Fortunately for much of the rest of the United States, lumber prices have been falling since May, hopefully cutting the money required for new construction. Criminals often go to where the money is, and lenders must implement steps to stop wire fraud and to give their client comfort that large sums of money, often their life’s savings, are in good hands. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced settled charges against First American Financial Corp., one of the largest mortgage title and settlement services companies in the U.S., alleging cybersecurity breaches when the company exposed sensitive personal information of its customers and did not follow proper incident response when informing customers about the leak. Be careful out there! (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here. This week’s is sponsored by Symmetry Lending, with a dedicated focus on Piggyback and Stand-Alone HELOCs.

Lender Products and Services

Big news! LendingTree is offering loan officers a better way to tap into their local markets, boost their referral network and get far ahead of the competition. It’s with the LO Connect App, which lets you connect with local, high-intent borrowers primed to purchase. Forget about leads that seem promising, but ultimately go nowhere. The LO Connect App lets you preview borrower files before you buy leads. That way, you know you’re reaching out to lendable customers on the hunt for the right mortgage. Pay only for the leads you choose without any deposits or upfront fees. Use the app to take live transfers on your schedule, build your pipeline when you have capacity and track real-time leads from your mobile phone! Fill out the form today to start filling your pipeline with high-quality local leads!

Dolly Parton was the original writer and performer of “I Will Always Love You,” a song that was a consistent chart-topper for Dolly and, later, Whitney Houston. Well, Sales Boomerang is the original fully automated borrower retention solution, and it’s also #1 in its product class. Lenders using Sales Boomerang see an average 20-40% lift to loan volume and 65% borrower retention for around $299 per acquired loan, a 20x ROI. Or as Corey Shelton from Atlantic Coast Mortgage put it, “Sales Boomerang really does allow you to help prevent your clients from cheating on you. More than that, Sales Boomerang provides our team with the information we need to maximize value to our clients. We’re able to not only help our clients save money but also help to build deeper, lifelong relationships with our LOs.” Want your borrowers to say, “I Will Always Love You”? Contact Sales Boomerang today.

Richey May's 2020 Interactive HMDA Dashboards are live! The mortgage industry experts at Richey May have scrubbed the recently released, raw HMDA data and organized it into a dynamic dashboard that allows lenders to drill down on specific markets and companies to aid in strategic business planning. This dashboard allows you to compare your loan characteristics to your peers and is powered by a new platform, creating a more streamlined and more interactive experience. Visit the interactive dashboard now!

Looking to Grow Your Mortgage Business Without Adding Headcount? Most mortgage teams are looking for efficiencies. Some of them have found a way to increase productivity without adding headcount. As this case-study shows, a division of American Pacific Mortgage quadrupled productivity in 30 days without adding headcount. It did this using TeamworkIQ which eliminates the effort required to coordinate the handoff of loans between team members with “email-and-spreadsheets” or time-consuming meetings. TeamworkIQ also determines “what to do next” and thus eliminates the need to scan dozens of loans in the pipeline to determine the best use of time. This eliminates more wasted time. TeamworkIQ provides real-time, detailed views into each loan file and actively coordinates team member priorities across all the loans your team handles. At $24/month/user the ROI is sky-high. See the data for yourself. See the case-study and request a test-drive. See a demo. Make the switch.

Improve the borrower experience with faster VOE/VOI. There are a lot of new providers out there in verification land but not all are created equal. Truework is a full-service platform for VOE/VOI that is fully compliant with Fannie Mae 1005. Everybody wants faster data and Truework is making that happen: its instant database now has over 40 million employee records and more than 70% of all requests are complete within 72 hours. Truework is the exclusive verification provider for over 7 million U.S. employees. When loan processing teams use Truework they unlock bulk pricing discounts and automated billing. Start income verifications with Truework today and close loans faster.

Lenders of all sizes still face large backlogs and lack of consistent quality results in their Due Diligence and QC processes. If you’re looking for a better way to provide diligence, MaxDiligence is a great solution. The latest feature from digital mortgage platform Maxwell, MaxDiligence takes a unique approach to the diligence process. By applying technology and experienced underwriting talent, this new offering delivers reliable, quality due diligence and pre- and post-close QC services. Want to experience how thoughtful technology and industry expertise can transform the Due Diligence and Quality Control process? Click here or set up a call with Maxwell today.

Referring a buyer to a Realtor is the holy grail in our industry. Check out this game-changing new app that uses SmartScore™ technology to help you do just that. UsherpAlert™ push notifications are based on data intelligence and machine learning algorithms that comb Loan Officer’s databases for opportunities and serve up past customers most likely to be in the buy zone for a new mortgage. In fact, UsherpAlert purchase notifications have a 297% higher likelihood to close. Download this e-guide on what top producers do to increase their purchase business: “3 Habits of Top Producing Loan Officers.”

Polly, a leading provider of innovative SaaS solutions for the mortgage industry, now offers its state-of-the-art Loan Trading Exchange within Encompass. The result of this integration is a more streamlined workflow for Encompass users selling loans into the capital markets by efficiently managing bid tapes to ensure best execution. Polly’s Loan Trading Exchange automates and optimizes the best execution analysis for lenders in real time, immediately detecting when a loan is ready for sale and automatically creating a bid tape for Encompass users. By expanding its partnership with ICE Mortgage Technology as the first capital markets solution within Encompass, Polly is making it easier for lenders to have more insight and flexibility into the loan sale process, enabling faster and more profitable trades. To learn more about how Polly is re-imagining the traditional capital markets workflow, from lock commitment to loan sale, email Jacob Gerson or visit

Fannie Addresses Second Homes and Investment Properties

Yesterday the commentary noted, “…it doesn’t take long for word to spread through our biz when Fannie or Freddie further restricts execution options. In this case, non-QM and ‘private label’ investors were no doubt pleased to hear that lenders received calls from Fannie reps that it is dropping the NOO/Investor limit to monthly deliveries of 3 percent, effective 7/1. Any lender that is over the 3% in any month, will be subject to significant penalties. Rumor is Freddie will follow, which is contrary to its recent letter. Larger lenders and correspondent investors who have access to the securitization market find themselves with more advantages, as do depository lenders who can cherry-pick 2nd home and non-owner loans with low LTV and DTI ratios, and borrowers with high credit scores.”

Thank you very much to Fannie Mae’s Pete Bakel who sent me a statement with Fannie’s position. “The preferred stock purchase agreement (PSPA) between the U.S. Treasury and Fannie Mae, as amended in January 2021, limits Fannie Mae’s acquisition of loans secured by second homes and investment properties to 7% over the preceding 52-week period. As stated in the company’s 10K SEC filing on Feb 12, 2021, Fannie Mae not in compliance with this requirement.

“To help Fannie Mae come into compliance with this cap, the company is urging all Single-Family lenders to work cooperatively with Fannie Mae to manage their sale of these loans to the company to be at or below 7% of their total YTD UPB. What this means for lenders:

If below the 7% limit for YTD sales to Fannie Mae, the company requests that they please maintain their sales of loans secured by second homes and investment properties at or below their current YTD levels. If above the 7% limit for YTD sales to Fannie Mae, the company requests that they please decrease their sales of loans secured by second homes and investment properties down to 7% by June 1st, 2021. The lender’s Fannie Mae account team will work with them to manage their sales of these property types to Fannie Mae to help ensure that their loan sales are at or below the needed threshold. 

“At this time, Fannie Mae is not instituting a specific broad-based cap, but it continues to work with lenders individually to reduce their second homes and investment properties deliveries if they are out of compliance. This guidance may change in the future.” Thank you, Pete!

Capital Markets

How do you track your performance relative to your peers? MCT’s Business Intelligence has helped numerous clients gain insight into competitor pricing and industry actions in real-time. In its latest case study, MCT spoke with Homestar Financial about how Business Intelligence enabled the company to decrease its average approval times with buyers and achieve an impressive pickup on committed loan volume while delivering via mandatory executions. Business Intelligence also allowed Homestar Financial to have an edge over the competition by finding necessary outlets and adding additional investors when industry challenges such as second home and nonowner-occupied caps forced a strategic pivot. MCT’s powerful secondary market analytics and client services will ensure you understand the market, optimize your loan sales, and improve performance relative to your peers. Read the full case study to learn how you can execute with confidence and gain an edge over the competition in your loan sale process.

Turning to bonds, and therefore rates, rate sheets moved for the worse yesterday following followed the release of the June Federal Open Market Committee statement, which left both the Fed Funds rate, and the size of scheduled Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities purchases, unchanged. But it showed that many FOMC members have brought forward their expectations of eventual policy tightening. The so-called "dot plot" saw the number of FOMC members looking for at least one rate hike in 2022 increasing from four of 18 in March to seven of 18 this time around.

The statement and Fed Chair Powell acknowledged the strengthening economy and uptick in inflation (still described as transitory), against the backdrop of ongoing (but improving) weakness in the sectors most impacted by the pandemic. The labor market is still below maximum employment, meaning the Fed will remain accommodative until its goals of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation target over the long term are met before considering raising rates. The central bank increased the forecast for Core PCE inflation to 3.0 percent this calendar year, from 2.2 percent forecast in March.

In terms of economic data points on the day yesterday, total housing starts increased 3.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.572 million units, but were still below expectations. Total permits decreased 3.0 percent month-over-month to 1.681 million, also below expectations. Neither of which are going to help alleviate the ongoing supply shortage. Import prices increased 1.1 percent in May, while export prices rose 2.2 percent in May.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway with weekly jobless claims (shooting up to 412k!) and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing (down slightly to 30.7). Later this morning brings May leading indicators and the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Today’s schedule, like Tuesday's, sees the Desk conducting two operations targeting up to $4.1 billion of securities filled with Fannie and Freddie loans. We begin the day-before-Friday with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Wednesday evening and the 10-year yielding 1.56 after closing at 1.57 yesterday.


Employment and Transitions

Sun West Mortgage Company [NMLS ID 3277], a leading full-service national mortgage lender, is excited to introduce Derrick Wesson [NMLS ID  256228] as Branch Manager. Derrick has joined Sun West in Irvine, California as a new Branch Manager. He is always thinking outside the box, and making every effort to lead his clients to their dream home. “Lending is a vast entity, but the lending community is small. Never burn a bridge, a bridge is the reason why I am here at Sun West today,” Derrick states. Derrick values all relationships, whether work or personal, and utilizes them as a tool in his career and in everyday life. “We are honored to add Derrick to our team. Derrick brings a strong and consistent presence to his market, one which his customers and teammates can rely on,” Leif Boyd, Managing Director at Sun West states. (Sun West Licensing and Disclosures.)

Newrez is making Smart Moves, today and every day. We are actively seeking a Non-QM National Business Development Manager out of Fort Washington, PA, Columbia, MD, Jacksonville, FL, Tempe, AZ, or Charlotte, NC. Primary Function: To represent our Non-QM mortgage products to internal and external clients; directly support production growth by mentoring and educating sales; internal production teams and external clients on products, processes, website navigation, AUS and all Non-QM tools and services available. The ideal candidate will have at least 8 years of experience in sales management and mortgage industry background. The position requires extensive knowledge of the company’s products, policies, and guidelines. Make a Smart Move today! Click to apply or contact our recruiting team: Non-QM National Business Development Manager or”

“June is National Homeownership Month, the most important month on the Caliber Home Loans calendar. For Caliber, this is our time to shine! According to the latest information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. continues to increase year over year. Caliber is committed to investing in diverse communities to ensure that everyone has equal access to affordable housing opportunities. In fact, in May 2021, Caliber was named one of the top Latino mortgage originators in the U.S. by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. We are proud of this recognition and our loan originators who make the dream a reality. If you like making dreams come true, join the team that makes owning a home achievable. Email Jonathan Stanley for Operations positions or James Hecht for Sales positions.”