This budget thing is out of control. In a blow to privacy, did you know that the proposal would require banks, credit unions, etc., to report to the IRS any account that has a minimum of, or transactions over, $600 or over the course of a year has a total of $600 in combined debits and credits? What is happening in Washington may be one of the topics covered by this Friday’s talk with MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, who is co-hosting The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and me as we discuss current events in the mortgage market for 45 minutes on Friday at 3PM ET in “The Rundown with Rich and Rob.” We may also discuss new entrants inserting themselves into the lending landscape. For example, there’s IntroLend, launching this week and offering a “first-of-its-kind, broker-owned digital lending platform… a mobile app installed inside a real estate brokerage that allows agents to launch their client’s digital mortgage journey… connects the entire mortgage marketplace (borrowers, agents, loan originators, and lenders) in real-time and is the only lending platform that allows consumers to shop for both wholesale and retail lending options.” The future is here, and available here and this week’s is sponsored by Arch MI, offering credit risk enhancement products, expert risk management and financial solutions to help lenders and investors reduce their exposure to mortgage risk. Today is Part Two of a thought leadership interview with John Sayre, VP of Client Success for Curinos, on jumbo origination trends.

Broker and Lender Products and Services

Baby sea otters, called pups, are born buoyant, but unable to swim. To keep pups from getting lost at sea while they hunt, their moms anchor them in place by tying them in sea kelp. As we transition into a purchase market, lenders will find themselves in a similar predicament to mama sea otters, having to figure out how to keep past customers close by while shoring up new business. HomeBinder, a branded, digital home management platform that centralizes all aspects of homeownership, from closing documents to maintenance to appliance recalls, keeps customers anchored to your brand long after closing. As homeowners plan improvement projects that require equity, consider refinancing or think about their next move, HomeBinder keeps your name top of mind. Schedule a meeting with Meg Bennett at MBA Annual or download the free e-book to learn more about HomeBinder.

Can you find meaningful profits by boosting UW productivity? The answer might surprise you, says Candor. Check this online calculator that models profits 3 ways.

Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending offers more loan programs giving your borrower more options to finance their home. The Northpointe Medical Professionals program helps borrowers with 100% financing, and no mortgage insurance options. The expanded underwriting guidelines exclude student loans from the debt calculation, and eligible borrowers can be currently practicing or begin employment within 90 days of loan closing. The program is available in all states except NY. Northpointe's Streamlined Renovation program offers more financing opportunities without the administrative burden or higher rates associated with other renovation programs. Perfect for small-to-medium-sized projects, such as a new kitchen or bath remodel, a new roof or replacement windows. Up to 15% of the ‘as completed’ appraised value, or acquisition cost as applicable, may be used for the renovation cost. Maximum LTVs, debt-to-income ratios, and minimum credit score requirements follow conforming guidelines. For more information, email us at, or view our program details.

Monster Lead Group reimagines mortgage marketing to help lenders and brokers earn big. As the first and only organization to employ big data and analytics to assess borrowers, Monster Lead Group leads the charge on refined innovation in the industry through undervalued means. It produces tons of high-quality leads via conversion-focused direct mail. If you want unique mortgage leads for your loan officers, contact Monster today. Alternatively, learn about how Monster can help.

Paris is one of the most visited destinations in the world, with attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre-Dame bringing in over 30 million tourists a year. Surefire CRM’s (now a part of Black Knight) award-winning content can help your business become a hot destination like Paris for homebuyers. With a vast creative content library built by skilled mortgage marketing experts and updated every week and powerful marketing automations, Surefire enables mortgage lenders to deliver the impact of a multi-million marketing department for a fraction of the cost. Sign up for a free content tour today and get a sampling of Surefire’s most popular content delivered to your inbox once a week for the next four weeks.

Are you confused or concerned about the recent run-up in interest rates? Learn how you can position your business though any economic cycle from industry expert, Barry Habib, at the upcoming Stearns Wholesale BE THERE: Town Hall next Tuesday, October 12th. This session will cover a variety of informative and exciting topics, including how to achieve exponential growth by removing friction and increasing production significantly in today’s volatile marketplace. To register for the free online webinar, click here. If you’d like to partner with Stearns or learn more, click HERE to be contacted.

Michael Brenning, AmeriSave’s President of Wholesale Lending, describes Capacity as a game-changer! “Capacity allows us to meet our customers wherever they want to be met from a customer service standpoint. By providing customers with a self-service platform they can access 24/7, we can differentiate our company.” Capacity correctly and instantly answers more than 90% of all prospective and current borrower questions without any human intervention. Top lenders like AmeriSave, APM, and PRMG turn to Capacity to effortlessly tap into key systems to provide real-time access throughout the entire loan life cycle. Capacity allows you to take care of your borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7.

Looking for solutions to add to your tech stack that can help streamline your mortgage process? Calyx has you covered. Check out our newest, cloud-based loan origination platform: Zenly. Zenly is designed for the broker who needs a simple origination software that can efficiently handle all the steps needed to complete a full mortgage app and deliver it with the accompanying docs to a wholesale lender.  Stop by booth 828 at this year’s NAMB National and check out the newest updates and enhancements to Zenly and discover how Calyx’s full suite of innovative mortgage technology solutions can help you cut through the clutter and connect with more borrowers, fast!

You want to become Mavericks of Mortgage Buying. To do that, your top loan officers need to modernize their outreach & engagement while streamlining sales cycles to close deals faster. But… Outdated materials are stopping your momentum. Boilerplate content + endless email links won’t work in modern mortgage ecosystems. Your presentations should enhance the lending experience, and Digideck’s presentation platform makes it easy. Step 1: Build a branded, professionally designed Master Deck of slides. Any Master Deck-based custom proposals take 1/10 the time to build. Step 2: Speed up your sales cycles with personalized, interactive presentations utilizing CRM integrations like OptifiNow for effortlessly agile content from prospecting to close. Step 3: Engage, present, & close like never before. Our 400+ partners create seamless customer experiences, auto-populated with only the content clients want to see. Re-think how you stand out from the pack. Watch a sneak-peek of Digideck in-action & modernize the Mortgage buying process today.

What would you say if we told you that lenders across the country are losing out on around 5% of their upfront fees every year? Fannie Mae has forecasted that purchase mortgage originations will increase by 6.3% in 2022 at $3.25 trillion. Some quick math tells me that lenders could lose millions next year if they don't address these unpaid fees! Automating the fee collection process is the answer here, and LenderLogix has the software to do just that. Right from within the LOS, Fee Chaser by LenderLogix allows loan officers to send borrowers a text message with a unique link to pay their fees. The borrower then opens a web browser, inputs their credit card information into a secure payment processor, and they’re done! Everyone gets a receipt once the payment is made, and it’s automatically uploaded to the eFolder. Schedule a demo with the LenderLogix team to put your fees on autopilot and ensure you aren’t losing unnecessary money.

ReadyPrice is going “All-Out” at NAMB National 2021! Donna Varnell and Natalie Fini from ReadyPrice will be there along with hundreds of industry peers, setting up at the most premier event in the U.S. for mortgage professionals at the Las Vegas National Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV on Friday, October 8th. There is a lot of anticipation building for this show, and we are beyond excited to be there representing ReadyPrice, one of the top-most powerful Pricing and Loan Delivery Engines in the industry! Come play a game (or two) of Putt-Putt at our Booth #508, have an invigorating Espresso on the house, and sign-up to win some amazing Raffle Prizes! Don’t forget to stop by Booth #508! Schedule a time to chat with Donna at NAMB!

Land Gorilla is hosting an upcoming webinar, Streamline Mortgage Options for Small-Scale Home Renovations, tomorrow, October 7 at 12 pm PT. Panelists from Freddie Mac will discuss their latest renovation program, CHOICEReno eXPress Mortgage. Learn why and how to offer this single-close mortgage with streamlined financing options for cosmetic renovations and how you can reach more borrowers. Questions will be answered live. Register today to secure your seat.

“Conforming” Loan Amounts

A few weeks ago the Commentary discussed how and when Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan limits are implemented by the FHFA. (Recall that jumbo products don’t have some of the loan-level price adjustments that conforming loans do, nor the gfees, thus jumbo rates are occasionally better than conforming.) Anyone can come out and use “conforming conventional” for whatever they want. Some will view it as a great marketing scheme, and an easily calculated risk using the FHFA statistics. Fannie and Freddie won’t use loan level price adjustments for a few months, however. It isn’t as if UWM and PennyMac (and PennyMac was first) are going to move Freddie and Fannie. F&F set the industry numbers, not the other way around.

On September 21st this Commentary noted, “In anticipation of the Agency loan limit increase for 2022, PennyMac is offering brokers conforming high balance loan amounts up to at least $625,000 in all states and counties except New York state, effective with today’s locks.”

As also noted recently here, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that, FHFA House Price Index Up 1.4 Percent in July; Up 19.2 Percent from Last Year.” 19 percent! Figuring that into a conforming loan amount that will be announced around Thanksgiving is probably a safe bet.

An industry vet sent a note to me about Penny Mac, United Wholesale, and a few others offering conforming loan limits to $625,000 before the new limits are announced by FHFA. My guess is they are accepting the loans but will not close or purchase until the FHFA announcement around Thanksgiving. Offering loan terms that are not available yet, and could, in fact, be a much lower loan limit can be very misleading for brokers and consumers.”

Originators know that the official conforming, conventional loan limits (CLL) aren’t announced until around Thanksgiving. But if an investor wants to garner some publicity by putting out different limits, then so be it, and brokers and borrowers can benefit. Housing price appreciation has been obvious. As a reminder, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) requires that the baseline CLL be adjusted each year for F&F to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price. The FHFA publishes its FHFA House Price Index® (FHFA HPI®) report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters. According to the seasonally adjusted, expanded-data FHFA HPI, house prices increased dramatically in 2020, so lenders know that the baseline maximum CLL in 2022 will increase by the same percentage.

Capital Markets

Why did rates go up Tuesday? My daughter says it’s because Mercury is in retrograde. We received a couple of manufacturing data points yesterday. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for September increased more than expected, marking the sixteenth straight month of growth for the services sector. It was a similar story from Markit, which increased beyond the August reading. Although it probably won’t be so rosy forever, as services activity is being constrained by labor shortages, logistics problems, and difficulty in obtaining supplies, but it was enough to push rates higher Tuesday.

Mortgage applications for the week ending October 1 led off today’s calendar. With rates at their highest levels since July, applications decreased 6.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from MBA. Ahead of Friday’s payrolls report, we saw this morning that September private payrolls via ADP were +568k versus expectations of +425k. We begin Wednesday with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.55 after closing yesterday at 1.53 percent after the strong ADP number.


Employment, Business Opportunity, and a tribute

Embrace Home Loans attracts superstars! The top-ranked lender is creating a buzz with a wave of notable hires. Industry veteran Kim Castiglioni joined as VP, market growth and national condominium program manager after 20 years with a well-known bank lender. Top producers Pamela Summers and Tyler Rhea joined the company as vice presidents of market growth, Summers from Freddie Mac, and Rhea from Academy Mortgage. Branch Manager Elliott Bresler has been adding LOs in Maryland, including Barry Filderman, Bill Bray and Masoud Hosseini. Just this week, Embrace added three senior loan officers: Richard Jarvis, Jared Sundberg, and Patty Szuchman, all three moving to Embrace from well-known lenders. “These mortgage industry stars were hired as part of our overall expansion strategy to increase our market presence across the country,” said Steve Adamo, President of National Retail Production. Interested in joining Embrace’s A-list of mortgage professionals? Call Steve Adamo at 401-524-5733.

While we may feel like we go to battle every day in this business, we all know it’s our U.S. Armed Forces who wage the real wars. On August 26th, we lost 13 service members at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan. In a moving tribute to one of the fallen, NFM Lending’s Greg Sher sat down with the parents of late Marine Lance Corporal David Lee Espinoza to honor him with NFM’s October 2021 “NFM Salute.” This powerful and emotional tribute definitely puts the day today challenges we face in proper context:

A large retail lender is seeking to acquire a retail, purchase-centric lender originating between $900 million - $4 billion per year. Culture and geographic fit (primarily in the Great Lakes area and Atlantic Seaboard) are a necessity, and existing owners will stay for an earnout. Confidential inquiries should be directed to me for forwarding.