The Friday before a three-day weekend (honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military)! Can’t you just feel that anxiousness to go and hike, to have a meal out, to see people, to sit in a restaurant? No one can argue that social distancing has increased the rate of infection, right? Many are “chomping at the bit,” weighing statements from scientists & politicians, especially as news continues to come out from people about catching COVID supposedly having never left their house. Or statistics, like as of May 17, about 91,000 lives have been lost to the coronavirus but those aged 65 or older accounted for 80 percent of these deaths, and residents or employees of long-term care facilities accounting for one third of all deaths. And so many working from home… When you put in some work, you expect to be compensated, you know, receive a little something for the effort. More on programs to help borrowers below.
Lender Services and Products
The story of DocProbe going from a disruptive startup helping solve lenders’ trailing docs headache to growing into a document digitalization trailblazer, is one of entrepreneurial spirit and transformational vision. As lenders from around the country came on board at a growth rate of 300% since 2017, the “DocProbe secret” was out of the bag and quickly revolutionized the industry. The people, process, and technology that worked on a small scale, has developed over multiple iterations on all fronts to become a seamless go-to solution for lenders and investors. No cutting corners meant hiring at a rate of 10X over that same period to keep up with demand. 400% document intake growth inspired the writing and rewriting of the internal software code from Versions 1 to 4, and continuously breaking down and streamlining the overall Trailing Docs process for peak efficiency and rapid turn-around time. The trust and strong relationships that investors and lenders have shown in our service further fueled the exponential growth in loan volume and has kept the ball rolling. Catch the DocProbe wave at www.docprobe.net or contact Nick Erlanger for more information.
Check out this FREE Live Workshop on June 3 - Experts Alex Kutsishin, Co-Found and CEO of Sales Boomerang, and Paul Harrington, Business Development Director for Usherpa, explain how Loan Officers can provide value to their Realtor partners and build mutually-beneficial relationships by utilizing authentic data intelligence. Authentic intelligence linked to powerful CRM and Marketing systems give Loan Officers the opportunity to share actionable buyer data that Realtors can use to grow their business. By providing value to Realtors, LOs can cultivate crucial professional relationships and establish rock-solid referral pipelines. It’s a win, win, win. LOs win, Realtors win, and borrowers win. Register Now: The Holy Grail- Send Realtors Buyers
In Saturday’s edition, STRATMOR’s Garth Graham weighed in on the topic of CRM selection, writing that lenders should clearly identify what they need from a CRM before evaluating and choosing a solution. Take TexasLending.com, which needed a way to provide white-glove communication to every borrower during a time of unprecedented volume. It selected Top of Mind’s SurefireCRM for the platform’s ability to automatically deploy dynamic “in-process” videos that keep clients updated on loan progress and talk them through gathering paperwork, disclosures, processing, underwriting and more. TexasLending.com has seen a 400% open rate for in-process videos, meaning customers find the content so valuable they are re-watching or sharing it with others. Read more about their experience here.
Grow your new business with rates starting at 2.5%. Conquest from UWM. Just in time for what could be the best purchase season our industry has ever seen, UWM is launching Conquest, a program designed to help brokers win new business by offering significantly better pricing to any borrower who hasn’t recently (within the last 18 months) closed a purchase or refinance through UWM. With rates starting at 2.5% on conventional purchases and rate/term refinances, it’s a great way to add new borrowers to your roster, build new relationships with real estate professionals and wow them all with UWM’s fast turn times, elite service, and groundbreaking technology. Talk to your UWM account executive or sign up today.
HomeBinder: Stay connected post-close, just 10 days left to save 10%. 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.
Helping Borrowers is the Goal, Right?
Mortgage pricing is a result of supply and demand, as is, to some extent, volatility. What will lending look like when Freddie and Fannie come out of conservatorship? R.C. Whalen of Whalen Global Advisors LLC opined on how that might look. With the Fed supplying the primary demand for MBS, and quieting down to some steady level of buying billions a day of Agency MBS, lenders can focus on programs to help their borrowers. This can be tough with some types of borrowers.
Rates are not an issue for loan originators. (You’re going to argue over an eighth because of “the guy up the street”? Really?) Aggregators have come “back into the market,” helping pricing. Program-wise, there are sources to help originators, or anyone. For example, you can enter the state and then the program and hit “go” at Mortgage Elements.
Lenders with low- to moderate-income homebuyers who are creditworthy, but who lack sufficient cash for a down payment or closing costs, have an option. Remember to refer them to their state housing finance agency to see if one of the many available down payment assistance (DPA) programs available from state HFAs may be able to help. All state HFAs are ready to take reservations for your homebuyers with DPAs specially tailored to meet the needs within their state, even as they work to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on the renters and homeowners, too.
Down Payment Resource (DPR) is closely monitoring the impact on down payment assistance programs and first-time homebuyers as a result of COVID-19 on its new resource page. DPR reports most programs are funded and available with only about 1.5% of programs temporarily suspended. HFAs continue to react to COVID-related agency and master servicer policy changes, several HFAs announced reduced interest rates, and 2020 income and purchase price limits are rolling out fast across most markets. DPR tracks eligibility and benefit details for approximately 2,400 DPA programs across the U.S. and provides tools for lender enterprises and individual LOs.
Recall last week learning that April and May economic data have shown the full impact of social distancing and shelter in place policies throughout the world. In the UK, consumer spending fell by a record amount percent from April 2019. In the US, retail sales also dropped a record amount from March and were down nearly 22 percent from one year ago. Every category saw law drops in spending with the exception on non-store retailers. With many factories closed, motor vehicle production fell over 70 percent in March which helped pull total manufacturing down 11 percent for the month. Capacity utilization fell from 73.2 percent in March to 64.9 percent in April. Unemployment continues to increase as initial unemployment insurance claims rose another 3.2 million for the week ending May 9 bringing total new claims to near 36 million over the last two months. Applications for home purchase rose 10.6 percent for the week ending May 8th, their fourth consecutive weekly gain as the home purchase market shows some resilience.
Looking at the bond market yesterday, yields were mostly unchanged on the day though that wasn’t for a lack of explosive headlines. If a global pandemic wasn’t a bad enough start to 2020, it seems increasingly likely the U.S. and China are heading for a Cold War. From the virus, supply chains, and visas, to cyberspace and Taiwan, the two countries are escalating disputes that had quieted after the phase one trade deal was signed in January. President Trump suggested Chinese President Xi is behind a disinformation and propaganda attack on the U.S. and Europe.
China responded to those accusations from President Trump, warning that it will safeguard its sovereignty, security, and interests. Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center is reportedly in jeopardy after China announced dramatic plans to crush dissent by writing a new national security law into the city’s charter. The national security law, which will tighten the Party's grip over the city, is expected to be imposed at this weekend's National People's Congress. The U.S. Senate will reportedly introduce a bill calling for sanctions on Chinese officials over China's plan to impose the new national security law. A Chinese spokesman said the country will never accept either lawsuit abuse or unwarranted compensation demands related to the pandemic, and threatened countermeasures.
The latest Initial Claims report for the week ending May 16 showed jobless claims decreased by 249,000 to 2.438 million, “better than” expectations. Let’s not forget, the record-high for initial claims before this pandemic was just over 600,000, and job losses accumulated over the past nine weeks are nearing 39 million. It really is a dire picture, which indicates massive job losses are continuing two months after the pandemic started shuttering businesses. Continuing claims registered above 25 million, which is an all-time high. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin yesterday said Congress will likely need to pass more bailout legislation, saying there's a "strong likelihood" of needing another stimulus bill. The Treasury secretary also reiterated the Trump administration's position that it isn't needed immediately, and Republicans in the Senate currently oppose it. New York Fed President Williams stated the country can afford "significantly more government support," and that sentiment was echoed by Fed Vice Chairman Clarida, who yesterday said the U.S. might need more fiscal and monetary support.
Overshadowed in all of this was the UK government selling a bond with a negative yield. It’s the first time this has happened in Britain, with investors agreeing to recoup less than they spent. Japan, Germany, and other European countries have already sold debt yielding less than 0 percent. Separately, existing home sales in April registered the lowest level of home sales since July 2010. Total sales were down more than 17 percent year-over-year. A downturn in listings has caused an inventory constraint that translated into higher prices for buyers remaining in the market. Finally, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index decreased in April, but not as badly as expectations following a record decline in March. The numbers do not imply a fast rebound for the economy at large, even with the imminent reopening of some sectors. The 10-year Treasury yield closed the day unchanged at 0.68 percent.
It’s set to be a quiet Friday ahead of the long weekend in both the U.S. and UK. The bond market closes early with traders marking their books at 1PM ET and the cash closing an hour later. There is nothing of consequence for news today to move rates. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $4.545 billion. A new MBS FedTrade purchase schedule for next holiday-shortened week is due out in the afternoon. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding .66 percent.
Caliber Home Loans, a proven leader in the mortgage lending space, is thriving and expanding during these challenging times. Caliber’s record year-to-date performance has enabled tremendous growth and the ability to further build their organization. Since the beginning of 2020, more than 1,000 employees have joined Caliber. What’s more, Caliber currently has over 540 positions to fill nationwide. With leading-edge technology such as their H2O originations platform, world-class operations, and commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience, Caliber continues to attract the best mortgage professionals across the U.S. Check out CaliberHomeLoans.com/Careers to see Caliber’s wide variety of job openings and apply today!
Synergy One Lending, with its strong focus on the modern mortgage, is hiring a Director of Marketing! This candidate will be responsible for the management of all digital platforms, including developing strategies to increase website and social media traffic as well as monitoring performance to measure the success of corporate social media campaigns. The ideal candidate will have previous experience leading mortgage, fintech or consumer lending channels. Overall, the candidate will have a key role in driving the design of the modern mortgage experience for our clients through our combination of personal and technology driven experience. Contact Steve Majerus today and learn more.
As QLMS is accepting more loan applications than ever and its partner network (which now includes a massive 40,000 LOs) is expanding at record pace, they are looking to hire more team members to support the rapid growth. The fastest growing lender working with mortgage brokers currently has hundreds of open positions for national account executives, underwriters and many more. Your expertise in the mortgage industry will allow you to lift up your broker partners, support their clients and build an amazing career. This is the perfect place for anyone who has a wealth of knowledge about the industry and a passion for client service. You can learn more and apply HERE if you want to be a part of QLMS’ meteoric rise
How many cookies can one team of mortgage professionals make in a 4-week period to help inspire hope in their communities? More than 50,000 cookies were baked and, more importantly, shared by the team at Academy Mortgage from April 24 to May 17. Academy’s “Caring Is Sharing” Cookie Campaign reflects the lender’s culture of service and united team members who are currently working apart as they shared goodness among neighbors, friends, and people in their communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Families came together to bake and deliver cookies to healthcare workers, police and fire stations, homeless shelters, etc. Academy’s Chief Operations Officer Kristi Pickering made a guest appearance on ABC4's Good Things Utah, where she talked about the impact of the campaign. The kind gestures are what people will remember, not the cookies. Contact SVP Bill Sohan to join Academy in fulfilling its vision to Inspire Hope, Deliver Dreams, and Build Prosperity.