Sometimes you just have to “risk it for the biscuit.” Capital markets are, for the most part, a little more complicated than, say, a recipe for next level dark chocolate brownies with salted caramel. Occasionally the topic of LOs or brokers being able to lock a loan, any time, any day, comes up. The New York Stock Exchange, owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has started polling market participants on their interest in and potential implications of an exchange that trades stocks 24/7. The polling underscores growing interest in trading stocks in off-hours. Could MBS be far behind? The survey comes after 24 Exchange, backed by Steven Cohen's Point72, applied with the Securities and Exchange Commission to start the first 24-hour exchange. The prospect of 24-hour trading, which would likely lead to changes across the ecosystem, becomes a heavier lift for exchanges as they're supervised by the SEC. Found here, 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. Today’s has an interview with Michael Bremer and Peter Kallodaychsak on interactions between lenders and Realtors in the wake of the proposed NAR settlement.

Lender and Broker Products, Software, and Services

Down Payment Resource’s Q1 2024 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) report reveals the largest annual jump in programs since it began tracking data in 2020, with 2,373 DPA programs now available nationwide. That’s 204 more programs than Q1 2023, a 9 percent YoY increase. DPR also noted that there’s at least one program in every U.S. county and 10 or more programs available in 2,000 counties, making it highly likely DPA could boost homeownership for borrowers in your footprint. The report also documents increases in programs for manufactured housing and multi-family purchases. Lenders are reminded that DPR is a software company, with a suite of tools to help you operationalize DPA to better serve your customers and lower your declines, especially among LMI buyers. Read the full report or schedule a demo to learn more.

“Every marketing team we’ve talked to is spread thin. Thankfully, Usherpa is here to help! Partnering with Usherpa means your sales team not only gets excellent done-for-them automated marketing campaigns, but your marketing team also gets all the tools and the support they need. Usherpa has its finger on the pulse of the market continually creating new, innovative marketing campaigns… for you! Usherpa’s award-winning automated SmartScore AI Opportunity Alerts and marketing campaigns (free for enterprise clients) are built on proprietary algorithms to target prospects in LO’s databases with effective messaging, creating hot call lists and inbound requests from prospects. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this type of targeted campaign, with proven ROI, launched automatically for your loan officers? Usherpa's SmartScore AI alerts added an extra $1.4 billion pipeline volume and funded loans (and counting). Schedule a demo today.”

“Revolutionizing mortgage servicing through digital transformation! As Sagent CTO Uday Devalla recently explained in a fireside chat with Robert Turner (Kyndryl) and Manisha Tank (CNN International), since collaborating with Kyndryl to move away from legacy data centers and into the cloud, Sagent is focused on delivering a unified servicing workflow with end-to-end data to truly transform the business processes and improve the lives of the people who use our systems. To learn more about our future-of-servicing model and the benefits of our partnership with Kyndryl, check out our recap here (and watch the interview when you get a chance) and be sure to hit us with your questions.”

Interested in learning how retain/release MSR decisions can be included in your best execution strategy? Join MCT for a webinar today at 11:00 AM PT titled Complete Best Execution – Now Including Fully Integrated Retain/Release MSR Decisioning. In this webinar, MCT will review the current state of the MSR market and discuss more comprehensive retain vs. release strategies, in addition to our recently introduced fully integrated Enhanced Best Execution (EBX) solution. MCT’s Paul Yarbrough will then provide insights from a trader’s perspective regarding MSR best execution strategies at time of loan sale. He will also highlight MCT’s Rapid Commit technology and assignment of trade processes. This session will include a live demo of the EBX (MCTlive! and MSRlive!) integration, showcasing how EBX can effectively optimize your flow MSR trading process and decisions. Register for the webinar to join the session.

Tired of granting excessive concessions that impact your bottom line? Say goodbye to unnecessary giveaways with Optimal Blue data at your fingertips! Access to OB’s data solutions empowers you to make informed decisions, leveraging real-time market insights to negotiate with confidence. With over 35 percent of loans priced and locked through our platform, we offer the depth of market data you need to optimize every deal and maximize profitability. Whether you're a bank, credit union, or independent mortgage banker, our user-friendly data solutions make it easy to access the information you need to secure the best terms for your borrowers and your business. Learn more about Optimal Blue’s data offerings today to start saving time, money, and headaches on every loan transaction.

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.

Most Noncompetes Now Illegal, Except…

The Federal Trade Commission narrowly voted Tuesday to ban nearly all noncompete agreements, employment agreements that typically prevent workers from joining competing businesses or launching ones of their own. The FTC received more than 26,000 public comments in the months leading up to the vote. The FTC estimates about 30 million people, or one in five American workers, from minimum wage earners to CEOs, are bound by noncompetes. It says the policy change could lead to increased wages totaling nearly $300 billion per year by encouraging people to swap jobs freely. The ban, which will take effect later this year, carves out an exception for existing noncompetes that companies have given their senior executives, on the grounds that these agreements are more likely to have been negotiated. The FTC says employers should not enforce other existing noncompete agreements.

Training, Webinars, and Events Next Week

The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) will host hundreds of community bank leaders during the 2024 ICBA Capital Summit from April 28 to May 1 in Washington. As part of ICBA’s annual advocacy gathering, community bankers will meet with policymakers to discuss ICBA’s regulatory and legislative agenda and share personal accounts of their efforts to stimulate economic growth and support the diverse financial needs of consumers.

Great things are happening around the 2024 Fair Lending Forum, April 29 - May 1 in Charlotte, NC! Asurity is thrilled to announce that Josh Stein, North Carolina Attorney General, will be joining us! He will share his perspectives on fair lending during a fireside chat with our Founder and CEO, Andy Sandler titled The Role of State Attorney Generals in Fair Lending Enforcement. Other prominent speakers are Bob Broeksmit, President and CEO of MBA; Lindsey Johnson, President and CEO of CBA: Grovetta Gardineer, Sr. Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy, OCC; Ben Olson, Senior Associate Director for Consumer Protection & Supervision, FRB; Varda Hussain, Principal Deputy Chief for Fair Lending in the Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, DOJ; and Frank Vespa-Papaleo, Principal Deputy Director of Fair Lending, CFPB. Register at

How are Biden's new student loan repayment programs impacting mortgage affordability? Join LoanSense for a market and student loan update. Lake Michigan Credit Union will join and share how LoanSense helps their credit union members qualify for $50,000+ more home in 21 days. Sign up for the May 1st webinar at 3PM ET.

New York MBA webinar on May 1st at 12pm will explore the journey from origination through servicing, focusing on how to initiate and maintain an electronic process leveraging the latest in digital mortgage technology. Dive into the benefits of MISMO SMART Doc® Version 3 disclosures, eNote, eVault, and the differences between hybrid and full eClosing processes with remote online notarization (RON) and in-person electronic notarization (IPEN). Additionally, strategies for default resolution with digital execution to enhance homeowner engagement and streamline servicer workflows. Hosted by Ryan Murray, Tim Anderson, Shane Hartzler with Stavvy.

If you’re in Minnesota on May 1st, 10:00am – 12:00pm and a Loan Originator, are you interested in creating and building strong realtor relationships? If so, register and attend the "Mastering the Realtor Referral Relationship" presented by Steven Ross, Author of Doors Open When You Knock.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for "Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT join Robbie Chrisman and Justin Demola for a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. On May 1 listen to Vice President, FICO Mortgage and Capital Markets, Joe Zeibert.

Register for NALHFA Annual Conference 2024, May 1-4 in Las Vegas. Experience education and connection at NALHFA 2024 with an Affordable Housing Bus Tour, Women in Finance Luncheon & Roundtable, Speaker Sessions, and Networking Opportunities.

Thursday, May 2nd, at 3PM ET, Rich Swerbinsky is interviewing the CFPB’s Mark McArdle on what the big misconceptions about the CFPB are, and where its focus is currently.

Register for the Maryland Mortgage Bankers and Brokers Association Annual Conference, scheduled for Thursday, May 2nd, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the picturesque setting of Queenstown. This year's conference will delve deep into the dynamics of the mortgage industry and explore the current market trends. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just stepping into the mortgage world, this event promises valuable insights to navigate the industry's landscape.

Join Northern Michigan Luncheon, Thursday, May 2, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM at Silver Spruce Brewing Company, to hear from a panel of VA Loan Experts and they dive into the specifics of this loan type, any changes that are coming on VA loans and much more. They'll also be discussing the pending NAR settlement, and what changes that brings to VA loans, sales, and associated realtor fees.

Friday the 3rd we’ll see an episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”.

Capital Markets

Spoiler alert: the U.S. economy is motoring along with interest rates at these levels. The U.S. economy appears to be on track for a soft landing, with notable obstacles being a potential resurgence of inflation and heightened geopolitical risks. There's been a cautious stance on interest rate adjustments from Fed members of late, and some have even floated the possibility of a hike, if warranted by data. Atlanta Fed President Bostic anticipates a slower path to achieving 2 percent inflation than the Fed originally thought, while New York Fed President Williams is not feeling any urgency to cut rates and didn't rule out the possibility of a hike in his latest remarks. Bostic doesn’t foresee easing until year-end, and Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari also suggested the Fed could maintain rates throughout the year.

Looking ahead, while no changes to the fed funds rate are expected, a slowdown in the pace of balance sheet runoff is anticipated. The Committee may announce a reduction in the runoff of Treasury securities starting in June, capping it at $30 billion per month, compared to the current cap of $60 billion per month. This adjustment reflects a cautious approach to monetary policy amid economic uncertainties, aiming to maintain stability while monitoring key indicators such as inflation and geopolitical developments.

We learned yesterday that new home sales jumped 8.8 percent to a 693k-unit pace in March, the strongest pace since September 2023. New home sales should continue to gradually improve with a sturdy economy, and structural affordability and availability constraints in the resale market should also help. That noted, strength in the Northeast and West regions has fluctuated, impacting supply dynamics, and higher interest rates and rising existing supply could weigh on the new home market moving forward.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with mortgage applications from MBA, which decreased 2.7 percent from one week earlier. We’ve also received the always volatile Durable goods orders for March (+2.6 percent). Later today brings some Treasury auctions that will be headlined by $30 billion 2-year FRNs and $70 billion 5-year notes. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices slightly worse than Tuesday night, the 10-year yielding 4.63 after closing yesterday at 4.60 percent, and the 2-year is at 4.94.


“Join a premier, mid-sized independent mortgage banker and award-winning lender as a Financial Controller and key member of our Senior Management Team. Recognized by National Mortgage News as one of the best companies to work for, we operate branches along the East Coast, and in Texas, with plans for strategic growth and expansion in 2024 and beyond. The Financial Controller develops and implements the overall financial strategy by overseeing accounting and cash management, driving the company's financial planning, and managing the accounting staff within the department. The ideal candidate will have 7+ years of experience in mortgage banking and a strong background in accounting and financial management. If you are prepared to play a pivotal role as a Financial Controller in a corporate culture that is dynamic, innovative and collaborative, please email Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt to forward your confidential note. Remote or Washington DC metropolitan based.”

Figure Technology Solutions announced the appointment of Michael Tannenbaum as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Michael comes over after stints as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Business officer at Brex, and Chief Revenue Officer at SoFi. Mike Cagney, Co-Founder, and previous Chief Executive Officer of Figure, has assumed the role of Executive Chairman. (The appointment of Mr. Tannenbaum follows the launch of Figure’s DART System, a combined lien filing and eNote registry service, and the company’s AI and machine learning-powered borrower-facing chatbot, which improves customer support efficiency and further streamlines the HELOC origination process.)

A&D Mortgage announced the appointment of Satish Vishwakarma as its new Servicing Manager where he will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Mortgage Servicing group, ensuring the successful management of mortgage servicing teams, and leading efforts to streamline operations, enhance quality, and reduce costs.