My cat Myrtle never turns down a good helping of enchanting, diced, barbequed beef. (Sorry vegetarians: La Principessa is a carnivore.) I realize that Easter is still ahead of us, and summer a few months off, but who hasn’t driven by a field full of cattle in the heat and seen them standing in the shade? A shaded, comfortable steer produces more meat. No shade impacts profitability. Where am I going with this? Banks earn income by taking money from you and me, and business accounts, and lending it out to home and car buyers, people establishing businesses and so on. If people and companies are tired of earning near 0 percent on their bank deposit and putting their money in money market accounts instead, eventually banks have less money to lend out, things change. No money impacts profitability. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week it’s 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. Listen to an interview with Regal’s Alex Levin on how lenders can engage in worthwhile calling and texting campaigns.)

Lender and Broker Services and Software

Does your credit union have a MSR portfolio that has grown over the last three years? Or have you simply been considering retaining servicing? If you answered “yes” to either, you won’t want to miss Optimal Blue’s upcoming ACUMA Inside Track webinar. Plan to join us on Tuesday, April 11, for “Exploring MSR Valuations.” This highly informative and timely webinar will feature industry experts from Optimal Blue as they discuss the many different assumptions that factor into MSR valuations. This session will also dive into the different valuation methods available in today’s fluid MSR valuation marketplace. With today’s volume challenges, it’s never been timelier to focus on maximizing this valuable cash asset to retain the most profitable loans in your pipeline. Save your seat for the webinar today!

In his 1972 hit song, Bill Withers made a timelessly true statement: "We all need somebody to lean on.” As mortgage servicers grapple with tight margins and increasing loan servicing costs, they could use a reliable partner. The good news is that Indecomm is here to help. If you are a mortgage servicer in need of timely, accurate, transparent, and efficient lien release services, lean on Indecomm’s tech-enabled lien release services. Just call on Indecomm for a streamlined lien process, MERS and regulatory compliance, nationwide recording/e-recording processes, and reduced lien rejection rates. With Indecomm’s expert team by your side, you can say goodbye to missing state statutes, while minimizing risk and fines. Reach out to Kevin Quinn to learn more.

Informative Research, a Stewart company and leading technology platform delivering data-driven solutions to the lending community, is proud to announce that it has received a prestigious Nexus Award from SimpleNexus. The Nexus Awards were created by SimpleNexus to recognize outstanding achievements in the use of homeownership technology by its customers and partners. The 2023 Nexus Awards celebrated Informative Research for its exceptional accomplishments over the past year. Known for its straightforward service model, progressive solutions, and cutting-edge technology that streamline the loan process, the Nexus Award from SimpleNexus is a testament to Informative Research's commitment to innovation and excellence in the lending industry. Informative Research is honored to receive this recognition and is proud to continue providing data-driven solutions to its customers in the lending community. The company looks forward to continuing to innovate and deliver exceptional service to its clients.

MCT recently released its March MCTlive! Lock Volume Indices, which shows that after a downward trend in February, lock volume increased across the board for the month. MCTlive! Rate Lock Indices present a snapshot of rate lock volume activity in the residential mortgage industry broken out by lock type (purchase, rate/term refinance, and cash out refinance) across a broad diversity of lenders (e.g., sizes, products/services offered, business models) from MCT’s national footprint. Read MCT’s March Indices for more information on rate lock trends over the past year. For further reading, MCT’s latest article, March Housing Market Update: After Silicon Valley Collapse, discussed the current market outlook, mortgage industry bell-weathers, and how to emerge on the other side of the economic cycle ahead of the competition. Join MCT’s newsletter to receive articles like this and information on mortgage market trends.

February home sales were up 14.5%! Are you capturing the increase in home sales? As the roller coaster of home sales activity continues on an upward trajectory, is there a chance you may have stalled? The recently released stats from National Association of Realtors highlights that Spring is here, evidencing very few hiccups from rising interest rates. Is your network sending these prospects your way? Cole Information can make the difference. Entice your realtors, title companies, and community to direct prospective homebuyers to you with meaningful, relevant prospecting information that can be shared. Boost successful prospecting for everyone, your loan officers in particular, with comprehensive, targeted data that is immediately actionable and easily integrated. You can experience access to comprehensive information that surpasses your competition. So, don’t miss this year’s Spring and Summer homebuying season, enhance your network with the power of real data from Cole Information!

“Are you a mortgage leader looking for ways to improve your customer experience and make your teams more efficient? Matic is an embedded home insurance platform built for mortgage enterprises. We’ve helped top lenders and servicers reduce friction for their processors (no more chasing down insurance documentation!), accelerate loan closings, and improve customer retention by keeping borrowers within their own ecosystems. Mortgage enterprises can also generate extra revenue by offering home insurance through our marketplace of 40+ top-rated carriers. Want to learn more? Book a demo with our team of mortgage experts to learn about partnerships.”

Capital is key for a successful, sustainable down payment assistance (DPA) program, especially as potential homebuyers continue to feel the squeeze of current interest rates and high home values. While the average down payments for U.S. homebuyers have adjusted to pre-pandemic levels in terms of the percentage of the purchase price, increased home values mean the amount borrowers must save is still higher than ever. Furthermore, rent payments now comprise 30% or more of the average American’s income, making saving difficult and driving the need for DPA programs in today’s market. While traditional DPA sources often only have limited funds, Click n’ Close is proud to offer the industry a well-capitalized DPA program as part of SmartBuy, its proprietary suite of loan programs that also includes 2/1 temporary buydown. Learn more by contacting Adam Rieke (wholesale) or Julas Hollie (correspondent).

In-Person Events Through April and Into May

A decent list of upcoming conventions can be found here under the “conference” tab.

Join WAMP on Apr 11, 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM for a fun and informative networking event featuring moi, Rob Chrisman. Registration and networking will begin at 4:30; Rob will take the stage at 5:30, with Q&A opening-up about 6:30; and more networking opportunities following Rob's presentation. Don’t miss out, get the 411 on 4/11 from Rob Chrisman, “Moving Beyond Pandemic Lending”, at Embassy Suites by Hilton, Bellevue, WA.

Spring into the market with tips from Maryland's Top Realtors, join MMBBA on Tuesday, April 11 at Busboys and Poets from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM for brunch, networking and Realtor Power Producer Panel with Keynote Speaker Yolana Muckle, Long & Foster Realtors / MD Realtors.

Do you want to get in front of top clients and referral sources and generate immediate business? Check out the StorySeller Virtual Summit on April 19-20. The event is hosted by Gibran Nicholas, who will interviewing several big-name speakers about how to grow business and build your personal brand using StorySelling.

Be a part of TMBA's 107th Annual Convention – ASCEND April 30 – May 2 at San Antonio’s Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa. Experience excellent, relevant content, and dozens of opportunities for you to connect with hundreds of colleagues and grow your network. See who’s attending the MUST-ATTEND event of the year. Reserve your exhibit booth. Exhibit space at the TMBA Annual Convention typically Sells Out.

The MBA-NJ has dedicated the Regional Conference of MBAs, May 1 - 4, 2023, to Regina Lowrie, as follows: "The 2023 Regional Conference of MBAs is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague, Regina Lowrie, in recognition of her selfless support of the Conference and the Regina was a dedicated member of the Regional Conference Planning Committee for most of its 38 years of existence and moderated the Industry Leaders Panel, an integral part of the Conference. She was a loyal friend and will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Each year, the American Mortgage Conference brings together policymakers, investors, leading experts in the financial services industry and mortgage practitioners of every kind, providing a prime opportunity to discuss important industry issues and analyze the progress being made in Washington. The next conference May 1-3, 2023 will be hosted at Wild Dunes Resort, an award-winning oceanfront paradise located just outside of Charleston, SC. Wild Dunes Resort will be the perfect venue to relax, network and learn from the experts while exchanging ideas with your peers.

The 39th Annual Regional Conference of MBAs, has attracted as many as 3,000 attendees and over 300 exhibit booths. It is considered by many to be the finest regional Mortgage Banking Conference in the U.S. This four-day event, May 1-4 in Atlantic City includes Commercial and Residential programs and features trade exhibits, as well as regionally and nationally known Industry Speakers.

Registration is now open for the 21st Annual Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2023 Loan Guaranty Service (LGY) Conference, hosted at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO, May 2-4, 2023. Register for Conference here. Book $123/night rooms at either Sheraton Room Reservation or Westin Room Reservation. $123/night room block valid until April 17. Find agenda and additional Conference information here. This will be VA’s first conference since 2019! In the past, it was known as the VA Lenders Conference. But now the event is including Servicers and so will occupy two conference rooms, and the new name is “LGY Conference.” (The current market rate for the conference dates is over $300/night, but the discounted group rate is $123/night.)

From May 3-5 we have the 2023 Wyoming Mortgage Lenders Association Conference. Register here for the 2023 Cody, WY Conference at the Holiday Inn, Cody.

Still stuck with boring Continuing Education? Join the thousands of others who have discovered some of the greatest CE of all time. Knowledge Coop brings you 2023 CE in an exciting Late-Night Show theme, and in-person options! Phoenix: May 3 Register. Las Vegas: May 17 Register. San Diego: May 25 Register. Dallas: June 22 Register. Hawaii: July 6 Register.

Join the 2023 Fair Lending Forum in Washington, D.C., May 15-17, where you’ll connect with like-minded peers, engage in thought-provoking discussion, and take deep dives into critical conversations that matter. You’ll also network and do business with industry thought leaders including government regulators, lenders, compliance professionals and more.

The 2023 CMBA Annual Conference for Bank Presidents, CEOs, and Directors will be held on May 6 – 9, 2023 at the Grand Wailea on the island of Maui. Attendees will explore a wide range of topics including technology, innovation, regulatory updates, and much more. The full agenda and speaker line-up are available on the website.

May 8-9, in Ohio join OMBA’s in-person event, 2023 OMBA Convention – Together Towards Tomorrow. Multiple sessions discussing important topics to your business and clients including an economic forecast presented by Fannie Mae Chief Economist, Doug Duncan. This in-person event as we discuss topics that are important to your business and your clients. Fannie Mae Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, will Present an Economic Forecast. Early Bird Pricing is currently available through March 18, register now for this OMBA Convention held Monday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 9.

Capital Markets

Worries that softening economic data may mean something other than a “soft landing” drove MBS prices up and mortgage rates down yesterday in a typical “flight to safety” move. ADP reported that private employers added 145k jobs in March, lower than the 200k expectation, well below the 240k forecast for tomorrow's payroll number, and one of several signals that the economy is slowing. Employers are pulling back on hiring, evidenced by declines in finance, professional and business services, and manufacturing. Leisure and hospitality gained 98k jobs, which points to the softening of the labor market primarily in the white collar, rather than the blue collar, sectors.

We also learned yesterday that the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index for March dropped in February, but remained in expansionary territory, reflecting continued growth in the services sector. Activity in the U.S. economy's largest sector is slowing, evidenced by a cooling off in the new orders growth rate. The slowdown in activity and improved supply chain have helped to slow the pace of price increases for services. Finally, the February Trade Balance Report showed a widening in the trade deficit to -$70.5 billion due to decline in both exports and imports, reflective of a slowdown in global trade activity.

Today’s calendar kicked off with two labor market indicators ahead of tomorrow’s aforementioned payrolls report and early close. U.S.-based employers announced 89,703 cuts in March, up 15% from the 77,770 announced in February. It is up 319% from the 21,387 cuts announced in the same month in 2022, according to global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Weekly jobless claims came in at 228k, up from 198k, continuing claims at 1.8 million… signs of labor market softening. Later this morning, Treasury announces the details of the mini-Refunding consisting of $40 billion new 3-year notes and $32 billion and $18 billion reopened 10-year notes and 30-year bonds, respectively. We only have one Fed speaker today: St. Louis’ Bullard giving a presentation on the economy and monetary policy before the Arkansas State Bank Department. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Wednesday’s close, the 2-year down to 3.70, and the 10-year yielding 3.27 after closing yesterday at 3.29 percent.


Planet Home Lending is adding branches nationwide, and offering Branch Managers full recruiting support to grow in their markets. Find and land the best players for your team by working with recruiting in a collaborative environment, supported by internal resources to fill your roster and expand in your region. As the market waits for rates to change, we’re demonstrating our commitment to retail by building for the future. Why wait for your turn at bat when you can join a company that’s already running the bases? Contact VP of Talent Acquisition Peter Briggs (435-709-6278). Because when you’re here, you’re home.”

Attention Loan Officers! PrimeLending has earned the MortgageCX Borrower Satisfaction Program Best-in-Class Lender Awards in four categories for 2022. We are proud to be recognized as the Best Online Tools and Best Application Process for the fourth consecutive year, as well as Best Loan Officers and Best Processors for the second year running in the Large Independent Lender tier. The fact that these awards are based on customer reviews makes them even more special and confirms our people, technology, products, and processes are second to none. At PrimeLending, we offer an ideal home-buying experience and have the awards to prove it. If you’re ready to become the best in your market, maybe it’s time to explore joining the company that setting the bar with the best mortgage experience in the industry. Contact Nic Hartke to learn more.