Anyone who’s seen 1968’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” remembers the talking computer HAL (whose name was cleverly derived from subtracting one letter from IBM). We need more acronyms, right?! Here’s one I hadn’t heard: BNPL. The buy now, pay later industry is an increasingly important driver of retail sales, so has caught the attention of the mortgage industry’s pal the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. I’d never heard of Affirm, Afterpay, Klarna, and Zip, notable players in the BNPL industry, but regulators are looking into their data collection policies. Those danged computers and their programmers! Are help desk jobs in jeopardy? Perhaps: Capacity just raised another chunk of change to automate helpdesks. Ever heard of Coadjute? Me neither (it’s a UK company) but its basic business purpose is something you and your real estate agent connections should know about: using blockchain to “bring together everyone involved in a transaction, improving communication and speeding up the process.” Speaking of real estate agents, this one in Georgia ran afoul of the Department of Justice in committing mortgage fraud. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by TMS, a top 10 subservicer with a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate. TMS is on a mission to “Grow Happiness” and delivers next level service with their award-winning proprietary technology, SIME. Today’s episode includes an Interview with Chuck Dimiceli, EVP of Secondary Marketing, on what Capital Markets folks spend their days doing.)
Lender and Broker Products and Services
All signs point to mortgage rates increasing in 2022… But rates are still expected to remain in historically low territory. The market is unpredictable and this volatility challenges lenders to forecast operational ebbs and flows then staff accordingly. Now is the time to consider partnering with an expert 3rd party originations team. Outsourcing some or all your originations processes could reduce costs and expedite closings. Computershare Loan Services (CLS) has provided mortgage fulfillment for more than 23 years with highly trained, experienced processors, underwriters, and closers. CLS takes the overhead burden off your shoulders so you can focus on building your business. Partner with CLS and help your borrowers get to the closing table on time. In any market.
Want to get more financial advisor referrals and diversify your referral base in 2022? Download the Loan Officer’s Guide to Working with Financial Advisors. You’ll learn [A] the top three reasons why you should consider working with advisors; [B] two specific areas of value you can provide to financial advisors; and [C] three myths about working with advisors (it’s much more profitable than you imagine). The Loan Officer’s Guide to Working with Financial Advisors is provided by MGIC through its Loan Officer Hub, and authored by Gibran Nicholas, CEO of Momentifi, and Craig Strent, CEO of Apex Home Loans. Gibran has trained and coached over 9,000 top producers, and Craig consistently generates $100mm+ per year in business from financial advisors. Click here to download the Loan Officer’s Guide to Working with Financial Advisors and learn how to get more financial advisor referrals and diversify your referral base in 2022!
“The Freedom Mortgage Wholesale Division is heating up! Now offering up to a (0.625) improvement in VA & FHA FICO-based LLPAs. Plus! A (0.375) improvement on Conventional loans from $400-$499k and a (0.500) improvement on $500k+ Conventional. That’s $3,000 on a $600,000 loan! To learn more, check our rate sheet or email Freedom Wholesale to have an Account Executive contact you.”
“Nearly 1/5th of your lead list could enter the mortgage market within 120 days with Service 1st’s lead generation portfolio, powered by Experian. When using Experian’s “In the Market” propensity model, consumers who score within the top 20% model tier are 80% likely to enter the mortgage market within 1 to 4 months. That’s powerful, instant data! Upload an existing list or compile your own. Create custom consumer lists using attribute combinations, including homeownership, credit score, mortgage balance, and zip codes. Create loyalty with unqualified prospects by leveraging CreditXpertTM. Schedule with one of our friendly experts to learn more about predictive tools and other result-driven loan origination solutions. Please note: conditions apply to use these solutions. A knowledgeable Service 1st representative will review this information with you.”
How did TMS continue to grow happiness and become a Top 10 subservicer with 400,000+ customers in 2021? It always starts with the customer. In 2021 TMS proved that by achieving milestones such as a 99% customer satisfaction rate and a 91% first-call resolution rate. TMS’ latest blog takes a look at how by making its mission to Grow Happiness, it has become a leader in the subservicing industry in a short period of time. By staying committed to the Core Values of People Matter, Inspiring Leadership, Strength of Character, and Rock-Solid Service, TMS continues to lead the way on how the subservicing industry does business. They treat our customers like family, while empowering them user friendly and intuitive self-service options. But can you believe there’s more? There is. Check how their successes in 2021 will help them leap forward in 2022. Click here to read the full blog now.
A rare copy of Marvel Comics' The Incredible Hulk #1 broke a world record recently when it was auctioned for $490,000, making it the most expensive copy of the issue ever sold. Speaking of incredible acquisitions, SimpleNexus, developer of the industry-leading digital mortgage platform, was officially acquired by fintech company nCino in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion. By joining forces, nCino will leverage SimpleNexus’ end-to-end, cloud-based homeownership platform to expand its reach in the point-of-sale mortgage market. The two companies are assembling to form a partnership as strong as The Avengers, so drop by the SimpleNexus booth at MBA IMB to find out more about this exciting new deal or read about it here.
For underwriters, less is more. Less slog, more satisfaction. Less time grinding out income and asset calculations, more loans! Welcome to the best underwriting automation tools on the market. Brought to you by Richey May in partnership with Zoral Group, this specialized toolset, powered by robust automation, OCR and AI/ML capabilities, goes beyond mere validation of data points. It extracts data from borrower income and asset documents, performs complex analyses, checks for mismatches, flags malicious code, and supplies your team with a GSE fraud checklist and ongoing analysis, all without your processing and underwriting teams having to extract that data from borrower documents and enter it into your LOS. Bonus: Support for a full range of borrower types and loan products, including self-employed, FHA, VA, jumbo, and non-QM. Want to learn more? Sign up for a demo today.
Webinars and Training
Webinar alert from First American Data and Analytics! Get the inside scoop on the biggest factors driving the market in 2022. On January 25th at 11am PT / 2pm ET, join Odeta Kushi (Deputy Chief Economist for First American Financial Corporation) as she provides a 30-minute update on the macroeconomic background and gives an overview of the biggest factors that will drive the housing market in 2022. This webinar will cover topics that include the macroeconomic overview, the housing market’s demographic tailwind (Millennials), measuring the housing deficit, affordability challenges, and more. Register now to save your spot for this must-attend event.
More than 50 million people have watched Chris Hadfield’s cover of ‘Space Oddity’, which made history almost a decade ago as the first music video filmed in space. The astronaut has since said his missions taught him the importance of social media and video for staying connected with others in times of isolation. If your New Year’s resolutions include putting more video out on social media, I’ve got good news: you don’t need to leave the planet. Just join social media coach Kyle Draper and his friends from Sales Boomerang this Wednesday at 1:15 ET for a crash course on the 10 videos mortgage lenders should create right now.
If you’re going to the MBA’s IMB Conference in Nashville next week, and see me in the hallway, be sure to say hi!
October Research has once again partnered with Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Douglas Duncan to share his expert analysis of the housing and mortgage markets: October Research tomorrow!
All USDA lenders, builders, and real estate agents are invited to Register for USDA’s Live, Free, Virtual Training: Annual Income: Removing the Mystery on Wed, January 26th at 11:00 a.m. ET / 8:00 a.m. PT. Annual Income: Removing the Mystery on Thurs, January 27th at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT.
FHA’s Wednesday, January 26th Webinar: What FHA Needs to Know and When is on Wednesday, January 26th.
Join California MBA Mortgage Quality and Compliance on Wednesday, January 26th for great insights on the California Mortgage Relief Program from Bryan Courtney, Mortgage Servicer Liaison, CalHFA. This Webinar will go over program enrollment requirements, common data file requirements, program underwriting guidelines, call center and HUD Counseling/CBO.
Join K&L Gates for its January 27th Webinar - COVID-19: Practical Guidance Following the Supreme Court’s OSHA and CMS Vaccine Mandate Decisions.
Weiner Brodsky Kider PC is offering a financial services update webinar on January 27th, WBK Consumer Class Action Series: Financial Consumer Fee Litigation.
Register for MBA’s Webinar on January 27 - Commercial Real Estate and a Net Zero Future: Challenges, Opportunities, and Considerations.
This Friday is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Rich and Rob. Rich Swerbinsky, the COO of The Mortgage Collaborative, and I will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at 2PM CT in “The Rundown with Rich and Rob.”
Join us for an Industry Outlook 2022 with myself and Tabrasa LLC's Bill Bodnar, Chief Revenue Officer, on Tuesday, Feb 1st. We’ll be discussing the Biden Administration, the Federal Reserve and U.S. economy, and what MLOs should know about the housing market.
Register for MBA’s New Webinar, February 2 - IRS Tax Transcripts, 4506-C Changes and Other Updates.
The Central Florida Chapter of FAMP’s Annual Tabletop Trade Show is on February 2. For more info, contact David Gold, Central Florida FAMP Chapter Trade Show Chairman. And sign up as an exhibitor at the event.
Join the Freedom Mortgage Wholesale Division, along with the Florida Association of Mortgage Professional (FAMP), for a LIVE webinar training session on the VA Cash Out Refinance mortgage product and origination processes: Friday February 4th, 2:00 PM ET.
Investors anxious about potential interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve have sold stocks and bonds in recent weeks, while interest-rate futures markets indicated investors are betting on four to five rate increases this year, up from three to four a while back. Some analysts are even bracing for a 50-basis point rate increase in March, a move that would help impress upon markets that the Fed is serious about trying to rein in the surge in inflation.
Meanwhile, last week closed with markets trading “risk off” (how’s that crypto portfolio of yours doing?) and Treasury yields fell as a result, though we likely won’t see lenders reducing rate sheets. I know that this commentary focuses on mortgages, but stocks fell, capping the worst week since the outbreak of the pandemic, amid shaky company earnings, prospects for higher U.S. interest rates, and tensions ramping between Russia and the U.S. Demand for safe havens pushed the 10-year Treasury yield down more than 10 bps over the last three trading days, putting the yield lower on the week for the first time in five weeks.
Data on Friday showed the Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.8 percent in December, as expected. The index ended 2021 on a rising trajectory, suggesting the economy will continue to expand well into the spring. However, there are plenty of risks in the global economy, including the aforementioned geo-political events, the Fed being behind the curve when it comes to fighting inflation, headwinds from the Omicron variant, labor shortages, and inflationary pressures, which may moderate economic growth. The Conference Board forecasts U.S. GDP growth for Q1 2022 to slow to a relatively healthy 2.2 percent annualized rate, while still expanding by a robust 3.5 percent for the entirety of 2022, well above the pre-pandemic growth.
We saw on Thursday that Freddie Mac’s (backward-looking) Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the average 30-year rate at 3.56 percent, which has slashed the refinance candidate population nearly in half from about 11 million at the start of the year to just under 6 million currently, per Black Knight. Rising rates also impact home affordability, homebuyer purchasing power and potentially real estate supply and demand. 30-year fixed mortgage rates are closer to 3.75 percent, which means we are a long way from the high of nearly 20 million candidates in late 2020. While we are now looking at a significantly smaller population, if all were to refinance, they’d still benefit from an aggregate monthly savings of nearly $1.6 billion, or about $275/month per borrower. There are still over a million candidates remaining who could save at least $400/month, but the clock is ticking.
In Federal Reserve tapering news, after purchasing $3.5 billion average per day last week (compared with originator supply of $5.8 billion), the NY Fed’s Desk is set to purchase a similar amount this week before a new purchase schedule covering the January 31 to February 11 period is released Friday afternoon. There is a chance we could be seeing the end of QE after this week’s FOMC decision. Since the restart of asset purchases in March 2020, the Desk has purchased over $2.8 trillion MBS. Today, the Desk will purchase up to $3.8 billion 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent across UMBS and GNIIs. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 1.72 after closing last week at 1.75 percent after the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for December (-.15!).
Jobs and Retirement
“Mortgage Coach is seeking two technology sales rockstars to join its growing team (fully remote). What we’re looking for: a Sales Development Representative who can help create and turn leads into qualified opportunities with a minimum of 2 years sales/biz dev experience (mortgage industry preferred), and a National Account Director with 5-7+ years’ experience capable of executive-level sales prospecting, qualification and sales process closing. What’s in it for you: Mortgage Coach is an award-winning sales enablement platform that counts 120 enterprise mortgage lenders among its clients. As a member of our team, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your career alongside industry superstars who are as dedicated to professional development as they are to client service. Mortgage Coach offers generous benefits and a phenomenal culture boasting 5-year average employee retention. View the full job descriptions here.”
“Berkshire Bank, headquartered in Boston, MA is expanding its mortgage and consumer lending businesses and is currently seeking a certified senior level Encompass Administrator to join our team. This individual will be responsible for the administration, configuration, maintenance, and management of the Encompass Loan Operating System to ensure that Berkshire Bank Mortgage Lending is fully leveraging the system and plug in platforms. The candidate should have a minimum of 5 years of Encompass Administrator experience, experience building and enhancing mortgage technology from point of sale through servicing, an understanding of current industry best practices for retail and correspondent lending, and be an excellent communicator both oral and written with strong organizational skills. Berkshire Bank is offering a very competitive compensation package and sign on bonus for the right candidate. This position can be remote. If you are interested in learning more about the role reach out to Ellen Steinfeld or apply here.
Nothing but Non-QM. In 2022, you are going to see a lot of companies try and enter the Non-QM market. Why would you trust your income to companies that are trying to figure it out? Since 1999, ACC Mortgage has been committed to Non-QM, and Non-QM only. ACC has the most complete product offering and sharpest pricing. Go to www.NonQMPricer.com to see programs and pricing. If interested in joining the leader, e-mail your resume to ACC Recruiting. January 27th, please join the president Robert Senko on the webinar “How to Make Money in Non-QM.”
Congratulations to Wells Fargo’s head of capital markets, Peter Diliberti, as he announced his 4/1 departure after a long and accomplished career.