Besides sudden news, like PennyMac filing an antitrust lawsuit against Black Knight for anticompetitive behavior (“…market-dominating LoanSphere® MSP mortgage loan servicing system to engage in unfair business tactics that both entrap its licensees and create barriers to entry that stifle competition…”), or a reminder that the bond market will be closed Monday, there are trends that lenders are watching. Many lenders are echoing what the Mortgage Bankers Association has been reporting about applications, that most pipelines are leveling off or sinking as loans are processed and fund. And once again lenders are overtly cautious about spending money. The average square footage (sf) per employee in North America is about 150 sf/person. Large offices can be up to 400 sf in size, while small ones can be 90 sf. Take that number, multiply it by your rental cost per square foot for the office, and you can see why many lenders are encouraging employees to work from home or the local coffee shop after weighing the cost versus the synergy of having everyone in one place.

Lender Products and Services

AFR has announced that beginning Friday, November 8, a 3.5% grant option will be available in the DPA Advantage (Down Payment Assistance) Program, allowing eligible home buyers to qualify for the full 3.5% required down payment. In addition to helping first-time and moderate-income home buyers, DPA Advantage is also available to make the dream of homeownership easier for first-responders, educators, medical personnel, civil servants, and military personnel. DPA Advantage may be used with the FHA 203(b) program or any of AFR’s FHA renovation programs, as well as the FHA One-Time Close Construction-to-Permanent program (please note: the 3.5% grant is not currently available for the FHA OTC program). This new grant option is just another way AFR is always working to improve financing options for you and your clients. For more information on becoming an AFR partner, email, call 1-800-375-6071, or visit

You didn’t have to be at the MBA Annual in Austin to know lenders are spending a lot more on tech these days. It’s all about fighting margin compression. You probably also know that not every new “solution” works well with your other systems. Smart technology starts with integration and a complete strategy. LodeStar is a provider which gets that. If you’re in the market for compliant, TRID-focused technology that doesn’t actually create new problems for you, check LodeStar out here.

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), is excited to offer an all-in-one BTW Services! "A partnership with PlainsCapital Bank includes a unique opportunity to take advantage of three great platforms within one company to help further reduce costs and streamline services: Broker-Dealer/Treasury Management/Warehouse Lending, HilltopSecurities' TBA/Specified Pool desk helps mortgage lenders hedge their origination pipelines by buying and selling TBAs and specified pools, and PlainsCapital Bank Treasury Management group helps mortgage lenders meet the challenges of managing their cash positions with clearing accounts and escrow management for FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA. PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending has provided lines of credit to mortgage lenders across the country and offers multiple incentive pricing options to reduce costs for customers. To learn more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, please contact Deric Barnett, EVP National Warehouse Lending, or for HilltopSecurities' Broker Dealer, please contact George M. Meillarec, Managing Director.

Wholesale and Correspondent Changes

loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent Weekly Announcement included information on Express Disclosures Broker Checklist, FHA Case Number Request Form, FHA INFO #19-53 and Chapter 12 of the VA Handbook.

PRMG announced the release of the Investor Solution Program.  This product is designed for non-owner-occupied transactions and qualifies the borrowers solely on income from the subject property’s Cash Flow under the Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) option, or with no income/cash flow at all under the No Ratio option.  It offers purchase, rate/term and cash out options. Loan amounts from $75,000 up to $2 million are allowed and the DSCR option allows for first time investors. 

Due to investor restrictions, PRMG is discontinuing its current Closed End Second product offering. All Closed End Second loans, requiring lock date of October 18, 2019, must be funded by Friday, November 22. PRMG will not be able to make exceptions to these dates. The TCF HELOC is still available to be used as a piggyback (simultaneous) second transaction on wholesale transactions.

Finance of American Mortgage has introduced an exclusive new loan product. Two-X HBX is a mortgage solution for high balance loan amounts in counties currently restricted to conforming or high cost limits. Loan amounts between $484,351 and $726,525* no longer need to meet the requirements and pricing of Jumbo financing. With HBX, borrowers nationally can benefit from a high balance loan program with simplified credit guidelines. Program highlights include: 95% maximum LTV with no mortgage insurance for LTV's >80%. Credit scores down to 680 with a maximum DTI of 43%. Purchase, rate & term, and cash-out are available. Eligible properties include 1-2-unit SFR, PUDs and warrantable condos.

Growth is not slowing down for Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions. As shown is a recent Press Release, its latest performance release report shows a company record funding of $891 million in non-QM originations. This is a 31% increase from Q2 2019 and a gain of 41% over Q3 2018. We reported year to date volume of $2.1 billion in originations which is a 52% increase over the same period in 2018.

In a recent announcement, PennyMac posted updates to Conventional LLPAs effective October 30th.

Mountain West Financial® is offering free 5-day lock extensions on Jumbo products to its Broker Partners through the month of November. Contact MWF for details on applicable Jumbo products included.

Bayview Loan Servicing has elected to move the current post-purchase credit review to a pre-purchase review. View its announcement for details.

Plaza is accepting FHA’s new Single-Unit Approvals (SUAs) for condos. This new condo approval process 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. Find out more, click here.

Go the EZ route... No employment, income, or reserves and get 100% credit on rents on PCF Wholesale’s EZ-DSCR.

Capital Markets

Verus Mortgage Capital, a full-service correspondent investor offering residential non-QM, investor rental and fix and flip loan programs, has recently finalized its 12th and 13th rated RMBS (residential mortgage-backed securities) transactions for $368.9 and $569.1 million respectively. Verus is the largest non-QM issuer with almost $2.6 billion of collateral across five transactions in 2019; and nearly $5 billion overall securitization volume. “We are extremely proud to be the leader in non-QM issuance and expect the momentum that’s been steadily building this year to continue into the 4th quarter,” said Dane Smith, President of VMC.

And Ginnie’s booming! Ginnie Mae announced that investors purchased a record $32 billion of Platinum Securities spread across 217 pools in the fiscal year that ended September 30. Platinum Securities volume in fiscal year 2018 was approximately $20 billion after fiscal year 2017 production of Platinum securities with fixed-rate collateral was only $7.88 billion.

Why should MLOs care? Because what is good in the secondary markets helps the pricing for borrowers, and remember that big banks are analyzing returning to FHA lending. Ginnie Mae Platinum Securities provide investors of mortgage-backed securities with greater market and operating efficiencies, as investors who hold multiple pools of MBS can combine new or existing MBS into a single Ginnie Mae Platinum Certificate. Once a Ginnie Mae Platinum Certificate has been created, it can be used efficiently in structured finance transactions, repurchase transactions and general trading. Investors can create Platinum products using fixed-rate MBS (15- and 30-year mortgages); Weighted Average Coupon (WAC) Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) and Jumbo Only Fixed mortgages. Ginnie’s mission is to foster a strong secondary mortgage market for government mortgage loans by helping borrowers across the U.S. obtain the lowest mortgage rate.

Looking at bonds, and therefore rates, U.S. Treasuries ended Tuesday worsening again, including the 10-year yield closing +8 bps to 1.87 percent, its highest level in two months. A report that U.S. officials are open to the removal of some tariffs on imports from China contributed to overnight selling boosted hopes of a partial U.S.-China trade deal. That, along with the recent wave of interest-rate cuts by central banks are buoying confidence in financial markets just as key economic indicators show signs of stabilization. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for October reflected an acceleration of expansion-based activity in October, great news for the economy since the non-manufacturing sector accounts for a significantly larger slice of U.S. economic activity than the manufacturing sector. Could the worst be over for the global slowdown? Not so fast.

Signing of the “phase one” trade deal was delayed due to the cancellation of the Asia-Pacific summit in Chile next week, and China is now asking the Trump administration to pledge not only to withdraw threats of new tariffs but also to eliminate duties on about $110 billion in goods imposed in September. Beijing is stating these as requisites before President Xi agrees to take the step of heading to the U.S. to sign a deal. Negotiators are also discussing lowering the 25 percent duty on about $250 billion in tariffs that Trump imposed last year, and China has demanded that Trump doesn’t go forward with threatened duties on roughly $160 billion in imports scheduled for December 15.

It is still not clear if Trump will be willing to cut any duties considering tariffs have been one of the primary weapons in his arsenal. From the Chinese perspective, the argument is if they are going to abide by the key elements of the interim deal and remove big points of leverage by both resuming purchases of American farm goods and cracking down on intellectual property theft, then they want to see equivalent moves to remove tariffs by the U.S. rather than Washington solely lifting of the threat of future duties. Chinese and American law-enforcement officials have planned to highlight joint efforts to crack down on fentanyl smuggling and the opioid epidemic to make the deal more palatable to President Trump. But there are political risks for Trump in acceding to China’s tariff demands. U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and other officials have consistently argued that the duties on $250 billion are a way of enforcing that China lives up to its commitments and should be in place for the long term.

Mortgage applications for the week ending November 1 kicked off today’s economic calendar, declining a smidge versus the week before, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. We’ve seen preliminary Q3 Productivity (-.3%) and Unit Labor Costs (very strong at +3.6%). Later the Treasury will conduct the second leg of this week’s Quarterly Refunding when $27 billion 10-year notes are auctioned. The session also sees three Fed speakers: Chicago Fed President Evans, New York Fed President Williams, Philadelphia’s Harker. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 1.83%.



Why would you want to join Citizens Bank as a Mortgage Loan Officer or Sales Manager? From day one, you’re provided with the support and tools you need to provide the best service experience for your customers and referral partners. Not only will you benefit from a talented operations staff that’s slated to grow by an additional 20% over the next year, you’ll get cutting-edge digital platforms designed to make the mortgage process run more smoothly. Most importantly, you’ll be backed by a seasoned senior leadership team that understands the mortgage business inside and out. If that sounds like a company you want to build your sales career with, apply to Citizens Bank today. For questions, please email Home Mortgage Recruiting.

Top producers at Thrive Mortgage know being the best takes drive and passion for their craft. The top originators at Thrive Mortgage have seen an average growth in their YTD production in excess of 25% in 2019. Similarly, the top branches in the company have also seen explosive growth improving 27% YoY. When asked what fueled the growth, Randell Gillespie, National Sales Director for Thrive, stated, “We have cutting-edge tools to take someone to the next level in their business. But tools alone aren’t enough. It takes top-level support and highly efficient process to produce a legendary experience for the consumer.  THAT’S where we excel!” The architect of Thrive’s Operational success, Selene Kellam, added, “We’re never satisfied with ‘good enough’ when it comes to Operations. Thrive continues to see new records set each month through 2019. We can’t wait for 2020!” For more info about joining Thrive, visit