The end of the third quarter is here already. The fate of Fat Bear Week hangs in the balance given the possible government shutdown. (Although the odds of a shutdown are shifting, here is how it would impact lenders & borrowers.) The focus of financial markets has shifted from the pandemic to growth in economies, and inflation around the world, with our Fed explicitly mentioning the scaling back of asset purchases. We can all live with a 10-year yielding 1.50 percent, and mortgage rates where they are, but the rate of change in the last week has really turned heads. Lenders tell me that locks are already down, and lender activity is slowing, whether due to refi burnout, the season, or the move in rates. At least the OCC tells us that residential mortgage performance has improved. Is your company in touch with any sellers of prenatal vitamins about selling you the list of people buying them? What a great way to get a mailing list of potential first-time home buyers and new families. When you think about Amazon “entering” the mortgage arena, why would it do that as a lender? Probably rather as a seller of lists for buyers of… remodeling guides? Cribs? School district selection? (By the way, did you know that 1 out of 169 people in the United States works for Amazon?) In honor of National Podcast Day, today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology, and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking.

Lender Services and Products

It is not often that an event changes the course of secondary marketing history forever, such as Lewis Ranieri creating the mortgage-backed security. With the launch of MBS pool bidding from the industry’s first MBS fintech, Agile, we have entered a new world for mortgage specified pool trading. For many mortgage companies, MBS pooling still centers around exchanging a litany of emails with dealers and manually compiling and analyzing bids, a process that can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and limiting to competition. Agile’s MBS pool bidding aims to provide an efficient, transparent digital platform through the availability of granular, loan-level data, along with a focus on inclusivity for both regional dealers and mid-market mortgage companies. MCT is the first and only company able to leverage the pooling functionality powered by Agile. Register for the webinar on October 14 to learn how the spec pool bidding process has been changed forever.

“Are you burnt out, exhausted, or lost your passion for the mortgage business? Don’t give up yet! Schedule your free strategy call today to learn how we can help you build your team, your systems & your referral network, so you can enjoy a fulfilling life in the process. I’m Cindy Ertman, CEO of The Defining Difference, a success-based mortgage coaching company with a track record of helping mortgage professionals redefine their business and their life. Is it time to reclaim yours? Book your free strategy coaching call today! Click here to take the next step towards achieving the success you truly deserve and desire. Are you ready to make change? Our coaching programs will meet you where you are and get you where you want to be. When you coach with us, your mortgage business isn’t the only thing that improves, your life does too!”

Today is International Podcast Day. It’s amazing how many educators and entertainers have forged meaningful relationships with their audiences with the help of this technology. Banks lenders can also use technology to help build meaningful relationships with their audiences. Join Sales Boomerang’s Alex Kutsishin, Denim Social’s Doug Wilber, and Annie Mac’s Graham Brinkert & Larry Masino TODAY at 1:45 pm ET as they share how banks use data and technology to improve and optimize the borrower journey. Home lending is a bank’s golden opportunity to build customer relationships that span decades, but only with the right technology in place. Register now.

Was this year as good for you as it was for your peers? Richey May’s new Peer View Ops functionality allows you to dive deeper and see how you’re performing in vital production and operational areas in comparison to your peers. Our RM Analyze Services empower your team with actionable insights, and our services are designed and implemented by mortgage industry experts to quickly set you up with critical reports you need to run your business. Contact us today and we will walk you through the platform and set a plan for how you can solve your specific challenges with actionable insights delivered.”

Are you one of the many lenders sacrificing efficiency and profitability with outdated methods of generating rate sheets? Adopting a nimbler rate sheet approach with custom margin structures can help you refine hedging processes, enhance brand perception, and better understand profitability. To compete effectively, lenders need to adopt dynamic rate sheet processes that keep pace with market fluctuations. This means setting aside outdated rate sheet practices in favor of technology-driven, dynamic rates and pricing. Innovative technology enables lenders to dramatically reduce the time it takes to create rates and prices for originators, while maintaining control that’s otherwise compromised when relying on a vendor. When originators have access to more automated, dynamic pricing, secondary teams benefit from more reaction time throughout the day. Learn more about combatting the inefficiencies and hidden costs associated with rate sheets in Black Knight’s complimentary white paper, Managing Market Fluctuations With Dynamic Rate Sheet Practices

MAXEX, the industry’s first digital mortgage exchange, is helping lenders grow their jumbo business faster. MAXEX Jumbo Express enables you to do a full AUS underwrite for jumbo loans while reducing the challenges associated with Appendix Q… All for loan values up to $2 million. Visit us online to learn more. MAXEX will announce a newly-expanded Jumbo Express program at this year’s MBA Annual in San Diego. With 20 of the industry’s most high-profile investors pricing loans for more than 250 originators daily, MAXEX is powering jumbo business across the industry. Schedule time with the MAXEX team in San Diego or get in touch with a MAXEX expert today.”

How important is Business Purpose (aka DSCR) lending in the Non-QM market? At ClearEdge Lending it represents about 35% of our product mix. As an exclusive Wholesaler and end investor, it is important that we continue to invest in developing proprietary loan products for our brokers.  Check out some of our recent program enhancements: up to 85% LTV, no reserve options, we allow no ratio, non-warrantable condos, first-time investors, and pre-pay as low as 1 year. ClearEdge Lending has been originating and securitizing Non-QM loans as a true end-investor since 2015. To learn more about our entire line of products or to apply as an approved partner please visit ClearEdge Lending or contact our Western Regional VP of Sales, Matt Shaw, Eastern Regional VP, John Burns, or our Central Regional VP, Aron Thielen.”

Events and Training to Start October

The Modern Mortgage SUMMIT is on Wednesday, 10/6. This one-day virtual event features over twenty top producing loan officers: Learn the scripts and best practices of America’s most valuable and effective loan officers.

Tomorrow, October 1, Partners Credit is co-hosting The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown. Tracey King will be co-hosting with Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and me as we discuss current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes on Friday at noon PT in “The Rundown with Rich and Rob.”

National MI’s upcoming October 2021 webinar sessions include Everybody Needs a Coach – Even the Motivators, with Bruce Lund - October 5, Advanced Underwriting the Self-Employed Borrower, ​​​​​​with Marianne Collins - October 6, The 2021 Mortgage Industry Diversity Report, with Tony Thompson - October 7, Reactions Rule, with Jennifer Powers - October 12, How to Turn Your Customers into Salespeople, with Andrew Oxley - October 13, Freddie Mac Solutions Millennial Buyers, with Nora Guerra and Yana Davidovich - October 14, and Communicate Like a Ninja, with Rebecca Lorenz - October 19.

loanDepot’s October training calendar for brokers can be found here.

Register for LBA Ware’s October 6th free webinar, Myths that Keep Millennial’s from Buying hosted by LBA Ware’s Lori Brewer. Featuring special guest’s Kristin Messerli, a leading expert on NextGen (a.k.a. millennial) homebuyers. By sharing key insights from the highly anticipated 2021 report, Messerli hopes to give lenders a better understanding of how to work with NextGen buyers.

Start registering today for the MBAC 65th Convention October 4-6 in Wilmington, NC at the Hotel Ballast. Yes, the 65th MBAC Annual Convention in Wilmington, NC is in person! Contact Robin Weyrens (704-557-0204) with questions.

On Tuesday the 5th Indecomm is hosting a Round Table focused on Solving Trailing Doc Management Challenges with Technology at 1PM ET.

Registration is open for the 6th Annual Freddie Mac CONNECT virtual industry conference, October 5 – 6.

The Annual Colorado Mortgage Summit LIVEmortgage event for loan origination professionals brings together mortgage brokers, loan originators and bank and credit union lending officers from throughout the Rocky Mountain State for an event full of education, networking, and fun on October 7th. A full day of tips on how to diversify your platform, keep up with industry trends, and an opportunity to complete your CE requirements on Friday October 8th. Because of social distancing needs, seating is limited.

The MBANJ Regional Conference of MBAs, "Simply The Best", is back and in-person on October 3rd -7th at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel in AC.

New Mexico has the NMMLA Live Luncheon, Thursday, October 7 presenting the Mortgage Marketing Animals – Carl White, and Legislative updates with Jack Thompson.

Capital Markets

Yes, most interest rates have ratcheted up in the last few business days as information points to economies doing well. Much of the attention over the last week surrounded the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). As expected, no changes to monetary policy were made, but the Committee did say that scaling back their asset purchases might soon be justified. The Federal Reserve has been purchasing $40 billion of mortgage back securities since July 2020 the necessity of which has been called into question given that the housing market has been one of the bright spots of the recovery following the COVID recession. Additionally, the Fed is now evenly split on raising the benchmark federal funds rate next year instead of 2023, which was what it projected in June.

Reactions to the Fed policy update, and a spate of solid economic news from around the world? Interest rates increased sharply, and lenders moved above 3% on conventional 30-year fixed quotes. But since the Fed's policy intentions were revealed through speeches over the past few months, the rate reaction was moderate.

You all know that low mortgage rates combined with a shift in consumer demand for more livable spaces have significantly driven up home prices in some parts of the country, exacerbating affordability issues as the average existing home price has risen to $356,700. Despite near record low mortgage rates, the pace of home sales has moderated as some buyers moved back to the sidelines. Meanwhile multifamily housing starts accounted for the majority of starts in August as leasing activity is once again heating up. Despite the challenges that the recent upswing in COVID cases presents, it does not appear the COVID fears will create the economy-crushing headwinds they were at the onset of the pandemic.

In terms of fixed-income securities yesterday, there wasn’t much to report in the bond market Wednesday. Hanging over investor sentiment are the showdown over the debt ceiling and Fed Chair Powell’s renomination. Pending home sales increased 8.1 percent in August when expectations were for only a 1.0 percent increase. Were the expectations way off, or are home sales that strong? Turning to today, we’ve already received the final look at Q2 GDP (old news: +.1 to +6.7 percent) and weekly jobless claims (up for the 3rd week in a row, +11k to 362k, with a huge drop in those receiving benefits). Later this morning brings September Chicago PMI, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and a host of Fed speakers with no less than half of the current sitting presidents scheduled to speak. Today’s month-end schedule sees the Desk purchasing up to $5.4 billion 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.53 after closing yesterday at 1.54 percent.


Jobs and Promotions

The Mortgage Firm is proud to announce the promotion of Mickey Schilling, CMB, to her new role as VP of Acquisitions and Development. For the past three years, Mickey has led the expansion efforts of The Mortgage Firm with the addition of 24 new branches in 9 new states. Brett Lindquist, CEO and Co-Founder of The Mortgage Firm, states “Mickey’s experience as a leader in the mortgage industry, her passion for growing and leading teams, and her special skills at strategic growth has made her an invaluable asset to The Mortgage Firm.” And TMF is hiring originators and adding branches around the nation.

First Federal Bank’s Residential Lending Division is actively seeking a senior level position, Director of TPO Sales, to expand an existing Regional platform nationally. “This individual will be responsible for the sales management and overall success of our TPO production which includes Wholesale, Correspondent (Del. Non-Del) & Mini Correspondent. FFB is a 59-year-old mutual savings bank that has enjoyed a productive 20-year history as a regional TPO lender. FFB offers an attractive salary and benefits package including a phenomenal 401K with a 12.5% match. If you are an energetic, qualified, talented, motivated individual with the experience and network to recruit and manage this type of business line, we need to talk. This candidate should have a minimum of five years’ TPO experience. Bring your talent and desire to our customer-centric organization to showcase your talents.” To learn more or apply, email Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

FundLoans Capital is seeking a Vice President of Sales and an Underwriting Manager to join its growing team. Located in beautiful Encinitas, CA, FundLoans is a wholesale lender specializing in Jumbo and non-QM programs that are designed for today’s borrowers. FundLoans is redefining the non-QM space by offering its clients loan programs with guidelines that just ‘make-sense’, while providing white-glove levels of service and support throughout the entire transaction process. If you’re interested in joining a dynamic company seeking to change the way non-QM lending is done, please email your resume to Heather Gray, Director of Human Resources and Payroll. 

Caliber Home Loans and Veterans Advantage, a registered public benefit corporation, have partnered to offer a new financial benefit package to honor America’s heroes and their families. Veterans Advantage members will get additional savings on their VA loans, as well as education support and tutoring to help protect their finances and long-term investments with the purchase or refinance of their homes. Members will receive a closing credit to be used on the next home purchase or refinance with Caliber. “We are thrilled to be working with Caliber to enhance the financial health and lifestyle of those who served our country,” said Scott Higgins, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Veterans Advantage and a U.S. Army Veteran. “Our shared values provide tangible home ownership benefits for our members.” Caliber is an approved issuer of Ginnie Mae and approved servicer of FHA, VA, and the USDA. If you want to work for a team that knows what it means to serve, contact James Hecht.