Yesterday afternoon my cat Myrtle was watching me mop the kitchen floor. (Hey, it’s not going to mop itself, right? And it is mildly amusing to use certain products – insert slogan contest here for 4th grade humor.) While toiling, besides thinking about how much of a raise I am going to give the housecleaner, and the potential 20% unemployment rate to be announced tomorrow, I was ruminating on how residential lending continues to be altered. For example, not only is National MI selling stock, but residential mortgages have created an increase in mortgage market share for credit unions and have become the main catalyst for overall loan growth at credit unions for Q1 2020. And Reverse Mortgage Insight tells us that Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements more than tripled in May 2020, jumping 214.7% to 5,038 loans. (This figure is just under the February reading, and is greater than the April and May average of 3,320 loans.) While many loan officers are putting in twelve-hour days taking care of clients one at a time, CEOs and managers are watching the industry horizon, as they should be. For example, here’s a “new kid on the block” to compete with real estate agents and lenders with a $10k advance, 10 day close, and all cash, Sundae is worth a gander.
Lender Services and Products
Yvette Gilmore, a respected leader in the Default industry, has joined ServiceLink as its new SVP, Servicing Product Strategy. Gilmore, who has decades of deep industry knowledge and a passion for innovation, will be responsible for developing products and services that support strategic initiatives for ServiceLink’s servicer clients, initially focusing on ServiceLink’s EXOS One Marketplace, the only AI-powered asset decisioning tool of its kind. Prior to joining ServiceLink, Gilmore spent more than a decade at Freddie Mac where she rose through the ranks and most recently served as VP, Servicer Relationship and Performance Management. She also previously led the Loss Mitigation departments at IndyMac and Washington Mutual. Gilmore’s thriving career has resulted in many accolades including being named a Top 25 Industry Leader and Influencer, as well as receiving the Women in Housing Keystone Award for Community Leadership.
DocProbe’s revolutionary process and technology take much of the credit for the efficiency and accuracy needed to deliver millions of pages of Trailing Docs on time to investors each year. But it’s the people behind the wheel and in the trenches that are the driving force in making it happen. CEO Steven Rimmer’s decades of experience in the residential mortgage market translates into a service and workforce that understands the needs of lenders. Steve talks their language and feels their pain because he’s one of them. COO Nick Erlanger, with a hybrid background in tech and real estate, is the rallying force that drives operations and customer service to peak efficiency. Clients know that if it can get done, Nick will get it done. And if it can’t, Nick will figure out a way to do it anyway. DOO/General Counsel Isabel Baumgarten’s Big Law background keeps compliance and security as the highest priority, and Operations Manager Gitty Bergstein keeps the whole Trailing Doc process running smoothly. Come meet us all at www.docprobe.com or reach out to Nick for a one-on-one get together.
QLMS’ Prime29 is creating waves across the broker community and has unleashed over $60,000,000 in savings for its partners' clients since its rollout. The nation’s fastest growing lender serving brokers has slashed the interest rate on a 29-year loan, so the monthly payment equals that of a 30-year conventional loan but saves clients THOUSANDS over its life. QLMS partners have already helped nearly 4,000 homeowners secure this limited time deal – saving them an average of $15,500 over the life of their loan. LOs are coming to QLMS in droves because of unique offerings like this that help brokers differentiate themselves from the competition. If you are not yet a QLMS partner, you can leverage Prime29 and save your clients thousands in as few as 24 hours after placing your application. Click HERE to become Stronger Together with a lender who wants all brokers to succeed.
As we all cross our fingers and hope the worst of the volatility is in the rear-view mirror, many are ready to look past market volatility guidance for more traditional training opportunities. MCT needs your input as it prepares to bring you quality information beyond the crisis. Share the topics you would like to learn about, such as profitability strategies, advanced hedging, or best execution, and submit your ideas by taking this one-minute survey. They will be putting it right into action, with new webinars, articles, and training opportunities planned for June and July. Don’t forget to subscribe to the MCT newsletter to receive updates on the topics you voted for!
Customer Satisfaction: Job #1
How has recent consumer confusion, job loss, and economic instability affected the mortgage experience for customers? Surprisingly, the mortgage industry has been enjoying some of the highest satisfaction metrics in recent history. In his new MortgageSAT Tip, STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT director Mike Seminari examines the three “perfect storm” factors contributing to the increase of satisfaction scores since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need a bit of uplifting news, read the latest MortgageSAT Tip: “How is the Customer Experience Faring in the COVID Era?”
Misc. Correspondent/Investor Changes
Wells Fargo Funding (correspondent) sent out a note yesterday that it is “aligning our effective date for the previously communicated temporary flexibilities below with the extended dates announced by FHA and USDA Rural Development on May 14, 2020.”
Wells Fargo Funding is aligning with verbal verification of employment (VOE) requirements for FHA and Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) Loans with the temporary, COVID-19-related, verbal VOE flexibilities announced by FHA and USDA Rural Development. Additionally, Wells is aligning with verification of income requirements for VA Loans with the temporary, COVID19-related, verification of income flexibilities announced by the VA. Sellers may obtain the income verification temporarily permitted by the VA in lieu of providing the verbal VOE required for VA Loans under Wells Fargo Funding’s published policy.
KBW reports that Redwood Trust expects new originations in both the jumbo correspondent business and in and business purpose lending are expected to be very low over the near term, as the company works to continue strengthening its liquidity and funding position rather than re-deploying paydowns. Since quarter end, the company closed on two new non-marginable loan warehouse facilities.
Fifth Third issued a reminder that it will not purchase loans where a borrower has requested forbearance or is currently in a forbearance plan. To further align with recent Agency changes announced in Fannie Mae Lender Letter 2020-06 and Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-12, Fifth Third will assess the following LLPA fees for any loans not yet sold to the Agencies which go into
forbearance within 15 business days from the Fifth Third purchase date: 500 bp for first-time homebuyers and 700 bps for all other loans. Additionally, there will be a $1000 administration fee assessed on each loan. These fees will be effective for any loans locked on or after May 7th, 2020.
Caliber Home Loans Correspondent Lending is continuing the transition from the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) index to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) index for conventional Conforming LIBOR ARMs. LIBOR ARMs closed on and after June 1, 2020, must include a Note and rider containing the new fallback language as published by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fall back language provides direction for the replacement index when a loan’s current index is no longer available. LIBOR ARMS closed on and after June 1, 2020, without the new fallback language, are ineligible for purchase. Caliber will accept the new fallback language prior to June 1, 2020.
FCM issued Delegated Correspondent Announcement 2020-25 regarding the addition of UDM to FHA loans and Wholesale Announcement 2020-27 disclosing multiple guideline updates. Additionally, FCM issued Delegated Correspondent Announcement 2020-24 and Wholesale Announcement 2020-26 regarding Agency guidance for borrowers regarding forbearance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided guidance on Furlough and unemployment benefits.
Despite the continued escalation of tensions between the U.S. and China, as Washington announced it will block Chinese airlines from conducting flights to and from the U.S. in retaliation for Beijing ignoring the requests of American carriers to resume flights to China that had been suspended for the pandemic, Treasuries pulled back markedly across the curve, lifting the 10-year yield toward a two-month high in yield. Aiding the pullback, the ADP Employment Change report pointed to a smaller than expected drop in May payrolls (2.76 million payrolls lost versus 9.00 million expected), which points toward an improving American labor situation. Separately, new orders for manufactured goods declined in line with expectations, driven by a 17.7 percent decline in durable goods orders. And the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index rebounded in May from April, though is still contracting.
Today’s economic calendar is already through with all noteworthy releases as far as Treasury and MBS markets are concerned. It began with job cuts from Challenger for May (397k, less that expected), and has also received initial claims for the week ending May 30 (1.877 million, down from last week) and continued claims for the week ending May 23 (21.4 million, an increase). Additionally, productivity and unit labor costs (+1.8 percent, +.1 percent to +5.1 percent). The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade purchase operations today totaling up to $4.545 billion, starting with $1.575 billion UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent followed by $2.97 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. The Desk will also report on MBS purchases for the week ending June 3 in the afternoon. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices down/worse a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .74 after closing yesterday at 0.76 percent after the spate of economic news.
Employment and Business Opportunities
Exploring a career in the Mortgage industry? Join Caliber Home Loans, where you can help fulfill Caliber’s mission of making customers’ homeownership dreams a reality. Caliber is expanding its Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) team with over 250 open positions in roles such as Closer, Funder, Processor, and Underwriter, located in Dallas, TX, and Chandler and Scottsdale AZ. Caliber’s DTC team is thriving with the support of an engaged leadership team. Ann Thorn, EVP of Operations and Servicing, was recently interviewed by CBS to promote Caliber’s incredible workforce growth, which includes hiring a staggering 1046 new employees to date in 2020. Adding even further to the strength of this team, Caliber congratulates Nicole Brown on her new role as SVP Direct Operations, leading Production Operations for DTC and Direct to Broker (DTB). Now is the time to join this winning team!
The senior management team of an independent mortgage bank is seeking financing for a friendly buy-out of the owner. The Lender has all Agency approvals, including Ginnie Mae, and net worth of more than $25 million, mostly retained earnings. The team’s goal is to stay together and run the company. Interested funds, money managers, or investors should send me a confidential note of interest for forwarding; principals only, please.
A profitable, well-capitalized, regional full-service independent retail mortgage banker is looking for an established Regional Production Manager to help create and develop mortgage origination branch opportunities in the midwestern part of the country, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, and New Mexico markets. “We are searching for an outstanding talent and proven retail sales leader with a demonstrated track record of hiring and managing multiple production offices across several states. We offer an entrepreneurial sales support environment, FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA direct seller/servicer/issuer status and are well-positioned to compete for more growth with state-of-the-art operations/support technology and a company-wide commitment to providing exemplary customer service. The Regional Production Manager will report to the CEO.” If interested in the next step, please send a confidential resume and qualifications to Anjelica Nixt.
“Quontic Bank is a CDFI federally chartered community bank, which allows you to do business in all 50 states. We have a customer-centric culture built around helping our customers and giving back to local communities. We’re making homeownership simpler, faster, and most importantly more accessible for all communities across the United States. We are looking for Loan Officers in the NYC area who want to work in a call center environment. No need to cold call or come with an established book of business, we are in this with you and will be providing a plentiful amount of leads. With that being said, self-generated originations are encouraged and rewarded with fantastic incentive compensation. To learn more about this position and other rewarding opportunities, please contact John Mottley (347-634-6166). Learn About Quontic Bank.”
“In just five years, Home Point Financial has become the second-largest wholesale mortgage lender in the U.S. with year-over-year growth of more than 400%! (Source: Inside Mortgage Finance.) We’re also the thirteenth-largest correspondent lender and is a Top 20 national mortgage lender across all production channels. How did we grow so fast? First, we pride ourselves on being the best ally to our broker and correspondent partners because we do not have the distraction of a retail channel. Our partners are then empowered to offer their customers tremendous cost savings and phenomenal service with local expertise that helps eliminate the stress of financing and owning a home. Most importantly, our people make us shine with the care offered to each customer and every loan our partners entrust to us. To support our growth, we're hiring 600 more associates before year’s end! Join the team today!”
The last few months have been some of the most challenging the mortgage industry has seen. AmeriHome’s primary focus has been, and continues to be, providing a stable and consistent client experience, as well as being a reliable resource for their clients and partners amidst complicated and evolving conditions. AmeriHome had record volume in May, and has maintained its service levels, pricing, and delivery options (bulk and best efforts), and both delegated and non-delegated underwriting options. If you’re not already signed up with AmeriHome and you’re interested in more information email CLsales@amerihome.com. AmeriHome continues to staff up, and is now hosting weekly virtual career fairs to discuss many opportunities available in mortgage operations, loan review, underwriting, and more in both southern California and Texas, full time, part-time and remote! Visit their careers page to view all open positions, and submit resumes to email@example.com to schedule an interview. Follow AmeriHome Correspondent on LinkedIn to keep up with the latest changes, resources, job openings, and more.