Pi Day has come around once again, which is also, coincidentally, Albert Einstein’s birthday. As I head to Lexington for the MBA Kentucky Education Conference, led by Alan Thorup, Matt O. sent, “I have an idea: We organize a 10k race in San Jose and call it ‘The Bank Run.’” (While we’re on sports, a moment of silence for Dick Fosbury who revolutionized the high jump in the mid-1960’s). High jumpers have a soft pad to land on, not so with some bank stocks Monday. Western Alliance Bancorp, supplier of warehouse lines to many an independent mortgage banker and parent of AmeriHome, First Republic Bank, Metropolitan Bank, PacWest Bancorp, and First Horizon. Fortunately, many have “bounced” but these are all non-money-center banks seemingly causing risk to the U.S. financial system. In Banking 101 one learns that borrowing short (by holding customer deposits) to lend long (by purchasing long bonds and MBS) to improve returns is bad business. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology, and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking. Hear an Interview with AIER economist Peter C. Earle on the FOMC’s crystal ball and what to expect from future meetings.)

Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software

SimpleNexus, an nCino company, kicks off its fifth annual user group conference, SNUG, today at Utah’s Snowbird ski resort, where lenders will “Level Up” with innovative mortgage technology and strategies for market success. As a special treat for those unable to attend, SimpleNexus is announcing two of its 2023 Nexus Awards winners right here and now. Arvest Bank has clinched the Captstone Award, enterprise category, for its use of SimpleNexus to bring its mission to life, and Service First Mortgage has been honored in the SMB category in recognition of its early adoption of and collaboration on eDisclosure integrations. Keep your eyes peeled on LinkedIn throughout the week for additional Nexus Award winners!

Arc Home, a leading Non-QM and Non-Agency lender, has appointed Shea Pallante as Chief Production Officer. In his new role, Pallante will lead national production across Arc's TPO origination channels and lead a team of top-performing sales experts. Pallante will work to provide a best-in-class experience for Arc's broker and correspondent clients and their borrowers. Click here to learn more about Arc Home and how to become a partner today.

Free webinar: Mortgage Experts Debate 2023’s Market: Are There Signs of Recovery? Industry headlines herald the beginning of mortgage market recovery in 2023, predicting lower rates, higher volume, and the return of borrower activity—but is that confidence warranted? As we plan for the Spring selling season, let’s take an honest look at what lies ahead by digging into lead market indicators and boots-on-the-ground insight from industry veterans. In this free webinar co-hosted by Maxwell and TMC, New American Funding’s Tony Blodgett and Maxwell’s Bryan Traeger and Amy Jo Plummer will offer actionable tips to help lenders best predict 2023’s trajectory, shape strategy around leading indicators and available data, and see past hype-based headlines to ready their businesses for stabilization and recovery. Click here to save your seat at this webinar taking place Tuesday, 3/14 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

The MeridianLink® Mortgage and OpenClose® teams have come together to enable customers to deliver seamless digital lending experiences to consumers while reducing costs and time to close. As part of the integration, MeridianLink Mortgage plans to leverage the OpenClose point-of-sale (POS) system, Consumer Assist™, providing a superior experience for borrowers. In addition, OpenClose LenderAssist™ customers can leverage the MeridianLink PriceMyLoan product and pricing engine (PPE), offering richer pricing options and features like parallel mortgage insurance pricing, an integrated fee engine, and loan comparison reports. Consumers demand speed and simplicity in today’s mortgage loan process, and you need a platform that can deliver. See how MeridianLink Mortgage can help fuel your business with efficiency, flexibility, and the reliable support you need. Request a demo.

Get ready to take your mortgage marketing to the next level with the launch of an exciting new series: Mortgage Marketing Essentials. Created by the Black Knight team behind Surefire CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine, these quick guides are packed with powerful insights and expert tips on how to supercharge your marketing strategies and grow your business. In this first guide in the series, we're talking about the ultimate guide to customer relationship management (CRM) that will show you how to use this powerful tool to help build stronger relationships with your customers, generate more business, and increase sales. Grab this new quick guide and start supercharging your marketing efforts today!

Need to generate more revenue and stand out from competitors? Matic, an embedded home insurance platform built for the mortgage industry, has helped top lenders and servicers to add a new revenue stream. Unlike most tech solutions, we add revenue to your bottom line, give borrowers an amazing experience with personalized insurance offers from 40+ names you know, like Progressive, Travelers, Nationwide and more, and automate the home insurance process, meaning faster closings and less headaches for your loan teams. Book a quick demo with our team of mortgage experts to learn more about partnerships.

Printing letters, stuffing envelopes, and mailing it all off is such a pain… Who has time to worry about that sort of thing? Why not let Velma Connector do it for you? Connector integrates with your LOS, so when it’s time to send out a goodbye letter, an NOIA, an insurance transfer notice, or any other kind of physical mail (or email), Connector does it for you! Smart lenders eliminate labor costs while improving their accuracy, record keeping, and timeliness for a positive ROI. So, say goodbye to physical mail hassles and say hello to Velma Connector. Check out Connector today!

Counterparty Risk

Lenders are doing their best to communicate with their counterparties, including warehouse banks, broker dealers, and vendors. The markets have been volatile, and management is concerned that they don’t know what they don’t know. So how to learn more?

More than one version of this counterparty questionnaire crossed my “email desk” yesterday. “We appreciate our relationship and want to assure we will have no business continuity issues with your company. Due to the recent news about bank failures and/or capitalization issues, our executives want to know, do you do business in any capacity with Silicon Valley Bank, Western Alliance or First Republic? Where are your credit facilities located? Have these been negatively impacted? Where do you keep your deposits/ operating accounts? Have these been negatively impacted? What is your exposure to the recent bank sell off?”

Capital Markets

In hedging how do you know if you’re really getting the best markets to trade in? Recently, Chris Bennett of Vice Capital Markets hosted a TMC Connect webinar in which he explained the more nuanced aspects of hedging and trading in today’s markets that most people don’t know about and also offered advanced level tips and tricks for trading in today’s volatile markets. He does cover some of the basics, like how we got here and what you’re really doing when you’re hedging, but there’s enough meaty gems so that even an already very savvy capital markets exec can still pick up some highly profitable new tips with this free webinar. You can check out the full video here and even email Chris with any lingering questions you may have. Also, keep any eye on Vice Capital’s LinkedIn page, where we’ll be offering more nuggets from Chris’ presentation in the coming weeks.

Markets went for a wild ride Monday after worries about the health of regional banks carried over from last week. Treasury prices soared due to a flight to safety in global markets, including the yield on the two-year Treasury note plunging 57 basis points in its biggest one-day slump in decades. The situation introduces new Fed policy headaches, and rate hike expectations have been slashed with many predicting that the FOMC will not raise the fed funds rate range on March 22. The fed funds futures market, meanwhile, still sees nearly a 2/3 implied likelihood of a 25 basis points increase.

The banking sector news overshadowed the latest payrolls report to close last week, in which we learned that total nonfarm payrolls were higher than analysts’ expectations for the 11th consecutive month in February coming in at +311k versus an expected +200k. Once again, leisure and hospitality accounted for the most significant gains, adding 105k jobs. The labor force saw a 419k increase which put the participation rate at a post-pandemic high of 62.5 percent. While an acceleration in early retirements during the pandemic may make it challenging for the participation rate to reach prior highs, the increase in the number of people in the labor force could help ease wage pressures. Average hourly earnings growth eased to a 3.6 percent annualized rate in February. Job openings declined 3.7 percent in January and the number of open jobs per unemployed fell from 2.0 to 1.9. The number of job openings continues to be nearly double the pre-pandemic average. The Fed will need to see continued softening in the jobs market before they are comfortable pausing the current monetary policy tightening cycle.

Today brings the all-important, though maybe less important now, CPI for February. Inflation registered +.4 percent, about as expected and 5.9 percent year-over-year expectations, core +.5 percent. Real weekly earnings were -1.3 percent when they were expected to fall 0.3 percent after increasing 0.7 percent previously. We’ve also received the NFIB small business optimism index for February. Later today brings Redbook same store sales. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices are worse .125 and the 10-year yielding 3.57 after closing yesterday at 3.52 percent; the 2-year is at 4.25.


“Homestead Funding recognizes that success in today’s market requires more than great products and competitive rates. We are focused on providing programs, networking opportunities, resources, and tools to help our Loan Originators differentiate themselves and succeed. We invested in bringing together nationally recognized industry experts to share their knowledge and provide a forum for collaboration at our Sales Summit on March 9th! Our sales team from various branches around the country came to listen to our speakers discuss everything from the latest technology and market outlook to networking stronger relationships with partners. As we progress through the year, we’re continuing our path of adding value and creative borrower solutions. Our LOs walked away with numerous revenue generating ideas that can be implemented immediately. You can watch our Summit recap here! For more information about how Homestead can help you grow, contact Michele Teague today by calling (518)-368-1494.”

“The top 3 reasons mortgage sales professionals change companies: 1) Poor service levels compromising relationships with clients and referral partners. 2) Inadequate sales and marketing support. 3) No chance for advancement or opportunity to take their business to the next level. The top 3 reasons mortgage sales professionals join radius: 1) Nimble and proactive IMB that’s right sized to meet today’s changing demands. 2) Takes the guesswork out of marketing with their marketing team. 3) Allows you to your own mortgage dream team, or take advantage of theirs. At radius financial group, the focus is on YOU! Empowering you to build and run your business, your way. We give you the tools to help you strengthen relationships and you can build your own mortgage dream team or take advantage of ours. Either way, you’re an actual shareholder of everyone’s success! For confidential inquires please contact Carla Herrera and visit us at radius financial group inc. — Mortgage Lending Careers (radiusgrp.com).”

FHA has 4 Underwriter Vacancies, positions are Telework eligible. View Job Announcement Number 23-HUD-1072-P for details. And FHA is hiring for 2 Appraiser Vacancies. Details of job duties, including locations, is posted in Job Announcement Number 23-HUD-1070-P.