A year ago… remember when you couldn’t find toilet paper for sale? Now you can’t find a house for sale. But there are plenty of Agency MBS and other debt for sale. Just as borrowers are lowering their debt load by refinancing their home loans, corporations and governments are taking advantage of low rates while they’re here. For example, American Airlines has raised $10 billion through an offering of $6.5 billion in high-yield bonds and $3.5 billion in loans, the largest debt deal ever by an airline. Freddie and Fannie know a little something about debt, and this week’s Fannie news (constricting 2nd and vacation home locks) has caused disruption as the aggregators and the agencies plan to implement this. But locked pipelines, with their processing time, are already set for April funding, thus May delivery, so is Fannie’s constriction start in June? The devil is in the details. It is rumored that over 50 percent of sellers to the Agencies already exceed this limit! There are limited alternatives available currently, like perhaps FHA or non-QM, but a secondary market will be created over time… But at what cost? (Lest I forget, today’s audio version of the commentary features Mike Cagney of Figure.)

Lender Products and Services

Looking for a more simplified process for obtaining competitive mortgage insurance premiums? Mortech, a Zillow Group business providing technology solutions for mortgage professionals, recently integrated with industry leading mortgage insurance company, National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI). Through this integration lenders now have instant access to live quotes from National MI Rate GPS® within Mortech’s pricing engine platform, saving them time and increasing productivity with a more efficient workflow. As home buyers continue to shop and finance their home digitally, lenders need to be able to provide borrowers with mortgage quotes quickly to help achieve a better customer experience. By taking advantage of Mortech’s new live MI quoting feature, lenders can confidently compare mortgage insurance quotes from supported partners in one platform. To begin quoting live MI pricing within Mortech’s pricing engine platform, contact Mortech Sales via email or phone at 855.298.9327.

Have you already been added to HomeBinder? Homeowners are adding lenders to HomeBinder every day because they value all their home information being centralized in one place. Conversely, this benefits the lender as it links them to the homeowner for future financing and referrals, both of which are key needs of any successful loan officer. Find out if you've been added to HomeBinder today.

PHH Mortgage is onboarding new Fannie Mae SMP Co-Issue sellers in 48 hours or less. If you’ve ever considered becoming a Co-Issue seller, now is the perfect time. Send PHH an invitation within the Fannie SMP platform, download the pricing grid, and after a simple setup process you can start committing MSRs by the end of the week. We offer all-in pricing from Fannie with no minimums or holdbacks. Plus, PHH is one of the few buyers that supports e-Notes for same-day execution. It’s just as easy with Freddie CRX or Ginnie PIIT. PHH is your one-stop shop. If you’re looking to retain servicing, PHH is onboarding new Subservicing portfolios ranging from $1-20B+ within 90-120 days. We customize to promote your brand and offer all your customers a new mobile app. With a full Recapture option, PHH helps you retain your customers for life. Want to learn more? Contact Chris Sabbe to find out how PHH is changing the game once again.

Lodasoft Now Offering Single-Click Dual AUS Submissions for Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae. Lodasoft, a Digital Workflow Platform designed by mortgage veterans to revolutionize loan origination and task automation, is now offering single-click submissions of loan data to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting systems (AUS), delivering greater transactional ease and operational efficiency. Mortgage lenders leveraging Lodasoft will now have the ability to run an application through both systems, with a single click, to quickly identify the best option for the borrower up front. Additionally, the dual-AUS submission and review process will allow lenders to maximize loan fungibility in the secondary market and improve loan quality through automation. The single-click dual AUS system not only saves money by identifying the best product for the borrower as early as possible but can also reduce loan cycle times by days or even weeks.

Stand out from the crowd with Sportsdigita’s Digideck cloud-based presentation platform. Telling your brand's story has never been more important than it is in today’s digital world. Digideck combines rich multimedia functionality with best-in-class software technology to empower lenders to create engaging, customized presentations, communications, and proposals. Digideck is honored to have preferred partner relationships with Capital Markets Cooperative and OptifiNow. From virtual selling to in app live chat and video conferencing, Digideck is the modern technology you need to create a lasting experience for your customers. Watch a sneak peek video of Digideck in action.

As the refinance boom slows and the need for a robust purchase strategy grows, lenders are looking for a CRM solution that can support their sales and marketing needs. But every lender has a different vision for how they want to achieve their goals. That is why OptifiNow is the perfect CRM solution for mortgage lenders. OptifiNow has the flexibility and customizations that can support all the diverse ways mortgage lenders approach the purchase market. From small, single branch retail groups to large operations with multiple business channels, OptifiNow uses a unique approach to build lenders a CRM that fits their strategy like a glove. If you want to create your own CRM but don't have the time, money, or resources to do it yourself, contact OptifiNow to schedule a demonstration and pave your pathway to sales and marketing success.

Great news -- this past week, a few more holiday cards were in the mailbox! It was like Christmas in March. I wasn't surprised though, everyone experienced the recent mail delays. You were even more aware of the delays if your business uses direct mail - you didn't know what to expect. Unless you worked with Monster Lead Group. Monster's data team created real-time reporting to identify bottlenecks in the mail stream, so their clients could avoid delays. But that's the type of business intelligence and support that their customers have come to expect. If your direct mail isn't delivering and you want better results, learn how Monster can help. Or set-up a short demo. You and your loan officers will be thankful you took the time.

Fannie, Freddie, Diversity…

To start off, NAMMBA, Cultured Outreach, and NAMMBA Consulting have launched a Mortgage Diversity Survey Report. Results from this survey are confidential and will include over 25+ positions in the industry. The Mortgage Diversity Survey Report will include information on job title, positions held, gender, race/ethnicity, and employee turnover by category. Data will be segmented by banks, credit unions, Independent Mortgage Banks (IMBs) and Wholesale Lenders.

The industry is concerned about Fannie’s announcement this week, but recall that prior to the Biden inauguration, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin issued a directive to FHFA which would limit investment loans guaranteed by Fannie and Fred. (This was the letter that limited cash window purchases to $1.5 billion per single originator.) The directive also limits investment / second home purchase activity to only 7%. That second part is controversial given that we have a housing shortage, and raising costs isn't going to help the affordability issue out there.

Freddie Mac recently launched its eClosing Implementation Roadmap to help industry stakeholders implement eClosings into their mortgage process. The roadmap is an interactive blueprint, with step-by-step directions, to efficiently guide successful eClosing adoption. Freddie Mac supports both full and hybrid eClosing.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation product allows borrowers to combine the purchase or refinance of a primary residence or second home with the costs to renovate the property. Expenses such as architectural services, engineering and permit fees can be included. Loan is fully disbursed at closing with renovation funds placed in an interest-bearing escrow account.

Fannie Mae’s SEL 2021-02 describes recent changes to power of attorney eligibility and documentation requirements; the removal of references to the Servicing Execution Tool™ (SET™) ahead of the transition to Servicing Marketplace®. The list of risk factors evaluated by Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) has been updated and aligns the definition of planned unit development across the Guide.

The redesigned Form 1003 and DU MISMO v3.4 file must be used for all new loans started on or after March 1st. This transition marks the culmination of an industry-wide effort to update the form for a better borrower and lender experience and to support the industry’s move toward digitizing the loan origination process. Check out the Redesigned Form 1003/DU Quick Guide from Fannie.

Fannie Mae CU User Interface enhancements updates have be rescheduled from February to June

Fannie provided tips on successfully obtaining and reconciling tax transcripts using IRS Form 4506-C.

Fannie updated the Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing in LL-2021-02 to extend the suspension of certain foreclosure-related activities and to allow the extension of forbearance plan terms for certain eligible borrowers impacted by COVID-19. In addition, the published

LL-2021-07 updates the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 payment deferral.

Caliber Home Loans has relaxed COVID-19 overlays for Wage Earner Re-verification of Income, Rental Income, Projected Income, Variable Income (Commission and Bonus) and Renovation products (Homestyle and FHA 203K). Review the Update to COVID-19 Overlays Comparison Table document for complete details.

PennyMac Correspondent Group made updates to the Conventional Investment Property and Second Home LLPAs for all Best Effort commitments taken on or after Friday, March 5, 2021. View Announcement 21-15 for details.

Effective with Commitment Confirmations issued on or after March 5, 2021, Caliber Home Loans is offering a reduction of the Escrow Wavier Loan Level Price Adjustment (LLPA) for all Conventional loans. 

Flagstar Bank posted information on the extension of COVID tolerances specific to Conventional products in memo 21030 and Government products memo 21031.

FAMC issued COVID-19 temporary guidance to provide flexibilities while also selectively tightening on credit risk. The temporary guidance applies if, due to COVID-19 implications, it is not possible to meet the existing requirements. The temporary requirements within this document must be applied in conjunction with all applicable FAMC published guidelines.

Flagstar Bank implemented a new +0.125 loan level price adjustment on Fannie Mae High Balance 30-Year Fixed and Freddie Mac Super Conforming 30-Year Fixed loans with the property state of New York. The Bank also posted multiple guideline updates including Conventional program updates found in memo 21029, VA Certification of Eligibility Enhancements in Memo 21027, and information on updated Chapters in Rural Housing Handbook in Memo 21026.

Effective with loans delivered for purchase to Caliber Home Loans on or after March 3, 2021, the maximum LTV ratio for Home Possible 2–4-unit properties will be 85%. The maximum CLTV/HCLTV will remain at 95%.

PRMG’s Product Update 21-09 Updated product names for FNMA Student Loan Cash Out, Symmetry HELOC clarifications.

Capital Markets

Treasuries, with MBS tagging along, ended yesterday in curve steepening fashion, which portends good news. An above-consensus initial claims report contributed some, as did good demand for $24 billion of 30-year T-bonds, as did President Biden signing the $1.9 trillion spending bill into law. The lowest level of claims since the first week of last November suggests the economy is moving in a direction that suggests the economy is finding its growth stride again. The MBS basis closed the day tighter, led by the “belly” of the stack.

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac for the week ending March 11 saw the average 30-year mortgage rate rising 3 bps to 3.05 percent while the 15-year and 5/1 hybrid ARM rates rose 4 bps to 2.38 percent and 2.77 percent, respectively. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist said “As the economy improves given labor market optimism, continued vaccination roll-out and additional stimulus pending, mortgage interest rates will increase. But even as rates rise modestly, the housing market remains healthy on the cusp of spring homebuying season. Homebuyer demand is strong and, for homeowners who have not refinanced but are looking to do so, they have not yet lost the opportunity.”

Today’s economic calendar began with the February PPI report (+.5 percent). Later this morning brings preliminary March Michigan sentiment. After the Fed Desk released a new two-week purchase schedule yesterday that averaged $5.3 billion a day with no changes to coupons versus the prior schedule, along with the mid-March to mid-April reinvestment estimate of $121.6 billion, the Desk today is scheduled to purchase $4.8 billion UMBS30 followed by $1.9 billion GNIIs. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250 and the 10-year yielding 1.59 after closing yesterday at 1.53 percent.



As we all can see, rates have gone up and some lenders are starting to feel the pressure on margins and volumes. Some experts believe that production will head lower in 2021. Lenders, brokers, and Account Executives want to be correctly positioned with the right product mix for this shift. Sprout Mortgage has the products that can help, and is hiring Account Executives. Sprout Mortgage is a well-known Non-QM lender offering a full menu of Non-QM products, bank statement, mixed use, next to prime jumbo, super jumbo, and Agency products. If you’re an Account Executive located in the Western United States, e-mail your confidential resume to Tom Conklin, Regional Sales Manager.

How would it feel to OWN a piece of a top 10 retail mortgage banker with over $22 billion in annual volume? How would it feel to WORK for a mortgage company that is 100% focused on supporting loan originators and making YOU look good? American Pacific Mortgage recently announced the launch of an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), giving ownership of the company to the employees. You heard that right. In a time when others are going public or selling out to large Wall Street firms, we’re doing things differently. To take full advantage of the ESOP rollout, you need to be an employee of APM prior to March 15, 2021. Go here to learn more about the ESOP from APM Chairman Kurt Reisig and to book a call with our team. (And APM is searching for a Director of Product Development and a Product Manager. The positions can be remote but the candidate should be available for occasional travel to Sacramento, CA, and are ideal for an existing MLO or a lock desk person searching for a new role. Contact CIO Chito Schnupp with questions, a resume, or for more job details.)

“With unprecedented loan volume in 2020, CMG Financial originators have barely had time to take a break, let alone celebrate. Nationally, we served over 95,000 families including over 10,000 military families. We lowered over 50,000 homeowners’ rates through our competitive refinance options and introduced over 1,500 homeowners to the revolutionary All In One Loan. We were named the ‘Best Lender for First-Time Home Buyers’ by Investopedia because of our innovative products like HomeFundIt and the Freddie Mac BorrowSmartâ„  Program. What would it take for you to close an additional $10 Million in production each year? Dedicated underwriters, hands-on leadership, and a commitment to making loans work helped the CMG Financial Retail Channel double its collective production volume from 2019 to 2020.  If you aren’t feeling supported in your current situation and want to learn how CMG can help your career, check us out!”

On Q Financial, one of the Top mortgage lenders in the United States and licensed nationwide, is currently seeking a VP, Fulfillment to help lead its Retail Channel processing, underwriting, and closing teams. On Q is in search of a creative leader who can support sales and fulfillment with effective communication and rapid execution. The perfect candidate is a change agent, innovative, and drives process enhancements through re-design and technology. This is an opportunity to join a motivated, high-energy team and work in a thriving environment. On Q is a direct Fannie/Freddie seller servicer and Ginnie issuer that offers a full suite of bond, agency, and non-agency products with competitive pricing and ability to retain servicing. On Q simplifies the mortgage process via its Simplicity App, eNote offerings and dedication to truly creating a digital mortgage platform. Interested candidates should submit resumes to Chelle Arends.

Desmond P. Smith has joined United Wholesale Mortgage as Chief Growth Officer to focus on ways to advance and grow the mortgage broker channel.