Thinking about locking a loan tomorrow during the National Day of Mourning for George Bush? With the bond markets closed, plenty of mandatory execution desks, like Wells Fargo’s, will be closed. Check with the specific investor regarding best effort, bulk, AOT, and other commitment options tomorrow. Even though the market will be closed, Federal Reserve banks will be open. Plenty of lender’s lock desks will be issuing/posting rates and accepting locks. Many companies will be funding loans on Wednesday, December 5. And are independent mortgage bankers making any money funding these loans? Yes, a net gain but only of $480 on each loan in the third quarter, down from $580 per loan in the second quarter and $929 a year ago, per the Mortgage Bankers Association.


Lender Books, Products, and Services

Don’t just hope 2019’s production/profitability are an improvement over 2018’s. Take charge, drive results, to prosper in any economy. Get the book Conquering Shifts into the hands of all of your originators now, as part of your 2019 business plan. Many agree. “This book is a treasure trove of great and proven ideas that will assist seasoned salespeople in growing and improving their skill set.” Mike Hardwick, Churchill Mortgage. “Conquering Shifts is truly unique in that instead of simply teaching success principles or techniques, the reader sees exactly how they were implemented.” Marty Preston, Benchmark Mortgage. “If I read this book when I first began originating purchase loans in 2011, I can honestly say that I would be leaps and bounds ahead of where I am today.” Ryan Grant, Fairway Independent Mortgage. Authors Cindy Douglas and Kathleen Heck are offering a 15% discount for books purchased through December 15th.

I continue to be bullish on local and regional lenders to gain market share from large lenders. Smaller and mid-size organizations can use their size and nimbleness to get systems launched quickly and efficiently, mostly in part due to tech companies providing customizable digital mortgage solutions with low-effort deployment. Maxwell is a great example. Maxwell is the leading digital mortgage point-of-sale solution for small-to mid-size lenders across the nation. They’re scaling quickly, facilitating over $1.7B in origination volume per month. It’s incredible to see how a user-focused experience can take the industry by storm! As lenders, you should expect digital mortgage platforms to be deployed quickly, with minimal effort. The team at Maxwell has told me they are closing mortgages 45% faster than the industry average and reducing underwriting turns by 25%, substantially boosting production for their clients. Learn more about it here.

Professional Development has been proven time and time again as a vital step for achieving business growth. There are infinite possibilities to realizing deep and everlasting success and happiness when we invest in ourselves personally as well as professionally. XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy, is committed to helping you thrive in every aspect of your life. As you focus on developing plans for your business in 2019, XINNIX is offering a great year-end opportunity to enrich your personal development as well with free registration to their December 12th webinar, Infinite Possibilities presented by XINNIX CEO Casey Cunningham. In this empowering session, you will learn how to plan and prioritize your personal and professional goals, implement a formula for success, and write and effective life mission statement that guides your decisions and priorities. CLICK HERE to register today for Infinite Possibilities on Wednesday, December 12 at 10 AM ET!

Trainings and Events in December

Tune in this Friday for a live video stream of Todd Pierson (The Mortgage Firm), Mike Donoghue (Premium Mortgage), Leo Dunn (Bay Capital), Phil Rasori (MCT), and myself as we discuss strategies to make the most of tight margins and what to expect in 2019. If you haven't heard of the mortgage industry's leading afternoon TV talk show, I suppose I can't blame you. Now is your chance to join us for "Late Lunch with Rob Chrisman", live from MCT Exchange in sunny San Diego, California on December 7th at 12PM Pacific. On the show we'll hear about the causes behind margin compression from MCT's COO and Head Trader, Phil Rasori, the tactics employed by a diverse group of lender panelists to protect their profit margins, and the outlook for 2019. Don’t miss out, register today to view the live stream of "Late Lunch with Rob Chrisman" this Friday at 12pm Pacific."

HaMMR author Ralph DeFranco, Ph.D. economist and recognized industry expert, is now blogging his analysis of housing data and house price risk as fresh updates come in. Arch MI's December webinars are available for registration. Get prepped on a wide range of topics, including loan processing, appraisals, analyzing tax returns and more.

The Plaza Home Mortgage December Webinar Calendar has been published. Remember, if you can’t make it to a webinar, register anyway and Plaza will email you the recording.

Click here to access the Franklin American Mortgage Wholesale December Customer Monthly Training Calendar.

The FAMP Central Florida December 5th Luncheon is tomorrow! It will feature a Lender Panel covering Construction Perm, Financing Real Estate Investment Projects, 203k and HomeStyle Lending.

On Monday, December 10th, Buckley Sandler attorneys are hosting a webinar to discuss developments in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation relevant to the financial services industry.

South Los Angeles County Chapter of CAMP is hosting John Reyes from Social Networx, Inc. Wednesday, Dec. 12th at the Grand in Long Beach. Learn about content that engages your audience, promoting and broadcasting your videos to the masses and helping to grow your business in 2019.

Capital Markets

The MIAC Capital Markets Group is pleased to announce its offering of $365mm of new origination whole loans. The collateral consists of 100% ARM Loans originated by a Bank as a portfolio product with an alt-doc component. The portfolio is concentrated in MI & FL with approximately 640 loans potentially qualifying for CRA credit. Loans >80 LTV are covered by PMI; this product has experienced near zero defaults over the history of the program. Parties should contact their MIAC sales representative at 212-233-1250 or Steve Harris for additional information on this servicing package.

The U.S. 10-year closed Monday yielding 2.99%, falling below the 3% threshold for the first time in nearly three months as optimism surrounding news that President Trump and President Xi agreed to suspend further tariff actions for 90 days to allow more time to negotiate a possible settlement on some major trade issues dominated headlines throughout the day. U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer will be leading the negotiations for the U.S., with the 90-day clock starting on January 1. President Trump tweeted that China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on imported cars from the U.S. Elsewhere internationally, Qatar said it is planning to withdraw from OPEC. And Canadian province Alberta says it will cut output by 325,000 barrels per day.

Today's economic calendar has Redbook same-store sales for the week ending December 1, the ISM-New York Index and Business Conditions for November, and NY Fed President Williams speaking. Don’t forget the bond market is closed tomorrow. As far as the GSEs are concerned, all issuer investor reporting, pooling and issuance activity, and capital markets data disclosure activity will remain on the normal schedule. Today begins with the 10-year yielding 2.96% and Agency MBS prices unchanged.

Vocations and Promotions

Fidelity Bank Mortgage is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with Retail Mortgage production offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Since 2008, the Mortgage division has grown to over 40 offices and over 600 employees. Fidelity Bank Mortgage is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae seller/servicer also offering portfolio products such as Portfolio Doctor Loans for eligible doctors, Construction-to-Permanent Loans, Non-QM Loans, and more. “The majority of our operational support is in the local markets, providing for the best possible customer service. Fidelity Bank Mortgage has one of the highest production averages per Loan Officer according to MBA/STRATMOR Peer Group Surveys and boasts well above average Performance and Loan Officer Loyalty. We are expanding into new markets and interested in Top Sales and Leadership Talent.Click here to contact David Rapson, Senior Vice President, Mortgage Production Manager, and view Fidelity’s eBook to learn more about the team.

Spiegel Accountancy Corp. (SAC) announced the promotions of Henry Chavez, CPA and Beeta Lecha, CPA, to Principal. The San Francisco Bay Area based CPA firm was established by Jeffrey B. Spiegel, CPA 27 years ago, and has since grown to be a powerhouse firm in the areas of lending and real estate. As department leads for their assurance and tax divisions, Chavez and Lecha bring extensive knowledge and technical expertise to their mortgage banking and private equity fund clients. Their promotions ensure continued customer service in their ever-expanding practice. Spiegel’s philosophy is to bring strategic, innovative solutions in the areas of assurance, accounting, tax compliance and tax planning to their mortgage banking clients.

“There is no other company that I can imagine working with” states Gregg Rudenberg, Producing Branch Manager and 9-year veteran of iServe Residential Lending.  “I’ve heard the recruiting pitch and false promises that are prevalent in the industry and always preferred stability and leadership that I can trust so that I can continue to produce. iServe provides me access to the best products, service and gives me direct access to decision makers in the company. Best of all, I have a personal professional marketing associate assigned directly to me for ads, flyers, CRM, social media…like my very own marketing company at my fingertips. My deals close on time, and my Realtor base is happy, so why would I ever consider changing?”  A powerful statement from a lender who is a good friend of this commentary. Reach out and see exactly what iServe has to offer. Management has immediate openings for originators in the Reno, San Diego, Castro Valley and Murfreesboro Loan Centers. Contact Allen Friedman in the West (415-298-2500) or Dennis Phillips in the East (615-497-6607).

“With all the talk of margin compression, everyone seems to be pointing at LO comp. But why isn’t there more discussion about trimming the fat from bloated retail shops who employ too many layers of middle management at corporate, have too many people involved in the loan process, and have outdated tech layered on top of slow LOS. Check out this 20 second video to see how Canopy Mortgage is trimming the fat from retail, keeping LO comp intact, and creating unheard of efficiencies with proprietary tech that allowed one loan officer to close 128 loans in one month. Do you believe there is a better way and need a fresh start? We’re growing rapidly; have an exploratory chat with Josh Neumarker (1-888-696-9076).”

“Submit non-QM loans in December, fund in December. ClearEdge Lending is service driven and sets itself apart by focusing on simplicity and speed at point-of-sale.  Issuing LEs/CDs, full underwrites, loan scenario requests, or bank statement reviews completed same day or next day. Submission to close as fast as 11 days. Non-QM products are critical in today's lending environment and at ClearEdge we are a leader in the space offering a broad menu of programs for mortgage brokers. We do not offer retail lending and are the end-investor which allows us to make critical credit decisions - - same day. Those interested in a growth-oriented career with ClearEdge Lending should email Matt Shaw for inside sales (Aliso Viejo, CA) and outside sales (CA & AZ) and Kelly Blackburn for account management, underwriting, disclosure specialist, closer/funder positions. Accepting new brokers, come join the ClearEdge Lending team.”

Caliber Home Loans, Inc. applauds the FHFA's announcement to raise the maximum loan limits for 2019 by $31,250. Prospective homebuyers now have more purchasing power with conforming loan limits of $484,350 and higher cost areas up to $726,525. Caliber Home Loans is one of the nation's premier purchase lenders – and as these new limits expand homebuyers’ options – now is a great time to help more families realize the dream of homeownership. Last month Caliber was ranked 3rd by IMF for 2018 non-bank lender volume. As the industry continues to experience changes, Caliber is committed to growing its nationally distributed sales force. If you're interested in joining one of the nation's top mortgage companies, visit Caliber or contact Jeremy DeRosa today.

Wanna work for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and analyze risk? Here’s your chance!