Fun with numbers: Did you know that, at age 22, Billie Eilish has won twice as many Oscars (2) than 80-year-old Martin Scorsese (1)? (And yes, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Cruise, and Johnny Depp have won a cumulative total of 0.) Lenders and vendors didn’t have a lot of fun with numbers in 2023, with overall production dropping from $4.4 trillion in 2021 to $1.6 trillion last year, a drop of 63 percent in dollar volume, even more in units since average loan amounts have gone up. Yes, this is an over-simplification, but have you cut your staffing and expenses by 63 percent? (The MBA is predicting $2 trillion this year.) Lenders and vendors who want to stay in business aren’t sitting on their hands, and many are out there adding related businesses (title, insurance), avoiding overly competitive markets or low margin products, monitoring branches or LOs taking advantage of pricing concessions, engaging in aggressive cost-cutting and renegotiating contracts and compensation packages, and tweaking their business models and channels. All easier said than done. (Found here, this week’s podcast is sponsored by Lender Toolkit. With Lender Toolkit’s AI-powered AI Underwriter and Prism borrower income automation tools, you’ll be able to get loans approved in under two minutes. Hear an interview with money manager Vijay Marolia on the affordable housing shortage.)

Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software

Revolution Mortgage, a nationwide lender, partners with OptiFunder for end-to-end warehouse automation. “We’ve been using OptiFunder to help us manage our warehouse allocations for years. The optimization savings, easy platform, and customer service made us instant fans of OptiFunder,” said Revolution CEO and Founder Tony Grothouse. “We have recently expanded our use of the system to automate our entire funding process. Our team leverages technologies every day to boost efficiencies in the loan process.” Founded in 2019 to bring optimization and automation to the mortgage industry, OptiFunder has automated over a half million processes for originators, including funding, wire data checks, collateral shipping, purchase advice reconciliation and writeback to the LOS, paydown requests and more. With connections to over 150 warehouse lenders and investors, OptiFunder offers the most comprehensive automation from funding through loan sale. Schedule a demo or meet with us at ICE Experience 24 to learn more about our robust automation.

Mortgage capital markets tech leader Polly launches Lender Intelligence platform, leveraging robust data and analytics to drive margin expansion and cost reduction. Lender Intelligence provides a holistic view of a lender’s business and the wider competitive landscape via granular data visualizations that illustrate enterprise, market, and competitor benchmarking data and indices. "Polly has already established an unmatched reputation by reinventing the PPE to prioritize flexibility, granularity, and scalability. In 2024 and beyond, we will only continue to advance this innovation-focused approach and its application to mortgage data and analytics," noted Founder and CEO Adam Carmel. Learn more about Polly and Lender Intelligence next week, March 18-20, at ICE Experience 2024. Schedule a meeting here, or visit Polly in #X24 booth 221.

This week, Floify launched Lender Edition, a newly badged version of the popular point-of-sale configured to give IMBs, credit unions and banks best-in-class tools at an accessible price point. While some vendors are squeezing lenders on pricing during market hardship, Floify is committed to being a supportive partner by offering flexible per-loan pricing without compromising access to product features or quality. Floify is popular for its intuitive interface for borrowers and lenders, and efficiency-driving features, such as automated document management workflows, free native eSign, verification of income and employment waterfall functionality, and loan progress transparency. The Floify team will be out in force at ICE Experience. Click here to schedule a meeting or visit booth 418.

“We know that not all property data is equal, and it certainly shouldn’t be viewed as a commodity. With data playing such a critical role in virtually every aspect of a mortgage (underwriting decisions, risk management, property, and asset valuation), it makes sense that you would get your data from a trusted provider. That’s why we wanted to highlight First American Data & Analytics and their industry-leading repository of recorded property document images. It’s true: more than 8 billion and growing! As a nationwide single-source solution, they are proud to provide property document images that are current, complete, and accessible. Feel confident in your ability to know where and how to locate the data, documents, and reports you need. Sound good? Learn more and get a sample of their data.”

“Hey credit union mortgage lenders, we have a webinar specifically tailored for you! As you know, unique challenges can arise when valuing new construction for your members. To help you navigate these complex projects, Class Valuation has assembled an expert panel with deep background knowledge of credit union lending, new construction, valuations, and the intersection of all three. Join our veteran panelists for insights on selecting appropriate comparable sales, selecting qualified appraisers, valuing the site, understanding ANSI standards, managing inspections, timing, and more. Titled “Successfully Navigating the Challenges of New Construction Valuation,” this webinar will equip you to do just that. This webinar is a valuable opportunity for credit union mortgage lenders to gain essential knowledge and strategies for navigating the complexities of new construction valuation. Don't miss out - register today!”

Correspondent and Servicing-Released Options

Discover unparalleled expertise in multifamily servicing with Planet Management Group and Planet Loan Servicing at the IMN Texas Middle-Market Multifamily Forum in Dallas. As industry leaders, we're ready to showcase our innovative solutions and expert advisory that empower investors to optimize their portfolio value. Join us for a convergence of trailblazers and gain insights that will shape the future of multifamily living in Texas. To secure your spot now with Samantha Manfer and Caitlin Moynihan, reach out or call (585) 512-1030. Elevate your investment strategy with us at the forefront of multifamily evolution.

If you read this column regularly, you know AmeriHome is the 2nd largest correspondent investor in the country and backed by the strength of Western Alliance Bank. There’s no better time than now to speak to an AmeriHome sales representative about everything from AmeriHome’s industry leading correspondent acquisition platform for Delegated and Non-Delegated lenders to Western Alliance’s specialty services such as Warehouse financing for lenders of all sizes, MSR financing, specialized Treasury Management Services, and corporate credit cards! AmeriHome continues to evolve its product offerings, having recently removed cash-out restrictions on VA loans and announcing that they will now purchase HomeReady and Home Possible loans with the $2500 grant for Very Low Income (VLIP) borrowers. Don’t miss them this month at the MCT Exchange in San Diego or the Houston MBA Golf Classic! Check Upcoming Events for details, find your sales representative, or email them to learn more about connecting with AmeriHome.

Agency News and Updates

Fannie Mae spread the word that lenders now will be able to validate assets, income, and employment with a single 12-month asset report in Desktop Underwriter®. That same asset report will also identify the borrower’s positive rent payment history and cash flow history. This could be a boon for both lenders and homebuyers – think faster cycle times, less paperwork, and enhanced access to credit, not to mention the ability for lenders to get Day 1 Certainty®, which can help improve loan quality and reduce the risk of repurchase. The enhancement goes into effect in DU on March 29. Reach out to your Fannie Mae representative for help getting started.

So yes, on March 29, Fannie Mae will update Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) validation service to allow for the digital verification of income and employment for casefiles submitted to DU which reference an eligible third-party asset verification report. Refer to the following resources to learn how DU validation service can help simplify your processes. Validation Using a Single Data Source. Read Release Notes. View the integration impact memo.

Freddie Mac Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2024-3 announces updates pertaining to: Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD). Implementation notes that provide updates to existing ULDD data points, New ULDD Phase 4a valid values related to automated collateral evaluation (ACE), ACE+ PDR (property data report) and ACE+ PDR upgrade to hybrid, ULDD Phase 5 requirements for specific property data, mortgage products and data points, Manufactured homes closing protection letters.

Fannie Mae remains committed to expanding opportunities for those who are ready to purchase a home and maintain a mortgage. Recent innovations include: an enhanced pre-qualification experience through the DU early assessment to help lenders determine homebuyer preparedness and mortgage options earlier without the impact of a hard credit check on the consumer. An income calculator to help mortgage lenders automate the calculation of self-employment income streams during the underwriting process for homebuyers who don’t have traditional sources of income. A down payment assistance tool to help homebuyers find the down payment and closing cost assistance they need. Fannie Mae’s award-winning HomeView® and HomeView en Español, providing consumers and first-time homebuyers with educational tools and information about financial literacy and homeownership.

In March, the Fannie Mae Selling Guide has been updated to expand the DU validation service to allow income and employment validation using an asset verification report. Details can be found in Fannie Mae SEL-2024-02.

Fannie Mae is committed to promoting servicer awareness of fair servicing best practices. In 2023, Fannie conducted outreach with servicers and consumer advocacy groups to capture their efforts to ensure fair servicing. Refer to this resource as you develop and/or enhance your best practices.

Fannie Mae issued the following reminder: Use of the Uniform Property Dataset (UPD) will be required for value acceptance + property data offers as of April 1, 2024, when Fannie Mae’s proprietary Property Data Standards V6 will be retired. Explore the UPD page for more information including the current list of UPD service providers.

Pennymac updated Conventional LLPAs, effective for all Best-Efforts Commitments taken on or after Tuesday, March 05, 2024. View Announcement 24-19 for details.

Pennymac confirmed FHA’s non-borrowing spouse requirement and updated its guidelines accordingly. Refer to Pennymac Announcement 24-40 for examples.

As part of its commitment to maintain the highest quality and security of client data, Pennymac has finalized implementation of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Technology in the P3 client portal with enforcement effective Friday, March 8, 2024.

“CMG is aligning with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regarding F&F’s announcement of a temporary enhancement to their HomeReady and HomePossible products. This enhancement includes a $2,500 credit for very low-income borrowers (VLIP) that can be used for down payment and closing costs. The loan must meet all of the guidelines and requirements defined by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order for the loan to be eligible for purchase. This grant will be effective immediately for all new applications submitted. This is a temporary credit and CMG Corporate Credit will advise clients on the closing date for applications next year. If incorporating a HomeReady or HomePossible Very Low-Income Purchase (VLIP) within your Bulk Commitment, please contact our CMG Secondary to let us know how you are labeling your VLIP loans.”

Arch MI announced a new second-lien product for its first-lien customers. Arch MI Equity Secure℠ provides mortgage insurance (MI) coverage on eligible home equity loans through Arch Mortgage Assurance Company (AMAC).

PHH Mortgage has made several modifications to the Seller Guide to adhere to agency guidelines and incorporate advancements.

Capital Markets

Interested in learning more about moving from best efforts to mandatory loan sales? Maybe you’ve already moved to mandatory and are looking for even more pickup and ways to mitigate risk? Join MCT’s Moving to Mandatory Loan Sales webinar on April 4th at 11am PT to learn how mandatory loan sales is helping lenders improve profitability while reducing risk. In this webinar, MCT’s Scott Holtz, Vice President of South Regional Sales, will discuss how to leverage mandatory loan sales to improve profitability, manage risk with pipeline hedging, and operational changes needed for the transition. Register for the webinar or join MCT’s newsletter to receive the latest educational content.

As far as the bond market is concerned, investors yesterday continued to digest the February CPI data, in which consumer prices rose more than analysts anticipated. And despite excellent demand as the U.S. Treasury reopened $22 billion in 30-year bonds, selling was the “trade of the day.” That selling added to post-CPI losses ahead of today's release of PPI (expected 0.3 percent month-over-month) and Retail Sales (expected 0.7 percent month-over-month) for February.

Today’s busy economic calendar is already under way with retail sales (+.6 percent, somewhat less than expected, ex-auto +.3 percent), PPI (+.6 percent, twice what was expected, core +.4 percent), and weekly jobless claims (209k, little changed from 210k; 1.811 million continuing claims). Later this morning brings January business inventories, a series of Treasury auctions that include 20-year bonds and 10-year TIPS, and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. We begin Thursday with Agency MBS prices worse about .125 from Wednesday evening, the 10-year yielding 4.22 after closing yesterday at 4.19 percent, and the 2-year yielding 4.66 after the reminder that inflation is not going down and the labor market continues to be strong.


A mid-sized, Mid-West lender is looking for a Wholesale Underwriting Manager to join its leadership team. As a key player in a growing organization, you'll be responsible for overseeing and elevating the wholesale underwriting process. If you’re looking for a role with a seat at the table and the ability to make a difference, this position may be for you! Remote applicants will be considered. Interested parties should contact Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward your resume.

Don’t forget that anyone displaced from their position can post their resume for free on and potential employers can view resumes for several months for the nominal charge of $75.