With Nevada’s 6 electoral college votes, nothing says 2020 like the fate of the nation resting in the hands of Reno. When sending out a daily commentary grows wearisome for me, I may shift gears and open up a rehab center in Oregon. Why Oregon? The approval this week of shrooms and the decriminalization of small amounts of meth, heroin, cocaine, and pot will make for decent job security. And interesting times in public places. (It was already interesting in Portland, what with bike riders needing little excuse to pedal around butt-naked.) While vote counting is ongoing, and lawsuits and recounts are increasing, helping families buy homes is still paramount for lenders. Do you own your own place? If so, congratulations. CoreLogic (which is for sale) tells us that its measure of  home price appreciation jumped to a six-year high in September, up 6.7% nationally from one year earlier. Housing continues to be a bright spot during an otherwise challenging economic time for many U.S. households. NAR tells us that, roughly, 1/3 of all home buyers are first-time home buyers as has been the case historically. And lenders love programs, like HFAs, that help this segment.

Lender and Broker Products and Services

Comfortably into Q4 of a record-setting year in the mortgage business, the wholesale market continues to be ripe with opportunity for loan officers. In the future, however, the focus for independent LO’s will be on taking proactive steps to retain the many customers they’re winning now – something that’s easier or more difficult depending on which lender you partner with. A lender that makes retaining business easier, Home Point Financial, recently wrote about 6 questions that every broker should ask their wholesale lending partners. If you’re a mortgage broker that still needs to partner with Home Point, sign up on their website.

“If you’re like the average lender, you have a database of 5,000 records, and only retain 20% or less of your borrowers. In one month, you’ve lost over 39 loans to your competitors. That's a whopping $10 million of loan originations! Sales Boomerang notifies mortgage lenders when someone in their database is ready for a loan. Our clients retain more than 65% of their borrowers. The longer you delay, the larger that loss becomes on your bottom line. We want to be your retention hero and win back the loans that you’re losing. ‘I have LO’s that only work Sales Boomerang leads, and my ROI is in the 20-30X Range.’ (John Kresevic, CEO, JFQ) The numbers speak for themselves: 20X Avg ROI, $240 Avg Cost Per Acquired Loan, 10-20% Avg Lift to Loan Volume. Want to see exactly how much you lost this year? Request your report today.”

Greater flexibility to work (and play) harder. When is the best career move also the best thing for your work/life balance? When you become or join an independent mortgage broker! Going independent lets you take control of your pipeline and your schedule — and get the technology to work anytime, from anywhere, so you can move loans along even when you’re away from the office. Whether you’re joining or becoming an independent broker, your opportunities will multiply while you enjoy more freedom to determine your schedule beyond the traditional 9-5 that online retail lenders and banks offer. See how you can work smarter while being your own boss at BeAMortgageBroker.com/Wholesale-Mortgage-Guide.

“It’s no secret—people are rushing their mortgages and refis right now. As a result, lenders are overwhelmed from the absolute deluge and leaving valuable loans on the tables. Thankfully, Truework is here to help with our dedicated team of highly trained mortgage industry professionals at Truework committed to tackling and completing your VOE/VOI request (whether manual or automated)—so you can close your loans faster than ever. Truework is a US-based company and has partnered with major lenders across the country to conduct 200,000+ verifications and counting. We’re also excited to announce that Reverifications Are Now Live: reverify employment for any request within 90 days of the original, receive up-to-date statuses on all verification reports, get fast turnaround times, and see discounted rates, making Truework your one-stop shop for all verifications. And for a limited time, Rob Chrisman readers get 5 free Verifications (a $200 value). Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on what matters. Interested? Email Zackary Green.”

Company-Sponsored Training and Events

I’ll be speaking on a panel discussion at Maxwell’s MAXOUT 2020 Virtual Conference on Nov 16th at 2PM EST/11AM PST titled “Capitalizing Your Business in a Growth Market.” In this conversation, we’ll examine options high-performing lenders have to capitalize their companies beyond the IPOs reserved for large lenders. Along with my session, MAXOUT will offer a robust agenda featuring Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist of the MBA, and an impressive lineup of other industry thought leaders. Register for my session and the entire MAXOUT conference taking place Nov 16–18 for free here

NEXA Mortgage closed over 1150+ loans at UWM alone in the month of October, with an average clear to close of only 16.9 days. That's a 550%+ increase year over year. Would you like to close loans faster too? NEXA is looking for independent MLOs looking for a better platform from which to run their businesses. If you would like to learn how NEXA's platform works with NEXA’s "7 non-negotiables", you can do so each Thursday at 11am (MST). Just go to www.NEXAmortgage.com/support and click on the "Why NEXA" option at that time. Tell them you heard about it here.

The MCT Exchange begins tomorrow, from 11AM-12PM PT with, “Unpacking the Post-Election Market in a Pandemic” featuring Phil Rasori, Rob Branthover, and Ben Itkin, moderated by me!

Disaster Updates

Things have quieted down out there in terms of wildfires, hurricanes, acts of terrorism, earthquakes, and floods. But lenders and investors are still watching FEMA announcements, which in turn determine policies and procedures for analyzing collateral and local economic conditions.

Fannie Mae issued a reminder for those impacted by Hurricane Zeta that there are a number of options available to potentially help homeowners catch up on missed payments, including Disaster Payment Deferral available now.

Carrington Correspondent posted two disaster-related announcements. Announcement 20-0068 - California Wildfires and Announcement 20-0067 - Louisiana Hurricane Delta.

Flagstar issued multiple disaster-related announcements including Hurricane Delta, Colorado Wildfires, Oregon Wildfires, and California Wildfires.

Capital Markets

The bond market, and thus rate sheets, saw some interesting market moves Tuesday night and into yesterday. Traders reported a lot of investor interest in bonds, (i.e., lots of money flowed into bonds), but the equity markets also benefited from an inflow of capital. There’s a lot of cash sitting out there in search of a return somewhere. Those concerned with the economics of a potential Biden/Harris Administration went to fixed-income securities, including mortgage-backed securities. Those that liked the idea of a Republican Senate keeping Biden in check went to stocks. And life goes on while “the market” prices in different political scenarios, right or wrong. The Bank of England intends on boosting its QE by £150B vs the expected 100B as a second wave of lockdowns begin, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has hinted at increasing its asset purchases in December for COVID-related reasons as well. 

In terms of economic indicators, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for October missed expectations as it declined slightly to its lowest reading since May. On the bright side, it did mark the fifth straight reading in expansionary territory, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than the prior month. The ADP Employment Change report showed the addition of 365,000 private payrolls in October, well off 600,000 expectations while the September reading was revised up +4k to 753,000. The trade deficit for September narrowed to $63.9 billion as global trade activity improved, evidenced by a rise in both exports and imports in September. Let’s not get too giddy: exports decreased 17.4% year-to-date while imports decreased 12.4%. By trading’s close yesterday, Treasuries had rallied in curve-flattening fashion and the UMBS30 basis closed mixed amid the likelihood of smaller stimulus.

The highlights of today’s economic calendar are likely to be the latest Fed events (morning meeting in Washington, Statement due at 2:00pm ET, followed by Chair Powell's press conference). The FOMC is expected to leave the policy rate unchanged, and the statement will be combed over for any new tidbits on QE or the impact of fiscal stimulus. Economic releases are already underway with a couple labor market indicators. Layoffs from Challenger, Gray and Christmas (-38k to 81k), initial jobless claims for the week ending October 31 (-7k to 751k) and continued claims for the week ending October 24 (-538k). We’ve also received preliminary Q3 Productivity (+4.9%, a big jump), and preliminary Q3 Unit Labor Costs (-8.9%). After the release of the FOMC statement in the afternoon, the Desk will report on MBS purchases for the week ending November 4. Agency prepayments are due after the close, and Class A net is tomorrow. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better/up a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .76 after rallying to close yesterday at 0.77%.


Employment and Transitions

Caliber Home Loans does all it can to support active duty military members and veterans. We make sure this community has the knowledge and means to put them on the path to home ownership. Caliber also walks the talk by supporting the U.S. Special Operations Command Fellowship program. Together, we help military service members transition into the civilian workplace through fellowships, employment assistance, education, and career counseling. Then, Caliber doubles down by hiring veterans. There’s a distinct advantage in employing those who’ve served our country and protected our freedom. Veterans bring certain values and transferable skills to our organization that make Caliber Home Loans shine. We welcome our military. Come join a company that’s ready to support you in a new career. Visit our website today to view open opportunities. To be immediately considered for operations or sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller, respectively.”

Quality Mortgage Services is a team of QC mortgage audit professionals ready to execute mortgage QC, due diligence, and audit functions so today’s lenders and servicers have the best mortgage analysis reports possible. We are expanding our residential mortgage auditing team by adding experienced and knowledgeable quality control auditors interested in working collaboratively with peers in a remote environment allowing for more work-life balance. Ideal candidates have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in residential mortgage underwriting or auditing for quality control, be proficient with Conventional and Government underwriting guidelines, FHA Direct Endorsement – VA SAR Certifications preferred, strong understanding of compliance, and solid knowledge of the secondary market. If interested, please send resumes directly to Claudia Duncan or Laura Kate Davis.”

“If you’re in the market for an exciting new career opportunity, Citizens Home Mortgage could be just what you’re looking for! Business is booming, so Citizens Home Mortgage is adding to our industry-leading team of operations colleagues. We currently have openings for experienced processors, closers, and underwriters in Retail and Third-Party Originations. As one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, we understand that our incredible colleagues have made our success possible. That’s why we offer great benefits like competitive pay, flexible working arrangements, reward programs, and more! If you’re ready to take your career to the next level by joining a winning team of mortgage professionals, we’d love to talk with you. Simply visit jobs.citizensbank.comto get started today!”

Interfirst is currently aggressively hiring for its new high-end Charlotte location, near the heart of the Queen City. “Since Interfirst announced its return to the wholesale space, enthusiasm from mortgage brokers, community banks and credit unions has been electric! Interfirst is delivering on its commitment to being the most broker-centric wholesale firm in the country. Interfirst is currently sourcing talented AEs to meet this growing demand from our expanding national footprint. Seasoned AEs interested in learning more about available opportunities can reach out to Casey Nunn directly or feel free to apply here.”

AmeriHome Mortgage, the 3rd largest correspondent and 11th largest mortgage lender in the country according to Inside Mortgage Finance, continues to grow! Now is the perfect time to join a growing company with plenty of room for career growth and advancement! AmeriHome Correspondent is currently looking for Operations Account Managers, Loan Review Operations Managers, and both Delegated and Non-Delegated Underwriters at all levels.Positions available in both California, Texas, and remote. AmeriHome is also looking for Processing Managers in its Consumer Direct division. AmeriHome focuses on a supportive, familial culture, as well as upward mobility for all members of the AmeriHome team. Its steadfast dedication to Relationships, Reliability, and Results helps mold every facet of AmeriHome, both internally and externally; they're invested in their employees' AND clients' long-term success! Visit its careers page to view all open positions, and submit resumes to AmeriHome Careers to schedule an interview.

Fannie Mae announced that Sheila Bair will succeed Jonathan Plutzik as Chair of Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors, effective November 20, 2020.

Plaza Home Mortgage announced that Mikhael Mikle has joined the company as SVP, Chief Underwriter, where she will oversee all underwriting across Plaza’s three business channels (Wholesale, Correspondent and Reverse Lending) and play a key role in setting the company’s underwriting policies and standards. “In addition, she will manage changes to agency and investor guidelines and maintain a risk policy and processes that support the company’s risk management goals.”