Yesterday I flubbed up by discussing the Administration’s proposal to eliminate credit unions and have the CFPB control the credit process. The article discussed eliminating credit bureaus, not unions, and fortunately the link was there. Credit unions are alive and well and continue to garner market share in residential mortgages. In fact, many will argue that CUs are filled with competitive people hate to lose more than they love to win. (But that is a whole different psychological discussion, mostly dealing with the profile of sports stars and gamblers.) Credit is the mother’s milk of lending, and one reader had some thoughts on current trends which are posted below.

Broker and Lender Products and Services

Who gets to decide if something is “historical”? A search for “today in history” returns the arrival of the first shipment of asparagus in San Francisco from Sacramento (February 9, 1891). I would love to know who decided to write that down for posterity. For those recording events for unknown future generations, make history today by pairing up with Sales Boomerang to revamp your borrower retention strategy. Sales Boomerang, the #1 automated borrower intelligence and retention platform, notifies mortgage lenders the moment someone in their database is ready for a loan. With results like up to 65% borrower retention and 20-40% average lift to loan volume, it’s easy to see why lenders would want to note the day they chose Sales Boomerang.

“What could you do with more time to work on your business? Follow-up on leads? Network with real estate agents? We are wemlo and our goal is to create the best, most efficient loan processing experience for mortgage brokers. The first third-party mortgage processing network to include an all-in-one digital platform, wemlo has a sleek, easy-to-use dashboard. Our loan processing offers unparalleled service, security, and efficiency for your business. Sign up for a demo today and see how much time wemlo can save you on your next loan.”

Can your loan origination system (LOS) save time, money, and headaches? Black Knight’s article, “Selecting the Right Loan Origination System For Today and the Future,” provides guidance for mid-sized lenders who are looking to increase automation and streamline the origination process. Read about how a high-performance LOS can help mitigate both regulatory and operational risk, while improving the borrower experience. The article discusses other key features such as intelligent workflow, system scalability, third-party integrations, and digital capabilities. Ask the right questions when evaluating your next technology investment. Learn about the advanced capabilities a modern LOS should include today.

As home shoppers continue to research home financing options online, now is the time to advertise your rates where these potential borrowers are shopping. Mortech, a Zillow Group business providing technology solutions for mortgage professionals has the largest portfolio of mortgage advertising partners, including Roofstock and Brown Bag. “Our partners vary in size and audience, so whether a lender is looking for a few leads or to aggressively expand their business, we support a variety of platforms to help them advertise mortgage offers to a specific market,” said Doug Foral, General Manager at Mortech. By quoting rates through Mortech’s scalable and efficient APIs, lenders can easily expand brand visibility and connect their products with more quality leads through our advertising partners. To learn more about online rate quoting with Mortech, call 1.855.298.9327 or contact Mortech’s Partner Relationship Manager, Mike Russell, via email.

Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending recently announced its Investor Cash Flow program allowing eligible borrowers to finance investment properties based on the cash flow of the subject property rather than utilizing the borrower’s income. With loan amounts up to $2,000,000 and LTV ratios up to 75%, Northpointe’s Investor Cash Flow includes fixed-rate and ARM options, allows cash out up to $500,000 on refinances, and is eligible for non-warrantable condos and condotels. Available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Northpointe Bank provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitably and help grow your business. View program details for more information or email us at 

Did the roller coaster ride of 2020 leave your servicing operation struggling? The CFPB’s recent Supervisory Highlights indicates YES, calling out six areas of COVID-19 related consumer risk that could have and can be easily prevented with CLARIFIRE®: 1) Inaccurate Forbearance Information, 2) Communication and Fee Errors, 3) EFT Cancellations, 4) Unprocessed Requests, 5) Unauthorized Forbearance and 6) Process Deficiencies. Don’t start 2021 without being ready for the next wave of loss mitigation demands. CLARIFIRE® offers automated workflow that is no touch, self-service, and processes data decisioning in bulk. Delivering communication management, eligibility and automated workout functionality, full transaction transparency and so much more, CLARIFIRE® can be quickly implemented in a SaaS environment that is mobile ready. Read our recent blog to find out more about how you can future proof your organization during these trying times. CLARIFIRE® is truly BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®.

Go big or go home? Plaza Home Mortgage’s Jumbo 1 program let's your prime borrowers do more: qualify for prime jumbos to $2.5M with competitive pricing to purchase or refinance higher-value homes. The program features LTVs to 85% and can be used for primary, second and investment properties, 1-4 units, condos, PUDs, and Co-ops. Self-employed borrowers allowed on purchase and rate/term. FICOs as low as 680. Plaza has the expertise and hands on, know-how to guide you through whatever your business needs are. Learn more about Jumbo 1 here, or email us at

MISMO Update

MISMO, the industry’s standards organization, is working to accelerate our industry’s digital future. Use of MISMO's standards has been found to lower per loan costs, improve margins, reduce errors, and speed up the loan process by reducing manual, paper-based processes while creating cost savings for the consumer. To help make this happen, MISMO has instituted an Innovation Investment Fee. The modest investment of a $0.75 fee per loan is critical to the enhancement of MISMO’s important work. Fee proceeds will be used to fund next generation MISMO initiatives that will provide value to the industry - far in excess of the investment being made - by solving key business challenges. Lenders should be on the lookout for the invoice, which was sent out late last week by MERS on behalf of MISMO. More info here.

Thoughts on Credit

From Washington, Mike O. sent, “Credit bureaus or credit unions, considering eliminating the credit bureaus would be a poor route to take. The credit bureaus and related organizations such as the one I work for are already regulated by the FTC and the CFPB. Whether it is credit bureaus, or anything, nationalizing a product or service is usually a poor decision, especially for the consumer. More expensive and less efficient than open, competitive markets. There are probably well-meaning individuals who feel they are protecting everyone from certain evils but the effect is usually the opposite.

“I read this article and the ‘journalism’ is questionable at best. The credit bureaus do not calculate scores and credit ratings. They house information supplied by creditors each month. Credit reporting is also voluntary. If mistakes are made, and we all make mistakes. it usually rests with the creditors (furnishers) who contribute account information to the bureaus. Reporting errors may play a part in credit decisions but so do many factors including the consumer’s ability to repay the credit. This is why it is so critical to provide extensive and frequent education on the subject early and often.

“FICO and Vantage calculate scores based on information at the bureaus. In our industry when a lender pulls a credit report, the score is based on what is reported. Sometimes that information is incorrect and could affect the scores. Sometimes scores are not delivered due to a security freeze or lock placed by the consumer.

“This author claims there is ‘gaming’ or racial bias on the part of the credit bureaus or perhaps even credit score providers. Based on what evidence? The author does not go into that level of detail. I’ve had several conversations with key individuals at FICO and Vantage. I am confident the scoring models in place focus on performance and not an individual’s personal characteristics.

“After 30+ years in the credit reporting and mortgage industries, I believe the majority of credit issues are due to a life event: job loss, divorce, medical emergencies, spousal death, etc. Are some groups in our country more susceptible to these misfortunes? Perhaps. Are there some consumers who just don’t manage their finances well or others that have no desire to do so? Certainly. But those occurrences know no lines between race, gender, income levels or any other external factor used to justify the author’s opinion. I hope President Biden and his Administration collaborate with our industry to ensure consumers trust each member of our industry and provide a healthy environment for success to all.” Thank you, Mike!

Training and Events

As a quick note, if you missed the recent Industry Outlook 2021 call with me and Bill Bodnar from Tabrasa, click the link to watch the replay.

Today, the 9th:

Today join Sonya McCumber and Sheila Meagher of ComplianceEase, a SitusAMC Company, and Teresa Blake, Principal with KPMG, for a Webinar: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Mortgage Borrower Behavior and Lender Compliance.

Stearns Wholesale is already kicking the new year into high gear with exciting new developments and events! Join the February Stearns Town Hall. You can register for this event here. If you want to learn more about this special event or partner with Stearns, click here to be contacted.

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions is providing a Product Focused Webinar at 1:00 PM EST. Register Now  for Kick-off 2021 with Non-QM.

The 10th:

Please join NTXAMP in Dallas on Wednesday to understand “The Top 10 Changes to the URLA” with Juliana Brock. Please RSVP.

February 11th:

Register for the MMLA’s RON & e-Closing Webinar focused on three key points: Types of Notary & Getting A Document Signed, Remote Online Notarization Laws and The Digital Closing Table. The fee is $15 per member and $25 per non-member.

Land Gorilla will be hosting a panel webinar with Finance of America, National Association of Realtors, and Freddie Mac to discuss opportunities with renovation lending. The panel will cover a number of topics including common myths, selecting the best loan products for borrowers, forging partnerships to drive referral business, and providing the best experience to your customers. This webinar is ideal for lenders and realtor partners to better understand the landscape of renovation lending and the growing opportunity it presents as the inventory of homes continues to age. The last 30 minutes will be focused on audience Q&A, so come prepared with questions. 

Join MMLA Southeast Chapter for a webinar discussion on digital closings, remote online notarization and what it means to Michigan. Hear from Elizabeth Blosser at the American Land Title Association and Nicole Booth at Notarize on what and how of RON at a digital closing table.

Register Now for the Central Florida FAMP In-Person Annual Tabletop and Education Day. Available workshops include the New URLA, Facebook Marketing, Credit, Reverse Mortgages and FAMP update PLUS the Annual Trade Show.

Real Estate Connection will be hosting a webinar series "A Path to Pivot" on Thursday, for mortgage lenders and realtors looking to understand and master the buyer engagement and lead conversion space. This webinar series is designed specifically to help Mortgage Lenders, Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents, and Brokers know and understand the working mechanics behind lead generation, buyer engagement, transaction management, and getting your buyers to the closing table.

LBA Ware 2021 quarterly webinar series with MBA Chief Economist Michael Fratantoni. This free webinar provides a data-packed discussion on the state of the mortgage industry. Drawing on the latest stats, Mike will help you take a data-driven approach to your business decisions this year.

Friday the 12th:

Partners Credit is sponsoring the upcoming editions of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown and Tracey King will be co-hosting! Tracey, Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and I will be discussing current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes this Friday at 3PM ET in, “The Rundown with Rob and Rich.”

Join CAMP Silicon Valley for Tax Laws - What will happen in 2021? Randy Warshawsky, EA will discuss Prop 19, PPP Loan Forgiveness, and the reality of 100% deduction for meals. Zoom pre-registration is required.

For your calendars coming up:

Attend a complimentary webinar for mortgage professionals on Wednesday, 2/24 at 10AM PT: The State of the Economy & Key Strategies to Secure Your Investments and Build Wealth. Hosted by Cindy Ertman, CEO of The Defining Difference, with guest experts Barry Habib, CEO of MBS Highway, and Peter Boockvar, Chief Investment Officer of Bleakley Advisory Group. Topics include the state of the economy, the future of interest rates, the health of the housing industry, and discuss key investment strategies for what you should be doing with your money and how to protect it.

Qualia, the leading digital closing platform, will host its second annual Future of Real Estate Summit (FORES21). The virtual event will take place March 11 and will explore the theme “Real Estate is Local,” offering perspectives on how industry innovation and technology are enabling and strengthening local expertise. Speakers include Joe Tyrrell, President of ICE Mortgage Technology, Spencer Rascoff, entrepreneur and co-founder of Zillow and Pacaso, and basketball legend, Magic Johnson. Register here.

Capital Markets

The first committee votes on elements of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package begin today, and in conjunction with a slowdown in coronavirus infection rates, stocks rose yesterday for the sixth straight day while U.S. Treasuries and the MBS basis began the week on a mixed note. Market participants did not receive any notable data on the day although the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 3 bps to 5.35 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week as of January 31. According to MBA’s estimate, 2.7 million homeowners are in forbearance plans. The survey covers the period from January 25 through January 31, and represents 74 percent of the first-mortgage servicing market (37.0 million loans). The tidal wave is just not happening.

Today’s economic calendar got underway a couple hours ago with the NFIB small business optimism index for January (-.9). Next up will be Redbook same store sales for the week ending February 6 and December Job openings from JOLTS. On the supply side, the Treasury auctions off $58 billion 3-year notes in the first leg of this week’s record Quarterly Refunding and on the demand side the NY Fed Desk will conduct two operations buying up to $5.6 billion, starting with $3.6 billion UMBS30 1.5 percent and 2 percent followed by $2 billion GNII 2 percent and 2.5 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices up/better a few ticks and the 10-year yielding 1.15 after closing yesterday at 1.16 percent.



Synergy One Lending welcomes Travis Newton, Mike Wilbur, and Ben Nelson to the growing Synergy One team. Travis and Mike will run the production team as Area Managers while Ben will continue his role as Sales Manager. The trio have each been recognized as top 1% originators Nationwide. “We are overjoyed at the opportunity placed before us by Aaron Nemec and Steve Majerus. This move gives us the autonomy to make decisions at the local level while also providing an incredibly robust fintech platform as we begin to build a Billion-dollar team here in Oregon,” said Travis. Synergy One President, Aaron Nemec added, “These guys are some of the absolute best in the business, and it’s an honor to partner and grow with them!” Synergy One Lending is based in San Diego, CA, is currently licensed in 38 states and has Operational HUBS in Roseville, CA, Boise, ID, Denver, CO and Dallas, TX. To learn more about Synergy One Lending, reach out to Aaron Nemec or Ben Green.

Fall head-over-heals in love with your career when you own a Motto Mortgage franchise. The Motto Mortgage network supports entrepreneurship with an out-of-the-box franchise model and industry-leading tools for one simple, monthly fee. You’ll have full and customized access to best-of-breed technology, business support tailored to you, and enterprise-level wholesale lender relationships for all your loan origination needs. Best of all, you’ll be in control of your professional destiny. Discover how franchise ownership can be the first chapter in your own love story today. Cupid is calling!

CIVIC Financial Services is the industry’s leading private money lender, providing short- and long-term financing for residential and multifamily real estate investors. The company has funded more than 10,000 loans totaling more than $4.5B. CIVIC has amazing career opportunities for experienced Account Executives who are passionate about delivering a superior customer experience while building strategic relationships with mortgage brokers, real estate agents and investors. Successful candidates should have a proven track record of recent loan origination in the Fix and Flip and/or short-term Bridge lending space. CIVIC’s culture is second-to-none, having been recognized as a "Great Place to Work" (two years in a row) by Fortune. Mortgage Professional America rate CIVIC as one of the top mortgage companies to work for. CIVIC is accepting candidates in AZ, CA, FL, GA, NV, NC, OR, TN, TX, and WA. Reach out to learn more about the opportunities at CIVIC with Bryan Russak.