In our biz, you never want to hear, “deception,” “targeting the elderly,” or “abusive tactics” related to a company. But there they are in this report, “The Ugly Truth Behind We Buy Ugly Houses.” (Thank you to Ken S. for passing this along.) The franchise is nationwide, unlike… cicadas? The U.S. Census Bureau says the Midwest includes 12 states: the Dakotas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. I mention this, not only because some people are confused where they live, but also because this spring, two different broods of cicadas, one that lives on a 13-year cycle and the other that lives on a 17-year cycle, will emerge at the same time from underground in a rare, synchronized event that last occurred in 1803. Billions of the winged insects will make an appearance across the Midwest and the Southeast, beginning in some places in late April, for a raucous mating ritual. (Today’s Commentary podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by Lender Toolkit and its AI-powered AI Underwriter and Prism borrower income automation tools. By providing lightning-fast underwriting decisions, your market reputation with borrowers and Realtors will soar, which means more repeat and referral business. Hear an interview between Lender Toolkit’s Madison Kelly and AMS LLC’s Andrew Hicks on AI underwriting.)

Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services

Stay up to speed on what’s happening with borrower demand, incentive and other critical market trends by attending the ICE Mortgage Monitor webinar. You’ll gain insights you can't get anywhere else. During this monthly webinar, ICE experts discuss the most current findings from their analysis of the company’s vast U.S. mortgage, housing and property data assets. Hear about home prices, affordability, interest rates, equity and other important factors that impact your lending strategies. Best of all, its free to attend: just sign up here. The next webinar will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 2-3PM ET.

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH), offers funding for multiple mortgage products and programs with little to no additional requirements. FNMA HomeStyle, FHA 203K Full, Limited, and USDA Rural Housing renovation loans. Mortgage Revenue Bond and DPA loans with extended dwell times, sublimit for lower FICO scores, manufactured homes and other unique mortgage products and programs. With over 20 years’ experience and a well-capitalized, publicly traded diversified financial holding company we provide our customers with the confidence to meet their loan funding needs. If you are attending the TMBA Southern Secondary Conference in Houston and interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending please contact Deric Barnett or Brent Amos.

TPO Products

“Today more than ever, mortgage bankers need partners they can rely on that can provide them with the solutions they need to compete and succeed: Lakeview Correspondent is that partner. We offer Down Payment Assistance homeownership programs tailored to assist low to moderate-income borrowers realize their dream of homeownership. Additionally, the Bayview Non-Agency Product Suite, Bank Statement, DSCR, and Prime Jumbo programs provide lenders with the products they need to compete and succeed now and into 2024. Contact one of our Regional Business Development professionals today to find out more. *Most importantly, we can support your growth in this changing market with a full slate of product trainings.”

“At Arc Home, our commitment to offering our clients exceptional products, competitive pricing, and streamlined processes is stronger than ever. On top of our already great Non-QM pricing, we're excited to announce a 50bps price improvement on High Credit Access Non-QM loans. This enhancement is for all TPO channels. Additionally, we've made major updates to our Delegated Correspondent ‘Buy to Guide’ program. With these changes, you can expect an even smoother partnership with Arc Home. We’ve minimized overlays, widened the credit box, and reduced the net worth requirements, making it easier for you to do business with us. Interested in how these updates can benefit you? Contact Shea Pallante or Todd Lautzenheiser for the full details.”

Servicing and Subservicing Products

LoanCare®, a top U.S. mortgage subservicer, has re-imagined the homeowner digital experience with its newly re-engineered and re-designed homeowner website: Powered by LoanCare’s proprietary software, the consumer digital experience is a fully white-label capable platform designed to help maximize your brand, recapture customers, and build lasting homeowner relationships. Frictionless functionality coupled with advanced security features, intuitive design, and a comprehensive line of sight into the homeowner experience means clients are in the driver’s seat managing their portfolio from every angle. And because LoanCare retains full control of the website, it can react to market changes and adjust messaging to meet your unique needs. And to top it off, the site is available in both English and Spanish! Reach out to learn more today or meet the team in Orlando for the MBA Servicing Conference!

“Delivering the best homeowner experience, Cenlar is more than just a mortgage subservicer. We strive to be our clients’ trusted partner each and every day. And a big part of that is how we care for our clients’ homeowners. A home is most likely someone’s largest asset. That’s why we continue to deliver industry-leading subservicing solutions that offer the very best experience for our clients and their homeowners. Whether that’s the regular cycle of onboarding, escrow, monthly payments and year-end or challenges facing homeowners like natural disasters, we are responsive, anticipatory and always caring. Let’s discuss how Cenlar can meet the mortgage servicing needs of your organization. Call 1-888-SUBSERV (782-7378) or visit here. We want to be your trusted partner, each and every day.”

In our ongoing commitment to providing value for our customers, TMS will become the newest servicer to the metroDPA family. Starting February 12th, the program is open for reservations. The TMS metroDPA makes mortgages more accessible for homeowners in Colorado by providing first mortgage financing, down payment, and closing costs assistance. The guideline eligibility under TMS will include FICO scores down to 620, no max DTI with AUS approval, and manual underwrites on VA and USDA loans. If you’re not an approved TMS lender, contact TMS. To become a participating lender of the TMS metroDPA product, click here.

Events, Training, and Webinars

A good place for longer term conference planning is to start is here, and click on “Conference List” for in-person events in the future.

The next public hearing of the Appraisal Subcommittee on appraisal bias is today from 10AM-1PM. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will host the fourth public hearing of the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) on appraisal bias.

National MI is offering “Educate & Elevate” with National MI University's February Webinars. Mastering LinkedIn for Mortgage Professionals, Session 2 ​​​​​with Brynne Tillman, February 13th at 3pm ET.

Wednesday the 14th, looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for "Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Hear from Todd Maki of Snapdocs!

Compliance Experts Report on 2024 Mortgage Servicing Outlook! Join ACES’ EVP of Compliance, Amanda Phillips, and Reid Herlihy of Ballard Spahr on February 14th at 11:00AM PDT as they discuss the most recent mortgage servicing news, CFPB Supervisory Highlights, and expectations and predictions for 2024 and beyond.

The MBA of Florida Education Committee has a webinar outlining the upcoming changes to the Credit Scoring Model on Thursday, February 15th at 2PM ET. Speaker Elizabeth Karwowski, Executive Board Member with Starting Now, will discuss Holding Wrongdoers Accountable, Overview of FICO Score, FICO Score10 & 10T, Differences & Similarities between Classic & FICO10T Scores, What FICO score means to you, Overview of Vantage Score Model and Vantage Score 4, What Vantage Score means to you and consumers.

Strategies to Grow and Expand Your Construction Lending Program! Join TMBA’s panel discussion February 15, 11:30am-12:30pm with industry veterans to provide insight into strategies that will help grow your programs and provide more value to your customers: opportunities in construction lending, expanding your loan offerings, building a strong team, reaching new markets, and scaling your operations.

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.

Loan officer compensation is one of the most discussed topics in the industry. Join MBA of Eastern PA on Thursday, February 15 at 1PM ET, topics covered include Terminology, what's allowed and what's not with Marketing Service Agreements, Bond loans, brokered loans, Loan Sources, Construction loans, exempt vs nonexempt employees, best practices, and tips.

Join FirstClose, Curinos, and Fifth Third Bank on Thursday, February 15 for a one-hour deep dive into today’s home equity market. Take a look behind the scenes at the products and processes that fuel home equity lending, new financing options that are creating opportunities for both depository and non-bank participants and, most importantly, learn how to capitalize on this market.

In a live event on February 15, at 1PM CT join Jonathan Spinetto, COO and Co-Founder of NFTYDoor, Janelle Lindseth, Senior Product Manager of Docutech, and Richard Grieser, VP of Marketing of TRUV, as they unpack how Jonathan and his team launched the business with zero loan volume, and in just 2 years, NFTYDoor debuted its digital home equity loan platform, was acquired by Homebridge, and is now on track to reach 3,000 loans per month in 2024.

This Thursday (2/15) at 10am CT FirstClose is hosting a webinar that will discuss today’s levels of home equity and common challenges faced. Moderated by FirstClose’s EVP, Josh Livingston, and joined by Ken Flaherty from Curious and Jay Plum from Fifth Third Bank the panelists will share their unique insights and perspectives on the market, and the need for technology to support home equity products.

Join CAMP for “Can You Really Use that Income?” Thursday, February 15th at 1:00 pm PST. Hali Plachecki will cover Hot Topics for SEB, Variable Income Analysis, and using MGIC Income and SEB Worksheets.

The Idaho Mortgage Lenders’ Association welcomes Barkley Smith, a local attorney who specializes in consumer defense, for February’s luncheon in Boise on Thursday the 15th!

MBA Education has tools and training you need to ensure your organization remains on track while maximizing value for its shareholders. Upcoming trainings include: Revisiting Your Servicing Retained Versus Released Decision Webinar: February 15, 2-3PM ET. School of Mortgage Banking (SOMB): Washington, D.C. in-person classroom training on February 13–16. School of Mortgage Banking (SOMB) II via Virtual Classroom: February 13 - March 8. Check out other online offerings, including webinars and select self-studies that are free to MBA members.

In this latest webinar, Ncontracts discusses what financial institutions need to know about Fair Lending in 2024, including where regulators are focusing scrutiny, what new guidance means for your Fair Lending program, how Fair Lending has evolved over the past year, and how to prepare your lending compliance management program for 2024. Watch the full webinar for more.

Friday the 16th is this week’s episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”. Listen in to Chuck Iverson with Mason McDuffie.

The recipe for long-term success begins with talent acquisition. Mark your calendar for Friday, February 16, at 3 pm EST. MMI and NAMMBA will share insights into the current landscape of LO recruitment, covering topics such as leveraging digital platforms and social media for candidate outreach, building a compelling personal brand to attract top talent, and implementing effective techniques to enhance the recruitment process.

Capital Markets

Everyone wants to talk about the Kansas City Chiefs becoming the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years, rallying to beat San Francisco 49ers in overtime, but how about the Fed going back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back on keeping rates steady? There was scant action in bond markets to open the week ahead of today’s U.S. Consumer Price Index data that was expected to show further disinflation, and thus influence investor forecasts as to what the Fed is going to do over the near-to-medium term.

Traders are finally heeding one of the market’s oldest lessons: Don’t fight the Fed. There are now between four and five cumulative quarter-point cuts priced in for the year as a whole, more than the three penciled in by policymakers, but down from around six priced in by investors at the end of January and seven at the end of 2023. Fed Governor Bowman said yesterday that there is no need for imminent rate cuts as the benchmark rate is in a good place to keep pressure on prices. Richmond Fed President Barkin echoed her comments, warning businesses may be slow to give up pricing power. Fed officials want to see slowing inflation broaden more meaningfully into housing and services.

While inflation seems to be trending in the right direction, there’s still a ways to go before we get to the FOMC’s target of 2 percent. Fortunately, markets finally seem to understand that the Fed is in no hurry to start cutting rates. Pricing in fed funds futures currently implies around a 15 percent chance that the Fed cuts rates by a quarter point in March, down from over 75 percent a month ago.

Yesterday was a quiet day for the economic calendar, but today brings another round of inflation data with the release of January CPI. The headline reading was +.3 percent for January, +3.1 percent year-over-year, down from 3.4 percent but nowhere near 2 percent. Core inflation, however, remained elevated, at +.4 percent for the month and 3.9 percent year over year. We’ve also received NFIB small business optimism for January, dropping to its lowest level in a year. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .125-.250 and the 10-year yielding 4.24 after closing yesterday at 4.17 percent; the 2-year is up to 4.57. Don’t look for a cut any time soon.


“Exciting opportunity for Wholesale Account Executives! Join A&D Mortgage, a leading Top 10 Wholesale Lender and prominent Non-QM company in the nation. We're expanding our team in CA, NV, AZ, UT, CO, KS, TX, AR, AL, GA, KY, NC, and SC and looking for dynamic professionals. With a diverse range of products, including Conventional, Government, DSCR/Bank Statements/Foreign National, and a new innovative ITIN program. Especially in today’s market, we offer unparalleled opportunities for growth. Boasting 18 years of industry leadership, we're committed to exceptional customer service and a culture of innovation. If you're ready to join a winning team and elevate your career, explore openings at A&D Mortgage's Career Center or connect with Andrew Taylor or Bobby Frank for more details. Don't miss this chance to be part of our success story! Apply today online.”

As a mortgage sales professional have you ever thought, “What if I could focus on only the things that actually grow my business, flipping the hourglass and spending 80 percent of my time on what I do best: building relationships!”? Or “What if I could surround myself with sales support that is truly team inspired, results driven marketing and customer obsessed headache-free process.”? Welcome to radius financial group! They started their company with one main focus: to offer a better value proposition than any other bank or mortgage company in the country for you, your borrowers, and your referral partners. We can help you grow your business, have a better quality of life and make more money. For confidential inquires please contact Carla Herrera and visit us at radius financial group inc. - Mortgage Lending Careers.