As California prepares to open some retail stores, the racoon has been named the official mascot of 2020: washes hands insanely, always wears a mask, and when you rearrange the letters of its name… Leave it to Cinco de Mayo to fall on Taco Tuesday, which is now messed up due to a virus with the same name as a Mexican beer! Keep in mind that today celebrates Mexico's victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It was a relatively minor battle (the French reclaimed Puebla a year later) but a symbolic one because a small Mexican army defeated a larger occupying force. By 1867, Mexican troops had driven France from the country. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day. That holiday falls on September 16 and commemorates the Grito de Dolores, a priest's ringing of a church bell in the town of Dolores in 1810 that triggered Mexico's War of Independence from Spain. Given the rise in Hispanic home ownership in recent years played out in first-time home buyer numbers, this segment of the industry is very attuned to what has been done to price hits and changes to Ginnie servicing. Viva la Raza.

Lender Products and Services

In a contact-free world, Calyx Zip helps its customers stay connected to their borrowers. Zip is an affordable, easy-to-use point-of-sale with a loan application that supports HELOC origination, refinance, and home equity options for second homes and investor properties. When paired with a Calyx LOS system, Zip offers users a vital piece of the digital, remotely accessible mortgage experience. Originators can conveniently send a personalized URL to prospective borrowers to complete at their leisure and track loan progress once submitted. Equipped with mobile document upload capability, borrowers can easily supply required documents from the comfort of their homes. In this ever-changing environment, adaptability is key, and incorporating the right technology is essential. Contact us to learn how Zip can help you better serve your borrowers, today.

HomeBinder: Stay Connected Post-Close. Grow your business with a HomeBinder that keeps you connected with homeowners post-close. Drive agent referrals by co-branding HomeBinder with the real estate partners you work with. Integration with Encompass automates the entire process (including loan docs!) Exclusive 10% off HomeBinder for loan officers (ends May 31st). Learn more today.

“Nothing can replace the power of your voice. Calling the right people at the right time with the right message is a killer way to win new business. The problem is knowing who, when, and why to call. Usherpa’s Call Management System, UsherpAlert, mines your database and serves up a list of each day’s most high-value calls making it easy to text or call with a click.  It's as close to snapping your fingers and getting deals as you can get! Need more pointers on how to stop losing opportunities because you missed these important follow-up calls? Check out our latest article in National Mortgage News: Power Of Voice In Mortgage Marketing. Schedule a demo at”

Events and Training

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have increased their volume forecast for 2020. There is currently more demand than there is the capacity for many mortgage companies, presenting opportunities for lenders to grow and gain market share. The key is leveraging technology to scale instead of just throwing people at the problem. Sign up for this free webinar and listen to Josh Friend CEO of Insellerate and Alex Kutsishin, CEO of Sales Boomerang share their vast experience in helping hundreds of lenders leverage advanced technology, big data, and engagement platforms to help lenders grow and scale during these current market conditions. The webinar is tomorrow, May 6th, at 10 am PST.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Robert Senko, President of ACC Mortgage, for "Why Non-QM is Alive & Well” on Thursday, May 7 at 2:00 PM Eastern/11:00 AM Pacific. Are you worried about the future of Non-QM loans? ACC Mortgage, the oldest Non-QM Lender, is still making Non-QM loans. Learn how you can continue to offer these loans to your clients with confidence. Understand why Non-QM will still be a viable product into the future. Topics to be covered include what are the components of a good Non-QM loan, what Non-QM products are still available, and why is Non-QM safe. 

How are our industry’s top producers staying on top and adjusting their business with the volume surge and the capacity challenge? Join XINNIX Founder & CEO, Casey Cunningham, on Wednesday, May 20 at 2:00 PM ET for a free live webinar event, “Top Producer Tips to Manage Volume Today,” with special guests Michael Stallings from HomeStar Mortgage, Stuart Saunders from BankSouth Mortgage and Joe Bigelman from John Adams Mortgage Company. Learn from some of the industry’s best on how they are maintaining referral relationships, adjusting their business model to create capacity, creating efficiencies through tools and processes and more. This event is sure to fill up fast, so reserve your spot today! 

The speaker lineup is set. Check out Blend’s customer panel, Lenders on the forefront, at Forward, a digital summit, to see how Blend’s tools have been put into practice at leading financial institutions to manage volatile climates. Increase productivity and “uplevel” your customer experience. Sign up here.

National MI has scheduled several training events for May, a full line-up of relevant trainings. These include How to Ask for Referrals with Bruce Lund, Ph.D. - May 5th, Appraisal Review, Recent Changes, and What's Ahead - May 7th, Stayin' Alive: How to Evolve with Facebook to Reach More Customers - May 13th, Day 1 Certainty® with Fannie Mae - May 19th, Mortgage Fraud Awareness and Prevention Training - May 20th, and Ryan Estis presenting The Way Forward - May 21st.

COVID: Transforming Lending

Are HELOCs an endangered species? They are disappearing quickly: think Wells and Chase.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance increased from 6.99 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 7.54 percent as of April 26. According to MBA’s estimate, a total of 3.80 million homeowners are now in forbearance plans. Mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae had the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type (10.45 percent). The number of loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 8.41 percent, while the number of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers increased to 7.13 percent.

Ginnie Mae announces its Pass-Through Assistance Program for participants in the Ginnie Mae Multifamily MBS Program.

loanDepot Wholesale has imposed credit restrictions on the following FHA renovation programs: FHA 203(k) Limited Program - Minimum > 680 FICO, 43% Maximum DTI, AUS Approval Required, < 680 FICO is no longer eligible, Manual Underwriting is no longer eligible. FHA 203(k) Standard has been suspended until further notice. HomeStyle Renovation is still available with no restrictions. Refer to program matrices for details. Best efforts will be made to close all current pipeline.

Proving there’s no such thing as weekends to investors, yesterday afternoon PennyMac rolled out 20-30, saying its non-delegated conventional cash-out program is suspended.

Flagstar let correspondents know that effective Monday, May 4, 2020, for new Agency and Government locks, the existing Purchase Special LLPA will be decreased to 0.500.

TDHCA Lender Partners were told that, “On April 22, 2020 Fannie Mae issued Lender Letter LL-2020-06 -Selling Loans in Forbearance due to COVID-19. The letter addresses the eligibility and delivery requirements for loans going into forbearance after loan closing and before sale to FNMA. In an effort to limit potential cost to lenders and or borrowers through Loan-level price adjustments (LLPA) on these loans, TDHCA is suspending the FNMA HFA Preferred/Conventional product option for reservations beginning Friday, May 1, 2020. All reservations through April 30, 2020 will remain in the pipeline and should be delivered for purchase to Idaho Housing and Finance Association (master servicer). All Government products (FHA, VA, USDA) continue to be available through both the My First Texas Home and My Choice Texas Home programs.”

(As an alternative to conventional loan products, Gateway Mortgage’s SETH Goldstar program is alive and well.)

Fairway Wholesale Lending is temporarily suspending the Cash-Out Refinance Transaction for all loan types. Fairway will honor the locked pipeline of Cash-Out Refinance transaction and allow loans that have been delivered to Fairway Wholesale Lending for underwriting to be locked once the loan obtains the underwriting APPROVAL. Note – Cash-Out Refinance transactions locked today and after will be subject to an additional 0.50 Cash-Out Pricing Adjustment.

Wells Fargo Funding revised its post-purchase forbearance policy applicable for all loans. It will assess the following fees if the borrower goes into forbearance on the subject Loan within 15 business days after Wells Fargo Funding’s purchase and prior to settlement*: Applicable Agency loan-level price adjuster (LLPA): 500 basis points (5.000%) for Loans to first-time homebuyers and 700 basis points (7.000%) for all other transactions. There will be a $1,000 administration fee applied to the transaction. Fees will not apply if forbearance occurs after Wells Fargo has sold and settled the Loan with the respective Agency, even if within 15 business days of our purchase.

The USDA increased its income limits for the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. Updated income limit information can be found here: The baseline income limits are now (1-4-member household) $90,300, (5-8-member household) $119,200.

Effective immediately, AmeriHome is temporarily suspending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Cash-Out Refinance transactions for loans submitted for Non-Delegated Underwriting.

TCF will be announcing to its broker partners that it is temporarily suspending new HELOC applications. “The suspension will remain in effect until we gain a better sense of the economic recovery. This suspension does not impact loans currently in the pipeline and we will continue to communicate directly with third party originators regarding the status of their loans with TCF.” Questions should be directed to your account manager.

Provident Funding sent its brokers a Cash Out Maximum LTV and Minimum FICO Update: Effective immediately for all new locks for cash out loans across all products: Maximum LTV 70%, Minimum FICO 740. And, for all new locks on cash out loans across all products, Provident Funding will no longer offer cash out on second homes or investment properties.

Capital Markets

A U.S. recession is all but officially under way. The speed at which the economy has ground to a halt has rendered most traditional economic data outdated before it’s published, like yesterday, for instance. Factory orders for March fell farther than expected and showed how quickly manufacturing activity dropped off as shutdown initiatives increased. That drop off should be even more pronounced in the April reading as disruptions from the coronavirus fracture supply chains and depress exports.

After a war of words over the weekend highlighted deteriorating relations between China and the U.S., the Trump administration kept up its pressure on China to open the week. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that the president is reviewing his options to punish the country over its handling of the outbreak and warned Beijing to meet its obligations of the Phase 1 trade deal, while Secretary of State Pompeo said that there is "enormous evidence" linking the coronavirus outbreak to a Chinese lab. (Dr. Fauci disagrees.) Fears of a trade war have resurfaced, at quite possibly the worst time imaginable. Treasury yields fell as a result and the 10-year yield closed the day yielding 0.64 percent.

Speaking of the Treasury, it plans to boost borrowing from April through June by an unprecedented $3 trillion thanks to the explosion of government stimulus. Separately, two quick housekeeping notes: the housing and rental markets face their next crisis as May rent and mortgages come due. And Fannie Mae reported a drop in income as homeowners suspend mortgage payments, while predicting suspensions on loans it guarantees will double.

Today’s economic calendar is underway with the March trade deficit ($44.4 billion). Coming up are the release of Redbook same store sales for the week ending May 2, final April Markit services PMI, and April ISM non-manufacturing PMI, as wells as three Fed presidents speaking: Chicago’s Evans, St. Louis’s Bullard, and Atlanta’s Bostic. Separately, The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $5.76 billion. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse/down a shade and the 10-year yielding .66 percent.

Most people don’t know that in 1912, Hellmann’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to have been the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was lost forever.



Freedom to Succeed! Freedom Mortgage is growing and looking for talented and experienced Wholesale operational professionals to help us serve the needs of borrowers, brokers, and wholesale correspondents across the nation.  Work from home opportunities for Loan Processors, Closers and Underwriters are available throughout the continental U.S. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of our teams already worked from home, so you will be ready to seamlessly and efficiently contribute to our goals on day 1!  If you are fueled by your entrepreneurial spirit and are looking for a great work culture, please visit

“On Q Financial’s mission is to simplify the mortgage process to make the dream of home ownership a reality for everyone. During this time of social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, On Q Financial is still open and is now working remotely and are still ready to help borrowers achieve the dream of homeownership. At On Q, all of our teams are working diligently to provide great service for clients purchasing or refinancing a home. With our Simplicity Mobile App and Mortgages Simplified automated processing, it’s never been easier to remotely begin and complete the closing process on a new home or refinance. Borrowers can contact On Q Financial if they’re looking to purchase or refinance. Should you want to take a closer look at potentially joining our company, please contact us to arrange a quick 15 minute demo. On Q Financial, Inc. is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 5645. AZ-BK-0906866. On Q0427200681Y000008MpwS.”

The Mortgage Firm announced it has been awarded #1 Mortgage Company for Customer Satisfaction in 2019 in the Large Lenders division, by SocialSurvey, a leading experience management software company. The results are based on survey completion rates, the number of reviews, and the star ratings submitted to the SocialSurvey platform by verified customers. Over 1,000,000 reviews of 30,000 individual loan officers from over 200 companies were scored. SocialSurvey CEO, Scott Harris said, “The Mortgage Firm is a true industry leader for consistently delivering amazing customer experiences for their clients.” Todd Pierson, President of The Mortgage Firm, shared, “We are proud to receive this award again this year and realize that it wouldn’t be possible without the phenomenal Loan Originators, dedicated Operations team and our valued Referral Partners. We are thankful for their efforts in providing stellar customer service to the families we serve in accomplishing their home finance needs." For more information on joining TMF, contact Mickey Schilling, Director of Strategic Growth at The Mortgage Firm.