Welcome to the start of Fat Bear Week in Alaska. (There’s even a Park Service bracket with the favorites... expect upsets!) It’s probably easier to forecast the fattest bear than it is to predict forbearance trends, although MCT’s “MSR Forbearance in 2020: Challenges and Recommendations addresses the “here and now” about how market volatility, forbearance, prepayment speeds and other factors have affected MSR portfolios. Turning to interest rates and volumes, the “experts” are saying production has no where to go but down in 2021. So does paying signing bonuses and stealing competitor’s staff make sense if volumes actually drop next year? And should the industry even embrace forecasts in general, or ignore them and focus on taking market share from competitors regardless of industry-wide volumes? Just as senior management is asking underlings for thoughts on 2021, STRATMOR has a piece titled, “Do Lenders Care About Forecasts or Predictions?” “When uncertainty abounds, pundits strive to differentiate themselves from their peers. There’s little to be gained from saying what everyone else is saying, or, God forbid, suggesting that there isn’t enough information on which to base a judgement.”

Lender Products and Services

Are your MLOs spending too much time with lousy leads? The old saying, "Time is money" couldn't be truer in mortgage right now. Maximize your marketing dollars and stop wasting time on phone calls from borrowers that aren’t going to do business with you. Monster Lead Group are the experts at producing high return, high converting direct mail campaigns using our exclusive intelligent response technology. That means more calls from borrowers that are ranked, scored, and identified to be more likely to transact with your offer. Sound good? We can help you. Get pricing and timing of a turn-key Monster direct mail campaign for your inbound call team. We do all the work; you take all the calls. Close more loans with your current capacity. Next: Request a call from a Monster expert right now.

“This year has thrown everyone some curves, so some lenders have downsized their loan offerings. Not us! At Stearns Wholesale Lending, there’s no mumbo, just jumbo. We’re ready to help you close million-dollar sales with our Jumbo loans. With this new update, your clients may now qualify for up to $1.5 million for primary residences, including first-time buyers can finance up to 80% LTV. You go the extra mile for your clients, so refer them to a lender who shares your dedication. And remember, when your clients think big, we’ll show them the money! If you want to learn more about the benefits of our Jumbo Loans or partner with Stearns, click HERE to be contacted.”

“Financial Inclusion” should be top-of-mind for Lenders and industry Fintech’s. That’s because it’s the right thing to do, and done intelligently, it’s smart business, offensively and defensively. Already, $100’s of billions is being aimed at the underserved by the government and largest financial institutions. But meaningful Financial Inclusion is much more than just toying with the credit box. If you are not pouncing on this powerful trend with true innovation to help the underserved, you will be left behind. Bottom line: There is nothing better than the Mortgage Risk & Fairness Score and report for alternative risk & resiliency assessment and Financial Inclusion. It's plug-n-play, validated (top 10 bank) and vetted (CFPB, OCC, Fed). Give us a shout. In a few minutes, we can share how mortgage companies and Fintech’s leverage our predictive & prescriptive “data-driven intelligence” to jump into the Financial Inclusion lane quickly, safely, and profitably.

ActiveComply: For Michael Dunn, General Counsel for FBC Mortgage, social media monitoring removes his biggest concern – the unknown. “The ActiveComply system has saved FBC both time and capital; we don’t have to dedicate a team of personnel to monitor the hundreds of company & LO profiles connected to our brand. The system automatically archives our social media and company websites to ensure we meet record retention mandates without having to lift a finger”. With ActiveComply, accounts, individual posts, and reviews, show up on one unified dashboard. ActiveComply scans images like infographics or cover photos for NMLS IDs and Equal Housing logos. “ActiveComply has provided a platform that shows us social media and online activities that we would otherwise have missed. It gives us peace of mind”. Read the full story here or ask about the Managed Services option. Contact melissa@activecomply.com for a free Social Media Compliance Audit or today. 

Company-Sponsored Webinars and Training

In this time of historic refi demand, what are you doing to maintain repeat business? Land Gorilla is hosting a webinar with renovation expert, Michael Brooks, titled “How to Safeguard Your Customer Relationships With Renovation Lending”. A diverse portfolio is key in a competitive environment and a robust renovation program helps maintain repeat business and fulfill an explosion in demand. Spaces are limited for this October 6th webinar. Register here. 

Lenders One® knows that members are facing an extremely heavy workload in the middle of record origination volume and a rapidly evolving climate. To better suit current needs, the cooperative has adapted their traditional August Summit to a “Virtual Summit Series” exclusively for the L1 network. Every month for the remainder of 2020 Lenders One will feature a topical session that offers the same valuable content you’re accustomed to receiving at in-person Summits. Beginning with a kickoff with MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit in August and a session with Rewire CEO and Founder Steve Scanlon in September, Lenders One will continue the momentum on October 5 with Mark Eltringham, Publisher at Workplace Insight, and Simone Fenton-Jarvis, Workplace Consultancy Director, Ricoh UK, for a session on “The Re-imagination of the Office.” To learn more about membership and access to the Virtual Summit Series, contact Justin Demola, CMB, Vice President, Sales. 

As we are about to enter the final quarter of 2020, are you ready for what 2021 holds? Next week leading economic and loan servicing experts Allan Weiss (co-founder of Case-Shiller Weiss), Sean Ryan (CEO, Aspen Grove Solutions), Joe Chappell (EVP Covius Settlement Services), and Pete Pannes (Covius/RealtyBid Chief Business Officer) will offer insight into 2021 housing prices, latest default projections, best REO/Auction strategies and more. Join us October 6 at 1pm ET for an informative webinar on what to expect and the steps to take now to prepare. Register today!

Capital Markets

The job market is having some huge challenges, like yesterday’s news that Disney is laying off 28,000 employees and American Airlines and Continental (auto parts, tires) rumored to be axing a similar number. Housing continues to be a bright spot as the economy recovers from the historical economic decline in the second quarter of 2020. Home sales are up significantly from one year ago, but even more so in mid-sized metro areas in the South as buyers are migrating from the large, expensive metros on the West Coast and in the Northeast to more affordable areas across the country. As more people transition to work from home there is less need to be located in the same expensive area as the corporate office.

Despite the migration, all four regions of the country have experienced double digit year-over-year price gains. Cities like Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, Raleigh, and Tampa are experiencing large influxes of new residents. Housing has always been a large driver of economic activity and the evidence is showing up in data for home improvement, furniture, appliance, and building material stores. Many homeowners who have not relocated have been shifting spending towards home improvement projects as they seek to better the place where they are spending an overwhelming majority of their time.

The U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has been stronger than expected, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams says. But he says a complete recovery, with nearly full employment, could take about three years, given that there are "clearly a lot of unknowns".

Yesterday was another snoozer of a day in the bond market as we wait for Friday’s payrolls report, or any news to bump us one way or another. U.S. Treasuries rallied slightly and the MBS basis closed tighter. China's August imports from the U.S. were lower than targets set out by the Phase 1 trade deal, there was the release of a better than expected Consumer Confidence report for September as consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term financial prospects, increased hopes of potential fiscal stimulus in Washington, a widening advance goods trade deficit, and a S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index that rose in-line with expectations at 3.9%.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway with MBA mortgage applications for the week ending September 25, which saw applications decrease 4.8 percent from one week earlier. We’ve also had the important September ADP Employment Change (+749k, stronger than expected) before Friday’s payrolls report. Q2 GDP’s third estimate, a stale number as we enter the 4th quarter tomorrow, did nothing to move rates. Later this morning brings September Chicago PMI and August Pending Home Sales. We have three scheduled Fed speakers today: Minneapolis’ Kashkari, Dallas’ Kaplan, and Fed Governor Bowman speaking before a St. Louis Fed conference kicks off. The Desk of the NY Fed will purchase up to $5.3 billion MBS starting with $892 million UMBS15 1.5% and 2%, followed by $2.9 billion UMBS30 2% and 2.5% and $1.5 billion GNII 2% and 2.5%. Hump Day begins with Agency MBS prices nearly unchanged from Tuesday’s close as is the 10-year at a yield of 0.65 percent.


Jobs and Transitions

Caliber Home Loans is recruiting top candidates for our Caliber Operations and Sales teams across all channels. We are offering enhanced sign-on bonuses and incentive plans for Underwriters, Processors and Closer/Funders. We continue experiencing unbelievable growth and are ready to fill nearly 500 additional Operations positions! Are you looking for a place to work that is rewarding, has an awesome opportunity for upward mobility and is committed to supporting the communities where you live and work? If you have a passion for helping customers achieve their dream of home ownership, we want to talk to you! Visit our website today to view open opportunities. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller respectively.”

Summit Valuation Solutions, a leading nationwide Capital Markets and Loan Servicing valuation company, is expanding its sales force.  Summit is a part of The William Fall Group that has been in business for over 35 years with a best of class reputation. Summit is looking for a Vice President of National Sales. The ideal candidate will have experience working in the Capital Markets and Loan Servicing space. Responsibilities include representing the firm regarding valuation solutions that support post-closing valuation needs. Professionalism and a commitment to a strong work ethic are a must.  Experience in high end sales efforts is desirable. Resumes can be confidentially submitted to sales @summitvaluationsolutions.com.

San Diego’s Synergy One Lending is pleased to announce Chad Earnest has joined the company as VP, Production based out of Houston, TX. Chad most recently served in a similar role at Movement Mortgage. Synergy One’s President, Aaron Nemec, said “Chad’s extensive experience and proven track record of growing and leading sales teams will be a huge asset to Synergy One. He will help our strategic expansion not only in Texas but in several other key markets. We are thrilled to have a leader of Chad’s stature on our leadership team.” Synergy One Lending is currently licensed in 32 states and has Operational HUBS in Dallas, TX, Roseville, CA, Boise, ID, and Denver, CO. If you're looking for high growth opportunities contact Aaron Nemecat or Ben Green.

“Want to join an award-winning team? Nationwide Mortgage Bankers (NMB) is the answer. NMB continues to grow as the fastest mortgage company in America, and we are looking for experienced professionals to join our team. As we extend our national footprint, we are looking to fill Operations Managers, Underwriters, Processors, Closers, Shippers, and other operation positions. NMB provides fantastic benefits and believes in creating a different culture where everyone contributes to its success and is rewarded. NMB has been awarded a "Great Places to Work" for several years straight, and employees' dedication is essential to us. We hire and retain top talent in the industry, providing them the training, support, and leadership to grow their careers at NMB. NMB believes that by carefully placing our employees with their experience and goals in mind, we can help their internal and professional growth. Join our passionate team today! Apply Now.”

Mortgage Connect announced that Kevin McCrea is its new VP of PR & Marketing, and will be leading the charge to “succinctly deliver its message through various marketing and public relations strategies.”