Mission Statements are so passe. We now have “long term vision statements.” For some, great literature consists of the Bible, or Moby . For others of limited intelligence, like me, the pinnacle is National Lampoon’s 1964 Yearbook. (The Freshman section is classic.) For others it is the FHA Handbook or the charters of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Or perhaps it is the National Association of Realtor’s Code of Ethics. Earlier this week I attended an online NAR research meeting. (NAR has 1.5 million members and 1.2 million active listings.) Lenders can usually learn a thing or two from NAR, and one topic during the session was foreign buyers. Per the National Association of Realtors, the state with the most foreign buyers of real estate? Florida (Europeans), then California (Asians), then Texas (Mexicans), Arizona (Canadians), followed by New Jersey and New York (across the globe). The benefit to lenders of these buyers is questionable, as they tend to use lots of all cash for (usually) higher-priced properties. The percent of recent immigrants taking out home loans, however, has been increasing as our low rates are too hard to ignore. The NAR suggests that potential buyers, regardless of ethnicity, are not buying due to a continued lack of inventory. available here and this week’s is sponsored by Origence, helping financial institutions can provide mortgage, consumer, indirect, and home equity loans with greater efficiency and increased scale while also delivering a convenient and personalized experience to borrowers.)

Lender Services and Products

Whether associated with a ransomware attack or a former loan officer who inappropriately takes private consumer information to a new job, the risks associated with data breaches have been and continue to be a major concern for our industry and our nation as a whole. It is with these concerns in mind that James Brody, Chair of Johnston Thomas's Mortgage Banking Practice Group, will be moderating the Mortgage Bankers Association’s leading webinar on the topic, titled “Compliance Considerations Before and After a Data Breach”. To register for this event, which is free for all MBA members and which is scheduled for 2:00 PM EST on August 10th, click here. For inquiries regarding the data breach program or any of the complimentary compliance webinars provided by Johnston Thomas (LO Comp, Loss Mitigation, MSAs/JVs, Wage/Hour/Discrimination Claims, etc.), please contact Mr. Brody.

Let your people continue to work from home while improving efficiency with a virtual assembly line. Henry Ford reduced car production-time from 12.5 to 1.5 hours with an assembly line. The benefits were shorter timelines, increased efficiency, near-zero errors, plus the ability to employ both high and moderately skilled workers to get work done. This works for mortgages. This year has seen more mortgage operations move to a “virtual assembly line” model to produce higher volumes and shorten “lead-to-close” timelines. Case in point: A division of American Pacific Mortgage quadrupled its volume and produced 280% more revenues after implementing TeamworkIQ, a simple task-based-workflow platform that drives virtual assembly lines. Work moves forward faster. bringing the right task to the right person at the right time with the right priority. And some tasks can even be automated to achieve even greater efficiency. See the case study and request a test-drive.

Are you advanced enough to get started with securitization? MBS delivery allows you to be the master of your own fate… But your processes must be flawless, as you cannot afford any mistakes! If you feel that you’re ready for the benefits of this unique freedom, it may be time to jump into MBS delivery. MCT’s latest blog, “A Lender’s Guide to Agency Approvals and MBS Delivery” will answer all of your most common questions to ensure your confidence in this transition. Learn how agency approvals will open up the door for increased profitability.


Right or wrong, our industry tends to watch Redwood Trust as a proxy for the general health of the jumbo market, so plenty took notice when Redwood released its second quarter financial results this week. The company locked $3.9 billion of jumbo residential loans, the Company's second highest lock volume on record. Lock mix was approximately 60 percent purchase money loans and 40 percent refinances. RWT also displayed its distribution capabilities with three securitizations backed by $1.5 billion of Select Jumbo loans in aggregate, and $1.8 billion of whole loan sales. Economic return on book value for the company was 8.2 percent for the second quarter and 19.0 percent for the first half of 2021.

Capital Markets

Since mid-March, when all the experts thought rates would do little beside head higher, the rate on the 10-year Treasury bond has dropped from a high of 1.74 to near 1.25 percent, despite rising inflation. Fed Chair Powell has consistently stated that the inflation is transitory. The new Delta variant of COVID, and fear of future variants and the possibility of wearing masks for the rest of our lives, is stalling the recovery. Monetary stimulus is expected to be removed earlier than previously thought, so less fiscal stimulus is anticipated from Washington DC. Recent economic data has been lackluster, and supply-chain/labor-market bottlenecks continue unabated.

Fed officials signaled yesterday they’re moving closer to when they can start reducing massive support for the U.S. financial system. The economy is not quite there yet, as we’ve yet to reach full employment or the long-term 2 percent inflation target, so policy will remain accommodative for the time being. The statement for the first time hinted towards the “taper” of Treasury and mortgage securities purchases. The Fed is buying about $120 billion ($80 billion of Treasuries and $40 billion of MBS and more) each month as part of their purchase program. Announcing a taper would be a calculated move to ensure an orderly market reaction when the time eventually comes. Australia’s central bank is set to delay its planned taper of bond buying just four weeks after announcing it, due to economic fallout from prolonged lockdowns triggered by the delta variant. During his press conference, Fed Chairman Powell said that a rate hike is still a long way away, and know that “taking a foot off of the accelerator” is different than “putting your foot on the brake.”

MBA SVP and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni weighed in, saying “mortgage rates remain historically low and are supporting a strong rebound in refinance activity. Purchase application volume has waned the past few months due to the lack of homes on the market and the consequent rapid increase in home prices. MBA expects that a taper of asset purchases, and somewhat higher mortgage rates, are to come in the second half of the year. We are also hopeful that the increased pace of housing construction, and more existing homes on the market, will boost inventory levels and help to fuel renewed growth in the purchase market.”

Today’s economic calendar is already underway with the first look at Q2 GDP (+6.5 percent, much lower than expected). We’ve also received weekly jobless claims (-19k to 400k, slightly higher than expected, continuing claims 3.269 million) and the core PCE deflator (). Later this morning brings the Pending Home Sales Index for June, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and a Treasury auction of $62 billion 7-year notes. After the Desk released a new MBS purchase schedule yesterday covering today to August 12 with no changes to coupons, the new schedule kicks off with the Desk purchasing up to $5.2 billion 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged from the Wednesday’s close and the 10-year yielding 1.25 after closing yesterday at 1.26 percent after a weaker-than-expected GDP.



“Are you a Licensed Originator eager for a new opportunity? Homeowners First Mortgage, a Newrez Family of Companies, is actively seeking Loan Officers who reside in Southern California/Orange County, CA in the following cities: Carlsbad, Yorba Linda, Downey, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Rancho Cucamonga, Hesperia, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, La Canada, Newport Beach, and Cerritos. Homeowners First Mortgage offers the promise of longevity and security along with a commitment to service excellence. Our product set consists of Smart Series, Fixed Rate Loans, Adjustable-Rate Loans, First Time Home Buyer Loans, Refinance, FHA Mortgages, and Loans for Veterans. Ideal candidates will have 2+ years of lending origination experience and an active federal or state NMLS license. Make a change today! Click to apply or contact our recruiting team or James Barton, JV President.”

CMG Financial, named “Best Lender for First-Time Home Buyers” by Investopedia, has added to its Central Division leadership with the hiring of Dan Humes, Area Sales Manager. Dan’s Texas roots plus his leadership experience will be instrumental in growing CMG’s presence across North and East Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. The central U.S. housing market is experiencing rapid growth spurred by record-low mortgage rates and active home builders. As a direct lender with extensive local coverage and regional support, CMG Financial is prepared to streamline the mortgage experience in an exceptionally busy market. CMG loan officers deliver quality preapprovals and faster closings, giving home buyers the competitive advantage to get their offer accepted. Dan will lead his team to serve more home buyers and homeowners throughout the area. For the latest career opportunities contact Central Division Manager, Chris Blevins or visit CMG Recruiting.

Did you hear? American Pacific Mortgage (APM) recently announced its move to become a partially employee-owned company on the heels of a record year in 2020. “Every full-time employee will be included, including originators,” noted Kurt Reisig, Chairman of APM. “It is a huge advantage for our people and for those considering a move, owning part of the company you work for keeps everyone working towards the same goals, and reaping rewards from their combined efforts.” This is a highly unusual move in an industry where companies are acquired, consolidated, or absorbed with very little gain for the employees. APM’s mission to Create Experiences That Matter “isn’t just for our customers, but also for our employees,” mentioned Bill Lowman, CEO. “In an industry that doesn’t offer a lot in the way of retirement, this is a way to help provide a nest egg, and to reward and empower our branches and employees.” Learn more at joinapm.com.

Leading non-QM lender Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions added to its impressive roster of account executives in July 2021. Adding additional coverage across the country, they are pleased to welcome the following: Kris Koepke in Colorado, Lisa Hoot in Texas, along with Anthony Rodriguez and Tim Luxemburger in Inside Sales. As well, Angel Oak welcomes back AEs Shelley Parker in Southern California and Michael Hooven in Philadelphia. These new Account Executives have been educating brokers and correspondents on non-QM and how easy it is to work with Angel Oak. And they’re not done yet as they are continuing to add Account Executives in many additional markets including Missouri, Northern Virginia, Louisiana, and Dallas/Houston. To learn more about joining the leader in non-QM, visit JoinAngelOak.com.

Ready for a career upgrade? Top-ranked Embrace Home Loans, which had a record $6 billion in originations in 2020, is doubling its retail salesforce in 2021 and is actively seeking loan officers, retail executives and support staff to add to its award-winning team. “We offer much more than a job,” says Patrick Mullen, Embrace’s director of recruiting. “We nurture our talent by working with each employee to carve out a clear career path that enriches their lives.” Need proof? The average tenure of Embrace loan officers is just over seven years across all channels, compared to the industry average of two years. Plus, Embrace is consistently named to Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by National Mortgage News every year and ranked first in Social Survey’s Top Mortgage Companies in Customer Satisfaction in the Large Division. Ready to join a winning, supportive team? Contact Patrick.