Does technology always trump personal skills? Sometimes. But not all the time. Good LOs use the technology that best suits them in combination with their personal attributes to help borrowers every day. “In space, no one can hear you scream. In cyberspace, no one can shut you up.” How ‘bout some IT-related stuff? Here’s a softball: did you know that “Bluetooth” was named after Harald Bluetooth? The Bluetooth wireless specification design was named after the king in 1997, based on an analogy that the technology would unite devices the way Harald Bluetooth united the tribes of Denmark into a single kingdom. Another good use of technology is exhibited by Tim Lucas who writes, “There are more than 5 million Native Americans in the U.S. but only about 140 approved lenders. I created a Section 184 calculator that shows the required down payment, MI costs, and more. There's also a flowchart and a ton of info about the program.” Thank you, Tim! Here’s some more good news: Ransomware victims are refusing to pay, impacting attackers’ profits. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by Milestones. Giving homeowners an all-inclusive homeownership experience including home value and equity monitoring, home maintenance reminders and how-to articles, cloud-based document storage, one-click access to hire professionals for various projects around the home, and much more. Today’s has an interview with Milestones CEO Dustin Gray on turning leads and transactions into forever clients.)

Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services

As an industry leader, what are you doing about the fact that the homeownership rate for black households is lower than when fair housing laws were passed in 1968? The Urban Institute says the first step is to, “improve and expand financial education and homeownership preparation." In honor of Black History month that kicks off tomorrow, Momentifi is offering its personally branded homebuyer education tools for FREE during the month of February. You and your team can use this expert content to record videos or simply click and post to social media. This educates homebuyers in a culturally relevant way, builds your personal brand as the #1 expert in your market, and helps you grow your business. Loan originators can CLICK HERE to sign up. Industry vendors, GSEs, and housing finance agencies are invited to email Gibran Nicholas directly if you want to partner with Momentifi and offer this benefit to your clients.

“Citizens Correspondent Lending successfully navigated the challenging environment of 2022, and we are excited for new opportunities in 2023 and beyond. We are investing in our future with a vision to do more for our valued lending partners than ever before. This summer we will launch a new end-to-end platform called CLaaS (Correspondent Lending as a Service). Leveraging proprietary technology, CLaaS will enhance efficiency and ease of use, while amplifying our digital capabilities. With our investment in technology, unparalleled service, and focus on personal relationships, all backed by the strength and stability of one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, Citizens Correspondent Lending is committed to our community of Correspondent Lenders. Visit us here to connect with a Regional Account Manager and learn more!”

Did you know that thousands of dollars are at risk for lenders suffering revenue leakage from appraisal fees? Reggora is offering lenders a free evaluation of their appraisal performance, comparing your appraisal fees, fee escalations, and revision rates to national and local averages calculated by the Appraisal Performance Index, Reggora’s proprietary dataset aggregated from hundreds of thousands of appraisal transactions. Book your private benchmarking session today, and see if you can improve ROI on your loans.

“The MBA Servicing Conference & Expo is right around the corner. As a result of our recent acquisition, TMS Subservicing will officially be transitioning to the bank and attending under its new name: Servbank. This will allow us to continue delivering the same great service you expect with the surety you deserve under a depository institution. As a reminder, that great service includes 98.4 percent customer satisfaction, 90.4 percent first call resolution, an 82.7 percent Net Promoter Score, and <1 minute call wait times. With full transparency through our advanced servicing portal (SIME), TMS continues to redefine subservicing by exceeding clients’ expectations while delivering best-in-class performance. Ready to learn more? Follow @Servbank on LinkedIn, visit today to set up some time to meet, or stop by booth #203 at the conference.”

Ditch your current helpdesk to save 20 percent! Your support desk should be an asset, not an expense. So, switch to Capacity by the end of Q1, and we'll beat your current pricing by 20 percent. Kate deKay at Eustis Mortgage has this to say about her own switch to our helpdesk: "Capacity reduces the time spent answering low-level, repetitive questions for us, so we can focus on the bigger picture… Like building great relationships with our clients." Our AI resolves 9 out of 10 issues before they even cross your helpdesk. To help agents solve that pesky 10th issue, automation steps in to escalate, assign, and tag the ticket. Let your helpdesk do the hard work for you. Save 20 percent and switch to Capacity by the end of Q1. Contact Jen Peachman to learn more.

Own Up is the nation’s only mortgage concierge marketplace enabling mortgage companies, banks and credit unions to access exclusive, high intent and highly qualified borrowers. A recipient of numerous accolades, including Fintech Breakthrough's "Best Digital Mortgage Platform," Own Up is currently onboarding select lenders to further its national expansion. Own Up seamlessly integrates into all major lender CRMs, lead management systems and pricing engines. Lenders interested in acquiring qualified leads with industry-leading conversion should reach out to learn more.

“Switch to Lender Price and stop paying for an outdated pricing engine that lacks the modern functionalities as it relates to locks, price concession, and margin management. See why the top lenders in the nation are replacing their proprietary PPE with ours and why IMBs are ditching their legacy solution with our modern pricing engine. Time-tested and experienced, Lender Price proudly holds a demonstrated track record of successfully executing mid to large-scale implementations for various types of lenders in the mortgage industry. Lender Price is uniquely positioned to offer solutions, advice, and recommendations that meet the needs of banks, IMBs, credit unions, and large-scale enterprise lenders. Many lenders are joining our Marketplace 2.0 platform to get their agency, non-agency, non-QM and home equity products in front of thousands of originators, which is quickly becoming the new loan volume driver and lead generation tool that everyone is talking about. Book time with us at the ICE Experience conference in February or schedule a demo now to see the platform in action. Visit Lender Price or email us.”

NEW EBOOK: How to Launch New Loan Products, Channels & Geographic Expansions. Want to escape the stress, panic, and layoffs associated with today’s market lows? It’s time to explore ways to tap into new markets. Expanding your mortgage footprint through new products and channels or by reaching new geographies insulates your business against economic and interest rate volatility by diversifying your sources of volume and revenue. In fact, by setting the groundwork to connect with new borrower markets now, you’ll open new revenue possibilities for when the market inevitably recovers, positioning your business to hit the ground running and beat out the competition. Download the newest eBook from mortgage solutions provider Maxwell for actionable advice, including how to create your expansion plan and choose the offerings best suited to the markets you want to pursue. Click here to download Growing Your Mortgage Footprint: How to Launch New Loan Products, Channels & Geographic Expansions.

“FIRSTLINE COMPLIANCE HOPES YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLI HMDA-DAY! Another holiday season has come and gone. Now, everybody’s back in the office, dreaming of springtime…and HMDA. Just a friendly reminder that your HMDA scrub takes a lot of time, and you may have less staff to get it done. Make it your new year’s resolution to start 2023 on track by getting an early start with help from Firstline Compliance, the mortgage compliance experts. Contact us today to see how cost effective and yet impactful your HMDA scrubbing can be.”

Fitch Ratings has added Indecomm to its list of accepted third-party review firms for securitization and RMBS. “In its approval summary, Fitch highlighted Indecomm’s decades of experience delivering enhanced due diligence and quality control, specifically calling out its technological offerings and experienced leadership team as positive. Indecomm enhances its due diligence with its AuditGenius platform providing next-level analysis, reporting, transparency, and audit trails.”

Policy, Program, and Procedure Updates

On 1/26/2023, with Amendment No. 5 to DR-4683, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance to California’s San Mateo County affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides from 12/27/2022, and continuing. View AmeriHome 20230115-CL Disaster Announcement for inspection requirements.

On 1/26/2023, with Amendment No.2 to DR-4684, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance has been made available to 3 additional Alabama counties: Greene, Sumter, and Tallapoosa, affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes on 1/12/2023. View AmeriHome 20230114-CL Disaster Announcement for inspection requirements.

Pennymac has been busy. It is aligning with and requiring the use of the recently published NEW IRS Form 4506-C, revised 10/2022 with loans delivered on or after 2/1/2023. View PennyMac Announcement 23-02 for details. There’s announcement 23-03: January Product Highlight | Affordable Lending. Due to feedback from clients indicating that many document providers have not begun the use of the new version of the 4506-C form, PennyMac issued a revised Announcement 23-08 revamping its guidance. PennyMac will be requiring the fields shown in Announcement 23-06 to be populated for all Bulk bid tapes effective per the dates shown.

In response to inquiries received regarding its exit from the Correspondent business, Wells Fargo Funding issued Newsflash C23-003 Clarification: Wells Fargo to exit Correspondent – last day to Lock is January 20, 2023.

Recall that United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) announced it has enhanced its Safe Check program, initially launched in October 2022, to provide loan officers more certainty and confidence to pull valid pricing. Now, UWM’s Safe Check allows LO’s to run a single or tri-merge soft credit check to pre-qualify their borrowers. The new tri-merge option, available for a flat rate of $23, provides the FICO score accuracy of a hard credit report, while protecting the LO and the borrower from credit trigger lead solicitations.

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions’ new Business Bank Statement Elite Program, say goodbye to calculating income with only borrower’s tax returns. You can close more loans, capture more business, and help more borrowers qualify using their credit history along with their business bank statements. It's a great way to qualify Owner Occupied Properties for a Purchase, R/T or a Cash-Out.

Ginnie Mae announced that effective February 1, it is shortening the re-pooling seasoning requirements for re-performing loans from six months to three months and allowing issuers the option to pool re-performing loans into TBA eligible Ginnie Mae II Multi-Issuer Pools.

Read the Press Release post for details.

AmeriHome Product Announcement 20230112-CL announced that effective Monday, January 30, 2023, loans delivered with an Automated Collateral Evaluation (ACE) + Property Data Report (PDR) for certain Freddie Mac-eligible cash-out and rate and term refinance mortgages will be eligible for purchase.

PRMG announced, Product Update 23-06, the release of the Florida Housing FHA and Conventional Programs to the Wholesale Channel.

In Citizens Correspondent National Bulletin 2023-03, updates on Conventional, FHA/VA, USDA-RD Products are shown as well as additional information and all lock, delivery and purchase by dates.

Capital Markets: Rates Steady

Ahead of today and tomorrow’s Fed meeting, LOs were unhappy to see rates tick up slightly yesterday on renewed speculation that the Fed could be more aggressive in its battle with inflation than the market has been expecting. With weakness evident in forward-looking indicators, the narrative continues to be whether the economy will experience a “soft” landing or deteriorate into recession. Market participants will be watching the Fed statement tomorrow for any signal that the committee sees enough slowdown in the economic landscape to begin considering an appropriate timeline to pause rate hikes.

If you only looked at the Gross Domestic Product headline, you might think that the economic expansion in the fourth quarter was moving right along… But the underlying data combined with more timely monthly financial reports suggests the economy lost momentum. Real GDP growth was 1.0 percent on a year-over-year basis. A build-up in business inventories contributed nearly 1.5 percentage points to top-line growth while net exports added 0.6 percentage points. The consumer spending component of GDP was buoyed by spending on international travel and was primary at the beginning of the quarter as November and December saw consumers pull back. Resident investment plummeted 26.7 percent during the quarter following substantial drops in the prior two quarters.

Today’s month-end calendar is already underway with the Q4 Employment Cost Index (+1.0 percent, slightly lower than expected; +5.1 percent for the last 4 quarters). Later this morning brings Redbook same store sales, house prices from both S&P/Case-Shiller and FHFA, Chicago PMI for January, January consumer confidence, and Dallas Fed Texas services for January. We begin Tuesday with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 3.51 after closing yesterday at 3.55 percent; the 2-year is yielding 4.21.


Cenlar FSB, the nation’s leading mortgage loan subservicer and federally chartered wholesale bank, announced that 40-year industry vet Jim Daras has been named CEO and President. “He has extensive knowledge in risk management, banking and corporate finance functions, bank restructuring, company start-ups and venture capital investing.”

In wholesale news, Denis Kelly and the Solutions Team have joined HomeXPress Mortgage Corp to further bolster the NonQM powerhouse’s roster with an industry-leading production group. Email Denis if you’re an originator interested in learning how to increase production in a challenging market (888.943.2833).