Scholars disagree on how much sleep we need, what time is the best time to wake up, and what time to go to work. But then again, scholars disagree on everything. Being a capital markets person on the West Coast is not easy, with most rising between 4 and 5AM and at their desks by 5 or 6 AM. This was really a convoluted way of working in the news that in California the Governor has signed a law mandating a later (8AM) start time at public elementary schools, 8:30 for high schools. What the heck? “Shifting to a later start time will improve academic performance and save lives because it helps our children be healthier.” Couldn’t they just go to bed a little earlier? Speaking of nocturnal patterns, most of the U.S. doesn’t change their clocks back an hour until November 3. I’ll save the daylight savings rant for another day.

Lender Products and Services

Do you have a sales automation platform that isn’t being used to its full potential because your salespeople don’t understand how to use it? Or, did you purchase a marketing automation platform but now realize you don’t have the resources or expertise to create engaging content like email tracks, white papers, case studies, videos, infographics or blog posts to populate it for distribution? That’s why Seroka Brand Development, a leading branding, digital and strategic communications agency for the mortgage industry, just launched Marketing Automation Optimizer. Through this program, you can obtain our assistance with developing a smart sales and marketing automation strategy and/or well-written, personalized content that can be effectively used in your company’s sales and marketing efforts, no matter what automation platform you have. Schedule a meeting with them in Austin at the MBA Annual or email John Seroka to learn more.

Lenders in the future will be lending digitally to lower their costs, comply with investor requirements and increase borrower satisfaction, according to a new white paper from Fiserv. Some of the evidence the company uses in its paper came from The Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Fiserv: 62 percent of recent mortgage borrowers e-signed loan documents via online or mobile, up from 51 percent in 2018 and 64 percent say they prefer loan status updates via email. Consumers are driving the industry to digital -- at least they are driving the lenders that are paying attention to their borrowers. In its white paper, Fiserv goes into great detail on how lenders can meet these borrower demands. Download it on the company’s website. Are you headed to Austin for the MBA Annual Convention? Meet with us and pursue a truly digital mortgage. Email

“Mortgage lenders, can you loan me a few minutes of your time? As you may have seen, MQMR is celebrating National Gratitude Month in November by offering you the chance to give your compliance team lunch on us! Don’t forget to nominate your team and tell us what makes them so special. Nominations are open now through Nov. 8. MQMR will select a winner at random each week in November starting Nov. 4, and they’ll receive a $250 gift card for lunch on us. For a list of Official Rules and to submit your nomination, visit the contest page here.”

Chenoa Fund: Helping Homebuyers Overcome Obstacles – Homeownership may be the cornerstone of the American Dream, but achieving it isn’t easy. Even couples with steady jobs and solid incomes sometimes struggle to secure a mortgage, perhaps because of past medical or financial difficulties or high rents that prevent them from accumulating a down payment. State housing programs are intended to support such borrowers with down payment help or other assistance, but many carry restrictions that lock out qualified buyers. Some limit assistance to lower incomes, while others help only first-time buyers. Many frustrated borrowers have found an ally in the Chenoa Fund. With reasonable credit controls and borrower education through a HUD-approved provider, Chenoa Fund programs are helping thousands of buyers escape the renters’ trap and buy homes. The Chenoa Fund is administered by CBC Mortgage Agency, whose mission is to increase affordable, sustainable homeownership across the U.S.

United States Appraisals announced the launch of its Appraisal Modernization Program (A.M.P.), providing lenders access to the changing landscape of valuation products, including bifurcated appraisals. The program is available nation-wide, and USA is already delivering thousands of appraisals monthly to lenders by leveraging innovative mobile apps and other technologies while also incorporating new valuation products.  “Our aim is to incorporate more technology and standardization in the process of collecting intelligence on properties, and to provide the best possible experience for both the users and the providers of the next generation of appraisals,” said Aaron Fowler, CEO. Fowler added that appraisers will remain a critical element in providing quality service to its investors and lenders. However, he noted, the shortage of skilled and experienced appraisers is driving a need for innovation. “We are seeking creative ways to supplement the expertise of our most valued appraiser-partners with additional resources to gather first-hand data on target properties.”

Is home equity part of your marketing mix? When potential customers think home equity, you want your name to be top of mind. Providing a seamless home equity experience can turn a mortgage customer into a lifelong borrower. Learn how to reach people across the customer journey, providing the peace of mind and security they expect. Download Blend’s ebook.

Imagine increasing your borrower satisfaction by 25% in less than two months. That’s exactly what happened for a regional credit union that implemented Maxwell’s digital mortgage point-of-sale solution. Maxwell continues to be the leading digital mortgage solution for independent and regional lenders looking to improve their borrower experience and increase profitability. I’ve seen firsthand the results and impact Maxwell can have across many different organizations, from independent lenders to banks and credit unions. Their platform enables teams to easily launch an all-encompassing digital experience to their borrowers, while providing industry leading tools and integrations to help improve loan officer efficiency across the organization. To learn more about Maxwell visit or request a demo here.

XINNIX is seeking input from Mortgage Industry executives to create a first-of-its-kind, industry wide Engagement and Performance Study. Organizational behavior studies have shown that companies that maintain a high level of engagement in their organizations have great success in areas such as retention, recruiting, and customer and associate satisfaction to name a few. Take the survey today to secure your advanced copy of the report. If you’re attending the MBA Annual Convention later this month, stop by booth 913 on Monday, October 28 at 1:00 PM to meet XINNIX CEO and Founder Casey Cunningham as she discusses employee engagement and the impact it can have on your business.

Non-conforming and Non-QM News

Yesterday Redwood Trust announced the acquisition of CoreVest, a nation-wide originator and portfolio manager of business-purpose loans (BPL), for $490 million. CoreVest's portfolio consists of over $580 million of BPL investments which include residential bridge loans (aka fix-and-flip), and single-family rental loans (SFR).

Homeowners First Mortgage was recently created as a joint venture between NewRez LLC, its Shelter Mortgage Co. LLC business division, and First Team Real Estate. New Penn was an early entrant into the non-QM space and rebranded in December 2018 as NewRez LLC a few months after their acquisition by New Residential Investment Corporation.

Certainly the Agencies, investors, and lenders are looking at new ways of evaluating credit, one of the “Three C’s” of underwriting. For example, Fair Isaac introduced a new type of credit score called UltraFICO in 2019. The new score takes into account bank balances as well as payment history and is meant to boost the number of approved loans and credit applications.

AmeriHome Mortgage now offers a new Non-QM Income Flex Program, providing financing options for qualified borrowers who may not meet all requirements for a Qualified Mortgage, or who are seeking an alternative loan documentation program. This program offers multiple documentation types, DTIs to 50%, 90/90 LTV/CLTVs: Mortgage insurance is not required at any LTV, Loan amounts to $2,000,000. Primary residence, second home, and investment property financing. SFR, 2-unit property, condominium, townhouse, and PUD eligibility. Financing for First-Time Homebuyers. View its Non-QM Income Flex Program Guide for more information.

Plaza Home Mortgage has updated certain price adjustments on its Elite Jumbo, Elite Jumbo Non-QM, Elite Plus Jumbo and Elite Plus Jumbo Non-QM programs. These changes are effective for new locks on or after Tuesday, October 8.

Due to system constraints, loans to Wells Fargo Funding with more than four borrowers are ineligible for purchase. To align the Seller Guide with its current process for Non-Conforming Loans, maximum borrower limit will be added to Section 825.02: Borrower Eligibility and Title Vesting (aka Borrower – General Information) on November 5, 2019.

The Mortgage Partnership Finance Program announced origination and underwriting updates for its MPF Direct program. Specifically, changes were made to Direct Select QM, Select 90 QM, and Choice QM guidelines.

U.S. Bank Correspondent/HFA’s Lending Guide Update SEL-2019-037 covers multiple topics including use of Loan Beam in lieu of Income Analysis Worksheet, update to final verbal VOE guideline, and expansion of dollar amount requirements for Work Completion Escrow.

Carrington Wholesales’ Advantage Flexible Advantage (CFA), CFA Plus, and Investor Advantage (DSCR) programs now offer a new Interest Only ARM option.

Lender Price has released FLEX Pricer, a new pricing platform designed specifically for non-agency and non-QM lenders. “FLEX Pricer supports all types of loan products, but is most effective with non-QM products due to its configurable interface. Lenders can create their own non-QM loan pricing search tool without the complexity and cost of custom development.”

Capital Markets

Economic data released over the last week remains consistent with the slowing, but growing, narrative observed over the last quarter. The NFIB small business Optimism index fell but is still at a level within the top 20 percent of all readings throughout the 46-year history of the survey. It indicated that small businesses still continue to hire, invest, and expand, albeit at a slower pace than earlier in the year. The Uncertainty index continues to rise, which should not come as a surprise to anyone given global economic conditions and uncertainty surrounding trade. Job openings are down 7.5 percent from January but layoffs and jobless claims remain historically low. Keep in mind, that it is common for hiring to peak and slow before jobless claims begin to significantly rise. As hiring slows, income growth and by extension consumer spending tends to moderate. Fortunately for consumers, September's consumer inflation was unchanged from August and was up a small 1.7 percent over the prior twelve months. Given the many headwinds currently facing economic growth, the market is putting the odds of a rate cut at October's FOMC meeting at around 75 percent.

Today we have the usual bevy of Fed speakers but little else. Rates today versus Friday? Down: The yield on the 10-year is yielding 1.70% and Agency MBS prices are better a solid .125.



Home Point Financial continues its climb. The company has experienced 5X growth this year and took the title as the fastest-growing non-bank lender. No wonder it is hiring! Home Point wants to grow its team of experts and hire 50 Sr. Underwriters ASAP, with remote openings at all four regional centers.If you know (or are!) someone interested in joining a fast-moving organization that has plans for even more growth, here are the direct links to apply at Home Point centers in Ann Arbor, MI, Chandler, AZ, Madison, AL, and Maitland, FL.

The business opportunity you’ve been looking for is here! You’re already an expert in the mortgage industry, why not put that expertise to its ultimate use by becoming your own boss with a Motto Mortgage franchise. The Motto Mortgage network supports entrepreneurship with an out-of-the-box franchise model and industry-leading tools – all for a flat, monthly fee. You’ll have full and customized access to best-of-breed technology, business support tailored to you, and wholesale lender connections for all of your loan origination needs. Reach out to to discover how franchise ownership can open the doors to more opportunity today.

“Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is incredibly honored to announce that the United States Veterans Chamber of Commerce (USVCC) has chosen us as its official lender of choice, its #1 OPTION, for home mortgage loans! This new relationship will allow Caliber to provide guidance around the home buying process and VA Home Loan Education, to the USVCC’s several million members nationwide. As part of this effort, we will participate in various transition and education symposiums and events. Through our USVCC relationship, Caliber is partnering with the following organizations that honor military and veteran families: Veterans Advantage, and Warrior & Invictus Games. The USVCC had many choices but chose Caliber because we provide credibility in product and sincerity in message when engaging transitioning military, veterans, and their families. We're looking for a few good loan officers to join the ranks of our sales organization! Email us to learn more.