While the bond market is watching the world define a Ukrainian “invasion,” do you know why you should respect people who wear glasses? They paid good money to see you!

What are operations people seeing out there? A recent STRATMOR workshop, led by Senior Partner Jim Cameron, indicated that there is a continued focus on automation & process, automated verifications, and keeping employees engaged. As the pandemic subsides, managers are grappling with a workforce that may have been hired far away from any offices, and how does a company work with key, valued employees in this segment?

Meanwhile, originators are battling institutional buyers, all-cash buyers, and a pool of potential buyers who have been priced out of the market. We all know that not everyone deserves to, or can, buy a home, but this stat is an eye-opener: Roughly 69% of American households cannot afford a median-priced home, according to research from the National Association of Homebuilders. The study considers a home affordable if the PITI payment is under 28% of gross monthly income. The income required to purchase the median home is $99,250. 

Jumbo & non-agency developments

loanDepot Wholesale is now offering SOFR ARMs to 89.99% on the Jumbo Advantage Express program giving you more options for Jumbo Borrowers. Available for primary residence and second homes. Purchase and rate/term refinances with loan amounts up to $2,000,000. Credit scores as low as 720. SOFR ARM 7/6 and 10/6 terms available. Refer to the Jumbo Advantage Express program matrix for more details and contact your Account Executive today with any questions.

Fairway Wholesale Lending rolled out the Fairway Jumbo PLUS Product available for all loans locked on and after 02/21/2022. The Jumbo PLUS Product allows for ease of automated underwriting systems (AUS) combined with the following features: Primary & Second Homes only, Purchases, Rate & Term and Cash-Out Refinances, 1 unit properties only, Fixed Rate Terms, up to 89.99% LTV / CLTV, loan amounts up to $3 million, minimum 680-740 credit score, depending on the loan amount, purpose and occupancy, maximum DTI 45%, and DU & LPA permitted; For full program requirements, refer to the Fairway Jumbo PLUS Program Guidelines accessible after logging into DRIVER.

Fairway Wholesale also spread the word to brokers that, “The Jumbo Non-Agency AUS products have been a huge success and has all but rendered the Jumbo QM Full Doc products obsolete. As a result, we will retire Jumbo QM Full Doc programs and wind them down based on the following: The last day to lock a loan under the Jumbo QM Full Doc product is 3/01/22 – extensions will be allowed on a case-by-case basis, and we will not be imposing a closing/funding cutoff.”

Wells Fargo Funding has delayed its prior approval relaunch and policy expansions for Non-Conforming loans due to a technical issue. Changes that were not implement on February 14th are listed in Wells Fargo Funding announcement C22-002nc. Additionally, the list of approved mortgage insurance providers in Wells Fargo Funding Seller Guide has been updated to reflect the name change from Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation to Enact Mortgage Insurance.

Flagstar Bank announced an enhancement to the Non-Agency Underwriting Guidelines available on Flagstar Jumbo Products with New Application Dates on or after Friday February 18th. Details are available in Flagstar Bank memo 22021.

Flagstar Bank increased margins for HELOCs in the states of California and New York by 0.25%.

Redwood Trust’s Redwood Residential continues to garner its share of jumbo production.

Clarification posted in Lending Citi Correspondent Bulletin 2022-22 include Non-Agency Minimum Tradelines and Best Effort Pricing extension requests.

One of the easiest loans to close and one of Angel Oak’s most utilized loan products with no income, no tax returns, no employment information required. Angel Oak Quick Close Investor Cash Flow Product. Cash flow of the property is determined with a minimum debt service coverage ratio of 1.0. DSCR is not required with a minimum 700 FICO and maximum 75% LTV.

Chase Correspondent Lending updated its credit policies to simplify Non-Agency transactions. Details can be found in Chase Correspondent Lending CB22-03 Bulletin.

Citi Correspondent Lending is implementing a loan level pricing adjuster change for Non-Agency purchase transactions, effective with new locks on/after Thursday, February 3, 2022. LLPA descriptions and values. This change is reflected on page 5 of the Best-Efforts rate sheet.

Thanks to the continued demand for non-QM, Angel Oak recently announced a $418.16 million non-QM securitization. With FHFA’s upfront fee increase for high balance loans and seconds homes on the horizon, check out non-QM options for these type loans. Angel Oak offers many loan programs including ITIN, delayed financing, 1031 Exchange, 40-year fixed interest only available for many loan products, and non-warrantable condos allowed across all products. Discover more Angel Oak flexible attributes to all non-QM product and how to utilize.

2021 proved to be a solid year for Angel Oak, funding a company record of $3.9 billion in non-qualified mortgages. Its employee headcount grew by 30% and the Angel Oak lending platform surpassed $10 billion in lifetime non-QM origination volume. The company projects to originate over $7.5 billion in non-QM loans in 2022. Plans to accomplish its projection includes continued education on HOW to utilize non-QM through webinars, presentations, tradeshows across the country, further investing in technology for loan process efficiency and improving its guidelines where appropriate to remain competitive and offer flexibility for underserved borrowers.

Verus Mortgage Capital (VCM), a full-service correspondent investor offering residential non-QM and investor rental programs, was the largest non-QM issuer in 2021, financing more than $5.4 billion in non-QM loans including 11 total securitization transactions, three of which were refinance transactions totaling $1.37 billion. “Last year’s performance is tangible proof of our ongoing dedication to growing the non-QM sector,” said Dane Smith, President of VMC. “In 2022, we expect demand to increase for these essential loan products and Verus remains committed to expanding this competitive market and serving creditworthy borrowers who are in need of responsible financing. We continue to be extremely optimistic about our future and where the industry is heading.”

First Community Mortgage Correspondent revised its Elite and Elite Plus Guidelines updating requirements relate to Underwriting-Alimony Payments, appraisal date requirement respective to the Note date, Matrix-Purchase and Rate and Term Refinance LTV/CLTV/HCLTV and Underwriting-DU findings. Specifics are posted in FCM Correspondent Announcement 2022-6.

First Community Mortgage Wholesale revised its Elite and Elite Plus Guidelines updating requirements relate to Underwriting-Alimony Payments, appraisal date requirement respective to the Note date, Matrix-Purchase and Rate and Term Refinance LTV/CLTV/HCLTV and Underwriting-DU findings. Specifics are posted in FCM Wholesale Announcement 2022-7.

First Community Mortgage Correspondent added Minimum Loan Amounts to its Jumbo Product Quick Guide/Comparison. Details are available in FCM Announcement 2022-7.

Great credit but no steady monthly income? Use assets to qualify for a mortgage with LendSure’s Asset Qualifier Program. LendSure Mortgage program offers loan amount up to 75% of assets, primary, investment and second home options, cash out is not used as qualifying assets.

PRMG Product Updates include Ruby Jumbo clarification regarding gifts of equity, loan number requirement prior to underwriting submission on Expanded Access, Expanded Access, and Investor Solution - Clarification on business account use, borrowers who own property outside of the US only, and loan amount cap removal on CalHFA MyHome Assistance loans reserved on or after 2/28/22. View PRMG Profile Updates 22-09 for details and additional updates.

Capital markets

Geopolitical concerns remain at the forefront of investor sentiment, with U.S. officials stating that moving troops into a given area defines an “invasion.” We’ve been talking about it for several weeks, although markets took some solace from a plan for new talks between Russia and the U.S., but uncertainty is always going to lead to volatility in the bond market. International strife leads to a flight to quality, and that typically drives down rates.

This week’s calendar includes several housing-related releases in addition to regional Fed surveys, Markit PMIs, the second look at Q4 GDP, with durable goods orders, personal income and spending, and Michigan sentiment on Friday. Today’s calendar is already underway with Philadelphia Fed nonmanufacturing for February (+27.5), overshadowed by news from Ukraine. Later this morning brings December house prices from both S&P/Case-Shiller and FHFA, preliminary February Markit manufacturing and services PMIs, Richmond Fed manufacturing and services indices, and February consumer confidence. The Desk will purchase up to $2.7 billion 30-year MBS. Today is also 48-hour notification for Class D MBS. We begin the trading week with Agency MBS prices worse slightly from Friday and the 10-year yielding 1.94 after closing last week at 1.93 percent, unusually subdued given the Russian moves.

In honor of George Washington, who was born on February 22, 1732 (yes, I know that the Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar 20 years later), and in the past had his own Federal Holiday, a bit of trivia. In 1976, Washington was posthumously awarded the highest rank in the U.S. military, ever. A law was passed to make Washington the highest ranking U.S. officer of all time: General of the Armies of the United States. Nobody will ever outrank him.

Lender and broker products & services

Nationwide Appraisal Network (NAN) is ready for your Fannie Mae 1004 (Desktop) appraisal requests. As a truly national appraisal management company, NAN works with the best appraisers across the country. We are working closely with our appraiser partners by supplying property data, photos and floorplans on all desktop appraisals and we are working with our lender partners to ensure timeliness, communication and quality is delivered across the board on these new products. “We decided to take a temp check with our panel by sending out a survey to gauge the acceptance rate and understanding of the new appraisal product and were overwhelmingly pleased with the results. Many of our appraiser partners already have experience with this product and are excited to take on more!,” said Joni Pilgrim, CEO of NAN. “The appraisers are ready to embark on the modernization movement and we are here to support them every step of the way!”

Now there’s an easy, cost-effective way to generate more accurate appraisals while reducing risk. Black Knight’s innovative CA Complexity Profiler℠ leverages comprehensive data and market analytics to instantly calculate an objective appraisal complexity score to save time, money and generate more accurate valuations. The score helps determine which valuation method to use so you can disclose more accurate valuation fees on the Loan Estimate and reduce the risk of non-compliance with Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requirements. Complexity Profiler can also lead to more accurate valuations by having the most experienced appraisers assigned to more complicated properties. In addition to a complexity score, the solution provides detailed subject property information and comparables with access to listing and public records data, as well as an interactive map, a market-condition analysis and more. See for yourself how Complexity Profiler can make the appraisal process smoother and more efficient. Contact us today to get a FREE report.

As refinance opportunities decline, every lender is having to find new and creative ways to uncover new opportunities and they are looking for solutions to help them do this. With different options on the market to help find new prospects including First American Data & Analytics DataTree Lists™, how is a lender supposed to know which one will help them be the most successful? The answer? Look at the data. Not all data is the same, and not all data providers are. You need the best, and you need to be able to understand what data is powering your solution. How is the quality of the data? The currency? The depth and coverage? How do you make sure you’re getting the best data to drive your business strategy? Download this new checklist from First American to help you review different data providers.

Projections matter, but do you know how you stack up in real time? Every business needs to keep track of long-term goals, but the best way to get ahead is to know how you rank in real time. Get the details you need 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 compared to your peers, so you know where the opportunities are. With RM Analyze, you get a complete picture of your company and the tools to 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 it will fit your unique business needs. Contact us to schedule a customized demo today!

New ebook: How to improve your lending profitability to combat 2022’s shrinking margins, according to 4 industry veterans with 20+ years of lending experience. Mortgage rates have nearly reached 4%, blowing past industry predictions. This year, profit margins will be hard to maintain as interest rates rise and loan costs skyrocket. Now more than ever, lenders need to think towards actionable ways to buoy their viability. Digital mortgage solutions provider Maxwell’s newly published ebook aims to help small and midsize lenders prepare their operations for challenges to come. Featuring insight from exclusive interviews with 4 industry veterans holding 20+ years of mortgage experience each, this ebook will help you develop strategies for success. Want to arm your team with actionable tips for the challenging road ahead? Click here to download Maxwell’s free ebook “Future-Proof: Industry Insight to Help Local Lenders Thrive in 2022 and Beyond.”

An AirAsia flight made an emergency landing this month after a snake was spotted on the loose in the main cabin. With towaways like this happening more often than you’d hope, a Snakes on a Plane-level disaster may be a real possibility. Speaking of small problems with huge potential consequences, Sales Boomerang illustrates how overlooking borrower retention creates costly problems for lenders in its latest eBook. Lenders who fail to address borrower attrition can expect lower top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability than peers who have enacted a borrower retention strategy. If, as Samuel L. Jackson might say, you’ve “HAD IT” with these [expletive] missed opportunities in your [expletive] customer database, download the free eBook today.

You’re in Luck! Next month, First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (NMLS #2917) plans to introduce enhancements within its Maverick Solutions™ product suite with improvements in Bank Statement Income Allowances, New Property Options, and Increased LTVs. Follow FGMC on LinkedIn for launch updates or contact Tom Davis to learn more about becoming a partner. Did you know that FGMC offers free webinars? That's right! Throughout each month the Mortgage Mavericks host Non-QM webinars to help you and your borrowers grow together. Register for one or all our March events today!


Are you at a stage in your career where you produce at a high level but are looking to live the life you’ve always wanted outside of work? Many veteran originators think they need to choose between production or their personal life. Nothing could be further from the truth! One of the Top Originating teams in the nation is looking to help 1 Veteran Originator experience what it’s like to produce at the same high level, while also living the personal life they’ve always dreamed of. Changing how you’ve always done something is hard, but it’s time to break away from everything that has held you back. Calculating income, reading guidelines, working nights and weekends is not the life of an originator. If you close $30M or more per year and want to stop choosing between production or personal life contact Anjelica Nixt to schedule a confidential conversation.

Broker and Non-Delegated AEs - looking for stability and a long-term career? As an account executive at Pennymac TPO, you'll work for an industry leader with a proven track record of building scaled, sustainable businesses. We are investing in technology and provide unmatched service to our partners. Plus, Pennymac TPO still has great territories available, waiting just for you! Stake your claim with a top wholesale lender that provides consistent, competitive pricing and support from a team of industry experts. 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.

Onslow Bay Financial LLC’s (“Onslow Bay”) residential mortgage whole loan and MSR platform continues to grow and is looking to hire talented mortgage operations professionals in the Dallas area. Please email or visit our website to apply if interested. Onslow Bay Financial, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Annaly Capital Management (“NLY”), a mortgage aggregator that buys closed, funded residential whole loans directly from correspondents. Annaly, with $13.2 billion of permanent capital and $89.2billion of total assets as of 2021 year end, is among the world’s largest real estate investment trusts (REIT). Onslow Bay has been active in acquiring new origination, residential whole loans since 2016 and has completed 25 rated securitizations and >$10bn since 2018.