Halloween already! Who wouldn’t want to live in the scary Tombstone, AZ, Sleepy Hollow, NY, Kill Devil Hills, NC, Yellville, AR, Transylvania County, NC, Slaughter Beach, DE, Casper, WY, or Scarville, IA? What is also scary for many is that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering relaxing post-crisis structured mortgage product rules. Many industry vets are rightfully worried about guideline erosion in the primary markets, likening it to watching a “slow motion train wreck” and “sliding back down the curve.” In the secondary markets, are disclosure rules discouraging firms from issuing SEC-registered residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS)? Feel free to submit comments.
Lender Products and Services
Moody’s Investors Service Upgrades NMI Holdings, Inc. and National Mortgage Insurance Corporation financial strength rating to “Baa2” from “Baa3.” Moody's also upgraded the rating on NMIH’s $150 million senior secured term loan and revolving credit facility to “Ba2” from “Ba3.” The outlook for all ratings is Stable. Moody’s indicated that the upgraded ratings reflect the continued progress made by the company in scaling its U.S. mortgage insurance platform and improving its business and financial profile, and noted additional strength related to the company’s high-quality insured portfolio, lack of legacy MI exposure and comprehensive reinsurance program. National MI has been insuring mortgage loans since 2013 and is the fastest-growing U.S. mortgage insurance provider as measured by rate of growth in insurance-in-force.
PHH Mortgage, a leading mortgage servicer and provider of mortgage lending solutions, announces the expansion of its correspondent lending channel after a successful launch in June. PHH is rapidly growing its correspondent channel and expects its current estimated monthly origination volume of $150 million to continue on an accelerated growth trajectory over the next 12 months. By partnering with PHH, sellers can gain access to attractive pricing, industry leading cycle times (averaging four days), exceptional customer service and predictable underwriting. “Growing our lending business is a top priority and establishing sustainable sources of MSRs is a key component of our strategy. We have built an efficient, scalable correspondent lending platform that is focused on delivering a consistent quality service experience for clients and their customers,” said Tim Yanoti, EVP and Chief Growth Officer. Learn more at PHHfunding.com or contact Bob Marseilles, VP, Correspondent Sales.
LoanCraft is working to develop and expand its vision for how pricing technology should help wholesalers deliver their product. LoanCraft’s technology goes beyond automating rate sheets and providing pricing for standard QM agency programs. LoanCraft’s variety of tools embraces a wide range of loan types and non-agency or non-QM business. If you’re a wholesale lender who wants pricing technology to help you deliver innovative products, they want to talk to you. Contact Ron George or visit LoanCraft’s website to obtain its white paper: Engineering Pricing Technology So Wholesalers Can Deliver Innovation.
Loan Process and Processing News
As rumors swirl about HPS Investment Partners buying non-QM lender/servicer Citadel Servicing Corp. (which Inside Nonconforming Markets reports is fifth among all non-QM originators based on first-half volume of $920 million), investors and lenders are focused on fine-tuning their lending procedures, and with good reason.
Is perfection in the loan process too much to ask? According to Mike Seminari, director of STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT Program, miscues in the loan process equate to big shifts in the Net Promoter Score (NPS). For example, failing to call a borrower before closing to discuss numbers drops the NPS by 95 points. In a recent MortgageSAT study of 37,000 borrowers, 41 percent reported a “perfect” loan experience, meaning no missteps in critical areas of the process, and had NPS scores 20 points higher than borrowers who experienced one or more failures in critical areas. What can a lender do to make perfection part of the company’s culture? Seminari offers three suggestions in his October MortgageSAT Tip.
U.S. Bank has updated the Annual Recertification section within its Correspondent Seller and HFA Division Lending Guides. Changes will be effective with all annual recertifications requested after October 1, 2019. Earlier this year, U.S. Bank launched the enhanced Correspondent Underwriting Customer Care Help Line and dedicated email address. Lenders are encouraged to utilize this resource with questions. Dedicated Email Address is UWCustomerCare@usbank.com. Correspondent Underwriting Customer Care Help Line is 800.200.5881. Lenders are prompted to ‘select Option 2 for Underwriting Customer Care.
Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions has made enhancements to its Platinum, Portfolio Select, and bank statement which include guideline changes and significant rate improvements. Call 855.910.9787 for more information.
PRMG issued a reminder, when requesting an appraisal transfer; lenders must follow its Appraisal Transfer Policy as outlined in the Resource Center. It is important to remember that you cannot reach out directly to the AMC to request the transfer, it must be coordinated through PRMG.
Plaza Home Mortgage is accepting FHA’s new Single-Unit Approvals (SUAs) for condos. This new condo approval process, effective as of October 15, 2019, makes it easier for individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA-insured financing when they are in projects that are not currently FHA approved. To submit a condo to FHA for a SUA review, the project and loan will need to meet certain criteria, but key eligibility requirements to note are LTV < 90% OR the application has an “Accept” from TOTAL Scorecard. Condo project must have at least five units. Project needs a Certificate of Occupancy issued at least 12 months prior or has been occupied for that duration. Manufactured Housing is not eligible.
Plaza Home Mortgage is bringing back up to 100% LTV on VA Cash-out refinances. View Plaza’s latest VA Fixed and ARM program guidelines.
A recent FAMC Correspondent National Bulletin included updates including the HomeReady $75 Framework course fee will no longer be charged. The payment fields will be removed from the online HomeReady Framework course registration page on October 23rd. Also, the DU Texas 50(f)(2) transactions are now eligible for a Property Inspection Waiver (PIW).
Bayview | Lakeview Correspondent’s C2019-40 Announcement provides information on the New HFA available in over 27 Areas in Colorado, UCDP and UCD Update for all HFAs and DSHA Conventional Program Change.
Let’s start with the big, albeit expected, news from yesterday. The FOMC called for the third consecutive 25 bps reduction to the Fed Funds rate range (now 1.50-1.75%). Market participants were keen to decipher the language of the statement, in which the Fed did not signal that another rate cut is imminent. Fed Chairman Powell repeated during his subsequent press conference that the rate cut was made in order to "insure against downside risks" and that monetary policy was in a “good place,” which both helped flatten the yield curve and diminished December rate cut odds.
U.S. Treasuries rallied in response, reclaiming losses from earlier in the week. The 10-year yield ended the day -4 bps to 1.80 percent. The ADP Employment Change report for September and the advance reading of Q3 GDP, despite both exceeding expectations, failed to have any tangible impact on Treasuries or mortgage prices. Following the cut by the Fed and no movement from the Bank of Canada, the Bank of Japan was out with its latest decision overnight.
Moving forward, the main news remaining in the week for markets is tomorrow’s payrolls report, but today has already kicked off with a couple labor market indicators: Job cuts from Challenger, Gray & Christmas (+21% in October, YTD +17%) and Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending October 26 (218k). Also we’ve seen September personal income (+.3%) and spending (+.2%) and Q3 employment costs (+.7%). Releases later this morning include Chicago PMI and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Additionally, the Desk of the New York Fed will then conduct a Class B FedTrade operation when they purchase up to $257 million UMBS15 2.5 percent. We begin the day with not much change to rates from Wednesday.
Navy Federal, a top 10 direct lender and best place to work award winner, is looking for a seasoned mortgage executive to head the Credit and Underwriting area for the fast-growing lender. NFCU, headquartered in Northern Virginia, funds over 5,000 loans a month for NFCU members. NFCU is building a modern tech platform, and is looking for an executive to report to the head of Real Estate Lending and revamp the underwriting process for first mortgages and home equity products. This is for the experienced professional who is looking for that next step opportunity. Must be a strong leader, with a total staff of over 250 across three sites, and have a desire to retool the process and continue to build out automation to meet the future of the digital mortgage. Please contact Jose Santiago if interested.
Northpointe Bank is seeking a senior trader to manage its mortgage-backed securities trading and pipeline risk hedging program. This role is responsible for the bank’s best execution sale of mortgage loans in the capital markets, including evaluation of mandatory and best effort whole loan sale pipelines, trading agency MBS, oversight of internal and vendor supported pricing models, pool allocation and business reporting. The successful candidate has several years’ experience with mortgage pipeline hedging and loan sale deliveries and securitization with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and private investor sales, and is results-oriented, an effective coach and enjoys working in a collaborative and thriving company. Northpointe Bank is ranked as a top performing bank in the nation and is predominantly focused on mortgage banking. To confidentially inquire, contact Anjelica Nixt and please specify the opportunity.
“Mountain West Financial, a prominent leader in the affordable housing space has a rare opportunity for the right individual. We are searching for a VP of Community Lending. This position requires knowledge of affordable housing programs, agency overlays, HFA guidelines, and lending requirements. They will join a strong team with a passion for affordable housing and oversee all aspects of programs, relationships with agencies, and have influence with operations, marketing, and sales. MWF was named CalHFA’s #1 lender in 2018, a Freddie Mac RISE award winner, and has received other notable accolades in the affordable housing space. Join a team where your legacy leaves lasting marks in communities across America. Are you our VP of Community Lending? Contact Michael Delehanty.”
Evergreen Home Loans™ is excited to announce breaking its all-time funding record for the THIRD consecutive month. Loan funding in September outpaced the August record by nearly 8% and Evergreen is on track to have its best year ever. President and founder Don Burton credits the hard work and dedication of the company’s associates, as well as Evergreen’s superior digital mortgage experience. The Lender ranks top among peers for adopting and executing an eClosing process and is proud of this great milestone and look forward to breaking even more records. Interested candidates can find more information on the Evergreen Careers Page.
Congratulations to Nicole Abraham on her move to Synergy One Lending, a Mutual of Omaha Bank company (“Synergy”) as EVP, National Operations over the forward distributed retail division. Abraham most recently served as SVP, National Operations for Academy Mortgage Corporation where she oversaw operations in 14 regions consisting of more than 400 employees supporting annual production exceeding 40,000 loans per year. At Synergy, Abraham will oversee national operations, which include processing, underwriting, closing/funding, appraisal and disclosure desk, among other responsibilities. Synergy is one of the fastest growing mortgage lenders in the country. If you're looking for opportunities to learn more about the power behind Synergy’s value proposition, please contact Aaron Nemec at (208) 794-7786.
Norcom Mortgage, headquartered in Avon, CT, now offers borrowers extra piece or mind with their Appraisal Assurance program. Appraisal Assurance offers a borrower a free appraisal credit up to $500 for a new property purchase if their existing purchase falls through for a bad home inspection or low appraisal. Additionally, with Norcom’s Appraisal Assurance there is no need to wait until the home inspection is complete to order the appraisal! To learn more about Appraisal Assurance and other exciting opportunities at Norcom call 1-855-NORCOM1.