“When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.” In late 2022 vendors and lenders had a taste of the first part of 2023, and it isn’t exactly sweet. No one owns a crystal ball, and if they did, do you really think they’d spend their time telling you about the future rather than sitting on a beach relaxing while their money did the work? In the midst of a dreary winter, who, in places like Michigan, Illinois, or North Dakota, aren’t thinking about the beach? Here’s a site to compete with Expedia that focuses only on enjoyable beach vacations. (We are reminded to continue to enjoy life, since death is in the headlines, most “before their time”: dozens from the storms in California and Alabama, Lisa Marie Presley, Jeff Beck, Charles White…) Continuing with the beach theme, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is poised to ask Florida lawmakers to ban China from buying farmland and residences in Florida. "We don't want to have holdings by hostile nations. And so if you look at the Chinese Communist Party, they've been very active throughout the Western Hemisphere in gobbling up land and investing in different things." (Today’s podcast is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and award-winning developer of mobile-first technology for the modern mortgage lender.)
Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services
As you kick off the New Year, get ready for more anticipated CFPB rulemaking! The CFPB’s latest amass of rulemaking taps efforts to exert authority over nonbanks and analyzes the impact of AVMs on consumers’ welfare. It also looks at whether credit reporting agencies care more about profits or consumers, evaluates electronic data access for consumers to your products and services, and more! Don’t leave your organization exposed to the risk of CFPB fines or enforcement action. Getting ahead and staying ahead of process scrutiny rulemaking is no small task, especially if you lack the sophisticated automation, complex decisioning, and real-time access needed to ensure thorough, nimble, and timely implementation of CFPB’s latest guidance. Read Clarifire’s recent blog, “What You Need to Look for with the CFPB’s Forthcoming Rulemaking Activities“ to find out “what” rules are being considered and “how” you can be prepared with CLARIFIRE®. Seamless servicing, proven innovation, and truly BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®.
FundingShield, the market leader in live wire & title fraud risk management and closing-agent compliance, issued a Press Release announcing $670 billion in mortgage-related payments were secured in 2022, 63% client growth in 2022, and that its CEO Ike Suri has joined the California Mortgage Bankers Association Board. Ike shared, "…we empathize with our clients going through lower volumes, however fraud has only risen as it has an inverse relationship. Cyber-security risk prevention tools and risk automation have helped our clients’ right size while maintaining compliance, review, and risk management workflows in this challenged market. The risks are pervasive thus the solutions being leveraged allow clients to save up to $200 per transaction. We are the only firm to offer warranties covering up to $5 Million per transaction for wire & tile fraud risks with deployed solutions used by large banks to smaller lenders on $2.5 Trillion Protected to date.”
Peak homebuying season is just around the corner. Have you thought about how your loan officers present borrowers with multiple loan scenarios? Excel files and over-the-phone conversations aren't going to cut it for these modern homebuyers. Time is of the essence, and if you're not providing a super dynamic and easy-to-understand breakdown for borrowers, your competitors will. QuickQual by LenderLogix allows you to share multiple scenarios specific to your borrower's financials right to their cell phone. They can swipe through the options and even play around with some of the numbers (like Sales Price) for real-time insights. This on-demand, high-touch, and hyper-personalized comparison creates confident buyers, and confident buyers win bids. Check it out here.
Many mortgage servicers are preparing to head to Orlando next month for the MBA’s Servicing Solutions Conference & Expo 2023 in Orlando. MortgageFlex will be among the exhibitors at the show, demonstrating its second generation, web-based cloud servicing system. The leading technology developer recently completed a redesign and technology upgrade to its platform, which also includes the first and only bi-lingual servicing portal and mobile app. In preparation for the show, the company has prepared a free fact sheet that highlights a number of conference sessions company executives believe will be particularly valuable at the show. Email John or Jennifer to get a copy of the fact sheet and MortgageFlex will see you at the show.
Planet Home Lending’s Correspondent division is built on the belief that strong partnerships are the cornerstone of success and an unwavering commitment to Correspondent lending. Let us serve you with our continually refined product lineup to ensure you have the right tools to get the job done in any market cycle, including government and conventional loans, as well as niche products like renovation, manufactured homes, and buydown loans. Talk to Regional Sales Manager Jennifer Caldwell | 909-225-8444), and Regional Sales Manager Tiffany Ta (714-376-3214) at the Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference at Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, CA, Jan. 23-26. Or click here to download the latest version of our Product Highlights, then put Planet to work for you. Because no matter the market, we do Correspondent lending right.
Do you have the business intelligence and comparative peer benchmarking to optimize your business in 2023 and beyond? Make 2023 the year to step up your game with Richey May’s RM Analyze, business intelligence designed by and for mortgage industry experts. Our platform consolidates data from every department and every piece of software you use. It provides just the right reporting from the C-suite to the front line, plus the ability to see how you’re performing against your peers in real time. Bonus: our analysts have deep mortgage experience, so you don’t need to train us on your business. Don’t wait any longer to set up the reports you needed yesterday. Cross-functional data. User-friendly dashboards. Real-time analysis. Contact us today for a walk-through and custom implementation plan.
Interested to learn more about market volatility best practices? Explore MCT’s market volatility guidance for lenders page or read the Six Unique Ways to Increase Your Profitability Despite Market Headwinds whitepaper. And are you wondering what can we expect for 2023? MCT’s recent blog, 2023 Housing Market Predictions, delves into potential paths forward for the residential housing industry as we enter the new year. As the market moves through different cycles, lenders are continuously evaluating whether to retain or release mortgage servicing rights (MSR) as part of their overall strategy. MCT & Mr. Cooper recently released a whitepaper, Getting Started with Co-Issue Transactions, that reviews the basics of co-issue transactions, helps dispel common MSR myths, and explains how to incorporate various strategies to achieve your business objectives. Additionally, sign up for MCT’s newsletter to receive the latest capital markets content.
VA, FHA, USDA, and Ginnie Mae News
Unlike, in theory, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are somewhat separate from the U.S. Government (although they are “sponsored”), FHA and VA programs are backed by the government, and most of their loans are put into Ginnie Mae securities. And many parts of our nation are involved in “rural” lending. Let’s see what’s been happening there lately.
In USDA news, recent Procedures Notices 571 and 572 were issued which improves the direct single family housing programs through changes to Handbook-1-3550. There were revisions made in Chapter 3, including updates to Attachment 3-A, related to application packaging for Section 502 and 504 direct programs, and specific revisions in Chapter 5.
USDA Rural Development posted notice of an Interest Rate Increase for SFH Direct Programs on 01/03/2023.
In VA news, President Biden signed H.R. 7735, the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022, into public law (P.L. 117-308). The full Senate had passed the bill by unanimous consent and in the same form by which it passed the full House last fall. Our Mortgage Bankers Association observed, “The enactment of this MBA-endorsed legislation will help to ensure servicemembers, veterans, and their families have access to more affordable, sustainable homeownership opportunities through the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Home Loan Program. The reforms included in H.R. 7735 will direct the VA to revisit existing program requirements to make appraisals more readily available and less cumbersome for buyers and lenders by requiring the VA to review appraisal certification requirements, encourage hybrid appraisals, employ emerging technologies, and revisit policies on property inspection waivers, minimum property requirements, and comparable sales.”
MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, applauded the bill’s passage in a press statement.
FHA published extensions to its temporary regulatory and Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 waivers which allow mortgagees to utilize alternative methods for conducting face-to-face interviews with borrowers in accordance with FHA’s early default intervention requirements.
Ginnie Mae announced that it has updated information related to the eNote clauses within its Digital Collateral Program eGuide via APM 22-15. This technical update aligns Ginnie Mae’s Digital Collateral Program with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by leveraging their updated, uniform eNotes.
CBC Mortgage Agency's FHA correspondent clients take note that it has streamlines its correspondent lending guide. Clarification on the requirements and guidelines for loan submissions, resulting in a more efficient and smooth process for both lenders and borrowers.
Rates dropped yesterday after it was revealed that consumer prices rose 6.5 percent in the 12 months through December, marking the slowest inflation rate in more than a year. This inflation report sends a clear signal that the Federal Reserve’s tightening campaign is working, and set off a sharp rally in both bonds and equities. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, was up 5.7 percent over the same period, the smallest advance in a year.
The figures put the Fed on track to downshift to smaller interest-rate increases (odds are now leaning toward a 25-basis points hike at next month’s FOMC meeting) and raised hopes for the economy avoiding a recession. Before we get ahead of ourselves, the Fed has repeatedly warned investors it will need to continue raising interest rates to combat inflation and this is by no means mission accomplished.
Today’s economic calendar brings more updates on the inflationary environment. December import and export prices didn’t move the bond market. Later this morning brings preliminary January Michigan sentiment and remarks from Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Harker. Also influencing sentiment will be Q4 bank earnings from Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Citigroup. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices are worse .125 from Thursday’s close and the 10-year yielding 3.48 after closing yesterday at 3.45 percent.
Employment and Transitions
A nationally recognized mortgage lender with the dependable financial backing of a publicly traded parent company is looking to expand its team. This mid-sized Utah-based company is consistently ranked a Top 50 mortgage company by Scotsman Guide in the United States and features a full array of mortgage products and a network of professional branches from coast to coast. The National Recruiting Director position will oversee production growth and team acquisition. To apply, please send your resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.
“#1 = STABLE ORIGINATION PLATFORM, nothing else matters for you or your customers unless you are supported by a stable origination platform. Realtors and borrowers are starting to ask more questions regarding this matter based on media headlines around recent mortgage company closures, mergers & acquisitions, lack of communication, etc. WATERSTONE MORTGAGE COMPANY offers the security of a Bank-owned organization with the flexibility of an independent mortgage banker. With the ability to lend in 48 States, along with offering Bank portfolio products and only through a retail lending channel, certainly qualifies for an intelligent conversation with us. Our current initiative at WATERSTONE MORTGAGE COMPANY of leaning into a market filled with adversity and identifying opportunities, will revive your energy and attitude to GROW your market share in 2023! Call Richard Pierce, Area Manager Western Region (602-620-6969).”
“NOVA® Home Loans’ Loan Officers have the benefit of our Repeat Client Incentive (RCI) program. By participating in the RCI program, after our customer makes 6 timely payments, we can offer a No Closing Cost Refinance at a lower interest rate. This allows our Loan Officers to help their clients purchase a home today with confidence, knowing that if interest rates are stable or drop at any point in the future, not only will the client be offered the best rate available, they will not pay lender, title, or recording fees on their next transaction. The RCI program is one of many benefits that provides NOVA’s Loan Officers a competitive edge, ranking amongst America’s Top Originators. To learn more about the unique NOVA® advantage that will help you close more loans, visit us & please reach out to Jenny Skaggs, Director of Recruiting & Corporate Engagement, 520.202.4102.”
Wipro Opus Risk Solutions has been sold to Owls Partners, a PE firm headquartered in Houston, TX. Sanjay Agnihotri is the new CEO, and has brought back the Opus Capital Markets Consultants, LLC name with a fresh look. “I am excited about investing in this well-established company and adding complimentary services to further meet the needs of our expanding client base”, said Sanjay. The transition will be taking place over the next couple of months. In the meantime, Opus is actively seeking an SVP for Business Development to further expand the company footprint. Those that have an interest in this remote role can send their resume to Peter Butler.”
Waterstone Mortgage is pleased to announce the promotion of Rico Garcia to VP – Enterprise Risk. Garcia has been with Waterstone Mortgage since 2017 and has 20+ years of experience in the mortgage lending industry.
From Virginia comes news that Prosperity Home Mortgage has promoted Justin Messer to president and CEO. (Messer succeeds Tim Wilson, who had served in both positions since 2014. Wilson remains with the company as chairman of its board of directors.)
Sagent, a Warburg Pincus-backed fintech software company modernizing mortgage servicing for banks and lenders, appointed Marianne Sullivan as COO to accelerate development of the industry’s first and only cloud-native software that powers home ownership and loan servicing lifecycles for servicers, consumers, investors, and regulators. Sullivan will remain on Sagent’s board as she assumes an active operational role, overseeing the modernization of $13T mortgage servicing sector.