onight/tomorrow morning is the summer solstice. I am in Minneapolis at an ACUMA workshop and where the sun will set tonight at 9:03. (I suppose ACUMA could have held its event in Anchorage, where the sun sets at 11:42 tonight, which would be cool.) I mention credit unions because a) their market share is growing, and b) the talk is how President Trump is trying to reshape the National Credit Union Administration board by nominating former NCUA vice-chair Rodney Hood to fill an expired seat on the three member board.

Fannie and Freddie Changes

Those rascally, friendly competitors just don’t stop to take a breath and seem to be busy trademarking every phrase and new product. (Watch out for a little “TM” or an “R” with a circle around it in promotional stuff.) On a more serious note, let’s see what they’ve been up to lately.

Most loan officers will tell you that lower origination volumes are the result of a) millions of borrowers being content with their 3.5% 30-year loans, and b) lack of inventory in many parts of the U.S. It isn’t the result of a lack of trying by Freddie and Fannie, who continue to garner the lion’s share of business. And headlines. A group of civil rights organizations, mortgage lenders, and homebuilders wrote to FHA Director Mel Watt urging him to allow the companies to rebuild their capital. Always a good idea to set aside some money for a rainy day, right?

Freddie Mac announced a new website campaign called Borrower of the Future.

Over the weekend of June 23, Fannie will implement an update to Desktop Underwriter (DU) Version 10.2. The update includes revised 2018 HomeReady mortgage income limits. “Note that income limits will increase for about 94% of census tracts and about half will go up by at least 5%, which may help more of your borrowers qualify for HomeReady.” The updated census tract lookup spreadsheet, income eligibility summary, and HomeReady Income Eligibility Lookup tool reflecting the changes will also be published on Fannie’s website.

Beginning July 1, 2018, the new imminent default evaluation business rule requirements are mandatory for imminent default evaluations. Check out the Freddie Mac tutorial for more information.

The Fannie Mae Servicing Guide has been updated with changes that provide forbearance plan options which assist borrowers experiencing a short-term hardship; and remove the requirement for servicers to grant separate relief during the 90-day period when attempting to contact a borrower impacted by a disaster. Respond to servicer feedback by removing the time frame associated with servicer reimbursements for escrow advances on delinquent loans. Clarify servicer requirements for submitting Form 1022, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Reporting and Disbursement Form. For a summary of key updates in Servicing Guide Announcement SVC-2018-04, view the executive perspectives video presented by Jenise Hight, Director of Servicing Policy, and the executive overview from Carlos Perez, Chief Credit Officer for Single-Family.

Freddie Mac’s Guide Bulletin 2018-9 announces updates which include Consolidates requirements for short-term, long-term and unemployment forbearance plan offerings into a single policy. Introduces NextJob re-employment services for borrowers with Freddie Mac Home Possible® mortgages in Duty to Serve high-needs areas. Updates special insurance policy endorsement requirements for condominium and planned unit development projects.

The Freddie Mac Guide Bulletin 2018-8, includes the following updates: New pricing cap structure and updated minimum LTV ratio requirements for Enhanced Relief Refinance® mortgages. Updates to delivery requirements for Freddie Mac HomeOne mortgages.

Clarifications regarding income stability and credit inquiries. Revisions to Guide Form 960, Concurrent Transfers of Servicing, involving eMortgages. Updates to the access management provisions of the master systems license, in preparation for the future availability of a new tool, Freddie Mac Access Manager. Removal of the Seller’s option to choose super Accelerated Remittance Cycle.

Fannie Mae is continuing its transition to the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA)/Form 1003 is seamless and efficient. View the updated Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) Specification, FAQs, Rendering Options, and more to get up to speed on the latest changes. View the URLA page for more details.

The Fannie Mae new foreclosure-related title cost guidance will go into effect for all servicers for referrals on or after Sept. 1. The changes will update the maximum allowable foreclosure title costs, clarify what must be included in foreclosure title searches, and provide a new optional foreclosure title vendor list for law firms. Updated documents can be found on the Delinquency and Default Management page.

The Fannie Mae 2018-5 Selling Guide update includes: Announcement of MH Advantage, an innovative new homeownership option that pairs affordable financing with specially designated manufactured housing that has characteristics typical of site-built homes. Updated to its condo policies to increase simplicity and flexibility, making it easier for lenders to originate condo loans. Clarifies approved parties for performing inspections on manufactured housing with structural modifications. Provide additional HomeStyle Renovation forms, including special-purpose model documents and riders.

DU will apply the HomeReady 2018 income limits to new DU loan casefiles submitted or resubmitted on or after June 23. The Income Eligibility Lookup Tool will also be updated on June 23rd. DU will apply the 2017 income limits to loan casefiles submitted prior to June 23rd.

Freddie Mac updated BPODirect with the most recent pre-disaster property values.

When you evaluate borrowers impacted by an eligible disaster that occurred on or after August 25, 2017, for a Freddie Mac Flex Modification®, use the property values provided in the “Auto Value” field in BPODirect. These have been updated to provide the most recent available value prior to the date of the eligible disaster. If there is no property value in BPODirect, then you must order a broker price option. Please refer to Guide Section 9206.5 for full eligibility requirements for the Flex Modification.

Beginning June 25 Freddie Mac will enforce the requirement to embed the Closing Disclosure PDF in the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) XML file. Click here to see what this means for you and how to avoid receiving critical edits when delivering your loan to Loan Selling Advisor.

Capital Markets

Rates closed slightly lower yesterday, including the 10-year yield hitting the lowest levels since the end of May, after Treasury futures spiked the evening before with President Trump calling to identify another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to a 10.0% tariff. The president said the tariffs will be imposed if China does not change its practices and implements tariffs that were announced on Friday. As far as economic releases went, housing starts increased 5.0% MoM in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.350 million (above expectations) while building permits declined 4.6% to 1.301 million (below expectations). Permits, which are a leading indicator, declined for both single-family and multi-unit dwellings, meaning there might not be help coming for poor single-family home numbers in June.

Today, we have already had the mortgage applications from the MBA for the week ending June 15 (nicely up over 5%, with refis jumping 6%). At 9:30am ET, Fed Chair Powell along with the ECB’s Draghi, Bank of Japan’s Kuroda and RBA’s Lower will participate in a panel discussion at the ECB Forum on Central Banking. May existing home sales are due out at 10AM ET with markets looking for a slight increase to 5.50 million compared with 5.46 million previously. Potentially market moving will be the Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Current and Proposed Tariff Actions Administered by the Department of Commerce" which kicks off in Washington at 9:00am. We begin Hump Day with the 10-year at 2.90% and agency MBS prices little changed versus yesterday’s close.

Lender Products

Managers and executives have the constant challenge of managing their business in a rapidly evolving competitive landscape. How do you attract and secure the best LO talent? As the workforce shifts, whoever can captivate talent and retain all-stars will have a leg up. The mortgage industry is not the first industry to tackle this challenge and examining how companies in other industries attract and retain top talent can provide fresh insights and tactics that your team can implement today. This eBook “Attracting and Retaining Top Originators” is being distributed exclusively to Rob Chrisman readers today. Download your free copy here.

Whether you're just starting out or need a quick refresher, it's always important to understand the fundamentals of credit scoring! Check out Informative Research's Ultimate Guide to Credit Scoring for Lenders, which covers everything from tips to helping your borrowers increase their FICO Score to debunking myths on credit scoring and how to correct errors on a credit report, among much more. And if you’re looking for something to help consumers, just send them the link to Informative Research’s Ultimate Guide to Credit Scores for Consumers, which provides important links and contact information, tips on what not to do, and how to avoid quick fix scams. With over 70+ years of industry experience and 3 security certifications, Informative Research is dedicated to educating both lenders and consumers to simplify your success and better serve the mortgage industry.

Employment, Business Opportunities, and Promotions

A National Mortgage Finance lender is seeking to acquire a fully operational loan origination center in the general area of Tampa Bay, Florida. Locations for prime consideration are Clearwater, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg. Turn-key operations contained in office space from 7,500 to 15,000 square feet that include underwriting and processing personnel where all office equipment is on site and leases are assumable or renegotiable will be given priority. Please send particulars in complete confidence to: tbofficesearch@mail.com.

Wintrust Mortgage is pleased to announce that Debbie Uecker has joined its operation as its Minnesota Regional Manager. Debbie has been in the mortgage industry for 30+ years, is excited to join the Wintrust Mortgage team, and looks forward to working with the great people of Minnesota to further expand the Wintrust Mortgage presence in the region. Wintrust Mortgage is a 50-state licensing exempted lender (bank owned) located in Rosemont, Illinois, with offices throughout the nation. Wintrust Mortgage continues to seek great mortgage company operators, loan officers, managers or owners interested in hearing about Wintrust. Anyone interested in joining this great team should contact Bob Shield, EVP of National Sales (847.939.9361). Wintrust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. Equal Housing Lender. Wintrust Mortgage is a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank NMLS #449042.

Premier Nationwide Lending is excited to announce an elevated look to match our standard of service. A brand-new logo, website, and overall company rebrand have launched at LoansbyPremier.com. The company teamed up with America’s largest independently owned ad agency, The Richards Group, to develop a website that is modern, intuitive, and consumer-friendly. Premier is known for an operations team that is committed to closing every loan on time, as well as a full-service marketing department to support your business growth. Premier Nationwide Lending is dedicated to assisting our colleagues in achieving their best, and we are seeking experienced loan officers in multiple states. If you are interested in learning more about our dynamic team, please contact Joe Collins, Business Development Director, today at (214) 680-0216.

PrimeLending has promoted Jeremy Bordner to Area Manager for the Idaho, Montana and Alaska markets. With more than 17 years of mortgage industry experience, Bordner joined PrimeLending in 2015 as the branch manager in Eagle, ID. A results-oriented production leader, Bordner quickly made a huge impact leading his team to consistent triple digit growth and opening 4 additional offices in Idaho and Montana. Known for his relentless drive, infectious enthusiasm and tireless servant leadership, Bordner has received the support and opportunity to take his career to the next level at PrimeLending. If you’re a mortgage expert ready to take on new challenges and reap the benefits of you hard work like Jeremy, maybe it’s time to look at PrimeLending. For more information, contact Sherri White (972-852-8194).

Waterstone Mortgage announced the addition of A.W. Pickel III as President to the Waterstone Mortgage leadership team. “Due to Waterstone Mortgage’s significant growth in the past several years, the new role of President was created as part of a strategic initiative to support our ongoing expansion.” Mr. Pickel is a rookie in the biz with only 30 years of experience and is well known for founding LeaderOne Financial.