Whether it is Northern Virginia or Lake Tahoe, we’re running out of houses. The pandemic has caused a buyer feeding frenzy away from apartments and city cores. Heck, I can hardly wait to sell my house! The problem is… where would I live? So I’ll pass. Like it or not, we are living in an economy controlled by a virus, relying on smart phones and delivery services to remain connected, and we are truly living in a period of time that future generations will study though there may be fewer of them. An analysis from the Brookings Institution projected there will be 300,000 to 500,000 fewer children born in the United States in 2021 than would have been otherwise born, a decrease of 10 percent compared to 2019. If deaths and emigration in the U.S. start outpacing births and immigration… Let’s ask Japan how that is working out. Lay-offs have shifted from smaller companies to larger companies, an ominous thing, and appear to be becoming permanent. People are taking driving vacations rather than flying vacations, and being encouraged to actually take vacations. It seems that thousands of people are driving for vacations rather than flying. And just because the public restroom is closed doesn’t alleviate “nature’s call.” There are strategic alternatives…

Lender and Broker Products and Services

AssetVal Valuation Solutions Celebrates 25thAnniversary! The nationwide, full spectrum valuation company providing key products across the industry include appraisals, residential and commercial broker price opinions, inspections, rental data, and AVM reports. The independently owned company’s success is built on un-matched client service, delivering the highest quality of work. AssetVal was one of the first in the industry to develop an advanced proprietary web-based valuation application that is still creating a competitive edge and consistency in our product offerings. “Since my mother started the company in 1995, our complex industry has evolved and AssetVal has transformed with it by establishing the industry’s most stringent quality control and developing an innovative proprietary compliance module,” said Tami Rund, AssetVal CEO. What sets AssetVal apart is its ability to provide clients the option of completely customizing products and services to fit their needs. Contact Brandon O’Briant, EVP (972-333-0709).

It is no surprise, with interest rates hovering at historic lows, this summer has been one of the hottest ever for LOs across the country. Now, QLMS is helping its partners close even more loans by bringing record low rates even lower. Brokers can help clients save THOUSANDS by offering a 1.99% interest rate on 15-year loans. Clearly, this solution significantly reduces the amount your client pays over the life of the loan. On a $300,000 mortgage, this new QLMS special pricing would end up unleashing $135,000 in savings compared to a 30-year with 3.5% rate. That life-changing money can be put toward retirement funds, college savings or paying off higher interest debts. For more detail on how to help your clients tap into this incredible deal, connect with your QLMS AE. If you are not yet partnered with QLMS but want to offer clients this exclusive pricing, click HERE.

Guideline Changes, Ginnie, FHA News and Advice

This week the Commentary mentioned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinance transactions delivered to AmeriHome for purchase, unless the AUS offers an appraisal waiver, an interior and exterior appraisal is required, and that exterior-only appraisals are not acceptable. Correspondents should know that AmeriHome has been accepting exterior only appraisals on eligible FNMA and FHLMC rate and term refinances since May 11th. I apologize for any confusion.

HUD is tightening requirements for self-employed borrowers and the use of rental income to qualify, effective immediately. 

Brian Montgomery has a new subordinate: Dana Wade, who was confirmed by the Senate. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson applauded the confirmation of Dana Wade to serve as the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Commissioner. “I join Secretary Carson in congratulating Dana on her confirmation and welcoming her back to FHA, where I know she will do an outstanding job serving the American people.  We are grateful to have her considerable talents and knowledge to help guide the agency as our nation pulls through this pandemic,” said Deputy Secretary Brian Montgomery, who served as FHA Commissioner from 2005-2009; 2018-2020.

Various organizations voiced their thoughts. For example, “CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA) applauds Dana T. Wade’s confirmation by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 57-40 to be Assistant Secretary of Housing, Federal Housing Commissioner. During her confirmation hearing, Ms. Wade stated she will do everything possible as FHA Commissioner to help the United States emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a better country. This is especially important for Americans of color, who have suffered the brunt of the impact from the health crisis. CBCMA looks forward to working with Commissioner Wade on down payment assistance models that can safely and sustainably improve access to homeownership.”

Ginnie Mae announced that issuance of its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) totaled $61.33 billion in June, providing financing for more than 231,000 homeowners and renters. A breakdown of June issuance includes $58.22 billion of Ginnie Mae II MBS (registered holders receive separate principal and interest payments on each of their certificates) and $3.11 billion of Ginnie Mae I MBS (registered holders receive an aggregate principal and interest payment from a central paying agent), which includes $2.87 billion of loans for multifamily housing. Ginnie Mae's total outstanding principal balance of $2.130 trillion is an increase from $2.076 trillion in June 2019. MBS issuance in June exceeded $60 billion for the third consecutive month. Ginnie Mae MBS programs directly support housing finance programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Public and Indian Housing and the Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service. Ginnie Mae is the only MBS to carry the explicit full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

The latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed 10.3% of Ginnie Mae mortgages in forbearance, compared to 5.6% seen in Fannie. Yup, Ginnie Mae mortgage bonds are saddled by forbearance and buyout risk.

Will Ginnie's digital mortgage push give e-note use critical mass? Ginnie Mae's latest initiative in support of the use of e-notes could finally lead to widespread use of digital closing software, some experts say. Ginnie Mae will allow mortgage companies to apply to be among its first "e-issuers" as the government agency introduces the use of e-notes and other digital loan files as collateral for securitizations it insures. The move follows a request for input on guidelines last year.

FHA currently insures more than 8 million single family mortgages, almost 12,000 mortgages for multifamily properties, over 3,700 mortgages for residential care facilities, and nearly 100 mortgages for hospitals.

PennyMac’s Announcement 20-44 discusses the following topics: VA Circular 26-20-25, Extension of COVID-19 Related Flexibilities, and FHA 203K Renovation Program Availability.

Yesterday Wells Fargo Funding released a Risk Advisory Bulletin is provided to highlight material findings trending in recent post-purchase reviews of FHA Loans, reminding correspondent clients to respond but also helpfully listing common issues. “Observation 1: Unsupported income used to qualify. Income calculated with documentation provided in the Closed Loan Package does not support income used for qualifying; adjusting income materially increases the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Our recommendations: Ensure all documentation used to calculate income is included in the Closed Loan Package. Follow FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 requirements for calculating and documenting income. Validate employment income and history are accurate on the URLA and in the automated underwriting system (AUS).

“Observation 2: Undisclosed debt. Debt obtained by the borrower prior to the date printed on the Note is not listed on the URLA and not considered by the AUS. Our recommendation: Review credit reports (hard and soft pulls) to ensure that all debts, including any new debt obtained prior to the Note date, are included on the URLA, considered by the AUS, and used in calculating the DTI.

“Observation 3: Residency documentation missing for DACA recipients. Documentation evidencing compliance with FHA’s residency requirements is not provided for borrowers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration status. (DACA is not a residency or citizenship status, but an immigration status.) Our recommendations: Follow published FHA residency requirements for all borrowers, including those who have DACA immigration status. If an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766/EAD) shows category 33 (DACA), provide additional documentation verifying residency requirements are met.”

Capital Markets

What did we learn this week? The Federal Reserve has kept the benchmark interest rate close to zero and has pledged further aid amid a darkening outlook for the US economy. "We are committed to using our full range of tools to support our economy in this challenging environment," Chair Jerome Powell says. And we received the latest evidence that any recovery from the spring economic collapse has been undermined by a resurgence of coronavirus cases across much of the nation.

Yesterday’s advance report on GDP showed that the economy contracted 32.9 percent in Q2, the largest single quarterly drop on record, though it was slightly better than feared. Personal spending, which makes up about two-thirds of GDP, slumped an annualized 34.6 percent, also the most on record. If all that wasn’t bad enough, initial jobless claims increased, as did continuing claims (by nearly 900k!) to over 17 million. Both figures are moving in the wrong direction, signaling the labor market improvement has probably stalled. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve has pledged to keep rates low and monetary policy supportive until there are clearer signs of an economic recovery. With all that bad news, MBS and U.S. Treasuries rallied by the day's close. If there is any silver lining, it was in the release of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 30 yesterday which saw the 30-year fixed rate tick back below 3 percent.

Today’s economic calendar is packed with important data to close the month: June Personal Income (-1.1 percent), June Personal Spending (+5.2 percent), June PCE Prices & Core PCE Prices, and Q2 Employment Cost Index (+.5 percent). Later this morning brings July Chicago PMI and the Final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for July. For the month-end, the Desk will conduct two MBS FedTrade operations totaling $4.2 billion starting with $2.8 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent followed by $1.5 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices up/better a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .53 percent (after closing yesterday at 0.54 percent), relentlessly grinding lower.


“Want to work from anywhere while growing our AMC? If so, we have a great opportunity for you! A large, well-known independent mortgage banker is searching for a Chief Appraiser to oversee and grow our appraisal division. You will provide direction, appraisal expertise, and administrative oversight to a group of certified appraisers and coordinators, as well as manage relationships with internal customers, and partnering with AMCs nationwide. This position will require the ability to account for the appraisal division’s service offerings while ensuring quality assurance. We are looking for a certified candidate with a SRA designation, the minimum of 10 years of residential real estate appraisal experience, 5 years of supervising appraisers, strong knowledge of FIRREA, USPAP, AIR Guidelines, FHA, legal and regulatory requirements, evaluation real estate products, tools, and services. If interested, please confidentially contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward your resume. We are looking forward hearing from you!”

The NAN team continues to grow. Nationwide Appraisal Network (NAN), is seeking passionate Appraisal Success Managers, Processors, Staff Appraisers and Quality Control Specialists to join the most trusted AMC in the industry! “There is a reason they say, ‘We work with the best, you should too.’ At NAN, employees are our greatest asset. Each employee contributes to NAN’s character as a brand and fosters the long-standing relationships NAN has with their clients and appraisers. Under the leadership of Joni Pilgrim and Cari Pinkert, your ideas will be acknowledged, your work will be valued, and you will reach new heights as NAN continues its trajectory as one of the nation’s fastest growing AMCs. If you are looking to thrive, be challenged and use the most innovative technology in the industry, then it is time for you to #DoItTheNANWay. If interested, please visit https://nationwide-appraisal.com/about-us/careers-at-nan/.”

Nations Lending, which has added seven branches in the last 90 days, is doubling down on recruiting support for its existing branches, as well as to propel the company’s momentum in adding talent! Nations recently hired seasoned veteran Senior Sales Recruiters Sheri Hug, Steve Tremayne, and Michelle Molina. “At a time when branches are inundated with business, this is the kind of support we want to bring to their recruiting efforts,” said Corey Caster, EVP of National Production. Michelle Molina is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Steve Tremayne­­­­ is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and Sheri Hug is based in Aurora, Colorado, while inside recruiters Aaron Wiggington and Allison Schock work out of company headquarters in Independence, Ohio. Contact VP of Recruitment Doug Opdycke (Updike) at (623) 734-5747 to learn more about branch opportunities at Nations! #JoinTheNation.

Towne Mortgage, a full-service lender located in Troy, MI, is hiring! We are looking for experienced, high performing Operations team members. Founded in 1982, The Towne Mortgage Family of Companies has nearly 40 years of experience in the mortgage industry dedicated to our clients, community, and team members.  Come join a growing company and help make a difference: our volume has increased by 300% over the last year! We have a strong benefit offering and full-time, on-site, remote, and flexible/part-time opportunities available. If interested, please contact HR Director Jessica James to learn more.”

PHOENIX is hiring talented Residential Mortgage Underwriters with at least 10+ years’ experience for full-time positions plus career growth potential. For almost 25 years, PHOENIX has been a premier advisory firm, committed to excellence and client solutions in MSR & WL Trading, Mortgage Services, and Analytics. Join our growing Underwriter Division or learn about other exciting PHOENIX opportunities. Click on the link here or contact our VP of Mortgage Services, Kevin Payne.”

AmeriHome Mortgage continues to staff up, and is looking to fill multiple positions in both its Correspondent and Consumer Direct divisions! AmeriHome has a great, collaborative culture, hands-on accessible leadership, and defined career pathing for growth within the company, as well as a very generous benefits package including low-cost medical coverage, an aggressive match on 401(k) contributions, employer paid life insurance benefits, plus ample holidays, and time off benefits. AmeriHome is looking for both Delegated and Non-Delegated Underwriters as well as Loan Review Specialists in their Correspondent division. They’re also looking for Underwriters, Loan Officers, and Senior Processors, Closers, and Funders in their Consumer Direct division. Many positions are available both full time and part-time in Southern California, Texas, and remote! Visit the careers page to view all open positions, and submit resumes to jobs@amerihome.com to schedule an interview.