Follow the money! The “talking heads” are analyzing the fact that President Donald Trump donated $6,000 to Kamala Harris' 2014 campaign for reelection as California attorney general, and that she in turn donated the money to a non-profit that advocates for civil and human rights for Central Americans. And we have nearly three months to go! Stuff like that is a lot more fun to talk about than the 50-basis point price change that Fannie and Freddie instituted due to “higher risk and costs” on refis. Not on purchases, mind you. This from Freddie, who earned $1.8 billion last quarter, and Fannie, who earned $2.5 billion. Is this how the GSEs help struggling homeowners? The MBA weighed in. Some attribute the changes to Director Calabria’s desire to recapitalize the GSEs, desire to capture some of the great margins being enjoyed by originators, to balance out some of the cash window pricing gains seen in recent weeks, or the continued shift in discouraging certain types of products, there’s nothing like a price change to increase or decrease the flow of business. In other money news, digital lending platform Blend announced it raised $75 million in funding in a Series F round led by Canapi Ventures, bringing the company’s valuation to nearly $1.7 billion. Anyone want to buy a simple, humble daily commentary with a joke at the end put out by an old capital markets guy?
Broker and Lender Products
AFR Wholesale is continuously working to improve your experience as a broker partner. In addition to automatic notifications when a home you closed with AFR is listed for sale, or when a payoff request is received, AFR is launching a value-added Account Review service. Also coming soon, AFR partners will receive automated notices when a borrower appears likely to refinance or purchase a home. Beyond all these complimentary services, AFR regularly reviews their pricing, so be sure to check AFR rates sheets daily! Fully invested in the success of their business partners, AFR Wholesale provides an extensive portfolio of products and value-added services, industry-leading technology, professional expertise, and continuous educational opportunities. For more information about becoming a partner, go to afrwholesale.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-375-6071.
Luxury Mortgage Corp. (“Luxury”) has announced significant enhancements to its Simple Access® Non-QM Investor Cash Flow (DSCR) product offering. Notable highlights include a 100-bps price improvement for loans with a three-year prepayment penalty, DSCRs as low as 1.00, and the ability to qualify using I/O payment on a purchase or R/T refinance. Luxury's Investor Cash Flow product also allows for cash out loan amounts up to $3,000,000, and a minimum FICO score of 660. Additionally, for any submissions before Labor Day, Luxury is offering a guarantee to beat ANY competitor's Non-QM Investor Cash Flow price in the market!!! This amazing guarantee is limited to new DSCR submissions and subject to loans meeting program guidelines. Click Here to inquire about becoming an approved wholesale broker or correspondent seller.
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 percent 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 percent 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.
Valuations are now more efficient than ever, with the launch of Market Valuation Services’ latest software, Fully Loaded Asset Report Evaluator (FLARE). FLARE helps financial institutions expedite valuation services with improved accuracy, increasing their bottom line. Using a library of data and sophisticated algorithms, the software produces results in less time than a traditional bank valuation. FLARE also addresses other common issues, including cost-effectiveness, reliability and biased results caused by human-based judgment. The software meets Interagency Appraisal Guidelines (IAG) standards and is available across all 50 states. FLARE’s arrival is an exciting step, said M. Ryan Moore, CSO of Market Valuation Services. “Even one bias discrepancy can affect residential real estate transactions in big ways,” Moore said. “We’re proud to offer a solution that streamlines the process and helps all parties feel confident in the resulting valuation.” For more information, or to view a sample report, visit mvsvc.com/flare.
Finally…a truly improved valuation experience. Connexions’ intuitive appraisal management platform includes data science, product integrations (including Encompass) and best-in-class security to ensure the process is efficient, compliant, and leveraging the latest technologies. It’s customizable, matching workflows to reflect your preferred process for managing appraisals. Connexions’ platform consolidates and protects data, automates record-keeping and improves monitoring of transactions which increases accuracy. And follow-up filters are available at every step to keep things moving forward. You can create an unlimited number of custom or standard reports that analyze trends, property types, markets, etc. It’s configurable at the location level and even lets you auto-disable vendors on exclusionary lists. And Connexions onboarding and ongoing customer support is outstanding. A free mobile app is available too! With 20+ years’ experience, Connexions delivers best-in-class technology solutions and works with 150+ national AMCs and 13,000+ independent appraisers. To learn more about Connexions’ AMC software, book a demo today!
Events and Training
Find digital agility in a changing world. During Forward, Blend’s virtual summit taking place September 22-23, executives and project teams will explore the regulatory changes and rising consumer expectations shaping the future of lending. Learn about Blend’s latest innovations and leave with a strategy to keep you ahead of the competition. Register now.
In light of last night's 50 BPS agency LLPA's affecting most refinances, MCT encourages clients to attend this morning's MCT University client-exclusive webinar. During the webinar to be held at 11AM PT, Current Market Update & Best Practices for Volatility in the Future presented by Phil Rasori, further guidance on best execution model updates and loan sale strategies will be shared. Reach out to your MCT representative for access or direction specific to your business and pipeline. Join the MCT newsletter for the latest industry market volatility guidance.
“In light of market and economic uncertainty resulting in higher risks and costs incurred by Fannie Mae, we are implementing a new loan-level price adjustment (LLPA). The fee applies to limited cash-out refinances and cash-out refinances, as described in Lender Letter LL-2020-12.” The key date isn’t until September 1, but lenders are already pricing rate sheets accordingly.
Fannie Mae’s recent Selling Guide update, SEL 2020-04, clarifies solar panel policies based on different financing structures, revises the representations and warranties framework for loans in forbearance to align the Guide with LL-2020-06 (Selling Loans in Forbearance Due to COVID-19) and removes references to Master Agreements.
Fannie Mae updated LL-2020-06 to reflect the extension of eligible note dates and delivery dates regarding selling loans in forbearance.
Fannie Mae issued policy changes to Servicer Principal and Interest Advance Requirements, reflected in LL-2020-08. The customer transition guide provides servicers with information on the key milestones regarding these upcoming changes. Information on activities that will occur in the month of transition and the month following transition are included. Additionally, Fannie Mae created a guide detailing the process requirements.
As a reminder, Fannie Mae is accepting SOFR Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs) and issuing SOFR-based MBS. All Fannie Mae Single-Family applications have been updated to include the new SOFR ARM products, review LL 2020-01 for more information.
Freddie Mac also sent out SOFR transition news.
Wells Fargo Funding is aligning its effective date to the temporary COVID-19-related requirements and flexibilities and date extension announced by the Agencies. This includes the announced expansion to their temporary requirements for self-employed borrowers, allowing Sellers to confirm that the borrower’s business is open and operating within 20 business days of the Note date. Wells Fargo Funding did not publish the overlays in its Selling Guide; Sellers must follow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requirements.
Lakeview Correspondent Announcement C2020-06 covers TSAHC MCC income reminder plus Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updates.
Loan originators are good at looking at things over time. Labor data has been the recent focus of markets over the last week but the upbeat numbers are expected to diminish later this summer as the lingering effects of social distancing and spring shutdowns continue to impact businesses. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.8 million in July on the heels of June's 4.8 million increase but remain 12.9 million below February's peak and the unemployment rate remains high at 10.2 percent. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by nearly 250,000 for the week ending August 1 after increasing the previous two weeks. Data from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) showed both the service and manufacturing sectors of the economy in expansion territory with many respondents cautiously optimistic about their outlook. Construction spending slipped in June, but was little changed over the previous twelve months. Spending on single family residential construction fell 3.6 percent, but is expected to rebound given recent sales data from home builders. Mortgage rates remain low although applications fell for the week ending July 31 as the 30-year fixed rate dipped to 3.14 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Looking at news yesterday, U.S. consumer prices rose in July by more than expected largely due to a jump in auto and apparel costs, which follows hotter-than-expected producer prices. Though that buoyed Treasury yields and MBS, stimulus is still in limbo. Democrats say there will be no restart talks until the White House moves from demands for a smaller package. Meanwhile, about 16 million Americans are unemployed, with 28 million receiving benefits. There is a big disconnect: the S&P 500 yesterday briefly surpassed the all-time closing high reached in February before the pandemic? That also capped a more than 50 percent rally since market lows in March, though most of the gain came from technology shares. Finally, the day's $38 billion 10-year note auction was met with solid demand despite its record size.
Those CPI figures reported yesterday are important because the consumer shapes the economic outlook more than any other factor. In a typical recession, services spending remains relatively steady, while big ticket purchases on durable goods typically are put off until things improve. It has actually been the opposite in this cycle since stay-at-home orders have emptied out restaurants and other services. Durable goods outlays are nearly ten percent above pre-pandemic levels. Despite the resurgence of the coronavirus, spending is on track to post a record increase in the third quarter.
Today’s economic calendar kicked off with July import & export prices (+.7 percent and +.8 percent, respectively) and initial jobless claims for the week ending August 8 (963k, better than expected, -228k). There are two Fed speakers scheduled starting with Atlanta’s Bostic ahead of Governor Brainard. The final leg of this week’s record refunding consisting of $26 billion 30-year bonds in the early afternoon. The NY Fed will conduct the last two operations on the current schedule when it purchases up to $4.2 billion MBS starting with $2.8 billion UMBS30 2 percent through 3 percent followed by $1.5 billion GNII 2.5 percent and 3 percent. The Desk will then report on MBS purchases for the week ending August 12, one hour before releasing a new two-week FedTrade schedule in addition the mid-August to mid-September MBS reinvestment estimate, which is expected to total over $111 billion based on paydowns in the Fed portfolio plus the additional $40 billion monthly increase in MBS SOMA holdings. We begin today with Agency MBS prices better/up .125 and the 10-year yielding .68 (after closing yesterday at 0.67 percent) after the positive initial jobless claims numbers.
Jobs and Promotions
“Caliber Home Loans is recruiting top candidates in the mortgage industry for our Caliber Operations teams across all channels. We are offering enhanced sign-on bonuses and incentive plans for Underwriters, Processors and Closer/Funders. In the past four months, we have hired over 400 new team members in Operations and over 1,000 across Caliber. We are experiencing unbelievable growth and are ready to fill nearly 500 additional Operations positions! If you have a passion for helping customers achieve their dream of home ownership, we want to talk to you! Interested in one of our posted job opportunities? Please contact Jonathan Stanley for consideration. Interested in a sales opportunity at Caliber? Please contact Brian Miller for immediate consideration. Visit the Caliber Careers website for opportunities across the organization!”
“Home Point Financial continues its impressive growth with the hiring of Perry Hilzendeger, a 30-year veteran of Wells Fargo, as its President of Servicing. Another big move by Home Point, which is already the second-largest wholesale lender and 13th largest correspondent lender in America in just five years of doing business and only looks to be speeding up. Home Point is hiring over 800 positions this year, so if you’re ready to work for a lender that truly values its Associates, look no further. Check out our careers page or send your resume directly to John Eite now.”
LendingHome, one of the nation's largest financial lenders to real estate investors, announced that Stephanie Casper is the company's new VP of Sales and will lead a team devoted to new business development. She is also a key member of the cross-functional leadership team responsible for developing new products to meet the evolving needs of real estate investors.