Etch A Sketch is buying Rubik's Cube? Who can keep up? What does a lender do when they’ve hit operational capacity, and don’t want to disappoint LOs with 60-day purchase turn times and refis taking 90? Increase the margin and make the price less attractive. Nearly every business does the same thing, including home builders. I am hearing stories of them increasing their prices just to slow business down, just like lenders, dealing with capacity, as sales have outpaced building. Certain parts of the mortgage process take longer than others, but hey, I want my home loan experience transformed by automating mortgage document processing! But do I want the same company doing it that knows where I am at all times, is the largest ad company in the world, knows what I look at on the internet, what I eat at my local Mexican take-out? Any one in mortgage ops should take a gander at Google Lending DocAI Solution. Technology and change keep roaring along, even if the movers can’t be at the old house for another 6 weeks… did you know that 10% of all photographs ever taken (since 1826) were taken in the last 12 months?

Broker and Lender Services and Products

An exclusive client retention offer for Encompass users! While interest rates are creating record volume in the mortgage industry, now is the time to think about how to protect your future business by retaining new as well as recently closed clients. HomeBinder, a unique client retention platform that centralizes home management and keeps lenders top of mind, is offering Encompass lenders that subscribe to HomeBinder by November 30 complementary binders for clients closed within the past six months. Learn more at Book a live demo or call today (800-377-6915).

As consumers set out to meet essential financial goals in the thick of the pandemic, lenders are at the forefront of guiding them in their financial journey and are reinventing what customer-centric looks like beyond 2020. From automation to the intersection of machine learning and human intelligence to accessibility, we’ve rounded up actionable advice from top mortgage professionals on how these trends will play out by 2022. Access the top five strategies to connect with customers, serve them well during this critical time, and build the foundation for lifelong financial relationships.

For many, change is hard, even if you’re better off with the alternative. When it comes to making the switch to TMS Subservicing, it’s not nearly as scary as it may seem, and at the end of the day, it’s more than worth it. In a recent HousingWire article, explore what makes change in and out of subservicing so intimidating… But why, in the end, you’ll be happy you did.

Optimal Blue, now part of Black Knight, recently announced the API certification of MAXA. This direct integration between MAXA's marketing design platform and Black Knight's Optimal BlueScenario Pricing API enables MAXA's creative marketing platform to incorporate and display compelling, real-time mortgage rates across a variety of print and digital design templates. Mortgage professionals can leverage this capability to significantly elevate marketing efforts within a regulatory framework and easily populate an extensive library of hosted, quality promotional materials that display real-time rates. Lenders also benefit because they can provide real estate partners with better service by including rates on demand for fliers promoting open house events or other co-branded efforts. MAXA CEO James Wong explained, "Our integration with Optimal Blue's advanced API positions MAXA to fulfill the creative need and marketing vision of our clients, while simultaneously helping to achieve compliance demands."

California and Oregon Disaster Updates

If you’d like to know the latest Fannie Mae disaster policies, they’re posted. If you have a hankerin’ to know Freddie Mac’s approach to disaster relief, that’s posted too. And HUD offers up an FAQ on the topic.

Nearly 1 out of 4 home loans comes from California, so what happens in that state is critical for many lenders. There’s a new fire raging in Orange County. On 10/16/2020, with DR-4569, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance has been made available to 7 California counties affected by wildfires from 9/4/2020 and continuing: Fresno, Madera, Mendocino, Siskiyou, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego. FEMA has expanded the disaster declarations for the following counties in California: Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Siskiyou - Incident Period of Sept. 4, 2020 and continuing. For the Incident Period: Aug. 14, 2020 and continuing, the declaration was expanded to include Trinity county. Previously declared counties include Butte, Lake, Lassen, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Tulare, and Yolo.

Prior to impacted date of September 4th, a standard disaster inspection is required to confirm that no damage has occurred to the subject property. Caliber Home Loans Correspondents may utilize any of the following inspection options to satisfy the post standard disaster inspection requirement: Appraisal Update and/or Completion Report (1004D) for exterior inspections, 1004D interior/exterior inspections for FHA loans not closed prior to the disaster incident date, 2075 exterior Disaster Inspection, Certification from a Licensed Property Inspector. COVID-19 Guidance: In lieu of Completion reports, a letter signed by the borrower confirming that the work was completed, including photographs of the completed work, paid invoices, or occupancy permits. Correspondents may utilize any of the inspection options to satisfy the post standard disaster inspection requirement. For detailed information, view Caliber Home Loans posted disaster policies.

loanDepot’s Weekly Announcement on 10/5 includes the California Disaster Announcement. FEMA has updated the Major Disaster Declaration for wildfires in the state of California to include Lassen and Tulare counties, and LD is monitoring the impact of the California wildfires and will provide updates on the loanDepot Wholesale's Disaster Center.

Wells Fargo Funding posted updates for properties impacted by California wildfires. Sellers must follow its disaster policies for all properties located in ZIP codes that Wells Fargo Funding has determined were impacted which is a reduced subset of FEMAs declared counties. Disaster policies are effective with the FEMA declaration date or applicable amendment dates. Go to the Wells Fargo home page and read Newsflash C20-067 for zip code updates.

FEMA added the California counties of Napa, Shasta and Sonoma to the disaster declaration with Amendment No. 1 to DR-4569. These counties will be subject to AmeriHome’s standard requirements for disaster areas granted individual assistance. On 10/15/2020, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance has been made available to 2 additional California counties, Lassen, and Tulare, affected by wildfires from 8/14/2020 and continuing. Review AmeriHome’s guidelines for inspection requirements. 

Mortgage Solution Financial posted an Announcement 24-20C regarding California wildfires (and Announcement 13-20C regarding Iowa’s severe storms).

Flagstar Bank issued Memo 20101 listing counties/zip codes in Oregon that are eligible to resume loan closings and funding. Flagstar has also issued Memo 20089, listing Oregon counties where funding has been suspended due to ongoing active wildfires.

SunWest Mortgage posted disaster update information for Counties in California that have been declared by FEMA as Major Disaster Areas. For Incident Period Date of 09/04/2020 and declared Major Disaster area on October 16, 2020. For loans submitted with an appraisal dated on or before the incident period end date or for those submitted without an appraisal, Sun West will require an interior and exterior inspection prior-to-funding or purchase of any loans with subject properties that are determined to be at risk. The inspection must verify that the property is sound, habitable and in the same condition as when it was appraised. Partners can access Sun West Seller Guide under HELP section in sunsoft.

First Community Mortgage Correspondent posted a disaster announcement for DA-20-7 California Wildfires DR-4569.

Mountain West Financial posted 20W-117 Revising Current California Wildfires – FEMA Declared Disaster Areas.

Capital Markets

It should come as no surprise to many readers that housing has experienced a ‘’V’ shaped recovery following the Fed’s support of lower mortgage rates as well as a desire from many city dwellers to move out to the suburbs for more space in response to Covid-19. Given a very tight supply, housing is poised to carry its momentum through the fall and into winter, a time when sales typically begin to slow. During the previous two recessions, building permits and housing starts peaked before the downturn and following the 2008/09 recession, and continued to decline for years. While there is resurgence in COVID cases which may cause a pullback for some consumer spending, it is not expected to reach a level that would reverse the ongoing recovery. Weekly claims for unemployment remain above their peak during the last recession, however they are trending lower. The debate over further economic stimulus continues and is not likely to be resolved prior to the US election although the underlying recovery appears to be showing enough momentum to continue whether or not a bill is passed.

Looking at bond market activity yesterday, the trading week started with a sharp “risk-off” trade due to several dour headlines including fresh sanctions from China against U.S. companies, no new progress on the stimulus deal in Washington, decreased odds of a “blue wave” result from next week’s election, and increased virus infections in both the U.S. and in Europe. Treasuries rallied, flattening the yield curve and the UMBS30 basis closed wider by day's end. New home sales decreased to 959,000 in September, well below expectations of 1.022 million. The figure represents a 3.5% month-over-month decline though a year-over-year increase of 32.1%, which is ultimately going to hurt home affordability. On the flip side, experts think that we’ll see a report Thursday of a massive jump in GDP when the U.S. announces “record breaking” quarter-over-quarter Q3 figures. Finally, the MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 2 bps to 5.90% of servicers’ portfolio volume as of October 18.

Today’s economic calendar is already underway, with September durable goods orders (+1.9%) and durable orders excluding transportation (+.8%). Later this morning brings the October FHFA Housing Price Index, the latest S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and October Consumer Confidence. Today’s MBS purchase schedule sees the Desk conducting three operations targeting up to $5.6 billion MBS. Those will be spread across $1 billion UMBS15 1.5% and 2%, $3 billion UMBS30 2% and 2.5%, and $1.5 billion GNII 2% and 2.5%. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding .79 after closing yesterday at 0.80% on not much news other than Congress heading home to campaign to keep their jobs, pretty much dashing any hopes of a stimulus package for the people.



A company’s culture is about more than big gestures and spot bonuses when times are good. It’s often appreciated through the “little things” and how people are treated when times are tough. Home Point Financial has proven to be a top-flight workplace regardless of how you define culture. Not only has Home Point reinvested more than $61 million into its associates through its “We Care” program since the onset of the pandemic, they’re thoughtful enough to give their associates fully paid time off to vote in the U.S. election. When you put your people first, the business results take care of themselves, so it makes sense that Home Point continues to be one of the fastest-growing lenders in the country. It’s not too late to join the team either, as Home Point is still aiming to hire hundreds of additional associates by the end of the year. Check out its careers page to apply.

The Correspondent Lending team at Citibank, N.A. is excited to announce the promotion of Brian Kosto Head of Correspondent Lending.  Brian is a 19-year veteran at Citi and has spent the past seven leading Correspondent Sales Strategy and Execution teams. “Brian’s leadership, along with Jason Huls, who leads our industry best Account Executives and sales teams, have been instrumental to the channel’s growth, driving key initiatives designed to better position Citi to increase market share while adding value to sellers. Citi Correspondent has greatly expanded its approved seller base over the past 18 months, and 2021 is shaping up to be an amazing year with the rollout of new programs aimed to help originators compete, while leveraging new technology allowing for more efficient delivery and purchase of loans. Contact our National Client Service team at 1-800-967-2205 or complete the Citi’s Prospective Mortgage Correspondent Questionnaire to start the approval process.”

PrimeLending recently launched its new “PowerhouseU: SUPERselling Series,” an exclusive educational opportunity giving #TeamPrimeLending total access to the latest tools and resources needed to win in the local markets. “We kicked off PowerhouseU with Brittany Hodak, a renowned marketing guru and creator of the SUPERFAN System, to present the first of five sessions designed to turn one-time customers into lifelong SUPERFANS. Hundreds of PrimeLending LOs tuned in to Brittany to discover new ways to connect with prospects, build their brand and boost their business. This series is all about turning personal experiences into a compelling, successful online presence, and that’s what we’re about at PrimeLending. We’re always focused on finding ways to help our loan officers grow and meet their goals. Are you ready for PrimeLending to be a part of your success story? Contact Nic Hartke to learn more about how PrimeLending can help you Discover Your Best®.”

A mid-sized CT based lender is looking for an Encompass Admin to work with its Ellie Mae Hall of Fame team. The ideal candidate must be open to innovating new enhancements, have at least 2 years' experience administering Encompass 360 Banker Edition, and thorough understanding of information security regulations. Local and remote candidates interested in joining a progressive and dynamic team may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.