at 2.71% and agency MBS prices are better nearly .125 versus last night’s close.
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Orange Coast Title Company, an industry leader since 1974 and one of the largest independently owned title insurance companies, is growing again and has an excellent opportunity for a National Sales Executive. As our National Sales Executive, you will acquire, build, and maintain strong, long-lasting client relationships with the top mortgage lenders in the country. The ideal candidate will possess a broad knowledge of the loan origination and servicing space, have sales experience with a proven track record of exceeding goals, and be self-motivated to succeed in a fast-paced, competitive environment. Interested candidates should send their resumes to Tim Curtis, National Sales Manager.
A dynamic, rural-focused lender is seeking a VP Correspondent Lending Relations to represent, market, and conduct B2B sales for the rural home mortgage product on a national basis by establishing new market relationships with banks and brokers in the eastern Midwest and East Coast regions. The organization’s Consumer Mortgage Correspondent Program is specifically designed for small town and rural properties that often fall outside traditional lending guidelines. The program is available in all 50 states and opens a new segment of business to Mortgage Bankers, Banks and Credit Unions. Email your confidential resume to me for forwarding.
At Cardinal Financial Wholesale, 2018 is the year of the broker! And our responsibility to support and nurture the growth of our brokers is one we take seriously. Lately, we’ve done some incredible things on behalf of our brokers. By introducing our proprietary LOS Octane®, we’ve now given brokers the ability to take an application, run AUS, disclose, and deliver conditions to the borrower at point of sale! If that’s not enough, how about on-demand condition review and getting closing docs instantly upon CTC? What we’re doing today is already changing the game and we’re just getting started. Want faster cycle times and more control over your transactions? At Cardinal Financial Wholesale, We can do that!sm To learn more or to see an Octane® demo, please contact Karl Benjamin (western states) or Tammy Wallace (eastern states) and see what Cardinal Financial Wholesale powered by Octane® can do for you!
Congrats to John Boyles who Newfi Lending has hired as its senior vice president of capital markets to lead NewFi’s development of its capital markets strategies.