Do you know what is picking up steam out there? Credit unions are on a “bank buying spree.” The numbers aren’t huge, but these not-for-profit financial firms have acquired a record number of banks since last year, acquiring 21 U.S. banks since 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, compared with 12 purchases in the prior five years. For every buyer there’s a seller, right? Lots of people look at the same thing two different ways. (Tennis balls, for example: yellow or green?) The challenge confronting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in guiding the US central bank's monetary policy is becoming complicated with board members publicly arguing about future interest-rate cuts. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard says the economy needs a half-percentage-point rate cut, while Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren says he doesn't see any immediate need to change interest rates. Stay tuned!
Lender Products and Services
Effective today, September 5, MGIC is approved to support the private MI needs for California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) approved lenders. Since 1975, CalHFA’s single family lending division has helped more than 185,000 people buy their first home with an affordable mortgage. “We are excited to be an eligible CalHFA MI provider and we’re looking forward to helping more California homebuyers become homeowners,” says Jay Hughes, MGIC’s EVP of Sales and Business Development. CalHFA approved lenders can take advantage of MGIC’s competitive pricing through MiQ. Exclusive for CalHFA lenders are these two customized webinars: How to Reach Hispanic Homebuyers in Your Community, September 11 at 10 a.m. and Down Payment Assistance University, September 18 at 10 a.m. Contact your MGIC account manager today for more information.
The threat of an impending recession has been a popular topic in the news lately, and while the timeline of when the economy will slow is hotly contested, the question seems to be when, not if, we’ll see our next fiscal downturn. As a mortgage lender, having a game plan—and understanding how to adapt to stay successful—is imperative with a recession on the horizon. A new Quick Guide,“9 Ways to Prepare for an Economic Recession,” provides a great starting point to evaluate where your business stands today and what you can do to weather the storm, regardless of length or intensity. A must-read for all lending managers and professionals, and an exclusive to Rob Chrisman subscribers today, download your free copy here (no form required).
“Citibank, N.A., is strategically adding new Correspondent Sellers for delegated and non-delegated delivery. Citi offers competitive pricing with premiums for CRA eligible loans, blended commitments for Agency Conforming / High Balance and other delivery incentives including Specified Pool pay-ups through Best Efforts execution. Citi Correspondent is a relationship-centric organization, with our clients benefiting from the expertise, support and resources that only Citi has to offer. For new seller consideration please complete Citi’s Prospective Mortgage Correspondent Questionnaire or contact our National Client Services Team at 800-967-2205 with any questions.”
American Advisors Group (AAG) (NMLS# 9392), a leader in senior home equity solutions, is hosting a live learning and networking session focused on utilizing the data behind America’s “retirement crisis” to explore the opportunity that awaits. Last year, AAG moved from a monoline product company, selling only reverse mortgage loans, to a home equity solutions business offering a full suite of products and services, putting AAG in a “category of one.” The market is more ready than ever before for senior home equity solutions. Are you interested in learning how you can start scaling your book of business? Register now for our September 11 networking session!
Tune in September 13th at 12pm PT for a live video broadcast from this year’s MCT Exchange conference to hear from leading correspondent investors as they discuss, “What’s Next for Secondary Marketing Executions & Technology”. Although sadly I will not be hosting this year’s lunch session, if anyone could fill my shoes it would be Phil “Relentless Innovation” Rasori, COO of MCT. Panelists to be featured include Mike Quinn of Penny Mac, Amy Creason of Freddie Mac, Greg Vacura of Wells Fargo, and Giuseppe Grieci of Fannie Mae. This session will discuss the future of the secondary market and how innovations from leading investors will continue to expand the depth of technology and diversity of executions available to lenders. Don’t miss out, register today to view the live broadcast from MCT Exchange on September 13th at 12pm PT.
Again this year, the mortgage industry experts at Richey May are offering free access to their dynamic, interactive HMDA Market Share Dashboards, now updated with the 2018 origination data that was just released. As Q3 comes to a close and you look towards strategic planning for Q4 and 2020, lenders and other industry professionals will find these dashboards valuable for identifying new markets for expansion, seeking out M&A opportunities, measuring the success of sales efforts and more. Visit these free dashboards on the Richey May website, and contact Tyler House for more information.
Conventional Conforming News
Some lenders are wondering about how LP/DU findings could vary when run with FHA TOTAL Scorecard? They report it’s typical for findings to vary when running DU or LP, but HUD is saying they shouldn’t vary when leveraging TOTAL Scorecard implying that there will be buy backs if lenders deliver FHA loans with LP findings that varied from DU. Yes, in theory, Fannie and Freddie AUS findings should mirror each other when they both pass through TOTAL Scorecard. Lenders report that they can run DU with TOTAL and receive a “refer” and then run LP with TOTAL and receive an “approve/eligible”.
My guess is that, if you were to ask someone at one of the Agencies, they would say that FHA has a standard set of information that integrated vendors such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pass through to the TOTAL scorecard on FHA submissions. Fannie & Freddie work with FHA on any rules or calculations provided in their submissions. Neither will speak to how other vendors provide that data, nor will they speak to how TOTAL uses it, or is viewing different submissions. If the lender is seeing different results and needs additional information on how different submissions are being viewed by TOTAL, the lender should work directly with FHA (1-800-CALL FHA). As always, you should check with your representative at whatever Agency you work with in order to obtain an answer for your firm.
As a reminder, the FHFA has directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to make specific modifications to the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA)/Form 1003. To allow time to make the necessary changes, deadlines for implementation of the redesigned Form 1003 and DU Specification will be postponed.
During the weekend of Oct. 19, Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) for government loans will be updated to support the Maximum Loan-To-Value and Combined Loan-To-Value Percentages for Cash-out Refinance Mortgages announced by FHA in Mortgagee Letter 2019-11. Fannie Mae’s Release Notes are also available for viewing.
Fannie Mae has updated its AMI Lookup to show whether a searched area or address is in a rural or high-needs rural region, providing helpful information at a glance.
In Guide Bulletin 2019-15, Freddie Mac announced an update to Home Possible® mortgage eligibility requirements to state that the borrower's qualifying income must not exceed 80% of the area median income (AMI) for the area where the property is located. This revised requirement will apply to all Home Possible mortgages, including those secured by properties in low-income census tracts.
Fannie Mae Selling Guide update, SEL 2019-07, implements changes to lender quality control (QC) requirements, introduces construction-to-permanent (C-to-P) financing for manufactured homes (MH), clarifies appraisal waiver eligibility for refinance transactions, and more.
The PennyMac Correspondent Group posted 19-47: Updates to Conventional Base Pricing Grids
Wells Fargo Funding is updating its cash-out refinance policy for conventional Conforming, FHA, and VA Loans. If the loan application or other documentation shows the purpose of the funds from the cash-out refinance is to purchase cryptocurrency or other virtual currency, the Loan is ineligible for purchase.
The Freddie Mac’s CHOICERenovationSM is now a part of Plaza’s complete suite of renovation loan options. Great for correspondent lenders as loans may be delivered prior to completion of the renovation, and Plaza is including the advantages of Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® program for qualified borrowers in conjunction with CHOICERenovation.
In conjunction with Freddie Mac’s Home Possible boarder income changes, FAMC Correspondent will require the person providing the rental income to meet the following requirements: not be obligated on the mortgage loan or have any ownership interest in the property, to have resided with the borrower for at least one year, and continue residing with the borrower in the new residence, provide appropriate documentation to evidence residency with the borrower that shows the address of that person to be the same as the borrower’s address and cannot be the borrower’s spouse or domestic partner.
There wasn't a lot of economic data over the last week, but the data we did get continues to support moderate economic expansion. Real personal income inched up in July as inflation was up a scant 1.4 percent over the last twelve months. Consumer spending increased slightly during the month and the saving rate declined slightly to 7.7 percent. Real GDP growth for the second quarter was revised from 2.1 percent to 2.0 percent according to the “second” release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Unemployment claims were low, and mortgage applications eased for the week ending August 23 with purchase app down 0.4 percent and refinance apps down 7.6 percent. Meanwhile home values increased 3.1 percent in June's Case-Shiller National House Price Index which was the slowest pace since September 2012. Finally manufacturing data was mixed as new orders for durable goods increased 2.1 percent in July, but shipments of durable goods declined 1.1 percent.
Yesterday U.S. Treasuries ended the midweek session on a mostly higher note, including the 10-year closing -1 bp to 1.46 percent, after an overnight improvement in global risk tolerance from early reports that Hong Kong's Chief Executive Lam will withdraw the extradition bill, which had been the catalyst for months of protests. But Ms. Lam said, she will "put forward the motion to withdraw the bill" when Hong Kong's legislature returns from break in October. That news overshadowed other troubling developments out of China, including hints at more impending fiscal and monetary stimulus and reports the People's Bank of China is expected to cut the reserve requirement ratio again.
In Europe, British parliament voted in favor of blocking a no-deal Brexit, meaning MPs will vote on Theresa May's withdrawal bill for the fourth time despite Prime Minister Johnson indicating that he will push for a snap election on October 15. And Eurozone's July Retail Sales decreased from June, but met expectations, while August Services PMI rose beyond expectations.
Domestic data revealed the trade deficit narrowed in July but the goods and services deficit on a year-to-date basis still increased, meaning that the tariff actions have yet to have their intended effect of reducing the overall trade deficit. And the Federal Reserve's September Beige Book described overall economic activity as expanding at a modest pace. Most surveyed businesses remained optimistic about the near-term outlook, though concerns about tariffs and trade policy remained in place. In conjunction with the Beige Book, markets also received more dovish Fedspeak, which further ramped the odds of a September rate cut.
Today’s heavy calendar is already underway before the August Nonfarm Payrolls report tomorrow. Challenger job cuts for August (53,480, highest since May). ADP employment for August (+195k, strong). Initial jobless claims for the week ending August 31 (217k, nearly unchanged). Revised Q2 productivity (2.3%) and unit labor costs (+2.6%). Coming up are final August Markit Services PMI, August ISM nonmanufacturing PMI and business activity, and July factory orders. We begin the day with agency MBS prices worse .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 1.52%.
Rushmore Loan Management Services continues to build out it’s Nashville based Capital Markets team and is looking for an AVP of Product Development. The candidate will be responsible for monitoring agency guidelines, maintaining Rushmore’s seller guide, and developing new products. This posting is in addition to the Trader position which it is also looking to fill. You may recall that Rushmore recently acquired the Correspondent channel of FirstBank and has started to really grow the business. Interested candidates should send their resume to Carla Holliman.
“String Real Estate Information Services, a division of SitusAMC, continues its fifth straight year of strong growth. String seeks experienced Account Managers in 6 US cities: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Des Moines, Denver, New York and Southfield (MI). For the right candidate, we will consider other cities. The Account Managers will report directly to the President of String and will play an integral role in String’s continued growth. As part of the #1 title process optimization firm in the country, the String Account Managers will be the primary client interface focused on helping clients improve margins, optimize workflows and creating a shared roadmap for success.” For a detailed job description and to apply visit the String careers page or send your resume to Prashant Kothari.
“Finance of America Mortgage (FAM), a national mortgage company headquartered in Horsham PA, has several opportunities for Underwriters in our very busy TPO Division. Remote positions are acceptable and we have many locations throughout the company for those that prefer to work in an office. Conventional, DE, SAR and Jumbo – experience in any or all will be considered. Great opportunity for career growth in this quickly growing channel. Come join the FAM! Send your resume to: HumanResources@Financeofamerica.com.”