Change is certainly constant. “And just like that, every reporter has gone from infectious disease expert to civil rights attorney.” In our biz, if you didn’t make money in the first quarter, you should have made some changes. The MBA tells us that independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net gain of $1,600 on each loan they originated in the first quarter, up from $1,182 per loan in the fourth quarter. Impac Mortgage? Heading back into the game. Changes continue in the secondary markets. Mortgage rates and programs are determined by investor demand, and pay-ups for specified pools (where investors pay up for certain loan amounts, geographic concentration, or credit scores) are coming back into vogue, as is talk of low credit score FHA/VA buyers, and lenders are entertaining opening up bond programs again. Aggregators have increased their bid for servicing, as we knew they would, but companies that have added servicing to their books at bargain prices are being reminded of the cash required to hold it, and are already thinking about how to sell it. Green shoots!

Lender Services and Products

Innovation. It’s much more than a buzzword. Today, as the industry struggles to deal with the market stress brought on by COVID-19, it has become mission critical for lenders to embrace innovation by looking at what you’re really trying to achieve, what problem you’re truly attempting to solve, and how you should go about doing that. Rich Novak, VP Product Strategy at Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, is featured in a new podcast, “Thriving in the Mortgage Ecosystem,” that delves into what to look for in an innovation partner and the risks you assume if you choose the wrong one, why it is important to fall in love with the problem and not the solution, and Fiserv’s approach to driving innovation while meeting stakeholders’ needs. Listen to the podcast here or contact Nicole Valentin-Smith, Fiserv’s Director of Client Management, Digital Lending and Origination, for more information. 

LendingPad LOS recently announced new integrations with Shape CRM and LendersHomePage / Loanzify POS. Users on these platforms will now have the opportunity to integrate with the award-winning LendingPad cloud-based LOS to enhance communications and streamline loan manufacturing processes for borrowers and back-office staff alike. Asked for comment, a LendingPad representative stated: “We are so proud to be connected with so many great companies. We offer quality services at competitive prices and are happy to find others who share our client-centric mindset. We feel these new integrations will benefit all mutual customers, especially those looking to scale up their mortgage production with platforms that will grow with them.

Be part of the solution. Minorities have 1/10th the net worth of Whites. According to two prominent African American leaders, this wealth gap is the greatest civil rights issue of our day. Homeownership is the best vehicle for acquiring wealth. You can enable the engine of wealth creation in your community by helping minorities learn about down payment assistance programs to buy now and begin building wealth. Be more than simply a mortgage lender pursuing the latest refi or purchase boom. Now is the time to take a stand and help those missing out on homeownership opportunities.  Be a part of the solution in the creation of housing equality and bridging the racial wealth gap. Contact Chenoa Fund and find out how you can do your part to enact real change. We have the training materials to aid you in your active community outreach. 

Nationwide Appraisal Network’s (NAN) Chief Appraiser, Cristy Conolly, is the proud recipient of the Collateral Risk Network’s 2020 Valuation Visionary Award and first female within the industry to receive this prestigious recognition. Conolly, nominated by her fellow peers, demonstrates leadership, innovation and is a trailblazer among the real estate valuation industry. Under Conolly’s leadership, the Quality Control and Compliance Department at NAN has exceeded all standards by keeping their finger on the pulse of the industry and remaining ahead of the curve for NAN’s lender and broker partners by working with the best appraisers in the industry. Conolly will be awarded at the upcoming Collateral Risk Network ‘Valuation 20/20’ Virtual Conference on June 16th and 17th. As a proud sponsor of the Conference, NAN will be in attendance as an exhibitor to foster their appraiser relationships and share information on appraiser initiatives at NAN.

For the past two decades, Plaza Home Mortgage has been serving the mortgage industry and making “Clients First” more than a catchphrase. From a variety of programs to its unique Certified Loan Program, Plaza brings its expertise to every deal whether it’s delivered via Bulk, Best Efforts or Single Loan Mandatory. What’s more, Plaza does not have a traditional retail channel or borrower retention programs, so it does not compete with its correspondent clients. Your borrowers stay your borrowers. Learn more by completing its New Correspondent Checklist

Wholesaler, Agency, and Correspondent Changes

First, a correction to a note yesterday for Fifth Third. “Effective immediately, loans not yet sold to the Agencies which go into forbearance within 15 business days from the Fifth Third purchase date will not be assessed the agency forbearance LLPAs of 5.00% for first-time homebuyers, 7.00% for all other loans and the $1000 administration fee announced in communique 2020-7 last week. This change is retroactive and no loans will be assessed these fees, regardless of lock date. Reminder, Fifth Third will still not purchase loans where a borrower has requested forbearance or is currently in a forbearance plan.” I apologize for any confusion.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced a new, temporary policy that provides guidance “for lenders to obtain FHA insurance endorsements on mortgages where the borrower has requested or obtained a COVID-19 forbearance. This policy will ensure that the safeguards of the FHA program continue to work for new homeowners facing a financial hardship due to COVID-19. The Mortgagee Letter temporarily reverses the current FHA policy, which states mortgages that are in forbearance are not eligible for FHA insurance. FHA’s temporary policy recognizes that there are borrowers who met all FHA requirements for a mortgage at the time of closing but were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic before FHA was able to endorse the loan for insurance. This policy will also help lenders, particularly small and mid-sized community-based lenders, to better manage the potential liability of having to hold uninsurable loans.

“FHA will require lenders to provide an indemnification agreement to FHA for 20 percent of the original mortgage amount, which only becomes payable if the mortgage goes into foreclosure and results in a claim to the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The indemnification agreement is between the lender and FHA and will generally result in a reduction of the claim amount FHA would need to pay to the lender for defaulted mortgages. FHA will not require upfront payments by lenders or a change to FHA mortgage insurance premiums for these mortgages.”

In its Announcement CL20-36, Caliber told clients, “Effective for loans with application dates on and after June 3, 2020, Caliber is releasing the following updates to our published COVID-19 Overlay document, to align with recent Fannie Mae LL-2020-03 and Freddie Mac Bulletin 2020-19. To assist in your review and implementation, we have included a comparison grid outlining the existing versus new guidelines. For complete details and requirements, review the revised COVID-19 Overlay document published in AllRegs.” Updates are best seen on the Announcement.

United Wholesale Mortgage is removing an overlay that it implemented last month requiring a borrower’s employment to be re-verified on the day of closing. The removal of the overlay applies to all loans and brokers can now use the regular employment verification process that allows the step to be done within 10 business days.

Capital Markets

How do you feel that the 10-year yield is back to its highest yield level since late March? It hasn’t seemed to impact mortgage rates much, which have range-traded over the last couple weeks, with par up 1/8th and down 1/8th. Treasury yields pulled back again yesterday on somewhat-positive jobs data and the yield curve steepened as the risk-off trade continued. Continuing jobless claims unexpectedly climbed to 21.5 million from a revised 20.8 million the prior week, even as initial filings fell to 1.88 million from 2.1 million. China announced it will allow foreign air carriers that currently do not operate in China to establish service to one Chinese city, starting next week. This comes after the U.S. took steps to ban Chinese carriers from operating passenger flights to and from the U.S. Finally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated nonfarm business sector labor productivity was better than expected in the first quarter, but it was still weak all the same.

Markets have been waiting all week for today’s payrolls report, and it is out. May Nonfarm Payrolls, expected to fall 7.5 million, only fell 2.5 million, the Unemployment Rate, expected to come in at 20 percent, was “only” 13.3 percent. And Hourly Earnings clocked in at -1.0 percent with the workweek at 34.7 hours. The NY Fed will conduct two FedTrade MBS purchase operations today totaling up to $4.47 billion starting with up to $1.5 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent followed by up to $2.97 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent. A new MBS FedTrade purchase schedule is due this afternoon. After the jobs report we begin today with Agency MBS prices worse/down .250-.375 versus Thursday’s close and the 10-year yielding .92 after closing yesterday at 0.82 percent. A resilient U.S. economy!?


Employment and Business Opportunities

A mortgage lender based in California, with an experienced management team and licensed across the nation, is looking to expand, and is seeking to purchase a company with the following designations/approvals: Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, FHA Full-Eagle. A servicing platform alongside the lending platform is an added plus. The Mortgage Lender is motivated to quickly expand and has an experienced integration/project management team to assist in transition and compliance requirements. If interested, please send your confidential note of interest to Anjelica Nixt; please specify this opportunity. 

An Arizona consumer direct non-bank, which opened in late 2017 and is on pace to fund over $4.5 billion in 2020, is looking to fill a roll for an SVP of Risk Management. The candidate will manage all risk functions for the organization and communicate risk policies and procedures, and will report directly to the CEO and work hand in hand with the executive team. The candidate will be responsible for the development of risk models involving market, credit and operational risk, assure controls are operating effectively, and provide research and analytical support, and should have 8+ years in risk management experience with a good understanding of regulatory compliance, coupled with strong analytical and communication skills. Expect to create and manage business continuity plans regarding enterprise risk, and can support the companies growing needs. Please send resumes to Anjelica Nixt, specifying this opportunity. 

Nationwide Appraisal Network (NAN), is expanding the team once again! Recognized by industry leaders as one of the most trusted AMCs in the country, the demand for service continues to increase. NAN is seeking an experienced Staff Appraiser to join the team. The ideal candidate will assist in reaching department goals for efficiency while helping to maintain appraisal quality in various territories throughout the nation. This position will require in-depth knowledge of appraisal products for all loan types and property types, thorough review of appraisal reports in order to verify top quality in reporting and compliance, review and communicate UW conditions as well as appraisal disputes with appraisers and lender clients among other duties. An active certified appraiser license, FHA certification and a minimum of 5 years certified appraiser experience is a must. If interested, please send resumes directly to CEO Joni Pilgrim.

Firstrust Bank is the largest family-owned commercial bank with an unbroken commitment to the Philadelphia market for over 85 years. We are now expanding into Baltimore! We are seeking Retail Loan Officers and a Wholesale Account Executive to join our team in the Baltimore market. We are also seeking Retail Loan Officers in the Philadelphia Market. Firstrust Bank offers a diverse product menu that includes Portfolio, USDA and FFD as well as an aggressive compensation package. If you or someone you know is interested in making a move, please reach out to Michael Scheier.”

Evergreen Home Loans continues its expansion with new locations in Victorville, CA, Bainbridge Island, WA, and Nampa, ID! Welcome Andrew Andreasen, Aden Andreasen, Ernie Ibarra, Missy Lundwall, Ramona Tripon, Justin Tripon, Chad Campbell, and their teams to the Evergreen Family! Chuck Iverson, EVP of Loan Production, recognizes that turning away your real estate agents because of pulled loan products or strict overlays affects your business. When you combine the Evergreen product set, operational service, digital mortgage stack, and proprietary servicing platform, you’re set up to give your customers and referral partners an experience they’ll never forget. Meaning you can keep more of your business and retain customers for life. Evergreen has opportunities for originators, branch managers and regional managers in all states we serve; contact Chuck Iverson to learn more.

Operations and Sales… are you managing your career, or just managing your day? “Joining Thrive is absolutely the best career move I have ever made.” This is the most common sentiment expressed by new hires after their first months with the company. After laying an incredible foundation of best-of-breed technology solutions, perfecting its quality & efficiency workflow, and building one of the best leadership teams in the industry, Thrive Mortgage is crushing production numbers and is positioned to maintain this growth for years to come. “Our Operations Staff is unmatched. It’s not just that we have great tools, but we have the best people,” stated Chris Karageorge, Talent Attraction & Career Manager for Thrive. “When you have great leadership like Selene Kellam and her team, it simply breeds a culture of excellence from the top down.” To inquire about open positions within Thrive, contact Chris to begin a conversation.

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 during the COVID-19 pandemic, On Q Financial’s Georgia Branches have been thriving! The Southeast Market Regional Vice President, Clarence Daws and branch managers Roberta Rustin, and Ben Thacker are working diligently to provide outstanding service to the Southeast. “We are thrilled and excited to see how well the Georgia leadership has adapted to these times,” says Nick Suwanvichit, Corporate Vice President of Strategy & Development at On Q Financial. Daws, Rustin and Thacker are helping bring the mortgage industry into the 21st century with On Q’s Simplicity Mobile App and Mortgages Simplified automated processing. It’s never been easier to remotely begin and complete the closing process. Want to be a part of this dynamic team? Please contact us to arrange a quick 15-minute demo.