Sorry the commentary was a little late today. I was on the phone dealing with my car’s extended warranty. Per the personalized recording, they’ve been trying to reach me for quite some time! Returning to reality, but speaking of cars, has anyone noticed the number of oddly-colored cars on the roads increasing? Seems like Subaru and Toyota are leading the charge into unusual shades of blue, gray, green, and orange. As the pandemic winds down, those oddly colored cars aren’t what lenders are focused on. Rates continue to slide as everyone waits for the expected economic rebound to push them higher. Profit margins continue to be under pressure, but in some segments are holding up. Eventually tight margins will force some out. Price margin adjustments are constantly being done by capital markets teams, with companies renewing pushing some of that pressure to MLOs. Lenders, especially non-bank lenders, need cash, and capital markets teams are trying to make a few basis points via specified pool pay ups, slicing and dicing packages, and passing that price improvement to the primary market. Today’s podcast is available here. This week’s podcast is sponsored by Richey May, providing top-quality tax, audit, business advisory, and technology risk consulting & solutions.

Lender and Broker Products and Services

Offering borrowers a branded downloadable mobile app that spans the entire homeownership journey isn’t out of reach. In fact, more than 300 lenders are already doing it with great success thanks to SimpleNexus. Take Synergy One Lending, which uses a white labeled version of the SimpleNexus app under the moniker S1 Connect. “We love the SimpleNexus mobile app and use it for probably 19 out of 20 applications,” says raving fan and Synergy One Branch Manager James Carmody, whose team originates an average of 12 to 14 units a month. “Nearly half my clients are first-time homebuyers, and often the first interaction is a text message. After a quick phone introduction, I can simply text them the mobile app, which comes co-branded with my Realtor’s logo and headshot. The client experience has been fantastic.” Download the full case study and see why over 1 million borrowers have submitted loan applications through the SimpleNexus app this year alone.

LoanCraft has over 18 years of experience supporting lenders. Its income calculation service is unique in the industry. LoanCraft provides a reliable warranted income early in the process enabling a better workflow for production and underwriting. If self-employed income is creating a bottleneck in your processing, LoanCraft can help. As the only full-service income calculation solution on the market, LoanCraft does the dirty work to help you improve the experience for your borrower and save you time in underwriting. Just upload documents via its portal or through Encompass and they do the rest in 4 hours or less. Analyze P&Ls and bank statements per covid guidelines. Customize reporting to suit your organization’s credit policy and workflow. Training and set up are easy and there are no upfront fees or minimums. Email Dominic Spadafore or visit to begin.

It's never too early to get started on your 2021 MERS Annual Review and e-Annual Report! Every MERS member is required to complete an annual report, and if your firm had 1,000 or more active MINs on March 31st, 2021, an independent third party must perform your MERS Annual Report by December 31st. Don’t delay! TENA offers a 40% discount to firms who submit all required documentation for review by August 31st. To ensure you satisfy your MERS requirements, contact TENA today to get started on your annual review submission. TENA offers a full range of MERS reviews to verify your firm’s compliance, including MERS Data Reconciliation and MERS Document Reviews. Our team of experienced auditors have made TENA Companies, Inc. the trusted source for mortgage quality control audit services and software since 1982.

“New functionality on Richey May’s RM Analyze is coming your way soon! Gain additional insight into how your production and operational metrics measure up against your peers in real time with Peer View Ops. Don't wait for annual peer group reporting; our real-time metrics provide visibility into data broken out monthly, with daily updates to inform you of where you stand before month end or quarter end. This tool is a great compliment to the existing Richey May peer to peer financial comparison tool and our business intelligence platform, and is a seamless integration into existing RM Analyze dashboards. Not yet on the RM Analyze platform? Get a demo of RM Analyze today and get a sneak peak of the new Peer View Ops functionality coming in August!”

The Price is Right at Stearns Wholesale! The rates on its six jumbo products are currently the best in the nation. Not only is Stearns #1 in jumbo pricing, but it’s also amplifying virtual resources with two upcoming webinars covering all things Jumbo. If you would like to register for the Stearns: BE THERE Jumbo Overview on July 13th, click HERE. To register for the Stearns Jumbo Product Training on July 15th, click HERE. Your clients deserve the best rates, so price out with Stearns today! If you’d like to partner with Stearns or learn more, click here to be contacted.”

The FeeWise™ Closing Cost Engine integration with the ICE Mortgage Technology™ Platform supports retail usage through Encompass LO Connect™ and wholesale / non-delegated business through Encompass TPO Connect™. Automated disclosures and compliance results within the point of sale create huge operational efficiencies, a reduction in fee tolerance cures and the opportunity to grow your loan volume. Join progressive lenders like PRMG, Sprout Mortgage and Plains Commerce Bank who have experienced remarkable gains by implementing FeeWise. Watch this 60-second video to learn more and email to schedule a live demonstration.

“1 UW Touch on 70% of loans!” 12 more things only Candor can do: 1) Integrate to live production in 30 days. 2) Measurable ROI in 3 months. 3) Integrate in your LOS for 1 click workflow. 4) Conduct the initial underwrite. 5) Issue Conditions, including AUS and Reps/Warrants. 6) Develop complete list of Borrower Documents on 1 click. 7) Clear 38% of Conditions. 8) OCR Documents. 9) Calculate W2 & Self-Employed income. 10) Fully underwrite a loan. 11) Guarantee underwrite with a defect policy. 12) Make you ready for every possible market cycle. Unbelievable?  ~700,000 underwrites later Candor clients are pulling ahead of the pack. Contact us for a demo.

Regulations Continue to Evolve

Juneteenth (June 19th) was declared by President Biden as a federal holiday with the enactment of Senate Bill 475 (S. 475). Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia already recognized Juneteenth as a holiday, but what a pain in the neck it was for lenders focused on compliance and running afoul of rescission regulations. In the mortgage lending world, TILA and Regulation Z recognize different definitions of what constitutes a “business day.” To further complicate how we view a business day, there are general and specific business days, defined and applied differently with respect to certain requirements.

“General business days” are defined to mean a day on which the creditor’s offices are open to the public for carrying on substantially all of its business functions. “Specific business days,” on the other hand, are defined to mean all calendar days except Sundays and the legal public holidays which include New Year’s Day, the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day; and now “Juneteenth.” This year however, while the holiday is being observed on Friday, June 18th this year (due to June 19th falling on a Saturday), Saturday will be the actual holiday.

For the more precise purposes (e.g., rescission, waiting periods prior to consummation), Friday is a business day and Saturday is not, meaning that in certain situations, the company may need to add one more business day (e.g., rescission may need to remain open for a day longer, or consummation may need to be scheduled a day later) than originally required for these purposes. For the general business day purposes, whether Friday and Saturday are business days depends on whether the company’s offices are open to the public for carrying on substantially all of its business functions.

Recently the Vermont governor signed SB 88, which Buckley points out amends various provisions related to insurance, banking, and securities, including those related to licensing applications and the annual renewal process. Among other things, the act (i) repeals certain licensing fees related to mortgage broker applications and loan servicer license renewals; (ii) increases the fee that licensees who do not timely file annual reports will be charged from $100 to $1,000 for each month or part of a month that the report is past due; (iii) specifies that mortgage loan originators and a licensee’s employees may work remotely provided they are assigned to a licensed location, are “adequately supervised by the licensee,” and meet any addition required conditions; and (iv) repeals certain provisions related to the surrender of a license in the event it is suspended, revoked, or terminated.

Arkansas recently amended its licensing provisions under the Fair Mortgage Lending Act (FMLA) to provide a process by which a loan officer may work remotely from an unlicensed location, which will require the Commissioner to impose by rule or order the terms and conditions for such process. Licensees under the FMLA will also be required to provide 30 days' prior notice for a change of address, which is a change from the current requirement to provide notice within 30 days after the change. 

Illinois’ First State Mortgage sent out revised POA requirements along with its Juneteenth and Reg Z changes.

First American Docutech posted a document update regarding West Virginia Notarial Requirements for RON, and observed that the use of eNotes continues to expand across the mortgage industry: eNotes in the News. There is recent compliance news Indiana and North Dakota: Indiana Amends Notarial Acknowledgment and Proof Requirements, and North Dakota Amends “Mortgage Brokers Act”.

Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia, signed into law WV S.B. 469 (2021) which permits Remote Online Notarizations (RON): Document Updates: West Virginia Notarial Requirements for RON for more information.

First American Docutech posted compliance News: Oklahoma Maximum Charge Increases.

A little over a third of the way through 2021 and massive shifts within the mortgage industry have occurred, whether due to the unexpected (COVID-19) or to the long-anticipated (URLA). First American Docutech has its Top Three Remaining Compliance Issues of 2021. 

Capital Markets

Yesterday a poor final reading on the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for June indicated a slowdown from a record pace of expansion and raised concerns about the recovery, as well as lowering the Fed rate hike odds. The June reading did mark the thirteenth straight month of growth for the services sector, but moderated since May with some of the slowdown driven by services companies experiencing difficulties with employee turnover and finding qualified candidates. This was the third-lowest reading since the sector started expanding again in June of last year.

We have a couple fresh data points from the Mortgage Bankers Association. MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 4 bps to 3.87 percent of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week as of June 27. According to MBA’s estimate, 1.9 million homeowners are in forbearance plans. Separately, it was revealed this morning that mortgage applications decreased 1.8 percent from one week earlier for the week ending July 2.

With those forbearance and application numbers out of the way, attention now turns to the release of the FOMC minutes this afternoon. We do have the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for May this morning. There is just one Fed speaker on the day, Atlanta’s Bostic. Finally, beginning late this afternoon, the agencies will release June prepayment results. The Desk of the NY Fed will conduct two operations totaling a maximum of $4.1 billion across UMBS15 and UMBS30. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better/up .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.31 after closing yesterday at 1.37 percent.



First Option Mortgage, a national residential mortgage lender, has tapped the mortgage expertise of Joe Tunk and named him regional manager. Tunk brings more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry to his new position. Before joining FOM he was SVP at a well-known depository bank where he developed one of the largest retail regions for the bank focused on the Midwest states. “What attracted me to FOM is the culture and the trust management puts in its employees to do their jobs and the support provided to ensure that happens,” Tunk said. “This is an industry that will allow you to succeed tremendously if you put people first.” “We have full confidence that Joe will write his part into the FOM story,” said Fobby Naghmi, National Sales Manager. To find out about opportunities in your market with FOM, please click here.

CashUp™ by Evergreen is helping buyers get the home they love! (Available in select states.) Sellers love cash and homebuyers and real estate agents need a competitive advantage in today’s market. This innovative program allows homebuyers to submit a cash offer and close quickly. CashUp™ helps buyers get their offers accepted when competing with multiple offers and is a Powerful Tool for loan officers seeking to generate new agent relationships. Evergreen Home Loans™ is a leading player in digital lending and providing loan officers with niche programs to compete in today’s market. Evergreen is dedicated to helping its agent partners grow their business more efficiently with less worry about competition. If you want to work for a company that develops innovative programs to help loan officers attract new customers and support their agent partners, visit the Careers Page. For questions about CashUp by Evergreen, email Lindsay Larson.

It seems fitting, during this week celebrating America and our beautiful country from coast-to-coast, to announce that Supreme Lending has been recognized as a USDA Top Guaranteed Rural Lender, ranking in the top 5 in Arkansas, Minnesota, and Texas. Supreme is proud to serve our nation’s rural communities with a full USDA product line, which now includes a financing program for USDA Manufactured Homes in select states. Looking at retail mortgage lending for the country as a whole, Mortgage Executive Magazine recently ranked Supreme Lending #17 on its list of Top 100 Mortgage Companies in America. This recognition can be added to the Dallas-based independent lender’s list of top 20 lender awards (based on 2020 production totals), which includes Top 15 Mortgage Lender for Retail Volume (#15) and Top 20 Mortgage Lender for Overall Volume (#20) as ranked by Scotsman Guide. Contact National Production Manager Ryan Baxter about joining one of America’s best mortgage teams and follow Supreme Lending on LinkedIn.

Yesterday’s commentary noted how Agility 360 knows how to meet the need for qualified servicing personnel being a specialized mortgage recruiting and project staffing firm with a proven record of matching qualified candidates with employers for long-term and short-term contract needs. An incorrect contact email was listed for Raj Sharma (correct here, phone 469-208-6337); Cesar Hernandez can be contacted as well.