Have you ever wondered why so many lottery winners go broke? If they had any financial sense, they wouldn’t have bought a lottery ticket in the first place. (By the way, aloha from Hawai’i! I’ve been saving my vacation pennies for nearly nine months, and this commentary comes to you from Maui. Yes, the alphabet here has 12 letters, 13 if you include a noise similar to what you’d say to a dog to get it to stop from jumping on the couch.) Lenders have a modicum of financial sense, and the MBA tells us that total production revenue (gross gain-on-sale margin) increased to 475 bp in 3Q up from 429 bps in 2Q (note that this number is most comparable to retail gain-on-sale margins reported by mortgage originators). The average pre-tax production profit margin was 203 bp up from 167 bp in 2Q. This was up sharply from 74 bp in 3Q19 and 20 bp in 3Q18. The pre-tax production profit margin has averaged 52 bp from the inception of the survey in 3Q08 to now. This quarter looks great as well, so 2020 should be by far the most profitable year for the industry since the inception of the MBA Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.
Lender and Broker Services and Products
Huntington Securities Inc., a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares, has expanded its trading activities to include a new mortgage-hedging platform with a national footprint. Huntington has built a five-person team featuring experts with strong reputations and deep relationships in the industry. The group will focus on TBA securities and expand Huntington’s presence in MBS and whole loan trading activities. Rod Damon, a 36-year mortgage-trading veteran most recently with ED&F Man, has joined the company to lead the group. The broader team includes Rob Branthover, Matt Camp, Logan Damon, and Scott Highfill, all of whom will support the sales and trading effort. The team will be based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Huntington Bancshares is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with $118 billion of assets. Huntington provides consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. It also provides vehicle finance, equipment finance, national settlement, and capital market services that extend beyond its core Midwestern states.
GO Mortgage and NAIBRS are sponsoring the Housing Leadership Summit for Realtors webinar on December 10th at 11:00 am Central. NAIBRS is offering its New Construction Specialist certification class (valued at $59) free to anyone who registers for the Housing Leadership Summit for Realtors webinar. With this certification, real estate agents can differentiate themselves to win more listings and help homebuyers navigate through a complex process involving builders, architects, mortgage lenders, and a myriad of options. To learn more or to register, visit https://bit.ly/decemberrealtorsummit.
This week, ReadyPrice announced the addition of Non-QM product availability on their platform confirming Readyprice as the first Pricing and Loan Delivery technology to offer wholesale programs across all product categories! With ReadyPrice, Brokers can easily search every category of Loan Products, from the 800+ credit slam-dunk refi to the borrower that has experienced credit events and requires alternative documentation. Leading the Non-QM charge for ReadyPrice are lender-sponsors First Guaranty Mortgage Corp, Impac Mortgage, and NEWFI Wholesale, with additional Non-QM lender-sponsors joining the platform quickly. For lenders interested in learning more about ReadyPrice’s wholesale broker technology, they can schedule a call or visit www.readyprice.com/lenders to begin exploring opportunities today.
Demand for NonQM is returning fast. Access to Non-QM products makes you competitive, but having the right tools makes you successful. LoanNEX is the leading expanded eligibility, pricing, and decisioning platform with over 100 screening attributes and dynamic DTI calculations for accurate pricing results. LoanNEX™ makes navigating the complexities of NonQM easy. Wholesale and correspondent programs are returning quickly, live on LoanNEX: Sprout, ACC, Angel Oak, Luxury, Verus, FGMC, and Capital Alliance, more coming. LoanNEX’s leadership team has expanded with the addition of Lisa Schreiber. Schreiber said “I am excited to be working with a great team that’s leading the way for Non-QM. As a correspondent, broker, or an investor, the LoanNEX platform has the right tools to collaborate and discover the best options for your clients”. Momentum is returning to NonQM and LoanNEX is your resource to stay on top. For more information, contact email@example.com or request a demo.
Are you ready for VA IRRRL and FHA Streamline refinance opportunities in this market? Learn how to efficiently submit your files once for a final approval! Join Freedom Mortgage Wholesale for live webinar training sessions on VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline mortgage products and origination processes. Ideal for new or experienced government originators. Sign up for a VA IRRRL or FHA Streamline webinar on 12/8 (VA IRRRL), 12/11 (FHA SL), 12/15 (FHA SL) or 12/18 (VA IRRRL).
Free eBook- Cybersecurity for Lenders! Data Facts has put together a free new eBook that'll help you understand how to protect your lending institution from cyber risk, as well as the key components you’ll need in an information security program. You can download the eBook here. In a COVID world, cyberattacks are growing increasingly common. Thus, it’s critical to refocus your efforts to address cyber risk- which begs the question: Are you adequately prioritizing cybersecurity within your lending institution? For more expert tools and resources that can help your mortgage lending team, subscribe to Data Fact’s weekly blog, and make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.
Odds and Ends
I usually try to group lender and investor news to keep things in perspective and relation with each other. But here’s a group of assorted news with nothing in common besides being interesting to those in our biz and involved corporate structure, products, or underwriting.
Out of Denver comes news that Cherry Creek Mortgage has a change in ownership and a reorganization of its corporate structure “to better support the company’s continued growth.” CCM is now 100 percent owned by the family of its co-founder, Jeffrey May. Previously, the company was owned by the families of May and its other co-founder, the late U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong. While they were at it, the company’s owners have formed Cherry Creek Holdings Group, LLC, the new parent company of Cherry Creek Mortgage and other affiliated businesses. Rick Seehausen has been appointed to president and COO of Cherry Creek Holdings, where he will oversee all company operations.
UWM announced UWM InTouch, a mobile app that provides brokers access to do their jobs from the palm of their hands. The app allows brokers to instantaneously complete tasks such as locking or extending loans, submitting, reviewing, and tracking changes of circumstances, uploading, and reviewing cleared conditions/invoices and creating and managing all client requests. Recall that UWM announced a tool for mortgage brokers, EZ Findings, a simplified checklist of findings. Now brokers have everything they need to know and nothing they don’t. EZ Findings is an added benefit to UWM’s One-Click AUS, which runs DU and LPA simultaneously to provide an instant comparison to help independent mortgage brokers decide which option is best for borrowers. The full AUS findings are still available, however, EZ Findings helps brokers identify the exact documents needed instantly, putting them in a position to successfully receive a one or two touch clear to close.
Plaza Home Mortgage® was recently named one of the Top 30 Companies in Mortgage & Servicing by MReport Magazine. The companies recognized met the challenges of this year with “an ideal blend of benefits, perks, culture and atmosphere that sets them apart from the rest.”
PennyMac Correspondent Group’s new Announcement 20-75: Reminder of MERS Requirements Clarification
Effective Dec. 1, 2020, Caliber Home Loans is resuming its acceptance new locks and registrations for refinance loans that require Caliber underwriting before loan closing.
AmeriHome has updated its Visa and EAD Eligibility Guide Matrix to further clarify the visa categories and types that do not require an EAD. Also, for visa categories that do require an EAD, the corresponding EAD code is now provided.
Orion Lending announced new enhancements in STAR Portal including re-requiring StrikePrice to be set on every loan. No more checking Daily Rates, StrikePrice allows you to set your desired rate and price range and the STAR Portal will notify you when it is time to lock.
Can you believe that it’s been a year since Fifth Third Bank converted its bank charter to a national banking association, operating under the title of Fifth Third Bank, National Association?
Events and Training
Next week you might see less of your Accounting and Finance team as they attend the latest MBA LIVE virtual conference and earn their CPE credits on December 9 and 10. In a year highly dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, MBA’s Accounting & Financial Management Conference 2020 will focus on the resulting changes across real estate finance, affecting both residential and commercial/multifamily. It’s not too late to sign up to hear economic and industry analyses on the state of the markets and attain expert insight to best manage cash and liquidity. You will receive the latest updates in rules and regulations, as well as guidance on how to move forward.
What lies ahead for the mortgage industry in 2021? It's important for originators and lenders to keep the constant stream of news in context in order to know how to best help their clients. Join MMG Chief Market Analyst Bill Bodnar and me for the Industry Outlook 2021 webinar on Wednesday, January 20th at 2:00 p.m. ET, as we discuss some of the “big picture” industry topics for the year ahead. Click here to save your seat.
MBAF is offering two Doug Smith Webinars on January 20th: Selling to Realtors in Today's Market is a 45-minute webinar presenting ten powerful “do and don’ts” for targeting and working with Real Estate agents effectively and successfully in 2021. The 45-minute webinar, Building a Winning Team, presents the 8 core competencies managers need to develop in their originators if their goal is to have a high volume “winning” team.
The Non-QM market has bounced back after a brief pause earlier this year, and with operations ramping up, there has never been a better time to convene the industry. The launch of IMN's Virtual Non-QM Forum is scheduled for January 21. This full-fledged virtual event will feature multiple panel sessions, exhibits, networking/online chatting, meeting scheduling, detailed reporting etc. Secure your spot for this January event to meet and network with an expected 500+ event delegation.
The American Mortgage Conference is scheduled for April 27, will take place in an innovative, virtual format filled with live sessions and OnDemand content that includes a panel of industry experts, peer discussion, live networking sessions with exhibitors and general session headline speakers at this year's event. This one-of-a-kind program brings together leading experts in the financial services industry, policymakers, investors, and mortgage practitioners.
For anyone looking for much bond market or rate movement Thursday, they were disappointed. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for November was ahead of expectations, expanding for the sixth straight month. New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by the most in almost two months but are still massive figures that don't make for a healthy economy. Brexit trade talks reportedly saw prospects of (what appeared to be) an imminent deal fall backwards over some exceptions taken by France. Pfizer will ship only half of the planned 100 million doses of its vaccine by year end because of supply chain issues, but the company said as much early last month, which had gone unnoticed.
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed new record lows in 15-year and 30-year mortgage rates for the week ending December 3 of 2.26% and 2.71%, respectively. Black Knight reported a modest 39k decline in the number of active forbearances this week, driven in part by the 200k forbearance plan expirations that were scheduled for the end of November. As of December 1, 2.76 million homeowners remained in active forbearance plans, representing 5.2% of all active mortgages per BK.
The always-important payrolls report kicked off today’s economic calendar, this time for November. The Unemployment Rate clocked in at 6.7 percent on a lower participation rate, Nonfarm Payrolls at 245k, much lower than expected, and Hourly Earnings at +.3 percent. The October trade deficit is also out ($63.1 billion). October factory orders are due out later this morning. Today also sees three scheduled Fed appearances (Chicago’s Evans, Governor Bowman, and Minneapolis’ Kashkari) before the December 15/16 FOMC meeting as the Fed goes into its blackout period. The MBS FedTrade purchase schedule sees two morning operations targeting up to $4.9 billion starting with $1.3 billion UMBS15 1.5% and 2% followed by $3.6 billion UMBS30 1.5% and 2%. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse/up a few ticks and the 10-year yielding .93 after closing yesterday at 0.92 percent after the employment data.
meMortgage is finally live and ready to have a breakout year in 2021! meMortgage President Honey Manderville says, “As a woman-led organization, I am excited for this challenge to finally create a wholesale mortgage company where anyone can succeed. With our loyal following and volume projections of over $1 billion in our first year, you can count on hearing our name for years to come.” meMortgage is currently licensed in 28 states across the nation and hiring for all positions immediately. Please send your resume to Honey@meMortgage.com.
Agility 360, a mortgage-centric recruiting and project staffing firm, continues to fulfill demand for experienced servicing and originations staff. With historically low rates, ongoing forbearance programs, and increasing delinquencies, mortgage lenders and servicers need a true partner that can quickly find and onboard qualified mortgage professionals. As a full-service, industry-focused personnel sourcing and recruiting firm, Agility 360 builds long-term client relationships by understanding each client, and their needs & unique requirements. Our proprietary nationwide candidate database, disciplined sourcing, and vetting methodology ensures high client satisfaction through metric-driven results. Whether you need call-center representatives, processors, funders, or senior underwriting staff, Agility always finds “the best person for the job.” Leveraging over twenty years of talent management experience, Agility has created the most sophisticated mortgage talent resource network in the industry. If you’d like to learn how we can help, please contact Raj Sharma at 469-208-6337 or Cesar Hernandez.
A client recently called the CEO directly, twice. This borrower tried to do a loan with a company that “specialized” in VA loans, but grew so frustrated that his agent suggested he call Thrive Mortgage. The experience was so fantastic, the borrower just had to call and thank the CEO for supporting the teams to provide such great experiences, even in a pandemic. In the process, the CEO hears about medical challenges this veteran experienced, so the CEO sends the client to Defenders of Freedom, a proud partnership-organization for specialized medical treatment that is revolutionary. The CEO gets a second call for making a difference for this family’s house, and now their home! Leaders make the difference. This is why our CEO has one of the highest ratings possible on Glass Door. We are so thankful for veterans and leaders that stay humble and caring! For more information, visit join.Thrivemortgage.com.
“Finance of America Mortgage is #Allin: all in with our customers, all in with our loan officers, and brokers! Creating customers for life and repeat business is our focus, and we’d like to welcome Carrie Bolton to the FAMily as SVP of Customer Retention and Loyalty. As a seasoned loyalty executive committed to great customer experience, Carrie will continue to build upon Finance of America’s commitment to customer retention and growth efforts within Loan Servicing and MSR acquisition. Sharon Clark will be working alongside Carrie Bolton as the Retention Director, developing and activating integrated marketing plans to execute multi-channel acquisition, retention, and cross-sell marketing campaigns within Finance of America. We’re not done growing yet! Check us out today at Finance of America Mortgage to see other opportunities.”
Churchill Mortgage, licensed in 46 states, announced the promotion of Kathy Cook to VP of Closing. Churchill has adopted "eClosing" options for borrowers and using Remote Online Notarization in states that accept them.