I head to Salt Lake City today, and on the way to the airport thought to myself, with all the technological and scientific advances being made, the folks at Wrigley should add be able to extend the flavor life of their Juicy Fruit gum, right? Not Willie Wonka everlasting gobstopper life, mind you, but something longer than having flavor more than five minutes would be nice. Speaking of time, it flies. We’re halfway through 2021 and rates haven’t gone up. Applications are at their lowest level since early 2020. On a bigger scale, it has been 30 years since Terminator 2 hit the theaters. (Think sending out a bid tape is complicated? Try perfecting the famous kitchen scene from that movie... It still makes me shudder.) And how about Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter being married for 75 years! President and Mrs. Carter have worked alongside 103,000 volunteers in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair 4,331 homes. Top that! By the way, today’s podcast is available here. This week’s podcast is sponsored by Richey May and features an interview with Nathan Lee, head of  Richey May Advisory, the firm’s practice dedicated to Risk Assurance and Advisory, on automating the loan production process.

Lender Services and Products

Hot off the presses, FormFree has integrated AccountChek 3n1 into the ICE Mortgage Technology platform for one-stop VOA and VOIE reporting. Now lenders can get AccountChek 3n1 direct-source VOA and VOI/E data in less than a minute piped directly into Encompass without the hassle of dealing with multiple vendors. What’s more, FormFree's VOIE product covers 85% of all U.S. workers (over 100 million wage earners), saving lenders time and improving margins, whereas several of today’s popular VOI and VOE solutions have a success rate of less than 50%, requiring lenders to fall back on manual verification processes that are slow and result in a diminished borrower experience. Contact Gregg Palmer to leverage 3n1’s integration with Encompass.

Did you know the FFIEC has outlined that financial institutions MUST have a social media risk management program? Surprise! Under this guidance, lenders are required to monitor and control social media related to their brand as if it were traditional advertising. This also means social media must be archived to meet state record retention laws. Unsure about advertising record retention requirements? Check out ActiveComply’s Mortgage Advertising Record Retention Requirements by State Geomap to see individual state requirements. Failure to meet monitoring and archival requirements may result in regulatory audits, penalties, and even citations. ActiveComply helps lenders meet both responsibilities through our compliance system technology: find all company and LO accounts related to your brand, examine profiles for NMLS IDs, Equal Housing information, and company specific disclosures. Ensure post content is compliant and flag for inappropriate or political terms (image scanning included). Visit activecomply.com today to learn more.

Have you struggled to keep up with current volatile loan volumes? Is it a challenge to determine appropriate levels to handle your current pipeline? Staying competitive in the current market requires actionable data that can help lenders make informed, timely decisions and plan for how to best use their current workforce -- or know when to resize. Now, that data is available through Black Knight’s Actionable Intelligence Platform (AIP) Capacity Planning Suite. The Suite identifies when and where bottlenecks occur in the origination process, so lenders can put the right resources in place and shift personnel to handle exceptions. With help from the Capacity Planning Suite, organizations can maximize performance, improve borrower and employee satisfaction, lower costs, and increase return on investment. Harness the full power of the Black Knight integrated technology, data and analytics ecosystem to see how the Capacity Planning Suite can help transform your operations. 

How much time are you spending processing loans? Are you looking for ways to close more loans, faster? Capacity allows you to take care of your borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support—all through a mobile-friendly chat interface. Capacity correctly and instantly answers more than 84% of all prospective and current borrower questions without any human intervention. Top lenders like AmeriSave, APM, and PRMG turn to Capacity to effortlessly tap into key systems throughout the entire loan life cycle. Want to hear more? Capacity makes scaling an organization easy by simplifying tasks in the UW Scenario Desk, Lock Desk, and Encompass Support Desk. Capacity reduces the level of human interaction required to answer expense and HR questions and to complete tasks for compliance requirements and document processing. Bottom line, Capacity allows you to take care of borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support. Deploy within 30 days. Request a demo.

Wholesaler and Broker Products

Flagstar FLEX series event, “Exponential Growth by Removing Friction”, featuring Barry Habib, CEO of MBS Highway and author of “Money in the Streets”. Barry will share valuable tips for increasing purchase production in the face of market challenges such as low housing inventory, over-asking offers and housing-bubble concerns.

In her latest lender video, ReadyPrice’s very own Donna Varnell explains two of the ways that ReadyPrice enables wholesale lenders to increase their volume, and we will let you in on the secret. First, ReadyPrice provides lenders with a simple way to capture more business out of their lower producing partner by giving them a simple, repeatable way to search and deliver loans. Second, ReadyPrice serves as a branding platform where you can share product details, educational training, and personalized messages to a large and growing network of brokers. If you’re a lender interested in exploring all of the other ways that ReadyPrice can help you increase volume, schedule a call with Donna or visit www.readyprice.com

Summer is officially here, and the market is just as hot as the temperature these days. And when you’re busier than ever, the last thing you want to worry about is the time-consuming, and expensive, process of finding, hiring, and training loan processors. With wemlo, mortgage brokers like you have the flexibility to scale your team easily from month-to-month. When demand goes up, save time and money without the management, training, and benefits costs that are required to hire someone in-house. If business slows down, you don’t have to lay off employees or pay for a service you don’t need. Sound too good to be true? Book a demo today to learn more about our team of highly qualified processors.

Capital Markets

For most businesses that are striving to increase their loan pipeline volume, centralizing their lock desk is not just the industry standard but an inevitable requirement to continue doing business efficiently. If you are a lender making the move to mandatory executions, trying to meet new investor requirements, or desiring to increase operational efficiencies for greater profits, it’s very likely that you will one day achieve the professional milestone of centralizing your lock desk. MCT’s "Lock Desk Centralization 101" whitepaper outlines what operational changes to staff, procedures, and technology will need to be made to establish a centralized lock desk for your business. Read this step by step guide to learn what steps that you need to take to prepare for establishing one of your own, or you can contact a seasoned lock desk specialist at MCT to guide you through the entire process with confidence. 

At some point rates will move higher, right? That is a decent bet, but capital markets folks don’t bet. They hedge and protect margins. It looks like the decrease in yields (with MBS prices and rate sheets lagging, as always) is an across-the-board phenomenon in global sovereign debt markets. The German Bund has dropped 10 basis points in yield to -30 bp, and Gilts / JGBs are up in price as well.

The drop in yields doesn't appear to be driven by the jobs report which was kind of ho-hum. Some believe that investors are thinking that the post-COVID recovery has peaked, and that inventory re-stocking is slowing down which means that any commodity-driven inflation has peaked. As a few folks have pointed out lately, commodity-driven inflation is almost always transitory, whereas a longer lasting increase in inflation requires higher wages combined with low productivity. Others suggest that a lack of Treasury bill/note/bond issuance is the reason for the rally (if supply drops but demand remains steady, prices go up and rates go down) and there may be some short covering going on. There are certainly signs that the economy’s growth rate, while boom-like, is peaking while others say that the fundamental economic picture of a boom this year remains intact. Stay tuned as time moves on!

Looking bonds, and therefore yields, yesterday, disappointing mortgage application figures released yesterday may not be so bad next week as Treasury yields rallied again, meaning rates have significant downward pressure on them. Minutes from the June 15/16 FOMC meeting were mixed on the tapering of MBS purchases. Regardless, the release of the June FOMC Minutes, which acknowledged the presence of downward pressure on money market rates, had little impact on the bond market.

Committee members do not believe that the goal of "substantial further progress" regarding the economic recovery has been achieved yet, though the Fed should be "well positioned to reduce the pace of asset purchases, if appropriate." Participants also debated whether purchases of MBS should be adjusted due to strong upward pressure on house prices. Separately, job openings increased to 9.21 million in May from a revised 9.19 million in April. It would seem there are too many jobs available for this many people to be unemployed, but speak to your representative in Washington about that.

Weekly jobless claims kicked off today’s calendar (+2k to 373k). Later today brings Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 8 and May consumer credit. Today’s schedule sees the Desk conducting two operations targeting up to $5.2 billion across GNII and UMBS30. We begin the day with current coupon Agency MBS prices better/up .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.27 after closing yesterday at 1.32 percent: traders see a lower likelihood of tapering in central bank asset buying.


Jobs, Opportunities, and Transitions

Real Estate Connection  (REC) is looking for vibrant real estate agents in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia looking to expand their business and work with our exclusive homebuyer and lender lead programs. The REC Home Center offers its Real Estate Agents 24/7 Facility Access, 7-Day Week Customer support, Live Buyer Lead Transfers, National Lender relationships, and local industry events. This is all supported by its exclusive direct-to-consumer lead generation and transaction management platform. MLOs who know interested Agents, place contact REC's CEO Brian C. Coester.”

“Freedom. Flexibility. Fireworks! Motto Mortgage franchise ownership offers it all, but the fireworks are metaphorical, of course. Our innovative brokerage-in-a-box model offers you dedicated support, an ecosystem of leading-edge technology tools and enterprise-level wholesale lender relationships to help drive your business opportunities. Seriously, you’ll have everything you need to blaze your own trail in the mortgage industry for a simple, flat fee. Our business model is tailored to fit your needs, so you can meet the needs of your clients and real estate agents. If you’re ready to get more bang for your business, discover what being a Motto Mortgage franchise owner could do for your career. Just confidentially email us for more information.”

“BrightPath Mortgage is seeking to acquire mortgage brokers. Don’t be the last one standing in this go-around of musical chairs. Unlike others who may be scrambling, we have long standing experience with such acquisitions. That results in giving you the autonomy you need without the industry headaches. Often, we leave your brand in place and such acquisition is invisible to your clients. Great way to spread the risk. If you have any interest, contact Joe Poindexter (404-357-5212).

Aron Thielen has joined ClearEdge Lending as VP of Sales to lead the company in its next phase of growth into the Central region. Aron brings 25 years of experience as a Non-QM & Non-Agency lending specialist with a long history of creating growth and profitability. Most recently, Aron was an Area Sales Manager and has also provided consulting expertise to multiple Non-QM mortgage lenders. With this expansion into the Central region, ClearEdge Lending continues to thrive in 2021. We are actively seeking talented Account Executives as well as non-sales support positions to join our growing team. Interested in a growth-oriented career with ClearEdge Lending? Email Aron for new roles in TX, OH, IL, MN, IN ,WI, & MI, or contact our Western Regional VP of Sales, Matt Shaw, and our Eastern Regional VP, John Burns.

George Brady has joined loanDepot as Chief Digital Officer reporting directly to loanDepot Founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh.

Out of Colorado Springs, CO, Mortgage Solutions Financial announced the appointment of Bobbie Collins as its Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel to oversee the company’s legal affairs, regulatory compliance, and human resources department.