Okay boys and girls, besides it being a snow day in the Northeast, and Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil's 135th prognostication, here is today’s short video math lesson: Snow+Pandas=Fun. Continuing with the four-legged theme, Chrisman LLC was dealt a blow to its morale yesterday when my cat Myrtle balked at joining the Super Bowl pool. She was nonpussed, uh, nonplussed when I assured her we could the draw numbers in person, unlike using Zoom which appears to be what a lot of people are using, but she was had no interest and actually seemed irate. How do you like dealing with an irate client a month after a loan funds? Or if you owned a store, dealing with a return a month later? Following 2020's holiday shopping season, real estate firm CBRE estimates that more than $70 billion worth of online purchases will be returned, a 73% increase from the previous five-year average. Here's what really happens to the items you return online.

Broker and Lender Products and Services

DocProbe partners with your Post-Closing department and manages your entire Trailing Docs operation so you can focus on originating, closing, and selling loans. “Since 2010, DocProbe’s mission has been to support lenders nationwide to build their businesses while we work quietly and efficiently in the background. Since then, 100+ lenders have joined our game-changing platform. They are scaling along with the volume surge without thinking about staff, retrieving documents, corrections, or investor exceptions lists. DocProbe’s service is powered by a team with decades of mortgage industry experience, a highly configured process, and technology backed by our LOS - integrated interface. The entire Trailing Document lifecycle is streamlined as our proprietary software facilitates efficient data management and warehousing and allows the smooth flow of information and documents between title companies and investors. The bottom line is quicker turnaround times and more accurate documentation. Contact Nick Erlanger or visit us to learn more.”

Exciting things are happening right now for PennyMac’s broker partners! Take the newly launched Peak Performance Program: It rewards their top partners with great business-boosting perks like improved pricing and complimentary rate lock extensions to take their business to new heights. And now, thanks to its recent partnership with Social Survey and BrokersUnited, Peak Performance members get cutting-edge technology and resources to boost their online visibility and increase borrower reviews. There are also programs like Priority Path and OptiMIze. Priority Path puts qualifying W-2 refis on the fast track to closing. OptiMIze is PennyMac’s POWERful best-x solution that automatically provides industry-leading MI rates. As you can see, PennyMac is upping the ante on programs and products to power the success of its broker partners. If that’s not a great way to start off 2021, what is? Check it all out and sign up right here.

Are your borrowers yearning for wide open spaces and the freedom it provides? Are they looking for a place to ride their ATVs and snowmobiles or store their RV or boat on their own property? Maybe they have a noisy hobby or band that is not appreciated by suburban neighbors. Or maybe they just want to relax in peace and quiet and enjoy the natural setting of their own land. Do your borrowers want to live where they can enjoy their toys and hobbies? Then why not look at a Hobby Farm property and the lifestyle it provides. For more information about this growing market outside of the traditional jumbo, conventional or USDA lending , please click here to contact the RuraLiving team.

We all know the big game is this Sunday, and if you’ve been paying attention this NFL season you’ve no doubt seen the country’s largest mortgage lender splashing their adjustable pre-approval letter all over TV. So why are you still sending boring PDF pre-approval letters? With QuickQual by LenderLogix, you can text your borrowers an interactive pre-approval right from Encompass® in less time than it takes to generate your old-fashioned letter. Go check out the LenderLogix website and they’ll text a demo right to your phone.

We’re all striving for excellence and innovation and the next best thing. Sometimes the only way to accomplish that is to step away, clear your mind, and come back to the task at hand… And this led to the creation of our new podcast, Fresh Takes. Total Expert Chief Customer Officer Sue Woodard will challenge listeners to join her to get up, get out, and listen in as we spend 15 minutes with inspiring peers and financial services industry leaders who share how they are driving change and creating success. We hope our new series gets everyone up and moving for fresh air and fresh inspiration or … Fresh Takes! Tune in and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

Company-Sponsored Training and Events

Is a large portion of your success linked to your Realtor partners (and vice versa)? If your answer is a resounding "Yes!", you won't want to miss this interactive discussion tomorrow, February 3 at 2pm EST. Join mortgage industry leaders Paul Harrington, Director of Business Development for Usherpa, Alex Kutsishin, CEO of Sales Boomerang, and Stephen Barton, SVP of Eustis Mortgage as they explore new ways to enhance and maximize the partnerships between lenders and Realtors. Learn how an integrated approach to data-driven relationships will help you bring value to your Realtors and finetune your shared opportunities. Save your seat and tap into a data-driven harmony that will have your business humming this year!

Stephen Fry famously said, “It’s a cliche that most cliches are true.” He isn’t wrong. Two cliches I find are true despite their overuse: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and “teamwork makes the dream work.” Did you know lenders miss out on retaining 80% of their borrowers… Perhaps because they simply didn’t take a shot at retaining them? Sales Boomerang is changing that by helping lenders attain 85%+ borrower retention. Sales Boomerang’s Alex Kutsishin joins Usherpa’s Paul Harrington and Eustis Mortgage’s Stephen Barton tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET for a webinar on how realtors and lenders can team up to make their dreams work. Save your spot today and make sure your team is taking its best shots.

Calling all industry executives! There’s still time to register for XINNIX’s upcoming quarterly Leadership Lessons Webinar featuring yours truly: "Beyond the Daily Commentary 2021: A Live Q&A with Rob Chrisman" happening next Wednesday, February 10 at 1 PM ET. XINNIX Founder & CEO, Casey Cunningham, will be hosting this live Q&A session likely on topics taken from the headlines of my daily commentary with an opportunity to focus on exactly what is important to you. When you register, you can submit your questions for me to answer in advance or get online a few minutes early the day of the event and get your question in the queue. Either way, I look forward to talking to you soon. Reserve your seat today!

Top of Mind is offering complimentary online training to help mortgage professionals expand their marketing skills, generate more leads and close more deals. Top of Mind just-launched Mortgage Marketing University debuted last week with a catalog of 15 courses, all free, all designed to be completed in a single sitting. You don’t have to be a Top of Mind client to take the courses, which cover a range of topics from building a marketing plan to fine-tuning your marketing approach for different origination channels. If you’re the teacher’s pet type, you can even test your knowledge with a multiple-choice skills assessment and earn a certificate of completion!

Just like its renowned homeownership platform, you can enjoy SimpleNexus’ annual user conference, SNUG, from anywhere February 22-24. You’ll want to log on for “eMortgage and GSEs” for a live update from Shane Hartzler of Fannie Mae and David Burner of Notarize on their companies' latest tech enhancements, best practices, and integration points with SimpleNexus. Then stay tuned in for a “2021 and Beyond Economic Forecast” with the MBA’s Marina Walsh. Check out the full agenda and register to attend here.

Wholesale and Correspondent Tidbits

RocketMortgage.com launched its National Mortgage Broker Directory, enabling consumers to easily find a broker in their hometown, on its website. The option can be found by paging down to “Connect with a mortgage broker in your community.”

UWM will have an ad run during the Super Bowl that “shines a light on independent mortgage brokers as part of a commitment to level the playing field for brokers to compete with retail lenders and big banks.” The commercial (“The Perfect Match”) taps into the culture of online dating and features borrowers viewing a swipe-based dating app in search of their perfect companion, only to be revealed that they’re looking for a match in the form of a mortgage broker.

Freedom’s comprehensive purchase and refinance product suite features recently enhanced conventional and government base pricing, plus a new .250 LLPA Purchase Incentive for government and conventional loans: email to have an Account Executive contact you.

loanDepot sent clients its IRS Form 4506-C and Tax Transcript policy.

PennyMac Loan Services LLC, which opened up a new 80,000 sq. ft. office building in March of 2020, has now have expanded to Cary, North Carolina. The correspondent division of “Penny” also issued Revised Announcement 21-05 regarding Non-Delegated updates to Self-Employed Borrower LTVs and its alignment with FHA regarding Non-U.S. Citizens in Announcement 21-06.

Although the IRS will continue to accept the Form 4506-T through February 28, 2021, AmeriHome is requiring the use of the 4506-C with loans delivered on or after 2/16/2021 to minimize potential reverification impacts with loans selected for QC review.

Previously, AmeriHome announced Sellers may submit mortgage loan application files using the redesigned URLA and ULAD during the optional use period. Submissions through Investor Connect are not eligible, however, to participate during this period. To clarify, this optional use period only applies to mortgage loan applications submitted to AmeriHome through the Correspondent Connect portal.

The Flagstar Bank Loan Requirements are now updated to reflect that Broker and Non-Delegated Correspondent customers may now provide Tax Transcripts from their own preferred vendor when required on a loan transaction. While still encouraged, it is no longer required to retrieve results via the Flagstar Bank Network. And “Flag” sent out Memo 21016, its COVID Self-Employment Conventional Requirement Clarification.

FAMC is revising the system implementation date communicated in Correspondent National Bulletin 2020-58. FAMC’s system will be ready to begin accepting the redesigned URLA effective February 15, 2021 for all products.

Get the full rundown on the redesigned URLA with the Carrington Mortgage Training Video.

Capital Markets

In normal times lots of growth leads to strong GDP, which in turn can lead to higher rates. But these aren’t normal times. Last week we learned that real gross domestic product increased at a 4.0 percent annualized growth rate during the fourth quarter of 2020 after spiking 33.4 percent in the third quarter. Consumer spending on services as well as business fixed investment and residential investment contributed to the quarter’s gains while international trade and government spending declined. And we’re making up for a disastrous 2nd quarter. Personal income increased in December, but spending was slow, leading to a savings rate of almost 14 percent.

But the U.S. economy is based on housing and jobs. New claims for unemployment insurance fell 67,000 to 847,000 for the week ending January 23, but unemployment remains elevated and far above the peak of 652,000 seen during the 2007–2009 recession. The total number of people receiving some form of unemployment benefit increased to 18.3 million for the week ending January 9. As expected, the Federal Reserve made no changes to monetary policy following their meeting on January 27 and reiterated that the path of the economy is heavily dependent on the pandemic.

Looking at the fixed-income markets, Monday was generally quiet although Treasuries rallied a couple basis points yesterday and the MBS basis closed little changed. Economic data on the day showed a downtick in the ISM Manufacturing Index, though the series remained well into expansionary territory despite the surge in coronavirus cases, new shutdown measures and political uncertainty in Washington. International Purchasing Manager indexes were strong. Total construction spending increased 1.0 percent month-over-month in December, more than expected as demand for new homes remains robust.

Remember when everyone was terrified of a tidal wave of forbearance? The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance remained unchanged relative to the prior week at 5.38 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume as of January 24. According to MBA’s estimate, 2.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans. Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales figures for the week ending January 30 and then the Q4 homeownership rate. Three Fed presidents are currently scheduled to speak today: New York’s Williams, Dallas’ Kaplan, and Cleveland’s Mester. The Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two operations for up to $5.6 billion, starting with $3.6 billion UMBS30 1.5 percent and 2 percent and followed by $2 billion GNII 2 percent and 2.5 percent. We begin the day with both the 5-year Treasury and Agency MBS prices down/worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.11 after closing yesterday at 1.08 percent based on some minor positive news about the Biden/GOP meeting.



“If you’re an ambitious mortgage professional seeking new opportunities, MiMutual Mortgage invites you to explore the positions currently available within our Sales teams. MiMutual is excited to expand our Retail Sales teams throughout the Midwest along with an exciting opportunity in the Tampa, Florida area. A deep-rooted, privately held mortgage lender in 38 states, MiMutual Mortgage expects to continue the same growth trajectory in 2021 that it experienced in 2020 and exceptional candidates are sought to help with this growth. All interested candidates are encouraged to contact Maggie Stockwell or (810) 488-8175) for more information.”

As we all know, the mortgage M&A market is hot and likely to become even more active as 2021 progresses. STRATMOR Group is in the middle of a lot of deals and wants to let the readers know that it is looking to add a professional to the M&A practice, which is a rare opportunity for someone to join STRATMOR. This professional will have related experience in mortgage or financial institution M&A and will enjoy working at a company that has successfully managed a remote business model for decades. This role is to support the STRATMOR team with its M&A deal pipeline, including direct interactions with clients on financial analysis and driving deals to closing. If you are looking to be in an exciting role with a highly respected mortgage consulting firm, then drop STRATMOR a confidential note.