A capital markets friend relayed this note recently received from an LO. “When do you think stated pick-a-pay products will come back? I have some borrowers with LTVs less than 70% who could really use that. Can you find us a program to offer?” Huh? Pick-a… Pik-a-chu? As over a thousand capital markets folks head to New York this weekend to tax their livers and hear, yet again, another set of titillating GSE reform updates at the MBA Secondary conference that are heard at every conference, there is investor chatter as always, like PHH re-entering the mandatory business. At least one associated group is optimistic. U.S. homebuilders are becoming significantly more confident after a sharp downturn last year. The monthly confidence index of the National Association of Home Builders has risen 3 points in May to 66, the highest mark in seven months.

Lender Products and Services

Mortgage brokers know that competing on rate alone is a losing proposition. You need to offer products, benefits, and advice that go beyond price. To fulfill your role as the financial expert they are looking for, you need to start with WHY they came to you in the first place. Discussing saving money AND what will they do with those savings. Regardless of what their goal is, YOURgage from Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS) can help client’s reach it faster and easier. YOURgage lets you and your client chose any loan term from eight to 30 years. A client’s daughter going to college in 12 years may call for cash flow then, or a client wanting a lower rate but retiring in nine years can have a nine-year mortgage! A YOURgage is one way that QLMS can help you provide value, in addition to the savings. Call your AE now to run through a few more scenarios where your clients can benefit from a YOURgage, or for new brokers connect with QLMS here to learn about products to help your clients.

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is the #2 purchase lender among non-banks (IMF), and is excited to announce a national expansion of its renovation lending program. The renovation product gives Caliber customers the opportunity to include minor cosmetic updates all the way to major renovations into one loan at closing. Caliber customers avoid high rate 2ndmortgages and HELOCs and enjoy the convenience of one loan with the improvements included at the time of close. Renovation Purchase loans from Caliber can help pay for repairs, remodeling or renovation required to improve one’s home. Renovation financing options from Caliber include FHA 2013(k), FHA 203(H), HomeStyle® Renovation and VA Renovation loans. A diverse and current portfolio of products is why Caliber is one of the fastest-growing mortgage companies in America!

How do you identify the right partner when evaluating mortgage outsourcing?  Everest Group recently awarded Accenture Credit Services its top designation of “Leader” in its PEAK MatrixTM for Mortgage BPO ranking of 20 providers, based on Accenture’s market success and delivery capability. The report cited Accenture’s “well-rounded consulting capabilities and a broad-based mortgage presence” and Accenture’s success in capitalizing “on several mortgage tools and technology solutions to serve its clients.” As a trusted provider for retail, correspondent, and wholesale channels, Accenture’s deep domain expertise and robust processing capabilities helps clients accelerate business outcomes and grow in today’s unpredictable market. Accenture’s global operations and 50-state SAFE Act licensing helps lenders increase their ability to focus on the customer experience, reduce costs to originate, and improve cycle time. For those of you attending the MBA Secondary Market Conference in New York, please come by the Liberty Room at the Marriott Marquis Monday or Tuesday, or click here to confirm a specific time for us to meet.

Questions on HUD’s latest changes on DPA program requirements? Check out TMS’ latest DPAssistant Update to help find DPA programs that follow the latest requirements regarding program jurisdiction. It’s so great to have a handy list of over 125 DPA programs across the country. Find the list 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.

M&A, Credit Union, and Bank News

Banks… that’s where all the money is, right? The CEO of LendingClub said the online lending company is evaluating applying for a banking charter while online brokerage firm Robinhood Markets Inc. has applied for a bank charter with the OCC. Going the other way, ConnectOne Bank ($5.5B, NJ) will acquire New York’s online business lending marketplace BoeFly which reports over $6.7B in transactions through its online matching platform connecting borrowers with lenders. PNC Bank ($371B, PA) will sell about $9B in assets of its investment management business to Federated Investors for about $52mm. Summit Community Bank ($2.2B, WV) will sell its insurance unit to the Hilb Group LLC. Investment banking company Stifel Financial Corp. will acquire investment bank, Mooreland Partners, and given that Stifel owns Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, adding Mooreland doubles the size of its technology practice.

Open Mortgage, a multi-channel mortgage lender has acquired Premier Home Mortgage, a lender that specializes in financing homes in rural and small-town America, in a deal that's expected to add $300 million in loan value to the company.

What depository M&A deals have been announced in recent weeks? Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco ($361B) will acquire BAC Florida Bank ($2.3B, FL) for about $500mm. In Wisconsin AbbyBank ($503mm) will acquire State Bank ($28mm), Time Federal Savings Bank ($586mm) will acquire River Cities Bank ($256mm, and two bank holding company Lake Shore III Corp ($318mm) will acquire First American Bank ($131mm) in stock (100%) for an undisclosed sum. In Kansas Intrust Bank ($5.2B) will acquire First Bank of Newton ($188mm). Down in Florida MIDFLORIDA CU ($3.5B) will acquire Community Bank and Trust of Florida ($733mm) in an all-cash deal. BancFirst ($7.7B, OK) headed south and will acquire Pegasus Bank ($624mm, TX) for $122mm in cash (100%). Up in Minnesota Merchants Bank ($1.7B) will acquire The First National Bank of Northfield ($206mm). In North Carolina First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co ($36B) will acquire Entegra Bank ($1.6B) for $219.8mm in cash. (Entegra will also cancel a strategic merger of equals it entered into in January with SmartFinancial.)

In Arkansas Chambers Bank ($844mm) will acquire River Town Bank ($134mm), and in nearby Alabama CB&S Bank, Inc. ($1.7B) will acquire PrimeSouth Bank ($247mm). Teachers CU ($3.2B, IN) will acquire New Buffalo Savings Bank ($120mm, MI) for $21.3mm in cash (100%) or 1.29x tangible book. In Mississippi Hancock Whitney Bank ($29B) will acquire MidSouth Bank ($1.7B) for $213mm in stock (100%) equal to 1.4x tangible book. In Nashville’s neck of the woods Centennial Bank ($463mm) will acquire Chester County Bank ($72mm), and in Jimmy Carter’s home state Colony Bank ($1.3B) will acquire the mortgage business of Planters First Bank ($334mm).

A while back Zelman served as exclusive sell-side investment banker to Highland in connection with its sale to Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Properties Group. This transaction aligned Highland with the nation’s largest and best-capitalized housing organization in Clayton, along with natural entry-level product compatibility, geographic fit complimentary to Clayton’s existing builder portfolio, exceptional cultural alignment, and a shared dedication to customer experience and service. “Through this ninth acquisition since 2015, Clayton has positioned itself as one of America’s largest on-site homebuilding organizations.”

Capital Markets

Compass Analytics has a lot of exciting updates to show you at MBA Secondary next week. Visit Booth #518, meet with a Sales Director or contact Compass to learn about how new Loan Level MSR capabilities can help you make better decisions about servicing pricing and values in your pipeline. Compass also has news about the latest servicing co-issue bidding capabilities, its recent white paper that discusses an important option for managing loan sales, and the comprehensive MI pricing coverage available through CompassPPE. 

MAXEX, LLC, a residential mortgage loan exchange, announced the closing of a Series B investment round that was “led by AGNC Ventures, an affiliate of AGNC Investment Corp. and included the participation of Moore Asset Backed Fund, LP and other repeat institutional and private investors. AGNC is the largest internally-managed mortgage real estate investment trust and an active investor in residential mortgage assets.”

Turning to rates… up a little, down a little, and yesterday they were up a little with the 10-year ending yielding 2.41%. The release of better/stronger-than-expected April Housing Starts and Philadelphia Fed Survey didn’t help. Initial claims levels remained consistent with a tight labor market, which should translate into another month of solid nonfarm payrolls. On the trade front, China's Ministry of Commerce spokesperson, Gao Feng, called on the United States to cancel tariffs on imports from China in order to avoid causing a "recession-like" impact on the world economy. In Europe, the European Commission fined Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, RBS, Barclays, and MUFG a total of $1.20 billion for colluding in the spot foreign exchange market. Separately, British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal is reportedly on track for another defeat in the House of Commons.

Today’s economic calendar is all at 7AM PT when leading indicators and Michigan sentiment will be released. We also have several Fed speakers, including Vice Chair Clarida, New York Fed President Williams, and Philadelphia’s Harper. And there’s Trump’s speech to NAR’s Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. We begin today with Agency MBS prices better by .125 versus Thursday’s close and the 10-year yielding 2.36%.


Employment and Promotions

Spring EQ Wholesale, the nation's premier wholesale second mortgage lender, offering 95% CLTV combos (purchase or refinance) and 100% CLTV standalone fixed rate second mortgages, and who pays 1.5% in LPC on every loan, continues its GROWTH. Joining the team are the following Senior Account Executives: Colleen Coleman in IL, IN, IA, MI, and WI, and Kristen Faidley in Minnesota and covering the entire country. Spring EQ Wholesale continues to hire Inside Account Executives in Philadelphia, and Outside Account Executives in the Northeast, and the Southeast regions and interested applicants should apply here. In addition, any brokers, banks and credit unions looking to partner should apply here.

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. If you are an Originator with construction experience, please contact our VP of Retail, Frank Papaleo, for information on this opportunity.”

BSI Financial Services added three new members to its management team: Jean-Marc Eichner and Adam Rider have joined the company as senior vice president of loan services and vice president of accounting, respectively, while Natalie Owens as has been promoted to director of business development.