No one wants their labors to go to waste, whether you’re an underwriter who is over-ruled by the head of credit, or an MLO who finds out your approved borrower is going to a competitor. What about designing and building a major amusement park in Louisiana quickly abandoned? Let’s just say nature bats last.

Lender Services and Products

Nationwide lender, NewRez, has announced the official launch of Your Home Financial, a new joint venture mortgage company. NewRez partnered with Russell Real Estate Services, a heavy hitter in the Cleveland, Ohio region with over 650 agents, to form the new JV in July 2019. With the Sales Team led by Paul McKelvey as President, Your Home Financial, is now fully operational. “At NewRez, we take great pride in our Joint Venture partnerships and only seek out those who we believe will make a positive impact on our respective businesses as well as the client and agent communities they serve,” says Randy Vanden Houten, SVP, Joint Venture & Retail Lending at NewRez. For more information on the NewRez joint venture platform, please contact Randy VandenHouten or visit NewRez JV.

Romans Publishing and Training recently announced that it has joined the Ellie Mae® Pro Consulting Partner Program™. Romans Publishing and Training is a professional writing firm providing documentation solutions for the mortgage industry. As a Pro Partner with Ellie Mae, the firm offers tailored training and reference guides related to the procedures completed within the loan operating system. This documentation solution enables lenders to accelerate the loan life cycle with branded reference materials, thus increasing efficiencies and fostering employee engagement. For more information, visit the Romans Publishing and Training website.

Mortgage technology provider, Mortech, a Zillow Group business, has released an improved model for their predictive analytics platform, Mortech Protection. The update allows Mortech to identify a population of addresses within a lender's database that are very likely to list for sale, of which 1 in 4 homes will list in the next 90 days. Lenders can then target their outreach marketing to these specific home sellers needing financing for their next home with the right message at the right time. One lender using the Mortech platform stated, “At Axos Bank, our mortgage professionals rely on Mortech Protection to help identify when customers are potentially in the market to buy, sell or refinance their home. Using this information, we can proactively provide customers with mortgage tools to help them move forward with a purchase,” John Dustman, SVP, Consumer Direct Lending. For more information, contact Mortech via email or call 855-298-9327.

For loan originators looking to get more done in less time outside the office, check out the recording from last week’s webinar from Momentifi CEO, Gibran Nicholas: How to Use Mobile CRM Technology to Save Time & Close More Loans in 2020. Topics include: how to calculate the Lifetime Value of your clients based on the latest mortgage industry stats; how to use mobile videos to close more loans from your database of clients and referral partners; how to use mobile technology to stay organized on-the-go, collaborate with your team and build more relationships outside the office. Gibran also shared some new insights from recent homebuyer surveys that you can use to stand out from your competition and convert more leads in 2020. Click here to obtain the recording.

Are you ready for 2020? Have you considered the change to a purchase market? While agency guidelines and investor overlays are constantly changing, your responsiveness can remain rock solid. With TheRuleTool™ you have instant access to guidelines and overlays offered in clear, transparent language. It's as simple as picking your agency, entering your keyword into the search bar, then scrolling through the results. You can even quickly ask a guideline or scenario question of TheRuleTool™ Credit Policy Team. Visit to start your free 30-day trial of TheRuleTool™. Being amazing isn’t complicated – it just takes the right tool.

Jumbo and Non-QM Notes

Do ATR (ability to repay) and QM (qualified mortgage) regs help borrowers, or do they take away an underwriter's discretion to approve a borrower who just barely misses on ATR?  Does that borrower end up getting a higher rate, circumventing the whole purpose of ATR? The CFPB wrote a 272-page analysis on the subject, and if you're truly interested, you can read it here.

Effective with all new applications as of December 5th, Associated Bank has combined the Non-Jumbo Portfolio ARM, Jumbo Portfolio ARM and Jumbo Fixed into one product matrix. Pricing vendors supported by Associated Bank support have been advised of the changes as of 11/27/2019. Please confirm the changes have been incorporated for jumbo 15 and jumbo 30 year fixed prior to locking.

Excelerate Capital Wholesale Mortgage offers Super Jumbos up to $5 million & above. Click Here to view No Income/No Ratio Loans.

Carrington Mortgage Services rolled out Prime Advantage, designed for higher-credit-quality non-agency borrowers who may have “just missed” qualifying for conventional or jumbo loans. The Prime Advantage product allows for the use of Alternative Income Documentation, while delivering competitive pricing. Prime Advantage is a perfect fit for borrowers who find themselves in between qualifying for the Carrington Flexible Advantage PlusSM program and conventional or jumbo products.

Plaza’s Solutions Non-QM program has been simplified to allow for a flat 50% expense ratio for loans qualified using business bank statements. Borrowers with expenses less than 50% may still qualify using the 3rd party expense statement or P&L options. The borrower P&L option has been retired. And in addition to the minimum loan amount increasing to $510,401 per the new FHFA 2020 loan limits, Plaza’s Preferred Jumbo program has been updated with the following: Other than for properties owned free and clear, borrowers without a recent documented 12 month housing payment history are ineligible. Information has been added to outline scenarios where borrowers may qualify for a payment recast.

Wells Fargo Funding is expanding its policy on Deed in lieu of foreclosure – conventional Conforming and Non-Conforming Loans by removing requirements prohibiting homeowners associations from charging lenders for more than six months of dues in the event of deed in lieu of foreclosure for all Prior Approval and Non-Conforming Correspondent Credit Underwrite (CCU) Loans secured against condominium properties.

In a recent loanDepot Wholesale/Correspondent Announcement, the following topics were discussed: loanDepot Jumbo Advantage, New Loan Limits – 2020, VA Fixed & ARM Matrix, loanDepot Wholesale Disaster Inspection Requirements, State Required Broker Disclosure Matrix and Selling Guide Announcement SEL 2019-08.

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions’ Bank Statement program “makes it easier for self-employed borrowers to close loans.” Tax returns are not required, and borrowers no longer must own 100% of a business. Borrowers can own as little as 25% of the business for personal or 50% for business bank statements and 1099 borrowers can qualify.

AmeriHome expanded its Core Jumbo program guidelines, including: 90% to $2 million for primary residences, 90% to $1.5 million for second homes, and 70% to $2 million for investment properties, with no MI at any LTV. For the complete Core Jumbo product matrix, see the program guide on SellerWeb. And it has updated its Core Jumbo Program Guide for clarification to the Notice of Right to Cancel Model Form Requirements. For transactions with a new creditor, use H-8 Rescission Model Form (General), or a substantially similar notice. For transactions with the original creditor, use H-9 Rescission Model Form (Refinancing with Original Creditor), or a substantially similar notice. Also, Self-Employment Income – Profit and Loss Statement (P & L) and Balance Sheet Requirements have been updated. Generally, Self-Employed borrowers must provide a year-to-date P & L Statement and Balance Sheet for each business, including sole proprietorships, when income from that business is being used to qualify. P & Ls and Balance Sheets are not required to be signed and dated, but if they are signed and dated, the signature date must be on or prior to the loan consummation date.

As previously announced by the agencies and addressed in PRMG Product Updates 19-68 and 19-71, loan limits have been updated and are now reflected in the product profiles. Additionally, December 20 will be the last day locks will be accepted under the Niche product line, as it is being retired. Most options under the products are now available through the Expanded Access product line. There is currently no funding cut-off date for Niche loans locked as of December 20. And PRMG has a new option for Down Payment Funds on its Ruby Jumbo program.

Verus Mortgage Capital rolled out Prime Ascent Plus, a higher balance loan program for applicants with alternative income documentation. LTVs up to 90 percent, FICOs down to 660, 24-month standard documentation options, 12- and 24-month alternative documentation options for self-employed borrowers, 24-month Alt Doc 1099, DTI up to 50 percent, and loan amounts from $150,000-$2.5 million.

Capital Markets

Looking at rates from the end of last week, Treasuries ended the volatile week sharply reversing Thursday’s declines to rally amid uncertainty on Friday, as inconsistencies appeared between trade-related statements from China and the U.S. President Trump had reportedly agreed to significant reductions on tariffs he has placed on $360 billion of Chinese goods, in return for concessions including a commitment to purchase American farm products. But Chinese officials revealed that the agreement has not been signed yet and suggested that the U.S. will roll back tariffs in phases.

President Trump said that the 25 percent tariff on $250 billion worth of imports from China will remain in place while the 15 percent tariff on $112 billion worth of imports will be cut in half. In addition, President Trump said that phase two negotiations will begin immediately while Chinese officials said that these negotiations will depend on the implementation of the first phase. The signing of the phase-one agreement would represent an agreement after 19 months of back and forth over trade practices that Mr. Trump has criticized as unfair to American companies and workers. In other trade-related news, it was reported the U.S. Trade Representative may recommend imposing a 100% tariff on imports of many European products, including food and alcohol.

Not helping matters was a weaker-than-expected retail sales report for November, showing softer levels of discretionary spending activity. Fortunately, there was still growth, which is consistent with the market's view that the U.S. consumer will keep spending.

European stocks rose to near record highs after the UK election results came in, with uncertainty removed over the course of Brexit, at least in the short term. The Conservative party came away with a big electoral victory, suggesting that an effort will be put forth to complete Brexit by January 31. Elsewhere, Germany’s 2019 GDP estimate was revised downward and the 2020 forecast was halved and the Japanese government will reportedly issue more deficit-covering bonds than was speculated, and Japan's October Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization declined beyond expectations.

As we enter the final full trading week for 2019, highlights include November Housing Starts and Building Permits, November Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, and October JOLTS tomorrow; the December Philadelphia Fed Survey, November Existing Home Sales, Leading Indicators, and the latest monetary policy decisions from the BoJ, BoE and Norges Bank on Thursday; and November Personal Income and Spending, the PCE Price Index, and Q3 GDP (third estimate) on Friday.

Not that this number matters, but today’s economic calendar is already underway with December Empire State Manufacturing (+.6 to 3.5). Later today brings the release of Markit PMIs for manufacturing and services, and the December NAHB Housing Market Index. With regards to MBS, the Fed will conduct four FedTrade operations today through Thursday (and the last ones of the year), targeting up to $2.445 billion MBS with today’s operation focusing on $704 million UMBS30 2.5 percent ($134 million) and 3 percent ($570 million). Fed speak is on the light side this week with five Fed presidents currently scheduled, including Minneapolis’ Kashkari later today. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.85 percent after closing last week at 1.82 percent.



During Q3, Gateway First Bank’s loan production hit a record level of more than $2.4 billion, putting the year-to-date production above $7 billion. This achievement makes 2019 the best production year ever for Gateway. Additionally, Gateway opened seven new mortgage centers in Ocean City, N.J.; Morristown, N.J.; Greely, Colo.; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Fall City, Wash.; San Antonio, Texas; and Bend, Ore. The openings are representative of the fast-growing nature of the company, which now has more than 160 mortgage centers across the nation and is licensed in 40 states. Gateway maintains a committed focus on enhancing the customer experience and provides the tools necessary to empower employees. If you want to bring your bright future to Gateway, contact Sherry Gray or visit

Towne Mortgage is very pleased to welcome Mark Zierott (SVP National Sales), Beverly AbiAntoun (TPO Regional Manager) and Dee Dee Emmert (Account Executive) to the Towne Family. “I am super excited to be a part of the Towne team! Having worked for many years with CEO Mark Janssen and CPO John Korch at MB Financial, there is a trust factor that is critical to be successful in today’s mortgage environment. Having the ability to sell wholesale, non-delegated and delegated correspondent is a differentiator that allows our AEs to be extremely successful”, said Zierott. Account Executives at Towne have access to a full FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA agency product set, renovation products (203K & FNMA Homestyle), Construction, Jumbo, Non-QM as well as no minimum FICO FHA, manual underwrites and manufactured housing. If you are an AE interested in learning more about opportunities at Towne, please send confidential inquires to Mark.

“Caliber Home Loans, Inc. has had a monumental 2019 and is on pace for the highest production total in company history, at over $60 billion. To celebrate this incredible achievement, CEO Sanjiv Das invited our most successful producers to New York for the CEO Circle of Special Distinction. Everyone stayed at the iconic Plaza Hotel, experienced the world-famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, met Million Dollar Listing’s Ryan Serhant, dined at Michelin star restaurant Nobu Fifty Seven, and spent quality time with our executive leadership team. This elite group is truly the best of the best in the mortgage business. Rewards and recognition are just the icing on the cake for our originators. To learn more about a career at Caliber visit or email Brian Miller.”