When I was a kid, whenever I would walk by a pay phone or newspaper vending machine, I’d check the coin change slot. Or periodically check under my Dad’s La-Z-Boy… every penny or dollar counted! (Nowadays, I still get excited when I find a forgotten quarter in my own pants or backpack.) Plenty of folks at last week’s Great River Conference were trying to do the modern equivalent of that by learning about the current vendor offerings of technology, or meeting with their current vendors to see if pennies or dollars could be saved on every loan given the current $12k+ cost per funded loan. Smart and compliant speed and efficiency are critical… speaking of which, found here, today’s podcast features an interview with Guaranteed Rate’s Victor Ciardelli on the company’s goal of closing a loan in one-day and how they will get there. This week’s podcasts are sponsored by Calque. With The Trade-In Mortgage powered by Calque, homeowners can buy before they sell, make non-contingent offers, and tap their home equity to fund the down payment on their next home.

Lender and Broker Products, Software, and Services

When people say they can see miles and miles on a clear day, they aren’t wrong: the horizon is about 3 miles away, with some variation depending on your height. And whatever may lie beyond, Dark Matter Technologies is helping lenders prepare with its first annual Horizon user conference. The event kicks off Wednesday at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and will bring together hundreds of industry notables to network, get the inside scoop on Dark Matter’s innovation roadmap, and explore business trends including market growth strategies, AI, and cybersecurity. Feeling a little FOMO? Request a consultation today and your team could be working smarter with the Empower LOS, and catching some Florida sun, by this time next year.

Does it feel like your current point-of-sale vendor has lost focus on mortgage? As a mortgage-specialized partner, Maxwell is committed to giving lenders a competitive advantage in a changing mortgage market. With Maxwell Point of Sale, lenders can tailor workflows to fit the unique needs of their organization, so back-end teams can work quickly without costly interruptions. Compared to a top competitor, Maxwell Point of Sale averages a 5.9 percent higher pull-through rate from rate-lock to close. For the average lender using Maxwell POS, this equates to $42MM in additional loan volume. Schedule a call with the team to learn how Maxwell Point of Sale can start working for you, your borrowers, and your lending team quickly.

Take your accounting department from “Cost Center” to Revenue Generator” with Loan Vision & LV-PAM. Loan Vision customers report a 10 percent reduction in loan fallout, 30 percent+ decrease in days to close the books, and 20 percent+ reduction in accounting headcount. Interested in learning how Loan Vision can reduce internal costs and help you gain a competitive edge? Contact Carl Wooloff to schedule a call today.

LoanStream wants you to Spring into more business with its April Specials on Prime, Non-QM and Closed End Seconds now through April 30th, 2024. Includes 25 BPS Price Improvement on FHA/VA loans 620+ FICO (excludes DPA and CalHFA) on Prime, 25 BPS price improvement on all Non-QM loans (excludes Select) and 25 BPS Price Improvement on all Closed-End Seconds. Restrictions apply so contact your LoanStream Account Executive to learn more. Specials are valid for loans locked 4/1/2024 through 4/30/2024. Offers subject to change at any time, terms and conditions apply.

Symmetry Lending introduces its April Special for Piggyback Pricing! Enjoy a remarkable discount on Piggyback HELOC transactions until April's end, including a -1.00 percent Spring Discount for qualified customers with a FICO score of 740+ and a draw of $200k+, equating to Prime + .25 percent margin. This offer demonstrates appreciation for clients' support and trust. Ready to seize this opportunity? Connect with your Symmetry Lending Area Manager to formulate a plan for getting these solutions in front of your clients today!

eClosing Survey by STRATMOR

Today, Snapdocs released new industry research that found lenders using the company's eClosing platform experience 18-day faster loan velocity than their industry peers. The survey was conducted by STRATMOR Group with data self-reported by mortgage lenders. I got a note from Michael Sachdev, CEO of Snapdocs that said eClosing technology, when paired with the right partner to scale adoption, is helping lenders set new industry benchmarks for loan processing speed, operating costs, and borrower satisfaction. So often we see vendors make claims about their product value, but this report is a good example of that validation being sourced directly from the lender users themselves.

Agency and Investor News

Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a HUD final rule that it says will increase lender participation in the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee program, strengthen regulations to meet growing demand, and ensure the program will remain a vital resource for Native American families for years to come. Miki Adams, president of CBC Mortgage Agency, a correspondent investor that is wholly owned by the Cedar Band of Paiutes in Utah, stated, “The Section 184 program is a vital tool for so many Native American homebuyers. The new regulations will bring more clarity and predictability to this important program, and we applaud the Administration for the improvements and their efforts to work closely with Tribal leaders and other stakeholders. There is still more that must be done to modernize the program and we look forward to working collaboratively with HUD on future improvements.”

Loss mitigation: what would you do? A borrower is out of work, is three months delinquent on their mortgage payments, has been offered a new job in another state, and will relocate within 60 days. They’re also unable to catch up on their arrears and have equity in the home. What should the servicer do? Review this and other scenarios from Fannie Mae’s March Loss Mitigation webinar and download the presentation.

Fannie Mae has launched “Mission Index,” a new initiative to sell agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that cater to socially conscious investors, aiming to attract more buyers to the market, Bloomberg reported. Fannie Mae assigns scores to MBS pools based on affordable rental housing availability, borrower location (high-poverty or rural areas), and other indicators, giving investors more visibility into the underlying mortgages and stimulate lending to underserved borrowers, potentially leading to lower interest rates for these borrowers.

Saving for a down payment is a barrier first-time homebuyers face. While there are numerous down payment assistance programs (DPA) available, it can be difficult for housing professionals to find programs that meet the specific needs of their borrower. Given the number of DPA programs in the market, there hasn’t been a consistent way to match the right DPA program to the needs of a particular borrower. To address this issue, Freddie Mac launched DPA One®, a free online solution to help DPA program providers reduce submission errors and program requirement questions from lenders by developing a single, standardized, online access point to manage their DPA program information. To learn more, read Freddie Mac’s case study about how one of Freddie Mac’s housing finance agency partners, Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation (SETH), is promoting affordable housing in the Southeast Texas community.

As part of a recent Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey® (MLSS) special topic analysis, Fannie’s economists surveyed senior executives of mortgage lending institutions to better understand how they feel about Technology Service Provider (TSP) solutions, particularly as TSPs have become an increasingly essential part of lenders’ day to day operations. The results are in a new Perspectives blog.

Ginnie Mae announced revisions to its monthly single-family reporting requirements to include expanded Payment Default Status (PDS) reporting. The expanded PDS dataset will include loan default information, any mitigation actions taken, and the timing of those actions. For more information regarding the transition to the new reporting requirements, see All Participants Memorandum (APM) 24-06.

In Bulletin 2024-1, Freddie Mac announced changes to trust income requirements pertaining to history of receipt for trust income with pre-determined fixed payments, and documentation of continuance for all trust income types. Pennymac is aligning with these changes effective with loan deliveries on or after April 30, 2024. View Pennymac Announcement 24-36 for details.

Pennymac posted Announcement 24-37 informing it will update Conventional LLPAs effective for all Best Efforts Commitments taken on or after Monday, April 22, 2024.

Capital Markets

Investor attitudes drive investor demand, and therefore rates. So, what is driving investor attitudes? There is the escalated geopolitical uncertainty between Iran and Israel (central bankers are girding for potential oil shocks that could reignite consumer-price growth), there is rising volatility amidst fear of a potential rate increase due to sticky inflation (voting Fed members have not ruled out the possibility of a future rate hike and have urged patience for any potential easing at least until year-end), there is also cautious optimism surrounding the world economy (earnings season continues on Wall Street this week), and new economic releases are always on the docket, even if most are backward-looking (Q1 GDP, due out later this week, is expected to have risen to 2.9 percent as of the most recent estimate).

More germane to the mortgage industry, we learned last week that existing home sales were down 4.3 percent during the month of March. Meanwhile, housing starts fell 14.7 percent in March although some of the decline was attributed to weather conditions in parts of the country. In terms of the American consumer, retail sales in March rose 0.7 percent which was well above market expectations for a 0.3 percent increase. Additionally, retail sales from February were revised higher from the initial release. The 1.1 percent jump in control group sales led some economists to increase their forecast for personal consumption growth in the first quarter.

Bank economists are growing more optimistic about the outlook for credit conditions compared to the latter half of 2023, according to the American Bankers Association’s latest Credit Conditions Index. Conditions are expected to improve for a second consecutive quarter in Q2, which would mark the highest level in two years, reflecting a moderate increase in optimism. Job growth is expected to continue, inflation is forecasted to ease toward the Fed’s 2 percent target, and three rate cuts are expected by the end of the year.

This week’s highlights include month-end supply consisting of $183 billion in fixed coupons and $44 billion 2-year FRNs auctioned over tomorrow through Thursday, flash PMIs from S&P Global, new home sales, Fed surveys, durable goods, Q1 GDP, PCE, and Michigan Sentiment. No Fed speakers are scheduled with the Fed in blackout ahead of the May 1/2 FOMC meeting. The week gets off to a quiet start with one data point, Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March, due out later this morning. We start Monday with 30-year Agency MBS prices worse roughly .125 from Friday evening and the 10-year yielding 4.65 after closing last week at 4.62 percent.


radius financial group inc. is looking for an experienced Accounting Manager to lead all accounting operations. radius is a full-service retail mortgage banker that has been making mortgages better through a customer obsessed and team inspired culture since 1999. We are seeking an experienced Accounting Manager to lead all loan accounting, financial reporting, accounts payable and payroll functions. The Accounting Manager will report to the CFO and must have experience in a mortgage accounting system (Loan Vision is a plus), branch reporting and MSR accounting. Remote candidates will be considered and should send confidential inquires to Mike Clark.

Imagine a world where you, as a loan officer, aren't stuck choosing between a broker model and a retail model. What if there was a company that blended the best of both worlds: the transparency of a broker model with the solid support of a retail banking platform? What if this company not only generated qualified local leads for you but also helped you add value for your existing realtor partners and connect with new ones? What if I told you this company is not just a dream: It's real and it's here to revolutionize your workflow. Please schedule a confidential Zoom meeting with Next Wave Mortgage.

TAYGO INC. presents an enticing new opportunity for a SaaS Sales Representative! This pivotal role is instrumental in propelling the success of TAYGO through selling our SaaS solutions to prospective clients. The key focus is comprehending the requirements and challenges of mortgage lenders (as well as mortgage brokers) and adeptly showcasing how our products, WEB-GO and RIN-GO, can optimize their operations and business performance. You must have a strong understanding of CRM products, their features, and the mortgage industry. You must effectively engage with prospects to understand their needs. You must also carefully monitor existing clients' activities to identify upsell opportunities. You must have exceptional communication skills for online demos and meetings, cold or warm calls and emails. Your expertise, patience, and ability to build and maintain strong customer relationships will be vital in achieving our sales goals and ensuring customer satisfaction. Please send your resume to jobs@taygo.com.

Alanna McCargo, President of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) and whom I have had the opportunity to spend some time with, will resign from public office, effective May 3. “McCargo has served in the Biden-Harris Administration since January 2021, first as the Senior Advisor for Housing Finance in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for former Secretary Marcia Fudge and then later nominated by President Biden to lead Ginnie Mae. McCargo’s confirmation, with bipartisan support by the U.S. Senate, made history as she became the first woman and woman of color at the helm of this U.S. Government corporation.”

The announcement came with the usual platitudes from Ms. McCargo about the Administration and Ginnie Mae and its “complex $2.5 trillion guarantee business” as well as others saying some very nice things about her.

Principal Executive Vice President (PEVP) Sam Valverde will serve as the Acting President upon President McCargo’s departure. Senior Advisor for Strategic Operations and Interim Chief Operating Officer Laura Kenney will assume additional responsibilities as part of this transition.