I was on the phone yesterday with my psychic who told me, “You will live a long and healthy life if you abstain from anything that brings you joy.” Okay, I don’t really have a psychic. Besides, who could predict that an event in 2021 would already be cancelled: the Rose Parade! Five months ago what fortune teller was predicting this mess? Here’s the latest volume prediction from the MBA. And what lender was predicting they’d be cutting back “peripheral” products from their product lineups in an effort to focus on funding the most loans in the shortest amount of time? No LO or underwriter wants to be bogged down originating a loan in an obscure program when there are five cookie-cooker deals in the hopper. It’s a good time to be an originator. The historic low rates and the ensuing refinance windfall have been a welcomed sight in these pandemic times, but this “perfect storm” will eventually dissipate. But when? And when it does happen, the originators who survive, and thrive, will be those who continued to build referral relationships throughout the refinance boom. In 2019, 46 percent of purchase loans came via a real estate agent referral, so it quite literally pays to keep referral partners happy. In this month’s MortgageSAT Tip, STRATMOR Group’s Mike Seminari discusses how originators can find ways to invest in referral partner relationships in a refinance-driven market.

Lender and Broker Services and Products

Caliber Home Loans CEO, Sanjiv Das, is participating in the CEO roundtable at the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) ‘State of the Industry’ town hall series, The Color of COVID. Sanjiv will discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color and solutions that the mortgage industry can implement to keep people in their homes. “At Caliber, we help our customers at all stages of home ownership. Ensuring these communities maintain a healthy home ownership rate in the coming year is vital to our industry. You can register for the webinar which begins at 1:00 p.m. ET, Friday, July 17th. We hope you can listen in!”

A new post on Maxwell’s blog from one of their product managers, Josiah Feuerbacher, details how the company thinks about the evolution of their digital mortgage platform and, most importantly, what that means for lenders in today’s lending climate. This quick, 3-min read will give you a peek into what Maxwell’s got up their sleeve in 2020 and in the future. Check it out here. While you’re there, check out the other great posts on their blog (and don’t forget to subscribe).

Sales Boomerang notifies mortgage lenders when someone in their database is ready for a loan. ‘Look at the opportunity cost you have by not having Sales Boomerang. Last year we closed over $72M in loans that we would have lost from not having Sale Boomerang.’ (Stephen Barton, Eustis Mortgage) ‘In the first 4 months we took in $180M in applications and we have about 100 LOs. That is a significant impact to our business. My top performing LO attributes 25% of her business to Sales Boomerang alerts.’ (Katherine Campbell, Assurance Financial) ‘Sales Boomerang gives us a conversion that is 2 ½ times better than our normal conversions.’ (Tim Lewis, Castle and Cooke) The numbers speak for themselves: 20x Avg. ROI, $240 Avg Cost Per Acquired Loan, 10-20% Avg Lift to Loan Volume. Want to see exactly how much you lost this year? Request your report today. We will show you which competitor took your deal, what was the loan amount, what type of loan it was, the term and much more.”

ReadyPrice Launches Today! The newest wholesale mortgage technology makes it even easier for lenders to get more business from their brokers. Wholesale brokers can easily search your rates, complete FNMA underwriting, and deliver approved loan files directly to you with the click of a button. In addition to the improved process flow for your brokers, ReadyPrice opens up a new, low-cost marketing channel to put your rates in front of growing firms across the nation, as well as provide them with simple onboarding integrations to get new customers up and running with your AEs even quicker. For more information on becoming a ReadyPrice Lender visit www.readyprice.com/lenders and schedule a call with the ReadyPrice team today.  

Quickly identify loans in forbearance, deferment, or impacted by natural disaster: Factual Data® is offering Innovis Credit Reports at NO COST through 2020. “After passage of the CARES Act, we were inundated with calls from our customers wanting to know if loans were in forbearance,” said Factual Data CEO Ken Viviano. “Innovis credit reports from Factual Data show forbearance, deferment or natural disaster comment code reporting right on the tradeline throughout the origination process. The reports can also help lenders monitor other loan payment activity, like auto loans.” At Factual Data, our goal is to help the lending community and secondary markets during this critical time, by eliminating friction in the process and providing clear access to data and data furnisher reporting quickly. For more information, please visit factualdata.com/forbearanceoffer. Follow us on social media at LinkedIn for the latest updates!

Does the following phrase look familiar? “Because your organization was named as the Servicer on 1,000 or more MINs [on the MERS System] on March 31st, you will need to select an external third-party reviewer that is not affiliated with your organization.” If so, MQMR can help. Deadlines come up quickly, and your MERS Annual Audit Report is no exception. Thankfully, there is no need to wait until the last minute, as your Annual Audit Report may be submitted anytime between now and December 31, 2020. Turn December into a day at the beach by starting your MERS QA Audit in July. Click here for more information or to schedule a call to discuss your MERS Annual Audit Report options with MQMR.

Attracting and converting borrower leads takes time, money, and an investment in technology. That’s why Union Home Mortgage turned to the Mortgage Coach and SimpleNexus integration. In the first 90 days of the implementation, Union Home Mortgage delivered over 20,000 personalized Mortgage Coach Total Cost Analysis presentations from leads created in the SimpleNexus consumer portal. The result for Union Home Mortgage was an increase in completed loan applications and fewer abandoned loans. In addition, they realized faster commitments leading to more closed loans. Join us on July 21, 12 pm CST to get a first-hand look at how this integration can go to work for you. Register now:  https://bit.ly/2CcPoKR.

In three short months, QLMS added another 1,000 partners to its network, which is now 8,000 strong – representing roughly 45,000 passionate LOs and processors across the country. A broker’s superpower is choice, and the very best work with numerous strong lenders that give their clients the best price, product, and operational excellence. It’s clear from this incredible increase in partners that the community sees tremendous value in having QLMS in their lender arsenal. To work with QLMS and become Stronger Together, click HERE and you can be approved and writing loans in as few as 24 hours.  

CFPB in the News

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officially sued Chicago’s Townstone Financial for violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). Townstone Financial, a three-person mortgage company in Chicago, is being charged with making statements during marketing ventures, including weekly radio shows and podcasts, that illegally discouraged prospective African-American applicants from applying to Townstone for mortgage loans. Paragraphs 41-43 should be read by anyone in marketing.

Capital Markets

MIAC Capital Markets Group is representing a seller of $5.27 Billion FNMA MSR, a highly capitalized institution who is liquidating its mortgage exposure. The portfolio has a nationwide footprint, an average loan size of $117k, weighted average rate of 4.08% and a weighted average loan age of 53 months. Bids are due 7/21/20 at 5PM ET. For additional information including the offering memo and detailed loan data, please contact your MIAC sales representative at 212-233-1250 or $5.27 Billion FNMA MSR.

Yesterday was more about global news, whereas today is more about economic releases. The Treasury yield curve steepened yesterday, and equities were in rally mode, as a coronavirus vaccine trial injected some optimism into the market. On the geopolitical front, President Trump signed an executive order to end Hong Kong's preferential treatment and said that he is not currently interested in continuing trade negotiations with officials from China. He did restrain from imposing sanctions at this time. The 10-year yield ended the day +2 bps.

There were a couple economic releases of note after the commentary was published. The Federal Reserve's July Beige Book observed an increase in consumer spending across all districts, though spending on restaurant services, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, and demand for professional services all were weak compared to last year. A trend you are about to see. Total industrial production increased more than expected in June following an increase in May. The capacity utilization rate improved in May, but fell at an annual rate for the whole of Q2 that marked the worst downturn since the end of World War II. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey beat expectations in July, and import prices increased at a higher rate in June than in May.

It’s already been a busy morning. In Europe, the ECB was out with its latest monetary policy decision, and ECB President Lagarde’s press conference is currently underway. We’ve also had more bank earnings of interest, this time from Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. As far as economic releases go, weekly initial claims for the week ending July 11 (1.3 million – yikes!), continuing claims for the week ending July 4 (17.3 million). Remember, the last expanded unemployment checks from the Congressional bailout providing temporary income support to the unemployed go out July 25. The loss of those checks will mean a massive income hit that, due to America’s failure to contain the virus, private sector spending will be unable to replace. Additionally, all kinds of moratoriums that were put in place on things like evictions and foreclosures are expiring soon.

Rounding out the early releases, June Retail Sales (strong at +7.5 percent), ex-auto (+7.3 percent), and July Philadelphia Fed Survey (24.1). Later this morning brings May Business Inventories and the July NAHB Housing Market Index. The NY Fed will again conduct three FedTrade purchase operations totaling up to $5.9 billion including $2.5 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent and $868 million UMBS15 2 percent and 2.5 percent. In other Fed-related events, there will be three Fed speakers (New York’s Williams, Atlanta’s Bostic, Chicago’s Evans), and the Desk will report on MBS purchases for the week ending July 15 in the afternoon. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better/up a few 32nds and the 10-year yielding .61 after closing yesterday at 0.63 percent.

Employment Moves

Parkside Lending is proud to welcome Dave Ryan as EVP, National Operations, Robert Meachum as EVP, Servicing, Arlene Lam as VP of Quality Control, and Jay Royce-Procopio as VP, National Underwriting. Dave, Robert, Arlene, and Jay are proven leaders in their respective areas of expertise and a great fit with Parkside’s culture. The Power of Caring goes beyond typical loan processing. Our Community Hero program, focused on helping those on the front lines during COVID-19 has been a huge success, saving those borrower’s a total of over $1,000,000 in loan fees. If you are an Underwriter, Customer Service Representative, Doc Drawer or Closer looking to become a team member at a growing, innovative and caring company, please send your resume to Gordon Maxwell, with the job title in the subject line and experience the Power of Caring that Parkside Lending provides our customers and employees.

We Care! Home Point Financial’s philosophy starts at the top with our CEO, Willie Newman, and permeates every part of our business. Our immediate response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is an example of We Care in action. Home Point understands the stress of COVID-19 goes well beyond remote work, constant childcare, and homeschooling, so we donated $500 to any Associate in need – with absolutely no questions asked. In less than one week, Home Point raised over $57,000 to support Associates experiencing financial stress, such as a spouse laid off or supporting extended family. Through all of Home Point’s We Care programs, we’ve provided more than 14 million annually to our Associates. We understand these are challenging times. Come join our family and we’ll support yours. We are hiring over 800 positions this year, and you can apply here or send your resume to John Eite.”

Originators… how many applications have you had in the last twelve months for clients who couldn’t qualify? Multiply that by 90%.  What’s your number? If that many clients returned to you today, credit-ready and motivated to close, what would that do for your business? Last spring, Thrive Mortgage rolled out the Thrive4Home initiative, an incubation process centered on educating credit-challenged consumers. “Not only do we excel at conforming, govie, construction, and reverse production, we also help those who felt they were out of options discover the pride that comes with responsible homeownership,” stated Randell Gillespie, National Sales Director. Steve Ferguson, Director of Homeownership Initiatives, added, “The greatest value to consumers is having a lender willing to stand by them throughout the process step-by-step. We tell them it’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a matter of ‘when’.”  To learn more about Thrive Mortgage, contact Jamal Chubb or Josh Harvith.