Yes, it’s Tuesday already. Good morning to everyone except my wife who, at 2AM, mid-dream, sat bolt upright in bed and terrifyingly shouted into the dark, “Will there be a buffet?” There are plenty of things going on in the real world. Out in San Francisco, the government is considering paying people not to commit crimes. Sign me up! There’s the continued shift by investors, and therefore lenders, to originate jumbo loans using Agency underwriting engines. A DU or LP approval for a $1 million loan? Sign me up! Plenty of families have signed up to finance a home, thanks to our industry doing a great job, and Fannie Mae released its Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) for August. There wasn’t much change from July although a greater share of consumers believes it’s a good time to buy a home. The percent of respondents who expect home prices to go up over the next 12 months declined to 40 percent, down from last month’s 46 percent, but still well above the 24 percent of consumers who believe home prices will decline. Fannie Mae’s full research report is available here. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Candor Technology. Lenders using Candor produce a high-quality loan that requires only 1 underwriter touch on 70% of loans.)

Lender and Broker Products

The day after Labor Day is known as Telephone Tuesday, as businesses see up to a 50% rise in inbound calls following the holiday. With the phone lines so busy today (and every day), LOs need to leverage every possible avenue for reaching borrowers which is why Realtor partnerships are so important. When Realtors refer clients, the client applies to the recommended lender 76% of the time. And right now, with more active Realtors than homes for sale in the U.S., Realtors need a reliable lead funnel. It’s a match made in heaven. So how can LOs build reliable Realtor referral relationships? It takes more than phone calls. Download this free guide from Sales Boomerang to learn how to become a Realtors’ preferred lender through a value proposition that matters to agents.

A recent Gallup Poll indicated that about two-thirds of employees want to continue working remotely. Do you know where your employees stand on the issue? Data increasingly shows that employers and employees have different ideas about when and how to return to the office, leading to misaligned goals and inconsistent employee headcount. One solution? Outsource as much as possible, so you can focus your remaining employees on your core business. DocProbe allows you to completely offload your Trailing Docs workload by partnering with you to consistently ship your Final Docs on time. DocProbe handles everything, from retrieval to auditing & correcting to shipping directly to your investors. “Our people, our process, and our technology exist, so you can focus on your strengths by offloading the grunt work. We are your external Trailing Docs partner, leaving you with more resources available even as your volume fluctuates. For help staying ahead of the curve, contact Nick today. Visit Us to learn more.”

Zoral Group, a global leader in digital transformation/intelligent automation is disrupting the mortgage industry with the industry’s only end-to-end platform that contains everything needed to start or enhance your automation journey. Imagine one cloud-based platform that includes all the latest technology needed for data and document management, fraud detection, underwriting automation, workflow automation, back-office automation, and servicing automation. The Zoral automation platform leverages its proprietary, globally tested, plug n play solutions that delivers immediate relief to reduce or even eliminate hours of manual data entry, hours of stare & compare as well as consistent interpretation, analysis, and calculation of borrower income/asset documentation. Zoral has also partnered with Richey May (RM Automate) to deliver “best of breed” automation solutions. Richey May is one of the industry’s most respected advisory firms. For more information on Zoral’s automation platform, and to discuss the facts and myths of mortgage AI or to schedule a product specific demo, please contact  Dan Sussman, COO, CPO.

The FeeWise™ Closing Cost Engine integration with the ICE Mortgage Technology™ Platform supports retail usage through Encompass LO Connect™ and wholesale / non-delegated business through Encompass TPO Connect™. Automated disclosures and compliance results within the point of sale create huge operational efficiencies, a reduction in fee tolerance cures and the opportunity to grow your loan volume. Join progressive lenders like PRMG, Sprout Mortgage, and Plains Commerce Bank who have experienced remarkable gains by implementing FeeWise. Watch this 60-second video to learn more & email MortgageCTO to schedule a live demonstration.

Brokers should know that Advancial Federal Credit Union offers a variety of portfolio loan options with competitive pricing. Niches include homes on acreage, Hobby farms, Unpermitted ADUs, Manufactured ADUs, deed restrictions, mixed use, studio condotels, co-ops, and non-warrantable condos. These unique collateral options can be coupled with Advancial’s other programs such as Asset depletion, Jumbo Cash out to 3.5mm, Non-Occupying Co-borrowers, investment properties, LLC closings, and more. Call today 888-876-2328 or email John Burkel.

In case you missed it, SimpleNexus has been certified as an eClosing provider by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, affirming that Nexus Closing meets the GSEs’ requirements for eClosing, eNote and eVault functionality. What’s spicy about the news is that approved Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicers can use Nexus Closing to submit eMortgages to both GSEs all while providing borrowers with a memorably modern, single-sign-on closing experience. What’s more, Nexus Closing offers lenders substantial ROI with improved operational efficiency, increased data integrity and faster delivery of loans to the secondary market. Schedule a demo to explore the benefits of executing eMortages with Nexus Closing.

Training and Events This Week

With traditional summer vacation season over, and before winter weather kicks in and the holidays start, September and October are prime event months. Add webinars to the mix and we have quite a range of opportunities to learn!

Last call to register for XINNIX’s upcoming webinar, “Leaders Who Dominate Disruption”, happening live this Thursday, September 9 at 1:00 PM ET! Join CEO of Ziglar, Inc., Tom Ziglar, and XINNIX Founder & CEO, Casey Cunningham, for this very special Leadership Lessons event conversation on growing through challenging times. XINNIX’s new EVP, Michael Norton, will make his XINNIX debut as host and facilitator of the live session. This is an event you’ll want to be sure to attend live! Leaders across your entire organization will benefit from this insightful session, so feel free to invite your peers and colleagues to attend. Reserve your seat today!

The Federal Perspective on Black Homeownership Zoom event! Thursday, September 9, 11PM Pacific/2PM Eastern, New American Funding & Freddie Mac have teamed up with FHFA and the VA to review the historical role of the Federal Government in Black Homeownership and discuss the Federal Government’s perspective on the current state of Black Homeownership and future opportunities for growth. Moderated by: Charles Lowery, Director of Legislative Policy & External Affairs, New American Funding & Senior Advisor, New American Dream and joined by John E. Bell III, Deputy Director, Loan Guaranty Service, VA, Ted Wartell, Associate Director, Office of Housing and Community Investment, FHFA, and James Wylie, Manager, Office of Fair Lending Oversight, FHFA. Join us to continue the discussion of the opportunities to increase Black Homeownership and potential solutions. Register today!

You’re invited! Make plans to join Black Knight’s upcoming webinar on selecting the right hedging strategy for your mortgage pipeline. This informative session will expand on the information provided in the company’s recent TBA MBS Hedging vs. Note-Rate Hedging white paper. Hedging experts James Baublitz, Jim Glennon, and Mark Teteris, CMB will have an engaging discussion to compare the pros and cons of each hedging instrument so you can better understand which option is the best fit for your business. This webinar will include a thorough assessment of both TBA MBS hedging and note-rate hedging, as well as how each strategy fits into different business models. Whether your institution is new to mandatory delivery or you are interested in re-evaluating your current hedging approach, you won’t want to miss this educational session. Register today to reserve your seat for the session on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 11 a.m. CT.

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are becoming increasingly popular. Lenders and appraisers can quickly get up to speed on Fannie Mae’s ADU policy through its new eLearning course. Explore information about ADUs including requirements, construction types, and how to report ADUs in an appraisal report.

September training calendars are available from loanDepot, Arch MI, Enact, National MI, Essent, and Plaza Home Mortgage.

Fairway Independent Mortgage’s Wholesale Division is offering brokers a discussion of current lending topics on Wednesday the 8th at 2PM CT.

Friday, September 10th, is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Rich and Rob. Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and I will be virtually covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at 3PM ET: “The Rundown with Rich and Rob.” Market Analysis Manager, Richard Martin from Curinos, fka FBX | Informa, will be co-hosting!

Capital Markets

The lower-than-expected jobs gain in August should not be taken as a sign that the job market is cooling. It’s not that jobs are in short supply, it’s that qualified workers willing to fill those jobs are hard to come by. The NFIB small business survey reported the number of businesses having difficulty filling open positions rose to a record high in August. While there are many factors at play from surging COVID cases, lack of childcare, and extended jobless benefits to name a few, several of these impediments could be abated with higher pay. Average hourly earnings rose 0.6 percent in August, more than twice expectations, and were up 4.3 percent over the last twelve months. Consumer spending continues to shift towards the service sector and the boom in goods spending appears to be fading. August’s consumer confidence report was the lowest since the winter and showed buying intentions for large durable goods such as cars and appliances declined.

After markets were closed yesterday for Labor Day, we return today to a quiet calendar in terms of data with just the Employment Trends Index for August due out later this morning. The Desk will purchase an average of $4.9 billion MBS per day over the holiday-shortened week, with Class A 48-hours on Friday. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse about .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.36 after closing last week at 1.32 percent.

Jobs and Promotions

“September is National Mortgage Professionals Month and Caliber Home Loans wants to give a big thank you to the team that makes homeownership a reality. “Most people are not aware of the number of people and the amount of time and effort if takes to fulfill a mortgage loan,” said James Campbell, EVP Loan Servicing. “From loan officers and processors, to underwriters, and servicing staff, the team at Caliber work hard every day to execute your home loan.” Over the years, we have helped more than 148,000 families stay in their homes when they’ve needed us most, keeping them on the path to homeownership and fueling the development of communities across the U.S. We offer fully integrated retail, wholesale, correspondent, and consumer-direct channels. Our customer-retention rate is higher than the industry average because our customers matter to us. We are currently hiring account executive positions. Contact Brandi Cooper, VP Talent Acquisition, for more details. For loan consultant positions, contact James Hecht.”

Want to know what excellence feels like? Just ask Embrace Home Loans, which is humbled by the number of honors it receives. Providence Business News named the company one of the Best Places to Work for the 16th straight year. Embrace has also been recognized multiple times as one of the Best Companies to Work For by Fortune and one of the Best Mortgage Companies to Work For each year by National Mortgage News. “We’re super proud of all these awards,” says Steve Adamo, Embrace’s president of national retail production. “But we’re even more proud to have the kind of unique, inclusive culture that makes everyone feel like a winner. Our growth is due to our drive for excellence.” Must be why Embrace has been recognized by SocialSurvey as a Top Mortgage Company and maintains 5-star ratings on Zillow and Google. For more information, please reach out to Adamo at 401-524-5733.

What do the words: Inspire Hope, Deliver Dreams, and Build Prosperity mean to you? To Academy Mortgage, they mean everything. In fact, it’s the company’s Vision. It’s not just something they say, it’s something they infuse into every initiative, every product, and every transaction they do. Watch this video to learn more about Academy’s story, and most importantly, its vision. This is a company that walks the walk. Imagine a workplace where the people you work with actively seek opportunities to Inspire Hope in their local communities and abroad. A team that is passionate about Delivering the Dream of homeownership to everyone, and people that continuously Build Prosperity in the lives of their customers, team members, and their own lives. This is Academy Mortgage. Take a closer look, can you see you the vision? Contact EVP of Growth Patrick Welberg to learn how you can become part of Academy’s vision.

Earn up to 70 bps! Let’s get straight to the point, BluePoint Mortgage is seeking experienced AEs specializing in non-QM loans that are looking to boost their compensation levels and close loans faster! “We offer extremely competitive pay (up to 70 bps on non-QM), a flexible fun work/life balance, and a strong & diverse product offering. We are consistently ranked as a Top 10 Wholesale Lender Nationwide and home to Top Ranked Wholesale Account Executives, Scotsman Guide 2021. To learn more about the position reach out to Char Mangrello, VP of Human Resources.

FHA posted a job opportunity for a Supervisory Review Appraiser in Santa Ana, CA, who will ensure the timely and orderly completion of field reviews. Check out Job Announcement 21-HUD-1898-P.

Arvest Bank announced Matt Kendall has been named president and CEO of Arvest’s mortgage division and Arvest Central Mortgage Company, a role he has filled on an interim basis since February. Matt will be accountable for directing management teams and operations for Arvest’s mortgage division and Arvest Central Mortgage Company.