One conversation topic not in the hallways here at the MBA’s Independent Mortgage Banker Conference in Tennessee is the death of the original voice of Charlie Brown. The huge cost of health care is, however, and lenders can lower costs by negotiating. “Votre grand-mère donne de superbes massages!” Are things like free daily commentaries with French words, of a higher quality than those that don’t have them? I ask because the Econo Lodge here in Nashville (where free commentary writers bunk down) has some French phrasing on the plastic shampoo bottle, which is ironic because throughout history the French (veuillez m'excuser) were never known for their personal hygiene.

One of the topics here is “marketing spend.” Lenders and vendors are acutely aware of marketing, its cost, and its compliance. Are you hearing about lenders or MLOs paying for the auto leases of their real estate agent’s cars? Or all the house photos for a 4 office realty company’s listings. (Those photos now cost $1,000 per house in many situations).  A recent STRATMOR Workshop on Sales & Marketing, led by Partner Jim Cameron, indicated that inefficient branch-level marketing expenses, measuring marketing performance, and MLO adoption of tech tools and marketing efforts were on the “front burner” of lenders across the nation. And monitoring compliance in new social media outlets is a big deal. After all, anyone can sue anyone over anything, right? Legos and a leather coat copywrite? Sure. 

Lender and broker products & services

The Farmers' Almanac claims that crickets can predict temperature changes with surprising accuracy. It sounds like simple folksy wisdom, but the insects’ shocking precision is actually based on scientific principles. Thankfully, with the average American homeowner currently sitting on almost $180,000 in tappable equity, you don’t need to ask an insect to know that 2022 will be a hot year for home equity-related loan products. Instead, turn to Sales Boomerang for forward-thinking guidance on which loan scenarios you should prioritize for equity-laden borrowers. Gain the foresight to make the best lending moves in 2022 and download the free eBook today.

Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending enhanced its WealthBuilder program allowing eligible borrowers to build equity faster with 100 percent financing combined with a 15- or 20- year amortization. Rather than borrowers using cash for a down payment, borrowers may apply it towards a lower interest rate and shorter loan term resulting in more dollars toward their loan principal. With loan amounts up to $975,000 and loan-to-value ratios up to 100 percent, Northpointe’s WealthBuilder is a great way to pay down a home loan faster and build wealth. Available in all states except New York, Northpointe Bank provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitability and help grow your business. View program details for more information or email Warehouse financing for all Northpointe Correspondent programs is available through Northpointe Bank’s warehouse program. Please contact Ashley Lockaby, VP Director of Warehouse Lending, for more information.

Lenders: With extreme housing market conditions and more competition than ever, you might be looking for ways to replace lost revenue. That’s why the experts at Matic Insurance, a digital insurance agency built for the mortgage industry, created a free guide to help you differentiate your mortgage process, stand out to borrowers, and close loans faster. You’ll get insights on what modern borrowers are looking for and actionable steps you can take to deliver exceptional value and create loyal customers. Better yet, you’ll learn how implementing these simple steps can help you drive revenue, increase pull-through rates, and decrease loan cycle times. Download the guide here. Matic’s embedded insurance solutions were built for mortgage lenders and LOs. Through our network of 40+ A-rated insurance carriers, we help your customers save time and money by matching them with the right policy. Contact us for information on partnership opportunities.

If the past two years have taught the mortgage industry anything, it is to expect the worst and hope for the best. While anticipated higher interest rates in 2022 are still a cause for concern, an overall positive origination outlook provides ample opportunity for lenders to achieve solid growth over the coming year, provided they can solve the rising origination cost conundrum. Nomis Solutions has weighed in on this timely topic in a recent MBA article titled Leverage Actionable Data to Capitalize on Margin Opportunities. Contact Gerald Dorman to discover how by rethinking core pricing strategies, leading mortgage lenders can offset many of the challenges 2022 is expected to bring while establishing a lasting plan for profitability and success… regardless of market conditions.

Do you know where you are ranking against your peers? The way to get ahead is to know where you stand in real-time! See where you rank against your peers in real-time with Richey May’s RM Analyze + Peer View Ops. View data for any time period to really drill into where and when you excelled or lagged in comparison to your peers, so you know where the opportunities are. With RM Analyze, a complete picture of your company is possible, and you can empower your managers to take proactive measures, find efficiencies, create change, and drive growth. Because this platform is designed by mortgage experts for mortgage experts, you can feel confident that this will fit your unique business needs. Contact us to schedule a customized demo today!

ME: Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

MIRROR: They are the mortgage industry partner of choice for audit, risk, and compliance. They help their clients sleep tight at night knowing their compliance is right. Whether it is Fannie Mae compliant internal audit, Servicing QC and Subservicer Oversight, Fair Lending and Fair Servicing, and last but not least, Vendor Management.

ME: Ooooo, Vendor Management, tell me more!

MIRROR: Ahh, yes, Vendor Management, oh it is changing day by day! The increasing adoption of technology by mortgage and financial institutions marks an exciting shift in the industry!! MQMR can help you establish a compliant vendor management program, and its Fintech Vendor Management Whitepaper will guide you through the unique considerations of leveraging fintech vendors. Schedule a meeting today to meet the fairest of them all.

Every lender knows they should be collecting upfront fees because it gives the borrower an incentive to close the deal. But unfortunately, most lenders have a pretty terrible process. Some have loan officers complete a form with the borrower's credit card number (until the regulators find out). Others still have borrowers write checks that get manually deposited (come on, people... it's 2022). Eliminate all that headache with Fee Chaser by LenderLogix. Fee Chaser lives in your LOS, and when it's time to collect a fee, the borrower gets a text message where they can securely pay on their device. Once complete, receipts are automatically uploaded to the LOS. Up and running in weeks, immediate ROI, no PCI headaches. So head over to LenderLogix and put your fee collection on autopilot today.

Company-sponsored webinars

The latest Mortgage Finance Forecast from the MBA predicts $3.9 trillion in 2021 to $2.6 trillion in 2022. But there are many originators who will have their best year in 2022 thanks to Non-QM. Join National Mortgage Professional for “Making Money in Non-QM'' on Thursday, January 27th at 1PM ET (10AM PT). 2021 turned out to be a record year and 2022 can be even better if you commit to learning more on Non-QM. Many wholesalers are rolling out Non-QM products and you can sustain your volume and income using these programs. But it is important to separate the real Non-QM wholesalers from ones that are trying to learn this complicated and confusing market. Robert Senko, President of ACC Mortgage, will break down the products you need and how to package loans for success. Know where the opportunities in Non-QM are, how you can be more confident selling Non-QM, and what separates an average originator from a great Non-QM loan officer!

Do you need instant access to loan programs and pricing that’s easy to use? Do you need to have your clients’ bank statements analyzed quickly? Then you need iQualifi and iAnalyze from Sprout Mortgage. During our next Scenario Station Webinar, we will review both tools and show you how iQualifi is your go-to program & pricing engine and how iAnalyze enables you to upload your clients’ bank statement for analysis and reporting in under one hour. Learn more during the Scenario Station Webinar by Sprout Mortgage on Wednesday, February 2nd at 9:00 am PT. Register now! Remember to submit your unique loan scenario on the registration page. Sprout is committed to providing product education and marketing assistance to help you grow. Loan Scenario Desk, complimentary Bank Statement Analysis through iAnalyze, Condo Review service, and complimentary marketing tools via The Sprout Marketing Store mean you can serve more borrowers in less time and with less effort. Loan amounts up to $10 million. Register today.

Shifting vendor money

Lenders aren’t the only ones looking at M&A and investment money. Here are some recent vendor investments which are only expected to continue as we move through 2022.

Polly™, the SaaS technology company transforming the mortgage capital markets, announced it has raised $37 million in Series B funding, bringing Polly’s total funding to over $50 million. The round was led by Menlo Ventures with participation by new investors including Movement Mortgage, First American Financial, and FinVC. Existing investors 8VC, Khosla Ventures and Fifth Wall also participated in the round. Tyler Sosin, Partner at Menlo Ventures, will join Polly’s Board of Directors. This latest financing round comes at a time of rapid growth for Polly. The company has increased its customer count by nearly 3x over the past year and signed several of the country’s top 100 lenders. With this new round of funding, Polly will accelerate technology innovation, invest in AI & machine learning capabilities, and grow its ecosystem of partners to continue reinventing the mortgage capital markets. The company also plans to expand its product and engineering teams so that its customers can continue to benefit from the best and brightest technical and mortgage capital markets minds.

This week Sales Boomerang, a provider of automated borrower intelligence and retention software for lenders, and Mortgage Coach, a borrower conversion platform empowering lenders to educate borrowers with interactive presentations that model home loan performance over time, announced strategic investments from Philadelphia-based private-equity firm LLR Partners. Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach will maintain their existing brands and teams.

The Mortgage Collaborative (TMC), the nation's largest independent cooperative network serving the mortgage industry, announced yesterday that the TMC Emerging Technology Fund LP (the “Fund”) recently participated in a $38M Series C investment round for AI Software, LLC dba Capacity. Capacity is an AI-powered support automation platform that connects into an organization’s tech stack to answer questions, automate repetitive support tasks, and build solutions to any business challenge.

Rice Park Capital Management LP, a Minneapolis-based investment firm, announced that it has closed on a $300 million capital commitment from M&G Investments for its inaugural mortgage servicing rights (MSR) fund. Rice Park is targeting $600 million in total capital commitments for its MSR strategy in 2022. Thierry Masson, M&G Head of Origination – Americas, said: “Through our partnership with Rice Park, we’re excited to provide liquidity to MSR holders, supporting the US mortgage market and homeownership, and do so by partnering with best-in-class originators and sub-servicers for the benefit of borrowers. Rice Park’s expertise in MSR and more broadly residential mortgage products will enable our clients to access a large market in a prudent way.” Morgan Stanley served as the placement agent for the MSR fund.

Bond market: treading water

Rates have been chopping around this week as investors await the results of the two-day January FOMC policy meeting today. The policy statement is expected to suggest a rate hike in March with balance sheet runoff commencing not long after. Given the recent “risk off” sentiment, it would be a surprise if the committee decides to end QE (Quantitative Easing) after the current schedule.

We also received a couple housing market indicators yesterday. Home prices rose 1.1 percent in November, and are up 17.5 percent year-over-year, according to the FHFA House Price Index. While those figures are twice the monthly average we have seen over the last 20 years, echoing concerns about access and affordability, it does look like the torrid pace of home price appreciation is beginning to cool off. Separately, the Case-Shiller home price index showed an 18.8 percent gain for the year in November, but that is expected to decelerate as mortgage rates rise.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with mortgage applications from MBA, which decreased 7.1 percent from one week earlier as rates continue to rise. We’ve also received advanced indicators for December of little consequence (goods trade deficit and retail & wholesale inventories). Later this morning brings December new home sales and FOMC events with the Statement due out just before Chair Powell’s press conference. The Desk will purchase $3.7 billion of 30-year MBS. We begin Hump Day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding 1.78, unchanged from last night.


NexBank is looking for a qualified, seasoned Account Executive to join its high performing sales team. The right candidate will work in a relationship driven sales and operations environment, supporting the needs of our Wholesale & Correspondent Lending partners while executing client growth in their assigned territory. This position has flexibility in geographical account coverage. NexBank has been nationally recognized as a top performing bank and is part of a financial services company with assets of $9.8 billion. NexBank Mortgage Banking provides Wholesale, Non-Delegated, and Delegated Correspondent Lending, as well as traditional warehouse lines of credit. We are focused on a personalized, high touch approach and are consistently launching new, innovative ways to help our clients. Please send your resume to Kari Kovelan.

“Virginia’s Trustar Bank, the fastest growing De Novo Bank in the country, is seeking an experienced Mortgage President to lead our existing Mortgage Subsidiary. A rare opportunity to continue to grow a successful mortgage operation with a De Novo Bank. We are searching for a proven leader capable of building high performing sales teams to join our existing successful operations and production teams. Candidate must have significant experience in recruiting, training, motivating, and managing both sales and operations teams. Candidate will report directly to the CEO of the Bank. Previous community banking work history is preferred. Excellent compensation package offered including salary, benefits, and equity share. Resume in confidence to: Principals only please. EOE.”

“Attention loan officers! Do you want to become one of the industry’s top producers? If so, you’ll need tools and programs that give you a competitive advantage. That’s what we have at New American Funding. With New American Funding’s Buyer Accepted program, we allow homebuyers to compete with all-cash buyers by purchasing their new home with cash and selling it back to them. This program allows buyers to be cash buyers, giving them the advantage when trying to buy a home at a time when inventory is at an all-time low. Plus, on the loans we service, you have the option to include your branding and photo or co-branding on mortgage statements to keep you top of mind with your borrowers, allowing you to build referral partners and customers for life. Interested in joining our team? Contact Brooke Anderson today! (609) 500-1520 EOE.”

Wholesale and non-del AEs, if you’re looking to up your game, it’s time to talk to Pennymac TPO. As an industry leader, with a proven track record of building scaled, sustainable businesses, Pennymac TPO brings expertise, technology, and great people together to serve your broker and non-delegated clients. It is ranked #6 in the wholesale channel (according to IMF) and were recently ranked #4 on Fortune’s List of “The Fastest-Growing Companies” in 2021. There’s still tremendous growth upside and many prime territories are available across the country. For strength, growth, and long-term career opportunities, join Pennymac while your territory is still open by applying here or reaching out confidentially to Scott Houp (East) or Jason Bannister (West) today.

I wonder what my parents did to fight boredom before the internet.

I asked my 17 brothers and sisters but they didn't know either.