Rumors continue about companies going out of business, scaling back, or being sold. But let’s talk about progress in pushing forward transitional licensing, and that the Senate passed a bill that would exempt 85 percent of banks and credit unions from certain regulatory requirements, according to a CFPB analysis of 2013 data. The package contained several MBA-supported priorities including: SAFE Act Amendments to create a transitional authority to originate loans, consumer protections for Property Assessed Clean Lending (PACE) loans, relief from HMDA reporting requirements for some institutions, and a partial fix to TRID. The Senate bill repeals many of the new reporting requirements, exempting small lenders making 500 or fewer mortgages a year from the expanded data disclosure. The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that expanded data would still be collected on 95 percent of loans. A version of the bill now goes to the House of Representatives.
Conventional Conforming Updates from Agencies, Investors, and Lenders
Fannie Mae published an updated version of its Annual Statement of Eligibility for Document Custodians (Form 2001). The form should be submitted by email, instead of by the U.S. Postal Service, and all supplemental data should be included in the embedded document. Also, Fannie made minor wording updates, including differentiating between custodial agreement types. For additional information, contact your Single-Family Custody Operations analyst.
Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2018-4 extends the suspension of all foreclosure sales in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for two more months through May 31, 2018. This extends relief announced in prior Guide Bulletins to help borrowers continue to receive the assistance they need.
As part of Fannie Mae's commitment to detecting and preventing mortgage fraud, it has posted a new Mortgage Fraud Trends presentation with statistics regarding what is currently happening in the market. Fannie will continue to update this presentation regularly so bookmark the page.
Fannie Mae’s Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2018-02 introduced significant improvements to Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle program. Many of the updates are effective immediately and some will be effective with the release of DU Version 10.2 which rolls out the weekend of March 17th. Plaza’s HomeStyle guidelines will be updated on March 13, at which time Plaza will accept loans that meet Plaza’s updated guidelines.
Wells Fargo Funding has expanded its policy for condominium (condo) projects involved in litigation by adding four additional types of acceptable litigation on its Conventional Conforming and Non-Conforming loans.
Word has it that MGIC and NMI tightened some underwriting. Last year, Fannie Mae eased guidelines on loans with debt-to-income ratios (DTIs) above 45%. Historically, exceptions were needed to qualify these high DTIs, but Fannie Mae started accepting loans more automatically. Freddie Mac still does not allow such loans. Both MGIC and National MI have limited these automatic high DTI approvals to loans with FICO scores of 700 or higher (click here for MGIC and here for NMI).
If you sell loans for cash, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be offering a new business opportunity with its introduction of a 10-year mortgage product. With the implementation of the Single Security coming in Q2 2019, Lender will have access to distinct pricing specifically for a 10-year mortgage that can help with best execution decisions. You’ll no longer receive pricing for a 15-year mortgage, as you currently do, when you deliver a 10-year loan. Loans with special characteristics, such as high LTV ratios and super-conforming, will also receive distinct 10-year pricing for cash executions. Get more information about this coming opportunity in the Single Security Initiative Market Adoption Playbook.
The Fannie Mae Selling Guide 2018-02 announcement has been updated to include changes to the following: HomeStyle® Renovation, HomeStyle® Energy, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. Age of Document Requirements for Loans Impacted by a Disaster. Compliance with Laws and Responsible Lending and Miscellaneous Selling Guide Updates.
Freddie Mac Home Possible® and Home Possible Advantage® transactions are eligible for purchase by AmeriHome starting Thursday, March 1, 2018. These programs provide the following: Primary Residence Transactions Secured by 1-Unit SFRs, PUDs, and Condominiums. Standard Conforming Loan Amounts. Purchase and No Cash-Out Refinance Loans. Home Possible LTVs to 95%. Home Possible Advantage LTVs to 97% and CLTVs to 105% with a Closed-End Affordable Second®. No Minimum Borrower Contribution, Cash-On-Hand Allowed. Accessory Unit and Subject Property Rental Income Permitted. Lower-than-standard, cancellable mortgage insurance options for loans with LTVs greater than 90%.
Please note that the FHLMC transfer process noted in the January 22, 2018 UCD Requirements alert has been resolved. Effective March 12, all loans submitted must be transferred to Pacific Union via FHLMC’s Loan Closing Advisor. All other reminders below are still in effect. The UCD mandate which had been put on hold in September 2017 is effective now and mandatory as of January 31, 2018. Pacific Union now requires the following elements for UCD processing from our Correspondent Lenders: All Lenders must register with both GSEs. The Lender must create a UCD XML file from the final Closing Disclosure (CD). The Lender must upload that UCD XML to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and receive the appropriate response. For Fannie Mae, the Lender must transfer the UCD XML to Pacific Union, as well as get a Successful UCD Findings Report from FNMA. For FHLMC, the Lender must receive a Successful UCD Feedback Certificate. The Lender must submit those responses in their Legal Package upload to Pacific Union.
Freddie Mac Servicer updates bulletin 2018-2 announced charge-off recommendations, document custody, Guide Forms 16SF, Annual Eligibility Certification Report, and 1107SF, Seller/Servicer Change Notifications and additional updates and reminders. The changes announced in this Bulletin are effective immediately unless otherwise noted. Servicer update Bulletin 2018-3, announced updates related to Eligible Disaster Areas impacted by recent disasters, Cash payups for Mortgages with low loan balances, Condominium Unit Mortgage Credit Fee in Price and Guide Form 442, Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report.
Freddie Mac/Capital Markets Cooperative (CMC) Alliance is offering an exclusive set of benefits that help lender remain competitive in the mortgage market by offering high-level capital markets executions that have historically been limited to only those mortgage bankers with large volume and high levels of expertise. CMC leverages its nationwide network of Patron members to help maximize profitability. To learn about membership benefits, read the recent Alliance Spotlight article.
ditech Approved Correspondent Clients should be aware that for all other conventional loan products with a DTI greater than 45% and a credit score less than 700 the ability to obtain mortgage insurance may be restricted based upon the MI provider used.
Anyone originating FHA & VA loans should know that Ginnie Mae announced the issuance of its mortgage back securities totaled $36.41 billion in January, down slightly from $37.67 billion in December. $34.61 billion was in Ginnie Mae II MBS and $1.795 billion was in Ginnie Mae I MBS. According to Ginnie Mae, the total outstanding principle balance of all issuance rose to $1.924 trillion from $1.786 trillion in January 2017. For the first quarter of Ginnie Mae’s fiscal year 2018, issuance was $117 billion comparted to $147.7 billion and $109.5 billion for the same period in FYs 2017 and 2018 respectively. “Ginnie Mae continues to support homeownership for veterans and millions of homeowners throughout the country especially since issuance dramatically increased in 2009 and throughout the recession.”
The long-term trend in rates is higher, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go down in the short term. Lackluster economic data, headlined by weak February Retail Sales assisted Treasuries toward their third straight higher close Wednesday. January Business Inventories that came in expected at +0.6%, which points to inventory growth outpacing sales growth – normally not a big deal, but it does weigh down 1st quarter GDP forecasts somewhat. And there is increasing conjecture that we’ll see three rate hikes from the Fed this year from the potential four that some Fed speakers had touted.
Looking to today, Import Prices were +.5%. We have had weekly Initial Claims (226k, as expected), Continuing Claims (prior 1870K), March Empire Manufacturing (expected 15.0), and March Philadelphia Fed Survey (as expected at 22.3). Later this morning, we will have the release of the March NAHB Housing Market Index, expected to remain at 72, Weekly Natural Gas Inventories, and January Net Long-Term TIC Flows. At 2pm ET, the NY Fed will report MBS purchases for the week ended March 14, which are expected to total $3.2 billion, as compared to $3.4 billion last week. The day starts with rate little changed versus Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday’s: agency MBS prices are unchanged and the 10-year is yielding 2.82%.
Employment and Products
Center Street Lending needs a customer-focused Vice President of Sales to lead a nationwide sales team. Responsibilities include sales strategy, sales management, growing the sales team and increasing monthly production. The ideal candidate understands wholesale and retail sales, customer motivation, has a track record of successfully developing and implementing growth plans and knows how to inspire a sales team. The position is based in their headquarters in Irvine, California. Center Street Lending has built a reputation as a premier private money, portfolio leader focused on residential real estate entrepreneurs and customer obsession. Established in 2010, Center Street Lending has consistently and profitably grown year over year, with volume doubling in 2017. Contact Center Street Lending at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining their growing team.
The StoneHill Group, Inc., a Veteran owned, nationwide provider of Mortgage Quality Control and Outsource Services, has two exciting opportunities available for experienced Mortgage sales and marketing professionals for the position of Regional Business Development Manager. These positions: one in the Western and one in the Central regions of the U.S., will be responsible for promoting the Company and its service offerings through the development, growth and maintenance of Client relationships as well as the creation & deployment of sales and marketing campaigns in these respective geographies. The ideal candidates will have a minimum of 5 years documented success selling QC, Underwriting, Fulfillment or other third-party mortgage related services to the mortgage banking community, have extensive industry contacts and reside in the Western or Central portions of the country respectively. To review the full job description and to submit a resume, please visit The StoneHill Group, Inc. Careers’ Page. If you have questions, contact Michael Cranford.
Aggressively growing its Northwest Region, Envoy Mortgage has recently opened a new branch in Bellingham, Washington adding to its 150+ branches nationwide. The Bellingham branch is being led by Paul Grant. With over 15 years of management, finance and mortgage expertise, Paul is an ideal selection to head Envoy’s newest branch. Joel Cambern, Regional VP, is actively recruiting loan originators and branch managers to further expand the Northwest region. Envoy Mortgage offers excellent compensation and employee benefits. A strong operational support system with underwriting centers throughout the country, digital tools designed to help you meet your career goals and a culture that can’t be beat are just a few of the benefits working at Envoy. For Envoy career opportunities in Washington, visit www.envoymortgage.com/joel-cambern/ or call Joel at 425.440.0515.
I continue to be bullish on local and regional lenders to gain market share from large lenders. Smaller and mid-size organizations can use their nimbleness to get systems launched quickly and efficiently, mostly in part due to tech companies providing low-effort deployment and customizable digital mortgage solutions. Maxwell is a great example. Maxwell is the leading digital mortgage solution for independent mortgage companies and TPOs alike. They’re scaling quickly, having facilitated $7B in origination volume in the last year. It’s incredible to see how a user-focused experience can take the industry by storm! Automated doc collection, verifications, smart 1003, text and email notifications, realtor updates, dynamic team collaboration, and more. I almost wonder how we lived without a tool like this! The team at Maxwell has told me they are closing mortgages 45% faster than the industry average and reducing underwriting turns by 25%. Learn more about it here.
FinLocker, a financial data and analytics company, recently issued a press release announcing the approval of their second patent supporting proprietary leading-edge digital vault functionality. FinLocker’s re-usable “financial locker” for consumers, manages financial data that can be used for loan transactions such as mortgages, auto, student, small business, and more. The FinLocker platform dramatically reduces lender costs, data errors and processing timelines through patented technology. The first patent protects innovative control of consumer financial information and data access in a digital workflow-enabled system. This most recent patent covers multi-source information management of data and documentation, with capabilities to retrieve, store, update and analyze data housed in digital vaults, inclusive of access rules and transparent consumer controls. FinLocker advancements in secure financial data management and analytics enable lenders to create a true “customer for life/lender for life” relationship.