Who doesn’t think swearing parrots are funny? Although you wouldn’t want your parrot talking about the clap when Aunt Beatrice comes over for Sunday dinner. I’m sure that every LO has heard their share of salty words, and they deal with much more for their clients than just a loan. Working with their client’s debts, assets, rental insurance until they buy a home, even servicing after the loan funds, you name it. Everyone across the nation is feeling the brunt of seemingly usurious homeowner insurance rates, and The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown tomorrow has Andrew Hellard, SVP of Products with Matic, discussing why homeowner’s insurance costs have skyrocketed. IMBs have not been retaining servicing. They needed the cash. Companies like Freedom, AmeriHome, Pennymac, and Planet Home have been buying up servicing. They will retain that customer if and when refinancing kicks in. Rate and term refis will probably go to the aggregators. They bought the servicing; they want to keep that customer. What percentage of customers will go back to the original lender, increasing the recapture rate? It may very well depend on what the customer service was like initially. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is brought to you LoanCare, successfully navigating clients and homeowners through market change for 40 years. The mortgage subservicer delivers superior customer experience through personalization and convenience via its portfolio management tool, LoanCare Analytics™, supporting MSR investors with a focus on customer engagement, liquidity, and credit risk. Hear an interview with Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions’ Tom Hutchens on his real estate market outlook for 2024 and securitizations in the Non-QM space.)

Broker and Lender Products, Programs, and Software

Mortgage leaders: The home insurance market is facing unprecedented volatility with carriers declining new business and increasing premiums to an all-time high. This can delay closings and even lead to DTI exceeding acceptable limits once insurance costs are factored in. Matic, a home insurance marketplace built for the mortgage industry, helps borrowers save time by shopping multiple A-rated carriers at once and providing transparent pricing and coverage options. With flexible integration options, Matic adds visibility and control, allowing lenders to foresee potential issues that could result in delayed closings. To learn how mortgage enterprises like New American Funding and PRMG are partnering with Matic, book a demo today.

Ready to help more borrowers tackle affordability? Click n’ Close has provided more than 1.5 billion dollars in DPA-related financing to over 6,000 borrowers through its SmartBuy suite of products, with an average of nearly $12,500 in assistance per transaction. Unlike state or municipal DPA programs, SmartBuy isn’t subject to budgetary shortfalls and offers tremendous flexibility to accommodate a wider range of borrower scenarios, making it ready to help your borrowers achieve homeownership. From start to finish, SmartBuy offers a streamlined process for all parties. With lower capital requirements and short turn times, Lenders can be up and running with SmartBuy in a snap. In addition, wholesale loan program information is available in today’s leading product pricing engines (PPEs), including Optimal Blue, MeridianLink’s Price My Loan, Lender Price, and Polly. Reach out to our wholesale (Adam Rieke, Kerry Webb and Soliman Martinez) or correspondent team (Julas Hollie) to learn more.

‘App’ [noun] – an application designed for a mobile device. ‘Optimal Blue PPE’ [proper noun] – the mortgage industry’s most widely used product, pricing, and eligibility engine. These terms probably aren’t new to you, even if vocabulary wasn’t your best subject in school. But one piece of information you won’t find in a dictionary is that the Optimal Blue PPE is now available in a native mobile app for Android and iOS. That’s right: Loan officers can put “pricing in their pocket” with complete access to scenario pricing and more, the exact moment they need it. It’s time to leave your dictionary AND your laptop behind and take the power of the Optimal Blue PPE wherever business takes you. The enhanced iOS app even includes publicly accessible pricing analysis from the Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices. Simply have your company’s account admin enable access today.

“Planet Management Group is your trusted and proactive partner for residential and commercial asset management. Our private clients gain access to specialized technology, expert advisory services, and clear insights into residential and commercial market opportunities. Embrace performance. Experience PMG. email or call (585) 512-1030 and discover the PMG difference today.”

Successfully managing MSR portfolios can be a lucrative endeavor, but navigating regulatory compliance, risk management, and understanding market values can be daunting. Join MQMR and MCT for a webinar on February 15th at 11am PT entitled MSR Risk Management, Compliance, and Current Market Strategies, where panelists will dive into operational and regulatory best practices, share invaluable tips to avoid common MSR management pitfalls, and provide insights into current pricing trends. The joint webinar will also explore crucial topics such as servicing regulatory developments (FHFA, GSEs, NCUA, GAAP compliance), a bulk MSR market update, trends in retained vs. released vs. co-issue, and understanding the value of your portfolio. Don't miss this opportunity to enhance your portfolio management skills and elevate your lending income. Register today for a comprehensive session that will empower your financial strategies.

STRATMOR on Profitability

In his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Abraham Maslow identified five levels of human needs, from the most basic to the most advanced. In STRATMOR Group’s January Insights Report, Senior Partner Jim Cameron borrows from Maslow's famed “hierarchy of needs” theory to offer mortgage lenders a real-world approach to shaping their strategies in 2024. STRATMOR’s January InFocus article, “Maslow and Mortgages – The Path to Actualization in Today’s Market,” outlines a similar hierarchy that recommends lenders get back to consistent profits before embarking on their longer-term strategic goals. Check out STRATMOR’s full January Insights Report here.

News and Industry Updates

“AnnieMac Home Mortgage is delighted to share a momentous announcement that symbolizes our commitment to progress and innovation: the unveiling of our new brand… Our new brand is a reflection of AnnieMac's journey, capturing the spirit of adaptability and forward momentum that has defined our organization. At the heart of this evolution is the distinctive chevron symbol.” (Editor’s note: Cynics would say that “momentous” might be a stretch, reserved for things like landing on the moon, finding Amelia Earhart's plane, or scaling Mt. Everest. But hey, if it gets more business…!)

Pennymac was recently alerted to an appraiser fraud scheme where appraisal reports were completed by an unlicensed appraiser unlawfully using the identities of other actively licensed appraisers. The appraisal reports were completed over the past two-year period and there is no evidence the appraisers whose identities were used were aware of or involved in the activity. Details are posted on the in Pennymac Announcement 24-04.

Do your clients need to access home equity? Kind Lending offers Closed End Seconds (CES) financing through piggyback and standalone programs. CES financing allows borrowers to access cash from their home equity without impacting their original loan rate.

Per the Pennymac Announcement 24-02, Jumbo LLPAs will be updated effective for all Best Efforts Commitments taken on or after Monday, January 8, 2024 as follows: Improving values on the ‘Occupancy Adjustments’ LLPA grid. Updating values for the ‘Purchase’ LLPA on the ‘Loan Purpose Adjustments’ LLPA grid.

Capital Markets

The United States cannot be an island of prosperity. This week has been an excellent example of how international events can impact domestic mortgage rates. Germany’s economy is in the doldrums. Houthi rebel attacks on ships and allied responses in the Red Sea have resulted in a spike in producer costs that is likely to be passed along to consumers, hurting the Fed’s quest to return U.S. inflation to its 2 percent target. China has ramped up stimulus, saying it will reduce the reserve requirement ratio for banks by 50 basis points in early February, a move that will add $139 billion in liquidity to the market, but also stoked fears of larger contagion. The release of flash Manufacturing and Services Purchasing Manager Indices readings from major world economies mostly showed an ongoing contraction, providing markets ammo for pricing in early and deep Fed rate cuts. And quarterly corporate earnings results for companies around the globe, with a particular focus on forward looking guidance, has investors less convinced of signs that the Fed’s historic tightening cycle will tilt the economy into recession.

In this country, bond prices, and therefore rates, are based on supply & demand and we learned yesterday that the Treasury sold $61 billion in 5-year notes to weak demand. Part of that stems from stock market highs and consumer sentiment in January rebounding to the highest level since mid-2021, but also from cautious “Fed speak” recently and stronger than expected data. Attention now turns to GDP from Q4 of last year. Real GDP growth is seen slowing from Q3’s unsustainably robust 4.9 percent annualized increase and is expected to show that the economy expanded at a 2 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2023. Household spending is expected to be the main driver of both stronger growth and overall spending than was anticipated at the start of the quarter. Those factors may keep the economy from dipping into a recession even if there isn’t much help from other sources of growth. In fact, household incomes are now outpacing inflation.

Today’s economic calendar begins a deluge of data over the next several sessions and was kicked off by advanced Q4 Gross Domestic Product (+3.3 percent). GDP was expected to increase 1.3 percent versus 4.9 percent previously, with final sales 2.5 percent higher versus 3.6 percent in Q3. The core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Deflator registered +2.0 percent, unchanged from last month’s reading. The Price Index +1.5 percent.

We’ve also received Durable Goods Orders (flat on the month, ex-transportation +.6 percent), weekly jobless claims (+214k, 1.833 million continuing), advanced indicators for December (previous goods balance…, retail inventories …, and wholesale inventories…), and the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for December. Later today brings December new home sales, KC Fed manufacturing for January, the Treasury auctioning off $41 billion 7-year notes, and Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Norges Bank was out with its latest monetary policy decision overnight (no change), as well as the European Central Bank’s decision (no change) with ECB head Lagarde’s press conference. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a few ticks (32nds) better, the 10-year yielding 4.14 after closing yesterday at 4.18 percent, and 4.35 on the 2-year.


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