It’s good to keep things in perspective, and here’s some Tuesday trivia. Today, 2 billion adults around the world remain without a bank account, including my ne’er-do-well cousin. But 62% of the world's adult population has an account; up from 51% in 2011. Three years ago, 2.5 billion adults were unbanked. Obviously, the need to have a high credit score is not paramount in their minds, but it certainly invites questions about access to money, how transactions occur, the motivation to have a bank account, the cost of not banking, etc.
Fannie and Freddie, or Conventional Conforming
Sure the 2018 maximum loan amounts have gone up. But there's plenty of other things going on with the Agencies!
Fannie Mae has issued Lender Letter LL-2017-10 to confirm the general and high-cost area loan limits announced by the FHFA. The new loan limit in most of the country will be $453,100, which represents a 6.8 percent increase over the 2017 limit. The new limits are effective for whole loans delivered to Fannie Mae and loans in MBS pools with issue dates on or after Jan. 1, 2018. Detailed information and updated resources, including the Loan Limit Look-Up Table, are available on the Loan Limits page.
"We encourage market participants to start their impact assessments and business planning today, so they can be ready by the end of 2018. This will enable a smoother and easier transition when the Single Security Initiative is implemented in 2019. With our implementation of the Common Securitization Platform (CSP) at this time last year, we paved the way for a combined Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae $3.5 trillion market of to-be-announced (TBA) Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities (UMBS).
The Freddie Mac Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2017-26 announces a variety of selling changes. Updates to credit underwriting and mortgage eligibility requirements, Loan Product Advisor and more.
Fannie Mae issued a reminder that The LoanSphere Invoicing application now requires servicers to include service dates for the majority of expenses requested for reimbursement. Review the release notes for more information on populating these date fields.
F&F (the GSEs) have announced the publication of a static version of the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA)/Form 1003 to give lenders a preview of the updated form with FHFA's preferred language question. Interactive and dynamic versions of the redesigned URLA will be published later. Visit the URLA page for details and to review the updated documentation.
On November 15, Freddie Mac announced the issuance of Guide Bulletin 2017-26, which, among other things, expands borrower options for mortgage financing, eases certain underwriting requirements, and adds non-discrimination language. Specifically, the Bulletin announces the availability of 5-year ARMs as a newly eligible product under "Home Possible," "Freddie Mac Relief Refinance," and "Financed Permanent Buydown" mortgage programs. Freddie Mac is also removing the requirement that all income reported on Home Possible Mortgage applications must be verified. Additionally, effective March 15, 2018, consistent with the FHFA Minority and Women Inclusion Amendments Final Rule, all covered sellers "must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information (including family medical history), pregnancy, parental status, familial status, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or other characteristics protected by law."
Fannie Mae has recently announced the changes related to Mortgages Paid by Others and Multiple Financed Properties. When a borrower is obligated on a mortgage debt but is not the party who is repaying the debt, the full monthly housing expense (PITIA) may be excluded from the borrower's recurring monthly obligations if the party making the payments is obligated on the mortgage debt, there are no delinquencies in the most recent 12 months, and the borrower is not using rental income from the applicable property to qualify.
Franklin American Mortgage Company has updated some of its policies. Lenders can follow the guidelines per Fannie Mae SEL-2017-09 for when the borrower is obligated on a mortgage, but another party has been making the mortgage payments, effective immediately.
As of November 22, 2017, the Treasury UES has been updated to align with the previously announced from changes for Condominiums project review warranties. All M&T Bank condominiums in Treasury product are underwritten to Fannie Mae standards, with no overlays.
PennyMac is aligning with the conforming loan limit increases for standard and high balance loans, as announced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Read the PennyMac announcement for details.
Effective for loans locked on or after November 29, 2017, LHFS will accept conventional loans (Fannie and Freddie products only), using the 2018 conventional conforming loan limits. However, loans will not be able to fund until they are validated with an acceptable AUS finding. FHLMC LPA will be updated on December 3rd, and FNMA DU will be updated on December 9th.
Recent news from Flagstar Bank includes its Doc. #5717 an expansion to One-Close Construction. Major renovations will now be eligible on the 12-month construction term products. Also, effective Friday, December 01, 2017, Flagstar announced improvements to the Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation loan program. It has removed all overlays to align with conforming Fannie Mae guidelines for the Homestyle Renovation program. This includes, but is not limited to, improving the minimum credit score requirement to 620 for all eligible conforming transactions and adding eligibility for purchases and rate and term refinances on 3 and 4-unit primary residence properties.
The FHFA announced that the maximum conforming and high cost loan limits for mortgages acquired by F&F in 2018 will increase effective January 1, 2018. NewLeaf Wholesale will accept applications and locks at the new loan limits for FNMA/FHLMC (NewLeaf 1 and NewLeaf 2) products effective immediately.
AmeriHome's General Manual Underwriting and AUS Requirements has been updated to clarify that it requires the AUS findings of the Seller or Seller's originating TPO. AmeriHome does not accept another lender's AUS findings. Also noted by AmeriHome, when allowed by the product or program, AmeriHome will accept exterior property inspection reports conducted by a third-party inspector.
In Newsflash C17-052, Wells Fargo Funding communicated updates to identity-of- interest documentation requirements for Conforming and Non-Conforming Loans. The Non-Conforming Loans were referenced in error. A copy of the canceled earnest money check remains required for identity-of-interest transactions on Non-Conforming Loans. Refer to Section 825.15: Eligible Transactions for complete identity-of-interest documentation requirements for Non-Conforming Loans.
Flagstar Bank is now offering improvements to the Freddie Mac A-Minus Program, Doc. #5303. It will now be offering 3-4-unit options on Primary Residence and Investment Cash-Out transactions. The minimum credit score has also been improved to 620 for all transactions.
In terms of interest rates not much happened Monday to 30-year or 15-year prices. Now folks are talking about how the Senate GOP's tax bill stirred concerns about a potential increase in the government's budget deficit. And if that happens, it would not be good for rates, since borrowing would increase. The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs as risk appetite rallied as Saturday's passage by the Senate of its tax reform bill raised hopes for a reconciled bill to be on the President's desk before year-end. Yield curve devotees noted that the 2s10s spread narrowed to 57 basis points from 59 basis points on Friday.
But wait! Yet again we can all talk about the potential for a government shutdown at midnight on Friday if Congress can't agree on a continuing resolution to fund the government for a few more weeks. And the lack of a flood bill comes to a head Friday. Can Congress kick another can down the road?
For numbers the 10-year note closed last night yielding 2.38%, about where it began on the day, and agency MBS prices worsened a tick or two. This morning we've had October international trade ($48.7 billion) and coming up is ISM services indexes for November - neither of which are big market movers. The Senate Banking Committee meets at 10AM ET to vote on the nomination of Fed Governor Powell to head up the Federal Reserve. Don't expect any surprises. After the trade number this morning we find rates a shade higher versus last night with the 10-year at 2.39% and 30-year agency MBS prices worse about .125.
Events, Employment, and LO Training
Are you interested in learning more about homebuyers? Then join the Sierra Pacific Mortgage Market Power Series as they host a free webinar that covers homebuyers' surveys. The National Association of Realtors has developed their expertise by researching homebuyer and seller trends for over 35 years. Join the Market Power session with host Jessica Lautz, Manager of Member & Consumer Survey Research as she will be sharing the survey results on demographics, housing characteristics, and the experience of consumers in the housing market. Register today.
Western Bancorp is excited to welcome Ron Scott to the WBC family. Ron will be serving as Southwest Regional Sales Manager based in Austin, TX. Known for his economic management of the ever-changing mortgage landscape, Ron will be overseeing teams in Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. With over 25 years in the industry, Ron has held top management positions in all three production channels - Wholesale, Retail, and Correspondent and developed operational and compliance processes for both start-up and ongoing platforms. Ron is looking for Senior Account Executives in all markets so contact him (512-585-2284).
"Do you need to recruit producers but don't know where to start? Model Match Production Prospector helps you target the originators doing the type and amount of business that is best matched to your company. Get the data, save time and take the guesswork out by getting visibility into a producer's volume for the previous year, trailing 12 months and most recent 90 days, as well as unit count, average loan, product mix, purchase percentage and all the details you need to make contact today. CLICK HERE to customize the criteria for your ideal candidates and get the data now, or CLICK HERE to set up a time with a product specialist to learn more about Model Match and our Production Prospector. We help our clients grow their business organically through a strategic and structured recruiting plan."
How will you onboard and train new loan officers in 2018? Get the strategies you need to add incredible talent to your team with "Development of the Next Generation of Loan Officers," a new resource from XINNIX. This all-inclusive guide provides step-by-step tactics for hiring, training and assimilating new loan officers into your organization. You'll learn 10 steps to elevate your sales force, from creating a profile of the ideal candidate to determining a training and assimilation plan. Click here to get your free copy of "Development of the Next Generation of Loan Officers" today!
Idle is a four-letter word at Union Home Mortgage Corp. With a focus on continuous expansion and responsible lending, President & CEO Bill Cosgrove is 'committed to being ALL IN to grow UHM's Wholesale business and support broker partners on a national level.' To fuel its year-over-year growth, UHM is actively seeking experienced Account Executives nationwide, with a current focus on the Central U.S. region. Ready to join a customer-centric organization dedicated to providing world-class service at competitive prices? Contact Jim Wickham, VP, Third Party Origination at (248) 318.8553, via email or on LinkedIn.