What does the AFL-CIO have in common with Zillow? Both own mortgage companies. Think partnerships and “strategic alliances” are against the rules? Think again. Zillow announced partnerships with 11 home building companies across the country to help home sellers move into their new construction home without selling their existing home traditionally by using Zillow Offers. When home shoppers buy a new construction home from one of Zillow's home builder partners, they will have the opportunity to sell their existing home directly to Zillow, on their own timeline, through Zillow Offers, a different division from Mortgage Lenders of America. Union Plus Mortgage Company, founded and owned by the AFL-CIO, Union Plus, and a group of AFL-CIO affiliated unions, is now open for business in New York to serve 2.5 million union members. It will provide more mortgage options to union members, including access to the Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program. The revenue generated “belongs to the labor movement.” (No misguided comments about Tony Soprano assuring the client, “I think we can dispense with the stinkin’ 1003 for you.”)

Lender Products and Services

"The first piece in Maxwell’s new series, “The 30-Year Fix,” was released this morning; The 30-Year Fix (Pt. 1): The Curious Case of the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage in America” digs into the history of America’s favorite mortgage product to examine why we're so uniquely reliant on it and how it might be holding lenders back. The series will look at the thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage through a global lens, examining dominant mortgage products around the world to consider how and why certain products are favored in different economies to explore how factors like government involvement and sociocultural differences impact product evolution. No form or download required, and it's completely free. Read Part 1 here (and don’t miss the debut of Part 2 here tomorrow)."

Take AIME at Fuse with Gary Vee + Ryan Serhant this October 11th - October 12th at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The AIME Fuse 2019 National Conference unites the nation’s most passionate mortgage experts around a singular focus: to celebrate and enhance the value of independent mortgage brokers. Grow your network by connecting with thousands of like-minded individuals from all over the country and share revolutionary ideas to help improve your business model. Learn from experts to improve your business practices with educational presentations from the nation’s top brokers, who will be sharing their success strategies on select topics including scaling, recruiting, brand building and more. And celebrate the revival of the broker channel: Market share has doubled since last year, and we’re just getting started. Don’t miss this broker-centric event with showstopping entertainment and surprise announcements. Commemorate the growth of the broker community and what is yet to come. Register TODAY to connect with leading industry experts.

In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine there are companies who don’t have a social media strategy in place. What’s not so hard to imagine is these same companies are committing social media “sins,” like not having a social media risk management program or unwittingly taking part in non-compliant online activity. When leveraging the marketing power of social media, lenders need to ensure they remain in compliance with the many federal and state regulations pertaining to social media and financial marketing/advertising content. After all, social media is just another commercial communication method of advertising a lender’s products, rates, services and brand. To help keep your social media strategy on the right path, download MQMR’s free white paper on “The 7 Deadly Social Media Sins.”

Any of your borrowers looking to DIY since the kids are back in school? Home Point Financial offers Home Point Renovation Lending through Federal Housing Administration (FHA), 203(k) rehabilitation loans and the Fannie Mae™ (FNMA) HomeStyle® program. Buyers can combine purchase or refinancing with repair costs in a single mortgage. This smart product allows buyers to leverage the higher after-improvement value of their purchase, and FNMA Homestyle allows for owner-occupied, secondary, and investment properties. To become an approved broker with Home Point Financial, click here.

Loan officers are racing to modernize the customer journey with a best-in-class tech stack that empowers them to create customers for life. And, with 79 percent of consumers willing to leave a brand behind due to a disjointed experience, the pressure is mounting. More and more financial brands are making the move towards digital transformation. It’s time to get on board – or get left behind. But, before you can enhance the customer journey, you must lay the groundwork for modern marketing success across four crucial steps. Read part 4 of Total Expert’s blog series and uncover top strategies to align with your executive team and deliver an experience that exceeds your customers’ expectations.  

Digital and Tech Tidbits

Lenders, here’s your last chance to participate in STRATMOR’s 2019 Technology Insight Study! The final survey rating LOS functionality and requirements is closing September 30 and with it, your opportunity to get the insight you need on the LOS in use in our market today. If you are considering upgrading or changing your LOS in 2020, you don’t want to miss out on the information that will be available from this survey. It takes just five minutes to complete and lenders who participate receive the survey report for FREE. Complete all the surveys in the study and you’ll have the entire 2019 Technology Insight Study for the investment of your time! Take the LOS survey now and rate the LOS you’re using.

The digital mortgage conference in Las Vegas is proving that new vendors seem to pop up all the time, and come & go. Other’s stick around for a long time. (Here’s an example of success: Equity National Title, Jim O’Donnell’s company is thirty years old this year.)

Blend announced the launch of its One-tap Pre-approval for Mortgage. “The new offering gives consumers instant access to verified buying power and the ability to easily generate a pre-approval letter, further streamlining the homebuying process. Blend’s one-tap technology enables lenders to verify a consumer’s assets, income, employment, and liabilities with source data and zero friction, significantly reducing the amount of paperwork to review and saving time for the lender.” U.S. Bank, a Blend partner, will be one of the first to offer One-tap Pre-approval to consumers this year, with a phased rollout to additional lenders beginning as soon as December 2019.

Plaza Home Mortgage announced new integrations with Calyx® Wholesaler MarketPlace that are “designed to create an even more seamless experience for brokers using this portal. Specifically, Plaza was the first wholesale lender in Calyx Wholesaler MarketPlace to deliver rate lock confirmations back to brokers through the portal and into their loan origination system. The company will now also accept and manage verification of asset (VOA) data collected via the Calyx Zip borrower online interview and uploaded by the broker to Plaza with one click.”

Anow has formed an affinity partnership with the largest appraisal organization in the U.S., the Appraisal Institute (AI), making Anow’s core appraisal office management platform available to AI members and affiliates at a reduced rate. AI’s partnership with Anow marks the fourth major real estate professional organization to endorse Anow and encourage its members to take advantage the platform’s ability to boost productivity and heighten professionalism in their business administration. Anow announced partnerships with the National Association of Appraisers (NAA) in March, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) in February, and the Business Association of Real Estate Appraisers (BAREA) in January of this year.

Cloudvirga announced the integration of EXOS real-time appraisal, closing, and signing technology into its Digital Mortgage Platform. “The partnership enables Cloudvirga to leverage EXOS’ cloud-based technology to streamline mortgage processes, like appraisal, title closing, and scheduling, into a seamless mobile experience for both borrowers and mortgage lenders.”

PerfectLO and LendingPad announced a technology integration. Using AI and rules engine, PerfectLO assists borrowers in completion of the loan application and then builds a smart checklist for them. Secondary and tertiary level questions that do not live on a 1003 are presented to borrowers through a unique, unintimidating approach. LendingPad LOS will then import completed applications automatically so that MLO's and processors swiftly use the information to complete the loan process through closing.

A while back Optimal Blue released Competitive Analytics, enabling clients to gauge performance through sophisticated visualizations that illustrate market position, compare margins and profitability, and assess the effectiveness of current pricing strategies. Competitive Analytics provides three distinct benchmarking capabilities: Volume Benchmarking, Lender Profile Benchmarking, and Pricing Strategies Benchmarking.

Capital Markets

Donald Trump is not the first president to beat up the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, publicly or privately. Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Johnson. Trump fired Janet Yellen for keeping monetary policy too loose, replaced her with Jay Powell, and has complained about him ever since. As Alan Blinder observed, “Mr. Trump labels Mr. Powell an ‘enemy’ of the U.S. because interest rates here are higher than those in Japan and the Eurozone. Would the president like to trade places? …Across the oceans, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank are still struggling to lift their moribund economies out of the doldrums. Negative interest rates there signal failure, not success.” Blinder goes on to opine that monetary policy cannot undo the damage from tariffs.

Looking at U.S. treasury markets, Treasuries began the week on a higher note, continuing last week's advance, including the 10-year yield closing Monday -5 bps to 1.71 percent on the back of disappointing data out of Europe. Are U.S. LOs really rooting for dismal worldwide news? Looking at Eurozone's flash September Manufacturing PMI and flash September Services PMI, the Eurozone’s, Germany's, and France’s all declined to register readings below expectations.

The New York Fed conducted its fifth consecutive repurchase operation yesterday, accepting total bids of $65.7 billion, below the allotted $75 billion. Former New York Fed official Potter said that the Federal Reserve may have to resume asset purchases to avoid liquidity shortfalls at the end of Q3 or the end of Q4. Separately, former New York Fed President Dudley and St. Louis Fed President Bullard support a standing repurchase (repo) facility. Stability!

The Philadelphia Fed non-manufacturing indices began today’s domestic calendar; Next up will be Redbook same-store sales for the week ending September 21, July home prices from Case-Shiller and the FHFA, and September consumer confidence. The day closes with the Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indices. The NY Fed will continue its MBS purchase operation when they purchase up to $202 million UMBS15 2.5 percent. In the repo markets, the Desk will add a 14-day term operation of at least $30 billion to the overnight operation that will be at least $75 billion in size despite yesterday’s $65.75 billion including $15.45 billion MBS. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.69 percent.



Closing in on another record-breaking quarter, non-QM lender Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions added to its impressive roster of Account Executives in August/September. In addition, Andy Looker has joined as National Business Development Manager. Looker has over 30 years in the financial services industry while building multi-million-dollar mortgage lending operations in a multi-state region and his deep understanding of the mortgage business will allow him to be responsible for the growth and development of Angel Oak’s wholesale non-QM presence across the nation. As part of that, AO is continuing to add Account Executives across the country and Inside AEs in Miami. To learn about joining the AO team, start the conversation with Andy Looker (704-607-1516).

Synergy Home Mortgage, a member of the NewRez Joint Venture network, is looking for two ambitious purchase-oriented Loan Officers to work as Preferred Lenders inside two of the busiest real estate companies in Reno and Sparks, Nevada: Dickson Realty and Ferrari-Lund Real Estate. As two of the fastest growing Joint Venture partners of national mortgage lender NewRez, Dickson and Ferrari-Lund both provide an outstanding platform for LOs to expand their purchase pipeline. “For a skilled loan officer looking to grow their business, our joint venture model can’t be beat," said Vince Daino VP of Recruiting and Business Development for NewRez, "With our platform and partners like Dickson Realty and Ferrari-Lund Real Estate, a Loan Officer can both grow and stabilize their business, and make more money!" Contact Vince Daino, VP of Recruiting and Business Development to learn more about this role and other open positions available within NewRez.