“My credit score is low but its low because I want to protect myself from identity theft. No one can take out a mortgage in my name if I can’t even take out a mortgage in my own name.” Would you give the United States a mortgage? Or, put another way, loan it money? Millions of people institutions do, every day, in the form of buying debt backed by our government. The U.S. federal deficit is forecasted to reach $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. That debt has been increasing following a $1.5 trillion tax cut and a budget deal that increases government spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. “The nation’s fiscal outlook is challenging,” the director of the CBO said. But hey, why believe what experts say?

Lender Products and Services

In correspondent news, Silvergate Bank continues its expansion in the Non-QM market with the addition of Edgar Swope, Correspondent Sales Director. Edgar brings over 25 years’ experience in Correspondent and B2B Lending with Wells, Citi, and Golden Pacific Bank. He will be joining Manny Rodriguez in the California market, and covering the Rocky Mountain States. Silvergate offers both Best Effort Flow, and Mandatory Bulk Deliveries on a full spectrum of Non-Qm Portfolio products, and accepts Reliance Letters from major Due Diligence Firms, and offers daily pricing through LoanNEX, OB, Lending QB, and Compass Analytics.  

Symmetry Lending announces an expansion to its program! The HELOC specialist known for Service, Speed, and Simplicity, is making your life even easier with its newly launched “CLTV+” program. For your Piggyback HELOC needs, Symmetry now allows for 95.00% CLTV in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. “We are excited about this announcement, as this is Symmetry’s first program expansion since we launched the company in 2018”, said Brian MacInnis, CEO of Symmetry Lending. “Service, Speed, and Simplicity remain our top priority, and we will not stray from that commitment. But now as we continue to grow, we are excited about bringing additional tools to the loan originator’s toolkit.” Symmetry’s brand and market presence has been growing fast in 2019, largely built on their reputation for best-in-class service with minimal overlays to agency guidelines. Find your Symmetry Area Manager today.

To achieve true process transformation, mortgage companies are partnering with Sutherland Mortgage Services Inc. (SMSI), which combines technical acumen with human-centered design for optimal outcomes. SMSI occupies a technological sweet spot where it can leverage the process transformation knowledge of its global parent company, Sutherland, which serves 120 clients from the Fortune 1000 and has developed conversational AI platforms for powerhouses like Google, Uber and Disney. SMSI is working with Lenders and Servicers to create “Digital Scale” where AI is being used to help scale volume quickly, while keeping costs down. If you would like to schedule a transformational meeting, contact Neil Armstrong.

Borrower and Customer Behavior and Leveraging Technology

The lead story in the August issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights Report focuses on an interesting originations question: “Which Came First, the Testimonial or the Sale?” STRATMOR MortgageSAT director Mike Seminari gets down to the details with data that clarifies borrower behavior and identifies where in the sales funnel referrals and testimonials belong. It’s a fascinating read that gets at the heart of whether online testimonials correlate with higher sales revenue. In a second article, “Digital Fuels Innovation for a Better Customer Experience,” STRATMOR senior partner Nicole Yung shares data from the just-completed Digital Innovations Survey and asks the question: Are you using digital to empower your borrowers? Read the August Insights Report.

NestReady produced two research pieces on looks at top 1,500 credit unions and another at top 500 mortgage lenders. Both are white papers show marketing technology adoption trends across 12 + categories and over 600 platforms. This one looks into marketing platforms and tools that are being used by the leading credit unions. And this one looks into how banks & mortgage lenders are leveraging various marketing platforms.

SimpleNexus has just released three tools designed to help originators build stronger relationships with their borrowers’ real estate agents. Loan originators can create co-branded mobile apps for Realtor partners to share with borrowers keeping partners up-to-speed on loan progress, mortgage calculators and other tools. The integrated home search showcases available properties within the SimpleNexus borrower app. Two digital home search providers are available for integration, and the integration can be configured with or without a Realtor partner. The third tool, kiosk mode, allows loan originators to collect back-to-back loan applications on a tablet or laptop computer at open houses and model homes, For added security, kiosk mode automatically wipes sensitive data when a loan application is abandoned before submission.

LoanScorecard has partnered with LoanStream Mortgage (LSM). Under this partnership, LSM’s QualONE is powered by LoanScorecard’s product and pricing engine (PPE), Pricer1™, and non-agency AUS, Portfolio Underwriter™. This tool enables brokers and correspondents to run loan scenarios and instantly determine the eligibility for various products across LSM’s NanQ ONE Programs—accelerating the origination process for non-QM loans. QualONE can be accessed on LSM’s website, LSM’s client portal or via the Calyx® Point® loan origination system.

Equifax has its Lead Accelerator™ product to respond to the needs of real estate agents by prospect prioritization, income estimation, property value, and propensity to buy. The product leverages Equifax’s data analytics power and has been designed to intelligently connect real estate agents with potential buyers through lead qualifying and allows the agent to make prioritization decisions based on a variety of key factors utilizing three unique modules. The Personal Wealth module provides real estate agents with anonymized insights of a lead they have not previously met in addition to an overview of the lead's likely financial capacity and estimated household income. Also, the Personal Wealth module includes visibility into the household economics, further helping real estate agents differentiate leads, match offers and deliver relevant marketing messages.

Capital Markets

China’s announcement of additional tariffs on $75 billion worth of goods and the president’s responses sent equity markets running last week. Chatter about a potential recession remains prominent, however underlying economic data continues to refute that talk. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index returned to positive territory in July after two months of decline and new unemployment claims declined to 209,000 in the latest release. In a revision of previous jobs data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy create 501,000 fewer jobs than had previously been reported. This would bring the monthly average jobs gain down from 223,000 to 181,000 for 2018. Caught in the middle of all the trade headlines is the Fed, which recently had its annual symposium in Jackson Hole focused on “Challenges for Monetary Policy”. Following its conclusion, Fed Chairman Powell said in a speech that there weren’t recent precedents for the Fed to drawn on when determining the appropriate stance of monetary policy. This could be interpreted as a move away from the data dependency we have heard so much about over the last couple years towards more of a risk-management approach; potentially making it more difficult to predict future monetary policy changes.

So U.S. Treasuries rallied sharply to close last week, including the 10-year closing -8 bps to 1.53 percent as the yield curve re-inverted, mostly due to White House-related events (like the tariff news above from the U.S. on September 1 and December 15 after President Trump announced tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods earlier in the week). President Trump tweeted in response to the lack of dovish signals from Fed Chairman Powell in his remarks at Jackson Hole, "Who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?" followed by, "Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA."

Chair Powell did leave the door open for further cuts when speaking of the Fed’s need to sustain the expansion while calling the period since the last FOMC meeting “eventful.” Additionally, he highlighted the asymmetry between deflation and inflation and the need to tilt policy at times due to risks to the outlook, of which trade uncertainty is currently one. Those who believe in an impending recession had more fuel added to the fire, as the People's Bank of China fixed the yuan at the weakest level since March 2008. And domestically, new home sales declined nearly 13 percent month-over-month despite low mortgage rates and lower median sales prices. Sales were down big in three of the four regions.

Today’s calendar is already under way, with July Durable Goods Orders (+.1%, topping forecasts) and durable goods orders excluding transportation (-.4%). Additionally, we have had Chicago Fed National Activity Index. Tomorrow, things pick back up with the June FHFA Housing Price Index, and June S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. There is little of note in the midweek session aside from Richmond Fed’s Barker delivering remarks before Thursday brings July Advance Retail Inventories and Wholesale Inventories, Q2 GDP - Second Estimate, and July Pending Home Sales. The week closes with July Personal Income and Spending figures, July PCE Price Index, and July Core PCE, August Chicago PMI, Final August University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment, and the month-end index trade before the long Labor Day weekend. We begin the day with agency MBS prices a shade better and the 10-year yielding 1.53%.



With over thirty years of lending in Texas, Austin’s Mission Mortgage has been expanding dramatically recently and must fill several positions due to this growth including a Production/Sales Manager. The Production/Sales Manager is expected to take the lead with Mission’s current origination staff, working to help them improve, increase production, recruit, and help Mission grow with additional originators, additional sales staff, and marketing. (This person should either live in, or plan to move to, the Austin area.) Confidential inquiries should be addressed to President Leigh Ann McCoy.

Looking for more opportunity in your career? Drive the opportunities that build your future with a Motto Mortgage franchise. The Motto Mortgage network supports entrepreneurship with an out-of-the-box franchise model and industry-leading tools – all for a flat, monthly fee. You’ll have full and customized access to best-of-breed technology, business support tailored to you, and enterprise-level wholesale lender relationships for all your loan origination needs. When you own a Motto Mortgage franchise, you own an innovative business that funds dreams and propels your career growth. Discover how franchise ownership can open the doors to more opportunity today.

Homespire Mortgage is actively seeking a Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager as it continues its growth and nationwide expansion plan across the United States. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager will oversee the growth of multiple, highly productive branches across the Mid-Atlantic region and other national markets. Homespire Mortgage is recognized for its full-service marketing platform, innovation mortgage technology for both MLOs and borrowers, not to mention its generous compensation packages. Named one of America’s Best Mortgage Companies to Work for by National Mortgage News in 2019, the company is also recognized for its strong organizational culture and thriving workplace environment. For more information about the Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager position or other Regional Manager positions, please contact Todd Sheinin, Chief Operating Officer (301.956.2902).

Gateway First Bank achieved record production volume for the month of July, surpassing $767 million in residential mortgage loans. This year, Gateway has already originated over $3.8 billion in mortgage loans through July. The company expects annual loan volume in 2019 to exceed $7 billion, another record year. “Gateway has strong momentum, outperforming our competition and exceeding market averages because of the quality of our team members, their commitment to hard work for our clients, our on time every time promise and our dedication to service excellence,” said Stephen Curry, Chairman and CEO at Gateway. Gateway is one of the ten largest banks in Oklahoma and offers a full suite of banking services. The company maintains a committed focus on enhancing the customer experience and provides the tools and products necessary to empower team members. If you want to bring your bright future to Gateway, contact Sherry Gray or visit Gateway First.

Our PrimeLending branches and loan officers are experiencing levels of growth and success like never before in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Take our Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit area branches for example. One owns top 5 market share in local purchase and has grown their purchase and overall volume every year since opening in 2011. Another area broke a funding record in July and will do it again in August. Another is up 25% from 2018 and is breaking records almost every month. Growing businesses, growing careers and growing numbers is what we do here, and our area branches in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit are ready to grow even more. If you or your team are ready to experience a whole new level of production with PrimeLending, Scott Lacy, Mid-America regional production recruiter, and Bret Head, Mid-America regional manager, will help make your transition quick, seamless and simple. Seriously, you can start originating on day one. Contact Scott to get the conversation started.