I was on a flight yesterday to Orlando for the MBAG annual conference on the coast. The plane was packed, half with 4-13-year-old passengers bound for “The House of Mouse.” Shouldn’t they be in school on a Wednesday rather than going to Disneyworld? About her son, I overheard one lady say, “Sage is an accelerated school release program.” I had an uncle in a work release program – maybe its similar, but I am sure the government is involved somehow. How much does the government influence lending, and property values? Lots. Let’s ask the folks in Vancouver, Canada, who have seen their market hit by government-induced mortgage stress testing, speculation taxes, foreign buyers pulling back, and price fatigue. (Sage, by the way, spent the journey watching Snoop Dogg videos and playing Crowd City.)
Lender Services and Products
Recruiting and Leadership Mastery Event registration is ending shortly. This is your final chance to register for the only mortgage industry event focused on creating great recruiters.
With the number of mortgage lenders actively competing in the market to recruit loan officers, winging your recruiting won’t work. You must know how to effectively create and present your unique competitive advantage, or you don’t stand a chance against competitors that know the secrets to recruiting loan officers. If you are committed to building your mortgage team, and you want or need a huge competitive edge, then be one of only 55 industry leaders to attend Recruiting and Leadership Mastery taking place on May 31st and the morning of June 1st at the Westin LAX Hotel. Learn Ron Vaimberg’s proven secrets to making you and your company an originator magnet. For complete event details visit www.RecruitandLead.com. Save $600 with code “Chrisman.”
Have you heard? Adding to its growing roster of differentiated programs to support its lending partners, American Financial Resources (AFR) is rolling out a simplified Conventional One-Time Close (OTC)/single-close construction program. Not only can qualified homebuyers secure loans to finance the home and the lot, as well as any needed site improvements, they will experience fewer limits on property types and expanded credit document expiration guidelines. The AFR Conventional OTC program has a number of advantages compared to other single-close construction-to-permanent loan programs, and can be used with 15-, 20-, or 30-year fixed mortgages, super conforming mortgages, plus such programs as the Freddie Mac Home Possible® program. Just another reason to partner with AFR. You can find even more by visiting www.afrwholesale.com. Questions? Email AFR or call 1-800-375-6071.
Veros has partnered with appraisal office management software developer Anow to introduce several integrations that will save lenders and appraisers time, effort and money while reducing the potential for risk. Veros products now available in Anow include VeroSCORE™ (score appraisals and identify potential issues prior to submission);
Veros PATHWAY™ (submit appraisals directly to Fannie/Freddie via UCDP and to FHA via the EAD portal); VeroPREVISION™ (determine up front if a subject property is a candidate for an AVM); VeroVALUE™ (order AVM services from Veros’ proprietary AVM, which provides a value estimate, value range, confidence score, subject property information, local market data and historic price neighborhood price trends); and VeroSELECTSM (order AVM services from other third-party AVMs and AVM cascades using a single platform). More details can be found here or contact Keith Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a demo of how Anow adds value for lenders.
Being friendly is expected when you work in customer service. Friendliness doesn’t cost anything. And it really shouldn’t require training. So why are call centers across the mortgage industry, well, not so friendly? Somewhere from wooing a customer all the way to the closing table, customer service has been removed from call centers across the industry to what feels like nameless, faceless robots. Check out this TMS blog on how good customer service doesn’t cost money. Make every customer interaction count so your borrower feels as good through the life of the loan as they did when you were wooing them.
It just got even easier to close more deals with less effort with Usherpa and Blend’s enhanced powerful two-way data exchange integration. The integration allows Loan Officers to simply push a contact to Blend from their Usherpa database AND Usherpa pulls prospects from Blend daily via the integration. This potent two-way exchange is game-changing. Prospects flow automatically from Blend to Usherpa, capturing all applications started in Blend but not submitted. Pulling these prospects into Usherpa’s Relationship Engagement Platform and automatic marketing campaigns, keeps potential borrowers engaged with the right message at the right time. The Usherpa/Blend integration increases pull-through by multiplying the number of applications that close, so you never miss an opportunity. Learn about Usherpa’s Relationship Engagement Platform today!
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. has long been regarded as the pioneer in non-agency lending and is committed to supporting their business partners in originating Caliber Portfolio loans through its Retail, Wholesale and Correspondent lending channels. In keeping with this commitment, Caliber has officially launched Caliber Smart Start – an innovative tool that validates loan parameters against program guidelines. This will allow Caliber’s partners to expand their product offerings and turn their pipelines faster. Smart Start takes the guesswork out of processing and documentation of non-agency loans by providing a free pre-qualification tool to reduce uncertainty and increase efficiencies. It’s currently available to Caliber Correspondent and Wholesale business partners and will soon be available to Caliber Loan Consultants. Visit www.CaliberSmartStart.com to get started.
eNotes, eClosings, eCraziness
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Simplifile, LC. (Simplifile operates one of the largest networks connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin residential mortgage records, serving as an electronic liaison between lenders, settlement agents, and county recording offices, streamlining the local recording of residential mortgage transactions.) ICE will pay $335 million to acquire 200 employee Simplifile, which is based in Utah and has no debt. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
Recall that Thrive Mortgage made a name for itself in 2018 as the first lender in Texas to complete a 100% digital mortgage closing (including an eNote) using a Remote Online Notary. So this is new stuff!
J.P. Morgan’s Corporate Client Banking and Specialized Industries (CCBSI) Mortgage group is now accepting electronic promissory notes (eNotes) as collateral to fund warehouse lending transactions. “The use of eNotes is impacting the industry by helping to improve data quality and security, speeding up the mortgage funding process by shortening loan origination times, reducing errors, and lowering costs by eliminating paper, shipping and storage fees. J.P. Morgan accepts and stores eNotes in an eVault.”
MERS’ eMortgage Boot Camp is being held June 26th in Reston, Virginia. During this full-day Boot Camp, “industry pros leading this evolution will discuss the specifics of their eMortgage journey, and Ginnie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Banks will provide updates on their progress toward eNote adoption. Learn about processes, timelines, and implementation best practices and how MERSCORP Holdings and other industry partners can help. Register now for the low price of $295.”
SecurityNational Mortgage implemented a fully paperless closing process using DocMagic’s Total eClose™ Platform. Since its roll out SNMC has reduced borrower time at the closing table to as little as 15 minutes and become one of the first national lenders to offer a true eClosing solution that involves no paper whatsoever. It has dramatically sped up the closing process, ensuring accuracy and loan quality, and delivering newfound efficiencies for borrowers, notaries and settlement providers. Total eClose enables SNMC’s customers to preview documents prior to closing, eSign all documents, and complete both remote and in-person eNotarizations.
Guild Mortgage announced the launch of its new secure eClose option powered by Guild’s proprietary technology and DocuSign. Customers can choose to review and sign loan documents electronically, helping to make signing of closing documents easier and less time-consuming than a traditional mortgage closing. eClose provides enhanced security protections, too. Documents are retained in an encrypted electronic envelope and accessible only upon successful user authentication.
Schoolin’ and Trainin’
I know its short notice, but for all MLOs and lenders, on Saturday, May 4th in Anaheim, CA, from 12:00 to 1:30 one can attend Craig Proctor’s training. “Learn how to access the Craig Proctor Realtor System for free, how to partner with the biggest Realtor teams in the industry, and how to provide daily free leads to Realtors, among other things. This is a free break-out session at the Craig Proctor Realtor Super Conference for lenders and LOs!
The Mortgage Compliance Professional Association of America (MCPAOA) is hosting a webinar on May 22 on the Pending Rule for Temporary Licensing Authority/Transitional Licensing. Presented by Haydn Richards, partner at Bradley, Arant, Boult Cummings, LLP, topics will include Section 2155 of the federal Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act which opened the door for transitional licensing authority, and employment transition of LOs. (MCPAOA Membership is free.)
Danny Horanyi, Head of Non-Agency Lending at Caliber Home Loans, is offering a free on-demand webinar with the latest information on Non-Agency Lending. Through this very informative webinar you will learn Actionable Strategies to gain referral partners. Change your mindset of what a non-agency borrower looks like and learn why responsible non-agency lending is so important.
Today, Thursday, May 2nd at 1pm, real estate attorney Lorena Roel of Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP will present a free webinar about common issues relating to real estate deposits. In this informative webinar, attorney Roel will cover key topics relating to earnest money deposits, such as their purpose, the difference between a down payment and an earnest money deposit, and how the mechanics work.
Todd Duncan is hosting his High Trust Sales Academy mortgage training event May 15-18th in Newport Beach, California. He’s been teaching this event for 26 years, and over 12,000 loan officers have successfully completed the training to create a successful blueprint for your business and your life. The High Trust Sales Academy will give you the step-by-step process to make more money in less time with less stress.
Arch MI's complimentary webinars touch on a wide range of mortgage lending topics put you on the fast track to professional success. Arch MI’s May Sessions include topics such as Mortgage Fraud, Creating Separation Between You and Your Competitors and more.
Plaza has posted it May Webinar Calendar. Training options include 203k, One-Time Close, First-Time Buyer, Reverse, Taxes, Credit Reports, Assets, Fraud. If you can’t make it to a webinar, register anyway and Plaza will email you the recording.
Franklin American Mortgage Wholesale’s May 2019 Wholesale Customer Training Calendar has been published. May trainings include topics such as Analyzing Appraisals, Effective Application Interviewing and Review with New URLA, LinkedIn Strategies for Loan Officers, Five Habits of High Effective Salespeople – Habit 2: Perfecting Your Prospecting, Detecting and Avoiding Fraud Schemes.
National MI announced a series of new training seminars for the month of May as part of its MI University. Stay informed on the leading topics and fundamentals that are important to your industry.
The NALFHA Annual Conference is coming up quick. Register for Climbing to New Heights: Unique Solutions for Affordable Housing, May 15-18 in Denver Colorado.
Mortgage Bankers Association of Hawaii is hosting a HANA HOU of its last workshop: 2018 Tax Form Changes/Analyzing Income for Self-Employed Borrower. Order your ticket now for the workshop on Thursday, May 16th from 10:00-12:00 in Honolulu.
On Tuesday, May 21st in Boston, FHA is providing a free, half day, on-site Underwriting Training providing an overview of FHA underwriting procedures and addresses several industry-related frequently asked questions. The FHA is also offering FHA Appraisal Training in Boston on Tuesday, May 21, from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM ET. This training will cover FHA appraisal requirements, including appraisal protocols and updates to appraisal policy as outlined in the Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1.
Registration is now open for the Mortgage Essentials Course by Genworth on May 20 & 21 in Grand Rapids. This is a 2-day, intense overview of the mortgage loan process. It is designed to jump-start the careers of your newer, LOs, LOAs, Processors or Underwriters. This course will take attendees through a deeper understanding of both the “what” and “why” aspects of mortgage lending.
Many U.S. Treasuries hit one-month highs on Wednesday after the release of a weaker-than-expected ISM Manufacturing Index for April but backed off before the close, including the 10-year closing unchanged at 2.51% as the FOMC released a somewhat dovish statement and lowered the interest rate on excess reserves slightly. Chairman Jay Powell explained that the move will help maintain the effective fed funds rate within the target range, and separately said he does not see a case for a move in either direction.
Dr. Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist, commented “…the Federal Reserve… continue to hint that they will remain patient, which would mean keeping rates at their current level at least through the end of the year. Additionally, the Fed provided more color regarding the pending change with respect to the balance sheet, where they will begin to buy U.S. Treasury securities again this fall, while allowing MBS to continue roll off. Overall, we expect that these moves by the Fed will contribute to a stable mortgage rate environment, which combined with a strong job market and increasing housing inventories, should be positive for homebuyers.”
This morning, we have already received the Bank of England’s latest monetary policy decision, along with the meeting minutes and inflation report, domestic layoffs from Challenger, Gray & Christmas for April (-34%!), initial claims for the week ending April 27 (230k), and preliminary Q1 Productivity (3.6%) and unit labor costs (-.9%). Later this morning, the last release on the domestic calendar is the ISM New York Business Conditions Index for April. We begin today with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding 2.51%.
Jobs and Personnel Moves
SocialSurvey is continuing its impressive growth across multiple verticals but still has a key role to fill for its mortgage team: The Regional VP of Business Development for the Southwest. “If you have a proven track record of selling technology into the mortgage industry and reside in the southwest region, this is a unique opportunity to be part of an amazing growth story. Having recently closed its Series-A round funding, SocialSurvey, the leader in online presence and reputation management for the mortgage industry, is just getting started. Make sure you don’t miss out, send a confidential resume and contact info to Nabby to learn more.”
GSF Mortgage Corporation is excited to offer FNMA’s new initiative, MH Advantage® Loans, a great alternative for aspiring homebuyers. MH Advantage® is a new homeownership option that offers innovative and affordable financing on specially designated manufactured homes that feature site-built characteristics. GSF Mortgage Corporation is one of the few lenders offering this product as a Single Close Construction to Permanent loan up to 95% LTV. Single Close Construction loan programs offered are, FHA-96.5% LTV, USDA-100% LTV, VA-100% LTV and Conventional up to 95% LTV. All programs are single settlement without the need to requalify the borrower after the initial closing. GSF Mortgage Corporation offers more choices to our customers than most lenders, allowing borrowers to buy or build their dream home. Learn more at the MHI Congress and Expo in New Orleans, May 6-8 at booth #421. Or contact our VP of Retail, Frank Papaleo, for information on this opportunity.
Flagstar Bank has hired Jason Lee to lead its Secondary Marketing and Capital Markets operations. “As EVP and head of Secondary Marketing and Capital Markets for Flagstar, he is responsible for all secondary marketing activities including trading, hedging, marketing of residential mortgage-backed securities, pricing, margin management, and loan delivery.”
And congrats to Leslie Winick who has joined MCT as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) to “play an integral role in helping MCT hone its strategic direction, further increase market share, manage rapid growth, and delight clients.”