Those heading to the conference in San Diego should pack stylish, yet sensible, shoes given the amount of walking. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and includes an interview between Robbie and myself about the MBA Annual starting this weekend about navigating the conference and Pitbull. This week’s is sponsored Candor Technology, helping underwriters and company improve underwriting effectiveness.) Speaking of attire, “I am currently brainstorming Halloween costume ideas after receiving an invitation to a party, and am thinking of going as a Southwest Airlines flight so I don’t have to show up.” But yesterday afternoon, my cat showed up and I could see that Myrtle was nervous: impatient, wouldn’t look me in the eye, and her bent-over ear was twitching. As soon as I opened my email, I understood the reason: another attempt from her, addressed to the CFO of Chrisman LLC (we don’t have a CFO), supposedly from me (name misspelled), saying, “We have the opportunity to pick up a $30 million a year branch, but it must be kept absolutely quiet. This is not to be discussed with any other senior management. Please wire the $1 million signing bonus to… And remember, don’t discuss this with anyone else…” The whole thing smelled like rotten salmon. But more clever swindles are out there, and borrowers, lenders, and title companies lose big bucks. Individuals do also, although here are a couple of funny videos from Jack Vale (one two, thank you to Carol K.) on how to deal with telemarketing scams. But your borrower losing hundreds of thousands, or a company losing millions, is no laughing matter, so sign up with an anti-phishing company to train your employees on cybersecurity safety. Countries, without Russia, are working together.

Products and Services

If you lift a kangaroo's tail off the ground, it can't hop! That’s because ‘roos use their tails for balance. Lenders also need to find the right balance, especially when it comes to staffing, but most don’t have a three-and-a-half-foot tail to lean on. Instead, they’ll want to join LBA Ware CEO Lori Brewer, Success Mortgage Partners CEO Owen Lee and iEmergent CEO Laird Nossuli at MBA Annual for a session on how to manage costs and make smart staffing decisions with operational data and key performance indicators (KPIs). “Balancing Your Talent Pool” takes place Tuesday, October 19, from 1:30-2:30 pm. And to learn how to support smarter decision-making and improve profitability with LBA Ware’s LimeGear, schedule time to meet with LBA Ware at MBA Annual or if you can’t make it to this year’s conference, schedule a virtual demo here.

I was shocked to see that reduction in cycle time yields 2x more profit than improving underwriting efficiency. Check out Candor’s ROI calculator and see for yourself (not click bait).

Fed up with appraisers or AMCs? Give Triserv a try. Our client-specific, dedicated teams on both coasts get to know the lenders they work with in all 50 states. Our high-touch, personalized order follow-up means you will always know what’s going on with your appraisal. We treat our appraisers like the valued partners that they are, paying them quickly so they prioritize our customers’ orders. You too can be like our client who said, ‘Triserv excels at customer service. Their responsiveness, their customer service, their ability to resolve issues and overcome challenges in a timely manner… That’s where they stand out. Wow! These guys are amazing.’”

Happy 246th birthday to the U.S. Navy, which was first authorized by the Continental Congress on this day in 1775. As many of us head to MBA Annual next week, it’s worth noting that Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet. Scuttlebutt has the IDS team also gearing up for MBA Annual. More than just an award-winning doc prep provider, IDS also offers a full suite of eClose options through its eClose platform, Solitude Solution. For lenders still looking for the leverage to implement eClose technology, HousingWire recently ran an op-ed piece from IDS outlining ways lenders can use closing technology as a bargaining chip. Want to hear more about IDS’ doc prep services and eClose technology? Visit them at booth #815 or make an appointment to chat with a team member at MBA Annual.

New look, same great resources. Last week, Stearns Wholesale launched its brand-new website packed full of enhanced features and customized solutions to meet all of your wholesale needs. With a new, cleaner look, easier navigation, and improved broker tools, Stearns has refined their online user experience to keep their clients informed and educated in the world of wholesale. Click here to take a tour and explore a new era of wholesale lending, uncomplicated. Whether you’re browsing for in-depth product information or state-of-the-art tech offerings, it is now simpler and faster for users to explore the world of Stearns. If you’d like to partner with Stearns or learn more, click here to be contacted.

The season 2 finale of Ted Lasso aired last week and (no spoilers!) fans have some very strong feelings. LOs at Alpha Mortgage have strong feelings about Sales Boomerang, too. Regarding the #1 automated borrower intelligence and retention platform, Max Masters says, “Within 48 hours of going live with Sales Boomerang, my LOs were texting me about picking up loans thanks to Sales Boomerang alerts. Now my LOs are driving me crazy and texting me every day because Sales Boomerang has made it incredibly easy to share success.” Sales Boomerang monitors your database and notifies you when your borrowers are eligible for a loan. Notifications include refi opportunities, home listings, credit improvement and more! Lenders like Alpha Mortgage that use Sales Boomerang see an average 20-40% lift to loan volume and 65% borrower retention rate. Looking for something new to rave about? Schedule a demo with Sales Boomerang today.

Looking for technology that elevates, simplifies, and streamlines your mortgage process? Look no further. Path, the cloud-based, data-driven, fully configurable LOS from Calyx, is designed to truly simplify the loan process and provide the flexibility, visibility, and controls lenders need to monitor and run their business their way. Schedule a meeting to meet with us next week at MBA Annual or stop by Booth 620 to discover how Path can help you grow your business!

When your borrowers need assistance, who do they turn to? How does your team enable borrowers to get the information they want, when they need it? Mortgage companies such as  AmeriSave, APM, and PRMG turn to Capacity to ensure borrowers find the information they need and receive a more personalized experience. By connecting to your knowledge base and disparate information, Capacity provides 24/7 level-0 support for borrowers. Capacity correctly and instantly answers more than 90% of all prospective and current borrower questions without any human intervention. Bottom line, Capacity allows you to take care of borrowers with superior customer experience and 24/7 automated support. Deploy within 30 days. Request a demo.

Conforming Conventional: Investors Following Agency Changes?

Are warehouse banks concerned about Agency loans originated at higher loan amounts than Agency guidelines? Some will say they’re happy to have the business, and rely on the existing reps and warrants of the investor or lender. Others will remind you of how it isn’t official until F&F say so. I haven’t heard of warehouse banks saying anything, and some lenders, investors, and MI companies seem happy to do it. Unless something goes awry. And what’s to stop lenders and investors moving this marketing move up to August next year, or July?

Brokers should know that the Wholesale team at loanDepot has temporarily increased the conforming loan amounts, ahead of the anticipated move higher by F&F: 1-unit $625,000 ($937,507 in AK and HI), 2-units $800,280 ($1,200,420 in AK and HI), and 3 & 4 units $967,290 and $1,202,130, respectively ($1,450,935 and $1,803,195 in AK and HI). Expanded loan limits are available for pricing in the mello® Broker portal, all new Conventional Conforming locks are eligible for new loan limits, and there are no changes to existing High Balance loan limits. Approve/Ineligible (DU) and Accept Ineligible (LPA) are acceptable given the only risk finding is due to the loan amount in excess of 2021 limits.

Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation product allows borrowers to combine the purchase or refinance of a primary residence or second home with the costs to renovate the property. Expenses such as architectural services, engineering and permit fees can be included, and the loan is fully disbursed at closing with renovation funds placed in an interest-bearing escrow account.

For Sellers without Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer Master Agreements, the DO® portal allows non-approved mortgage brokers and lenders to access the automated underwriting system, DU®, under the sponsorship of and subject to AmeriHome requirements. See AmeriHome 20211006-CL Operations Announcement for details.

Correspondent lenders should follow Fannie Mae Fannie Mae’s Recent DU Release Notes Enhancements guidelines as announced in with the exception of Positive Rent Payment History.

Added to DU Risk Assessment. At this time, Caliber will not be offering the rental payment feature. Login to the Caliber Correspondent Lending Portal.

Recent reviews of conventional Conforming Loans for self-employed borrowers indicate an elevated occurrence of missing required documents. To help avoid risks and inefficiencies related to suspense, including the possibility of nonpurchase/repurchase, or indemnification.

Wells Fargo Funding Correspondent Seller guidance RAB21-03 includes key topics on documentation for self-employed borrowers for conventional Conforming Loans.

Capital Markets

The Fed has indicated it may soon begin to taper its purchases of MBS. With the primary buyer of MBS pulling back from the marketplace, it is high time for a better MBS market to emerge, and Agile made its public debut last month. From lenders to dealers, Agile is the new way to quote MBS. Join presenters Curtis Richins and Phil Rasori tomorrow at 1PM ET for a webinar introducing Agile to the marketplace, the company’s mission, and a demonstration of its To-Be-Announced (TBA) request for quote (RFQ) platform and MBS pool bidding functionalities that allow everyone to participate on an electronic platform that expedites the exchange of TBA MBS.

To be or not to be? That is the question surrounding the transitory nature of inflation. We have seen some signs of inflation easing in sectors like shipping containers after supply issues drove rates higher earlier this year, though the recent surge in energy prices has fueled volatility and intensified the debate on whether inflation pressures will actually be transitory. Today brings the release of the Fed minutes, which will be parsed for any color on tapering and/or inflation views.

As many of you know, the Fed is “targeting” 2 percent inflation. That is meant to be over a longer period of time, as inflation has been flaccid for the last couple of years before ticking to troubling highs over this summer and into the fall. The Fed’s intention to maintain an average of 2 percent means that the committee is happy with it running hot for a while with the goal that it recedes back towards a lower level. Inflation targeting is meant to be highly "flexible," which means in practice that policy is discretionary and the 2 percent figure is more of a suggestion than a hard ceiling.

Putting a bow on yesterday, job openings decreased to 10.4 million in August, per JOLTS, from a revised 11.1 million in July. The backward-looking report showed that trade, transportation, and leisure / hospitality are the big leaders in job openings. Treasuries ended the day mixed after the day’s $58 billion 3-year note auction saw weak demand, but the $38 billion 10-year note reopening saw a much stronger reception.

MBA mortgage applications kicked off today’s calendar, with another dip expected due to rising mortgage rates. However, mortgage applications increased 0.2 percent from one week earlier for the week ending October 8. We’ve also had that all-important inflation reading in the form of September CPI (+.4 percent, +5.4 for the year, ex-food & energy +.2 percent, as expected, and keep in mind that the Fed’s preferred inflation reading is the PCE Index). The Bureau of Fiscal Service will release the September (fiscal year-end) budget deficit in the afternoon before the minutes from the September 21/22 FOMC meeting are released. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding 1.57 after closing yesterday at 1.58 percent.



Union Home Mortgage Corp. is actively seeking experienced Account Executives nationwide. Union Home Mortgage supports both NDC and Wholesale Business Partners. “You’ll receive world-class on-boarding and ongoing support as you build your business. From high-level coaching to fireside chats with leadership, you’re set up for success from the very beginning. We need to see our production team focused on adding customers. Each Account Executive is assigned a Partner Advocate to be solely responsible for their active pipeline. That relationship gives the AE the time needed on a regular basis to remain razor focused on growing their customer base. Explore our new TPO website.” If you’re interested in advancing your career as an AE with Union Home Mortgage TPO, contact Jim Wickham, VP - Third Party Origination at (248) 318.8553.

Deephaven experiencing unprecedented growth. Significant investments in Q1 & Q2 2021 are paying off in higher loan volumes. These include a more comprehensive range of programs and products, greater underwriting and operational capacity, the addition of senior sales representatives, and new technologies that provide a better and more efficient customer experience. We are seeing strong growth with our Bank Statement Program, our Total Asset Calculation Asset Utilization Program and DSCR Program with cash-out levels to $500,000. Industry-wise, the Non-Agency market is exceeding growth expectations as more self-employed workers, entrepreneurs, and business owners look to purchase or refinance homes, as refinance volumes in the conforming market decrease and as property investors take advantage of the hot real estate and rental markets. Since January, our employee count has more than tripled and we are still actively looking for underwriters and account executives! If you’re interested, please email”

REX Homes initiated a second round of layoffs in the past two months, has now shut down operations in Chicago and all of New York. “We’re done with downsizing.”

Guaranteed Rate hired Arlyn J. Kalinski as Compliance Director, Limited English Proficiency (“LEP”) Program, to help G-Rate engage a broad range of homebuying communities through its newly established Language Access Program (LAP). She will “oversee all aspects of compliance and execution for Guaranteed Rate’s groundbreaking initiative designed to guide prospective homebuyers through the entire mortgage process in their preferred language, starting with Spanish.” [Editor’s note: there are over 6,000 languages in the world, led by Mandarin and Spanish; and we are reminded that the United States does not have an official language.]