M&A grab current headlines (Freedom buying JG Wentworth’s mortgage biz being the latest) but it’s hard to put the past behind us, as an industry, when the past continues to grab them as well. “GE to pay $1.5 billion U.S. fine over crisis-era subprime mortgages.” The U.S. Department of Justice stated that GE concealed the poor quality of the loans and WMC’s lax fraud controls when packaging the loans into residential mortgage-backed securities sold to investors. As is customary, GE did not admit any wrongdoing, and it is unknown if anyone at GE ever yelled, “We didn’t do anything wrong, but here’s a billion and a half to leave us alone.” WMC originated $65 billion in residential loans from 2004-2007. “They won’t catch us” doesn’t really fly. Big or small, one can’t be too careful out there, as missteps may haunt you for decades. For example, here’s a loan officer who ran afoul for transferring loan files between employers and must give up one of his licenses for failing to disclose it.

Lender Services and Products

Are you uncertain of the reach and impact of your marketing efforts? Would you like to ? The marketing specialists at Seroka Brand Development use a combination of online tools and resources to track campaign effectiveness to ensure they are meeting your goals throughout your campaign. Included among the data they track are coverage obtained in key media outlets, social media engagement, SEO performance, average visitor time spent on webpages, web pages visited and much more. Want to learn more? Reach out to Seroka and get ready to #TurnUpYourBrand!

How robust is your post-closing process? Are your trailing documents being tracked effectively? Are you delivering files and documents in a timely manner? Is your mailroom process efficient? Are you able to proactively identify exceptions? If you’re in need of a stronger post-closing process, one that mitigates risks and keeps your costs in check, consider Sourcepoint. Formerly ISGN Solutions, Sourcepoint’s post-closing support services inject efficiency and accuracy into the collection, review and delivery of loan files and trailing documents. Its uniquely poised to assist lenders in meeting their objectives, such as scalability and clearing backlogs, improving physical document handling and storage, trailing documents tracking and management, mitigating risks on compliance issues and CFPB Audit/Recording Fee reconciliation. Learn more about Sourcepoint’s portfolio of hybrid and automated post-closing services here.

Simplify your underwriting process with Loan Product Advisor® asset and income modeler (AIM). Through the expertise of third-party service providers, AIM automates the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. AIM reduces the burden of traditional documentation, speeds up the loan origination process and helps you close loans faster. Freddie Mac is working hard to bring you solutions that create efficiencies for your business and improve the borrower experience - giving you a competitive edge. These capabilities are available now. Gain greater efficiency in your underwriting processes with AIM - get The Freddie EdgeSM.

Choose the right mortgage lending platform: Blend has compiled a guide of customer advice and industry insights for in-house teams who are still looking at, evaluating, and testing digital lending platforms. We hope it shines some light on what we know can be an incredibly intimidating process. Download the white paper.

Customers of TCF Bank®’s Relationship Lending Unit (RLU) respond with excitement to new compensation announcement. On April 5, TCF announced a change to the broker compensation on our Stand-Alone HELOC to 1% of the line amount subject to a $750 minimum and $1,500 maximum. “Our customers are reaching out with excitement that they are able to offer a complimentary product to meet increased customer demand, and we are pleased to be their partner of choice,” said Mark Zierott, SVP, National Sales Director at TCF. TCF RLU has been a trusted partner of brokers since 2006 and has deep experience originating HELOCs in the major US markets. Please contact your existing business development manager for more details. If you are currently not an approved partner please email us here. You can also visit tcfbank.com/brokerloans for more details.

Stop Losing Money in 2019! With the mortgage industry becoming increasingly difficult to survive let alone thrive, companies are in search of new marketing strategies to compete in this new era of credit. The Decision Science team at BBM has created an advanced suite of propensity data models that help professional origination marketers identify homeowners who are actively in the market for FHA, VA, Jumbo and Non-Agency loan options. Our average loan amount for active FHA/VA and Non-Agency applications exceed $350K and gross top line revenue of nearly $15,000. If you’re marketing is not reaching these levels of performance than let BBM show you how a targeted marketing strategy focused on propensity modeling and targeted revenue opportunity can change the trajectory of your company. For more information about BBM Marketing Services and about becoming an approved origination partner; please contact Bill Senteno and visit www.bbm.company.

New Products

Looking for a game-changing product to help you elevate your business and stand out from the crowd? Freedom Mortgage Wholesale recently introduced a new 95% LTV/CLTV Cash-Out No MI solution, called Freedom Flex. This innovative program follows conventional product selection/loan processing requirements with FHA credit guidelines. Freedom Flex features a fixed rate 95% LTV/CLTV Cash-Out with a credit score of 640 or above for 1-4-unit owner-occupied primary residences only. Other winning features include a 50% DTI, no mortgage insurance requirements and no reserves for 1-2 units. Not available in Texas or New York. To learn more, contact Freedom Mortgage and you will be connected with the Regional Vice President serving your territory.

Mountain West Financial Wholesale is now offering the MH Advantage Program. This program allows for a number of flexibilities over standard manufactured housing, including higher LTV ratios, standard mortgage insurance, and reduced loan-level price adjustments.

Is your borrower a teacher or staff member serving in one of California’s public school? CalHFA and Land Home Financial Services has a loan program that says “Thank You” with a school Teacher and Employee Assistance Program (School Program). Contact Mark Sheridan.

United Wholesale Mortgage rolled a new program, Custom Rate Lock. UWM’s Custom Rate Lock lets you pick the exact number of days, between 8 and 90 and lock for the time you need. The shorter the lock, the cheaper the price.

The Lender has a new Non-Prime Program for Primary, Second homes and Investment property. Contact Glenn Danford at GDanford@thelender.com for complete program details.

What’s in a Name?

Don’t forget that Ethos Lending is transitioning to One American Bank and its third-party origination channel will be operating under One American Mortgage. “All of our current systems and technology will continue to operate as is and just be transitioned to One American Mortgage.” TPO clients now login to www.oneamericanmortgage.com. “You will be able to access your current loans with Ethos and all new loans with One American Mortgage in the current Ethos Lending Broker Portal. The website will just be re-branded to One American Mortgage.” Clients were alerted that all current float loans were to be resubmitted to One American Mortgage. All locked loans as of Monday, April 1, 2019 will fund with Ethos Lending.

Will Quicken Loans just rebrand to Rocket Mortgage already? They put Rocket on Cavs Arena this week, and spent billions building Rocket's brand, so now it's time. Here are some fun variations from Julian Hebron for the new Rocket logo, and some branding tips LOs can learn from the big ballers.

Capital Markets

Last week was spent ruminating on how payrolls rebounded in March, increasing by 196,000, after a weak print in February which saw an upward revision to +33,000, the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.81%, and average hourly earnings increasing 4 cents. The labor force participation rate dipped to from 63.2 to 63.0 percent but has been hovering around the 63 percent mark for quite some time. Nothing there to change the Fed’s mind. New orders for durable goods decreased in February (Impacting things is Boeing announcing there were no 737 Max orders during the month of March.) Elsewhere, manufacturing picked up and construction spending increased as spending on public projects increased 3.6 percent. Overall, the economy remains in good shape in the face of deteriorating global conditions and trade uncertainties.

U.S. Treasuries ended last week on a lower note, including the 10-year rising to 2.56%, as the selloff started during London hours following some better than expected China data with EGBs initially lowering bonds before the Treasury selloff stateside as import/export prices showed no real inflationary pressure and the preliminary April reading for University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment was down from March. China's March Balance of Trade showed a rebound in exports (14.2% YOY; prior -20.8%) and China's loan creation in March was well ahead of expectations. The combination boosted risk sentiment in global markets, helping European equities end the week with gains while weakness in German bunds lifted the country's 10-yr yield back into positive territory (+7 bps to 6 bps). Eurozone February Industrial Production decreased month-over-month and year-over-year.

This Easter-week’s calendar includes an early close Thursday and markets closed Friday for Good Friday. Today’s calendar starts with the NY Manufacturing Index for April. The Treasury will auction $42 billion 3-year and $36 billion 6-month bills at 11:30am ET and release February TIC data at 4PM ET. Today also sees two Fed presidents with Chicago’s Evans and Boston’s Rosengren taking the stage. The first round of trade talks between representatives from the U.S. and Japan will begin today. Q1 equity earnings will also pick up with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs scheduled to report. Tomorrow’s releases include March Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization; and April NAHB Housing Market Index before Wednesday brings February Wholesale Inventories; and April Fed Beige Book. Thursday is loaded with March Retail Sales, Jobless Claim, the Philadelphia Fed Survey, February Business Inventories, and March Leading Indicators. We begin today with Agency MBS prices little changed versus Friday and the is 10-year yielding 2.56%.


Employment and Transitions

“IMPAC is growing rapidly and we are hiring Account Executives in Texas, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. For more information about these opportunities, contact Shea Jandt. Recognized as a PIONEER of Non-QM lending, IMPAC applies common-sense underwriting guidelines and fast turn times to in-demand loan products that solve real challenges for borrowers. We continue to bridge the gap for so many Self-Employed borrowers who can’t otherwise document their income, with our 12-month bank statement loan product. So many high net-worth, credit-worthy borrowers are still stuck in loans, unable to refinance their current loan or purchase and have no idea that there is a solution for them with our Asset Qualification program. Investors absolutely love our property cash-flow, Investor loan program that requires no income or tax returns. For these and other challenging loan scenarios, contact Impac for an effective solution. We empower our brokers to expand and grow their business!”

Nations Lending, as we have just been named a Best Workplace in Financial Services & Insurance by Fortune and Great Place to Work®. In addition, Nations Lending is branded a Top 40 Retail Lender for 2018 by Inside Mortgage Finance in loan deliveries to FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA. These accolades punctuate the advantages Nations Lending provides over other lenders: innovative ideas, improving customer service, and valuing our employees. It makes our company a destination for LOs and Branch Managers, as we believe the next generation of branch leaders will help take our proven success to the next level - from coast to coast. Nations Lending is a well-established, Agency/Government Servicer, licensed in 47 states. We are proud to service 100% of the Agency loans we originate. For more information and opportunity on how to join our growing organization, please visit the company's website.

TruHome Solutions announced the addition of Shay Kosta as Manager of Client Acquisition, responsible for generating new credit union partnerships for both Origination Services and Mortgage Servicing. “She will focus her efforts to identify opportunities for credit unions to enhance their mortgage offering to their members, and to illustrate the unique tools that TruHome brings that allow credit unions to grow their mortgage penetration within their membership.”