May the 4th be with you! Without the lisp, there are many forces tugging at lenders and vendors. Forget 2020 and 2021. Recruiters are asking LOs what their numbers were in 2018 and 2019. Prequals are running amok, and with them costs for any vendor services like credit verification. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Marina Walsh tells us that the cost per loan has gone up six quarters in a row, despite all the “cost saving” automation. Meanwhile, in the secondary markets, life isn’t much better… and what happens there directly impacts rate sheet pricing for borrowers. Liquidity in higher coupon securities backed by mortgages (MBS) has been poor to say the least with very wide bid/offers or simply no price discovery. As a result, some higher rate combinations may simply not be available yet. (Keep in mind that any rate over 6.125% would have to be delivered into a UM30 5.5, which are not yet trading in any material amount.) So LOs looking for premium pricing will have to wait. Speaking of the secondary markets, today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by MCT’s BAM Marketplace, the world’s first truly open loan exchange, where buyers can bid regardless of approval status, and sellers receive automated live pricing from every buyer on the platform. Today’s features an interview with MCT Head of Investor Services, Justin Grant, on open loan exchange technology.)

Lender and Broker Programs and Services

Giving back to the communities you serve is a simple yet effective way for lenders to build brand awareness and earn repeat and referral business. To nurture its service-oriented culture, Mortgage Coach is participating in a Sales Boomerang hosted fundraising webinar on May 11 at 2 pm ET. The borrower intelligence platform’s inaugural ‘Worthwhile Webinar’ will benefit the Movement Foundation, an organization that partners with businesses to fund self-sustaining community-building projects. Each registration includes a $10 donation, of which Sales Boomerang and Down Payment Resource will match up to $1,000. Tune in to join Mortgage Coach’s Dave Savage and speakers from Sales Boomerang, Movement Mortgage, Down Payment Resource and NAAMBA as they discuss the importance of lending a hand in your community. Register to get involved.

“Mortgage Banker CFOs: If you could cut 10% from one of the largest items on your P&L, would you? It’s possible with OptiFunder’s optimized decisioning for warehouse funding. Our Warehouse Management System (WMS) utilizes advanced AI/ML technology and optimization science to help you make better, more informed decisions to achieve your strategic objectives, whether that’s minimizing interest expense, maximizing ROE, or achieving certain funding allocation targets. Plus, you can gain real-time business analytics and automate funding and Purchase Advice tasks. To receive a case study showing how we’re on track to save a client over $1mm this year, email or meet with Jon Rutila at the upcoming MBA Secondary Conference in NYC.”

Despite their menacing name, researchers have observed that killer whales are actually very congenial and even have best friends within their pods! While many young borrowers have expressed distrust of financial institutions, perhaps there is hope yet for mortgage advisors to overcome this skepticism and build long-lasting customer relationships. Winning borrowers' trust may sound like a difficult and expensive undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Sales Boomerang has identified five cost-effective strategies that mortgage professionals can use to earn borrowers’ loyalty in its new eBook: “Be Your Borrowers’ BFF (Best Financial Friend).” Download the free eBook for killer retention tactics to keep borrowers hooked.

Cloud-based LoanMAPS, a fully integrated digital processing and underwriting system, will eliminate your need for a POS, a LOS, a CRM, report writer, and income calculator. Do you know your costs of your full-time employee? Does your Fintech truly improve their work process and reduce your cost to produce? LoanMAPS does. With LoanMAPS you can have confidence you will start the loan with an agency compliant AUS underwrite, and our workflow will have entry level mortgage bankers closing in no time! “LoanMAPS is not about replacing people, it is about using technology to its fullest potential so that your employees can reach theirs.” Take3Tech! In conjunction with our partner DocMagic, users can finish closing documents in 15 minutes. See more about how you can reduce your cost to close with the LoanMAPS Closing Module! See all the time and cost saving features of LoanMAPS by requesting a demo today.

This is your wake-up call! Plug into Zoral’s Intelligent Automation Platform to survive and thrive during this challenging cycle and get prepared for the next one. Zoral operates one of the largest intelligent automation labs in the world and brings over 18 years of globally proven experience to the mortgage industry. Whether you are a large originator or just starting out, leveraging our plug n play technology will immediately increase human productivity, dramatically improve consistency/ accuracy, and deliver faster results during origination and back-office processes. Off-the-shelf solutions include UW Automation Utilities, HELOC Automation, and Warehouse Line Automation Utilities to name a few. Contact Zoral to discuss your automation objectives.

The mortgage and real estate markets are changing rapidly as we enter the spring season. Mortgage rates have tipped 5%, inventory is still tight, consumers have accumulated record amounts of equity, and experts are predicting a wide range of economic outcomes for 2022 and beyond. Former Secretary of Housing and real estate expert, Dave Stevens, and Homebot’s CEO, Charlie Pratt, discuss the current climate, where we’re heading, and actions you can be taking right now to set yourself up for success. Tune in to the on-demand webinar.

Sagent’s award winning CFO Joe Peterson helps run one of the best-kept secrets in mortgage fintech: a profitable B2B SaaS powering more than $2 trillion in servicing. Joe helps lead dealmaking with America’s top banks and lenders, including the recent landmark deal for Sagent & Mr. Cooper to jointly create the industry’s first cloud-native servicing platform. He also oversees software partnerships and acquisitions to keep Sagent customers ahead of the pack. As HousingWire noted in Joe’s HW 2022 Finance Leader award, Joe and the Sagent team break through to America’s top servicers with deep financial modeling and technical ROI analysis, which enables them to make smart MSR, dealmaking, and customer retention decisions to stay profitable during this sharp cycle turn in 2022. Click to see Joe’s process and connect with him.

Non-QM, Jumbo, Alternative Program Changes

Would you like to qualify more self-employed customers? Would you like to have your customers’ bank statements analyzed quickly? Sprout Mortgage, one of the nation’s leading non-QM lenders, is holding a free webinar to show you how! Register now for Scenario Station, on Wednesday, May 11th at 9:00pt |12:00 ET. We’ll share solutions for self-employed customers and innovative tools to qualify them. We’ll show you how to analyze clients’ bank statement in under one hour. Remember to submit your unique loan scenario on the registration page: we’ll speak to it! From loan amounts to $10 million, the Loan Scenario Desk and complimentary Bank Statement Analysis through iAnalyze, to our Condo Review service and complimentary marketing tools via The Sprout Marketing Store, Sprout is committed to providing product education and marketing assistance to help you grow. This is a can’t miss event!

Rising interest rates, limited housing inventory, and complex borrowers have made 2022 an interesting year for mortgage originators. Many wholesale lenders and banks have pulled back, but Axos Bank is aggressively accelerating its non-QM business to help take your origination business to the next level. Fund more loans and offer mortgages up to $30 million with competitive rates and flexible underwriting. Top programs include Pledged Assets Lending, DSCR, Cross-Collateralization, Bridge-to-Sale, Deferred Interest, and Bank Statement Qualifying options. Learn more about Axos’ Wholesale and Correspondent Portfolio Lending and Residential Warehouse Lending opportunities. Or contact J Shoop, National Sales Director, to schedule a meeting with Axos Bank during the MBA Secondary & Capital Markets Conference in New York.

First Community Mortgage Wholesale announced Non-Conforming Jumbo Summit/Peak guideline updates. Additional information is available in FCM Announcement 2022-08. And First Community Mortgage Correspondent updated guidelines on Non-Conforming Jumbo Choice QM/Select 90/Select QM/Select AUS. Details are available in FCM Announcement 2022-13.

Homebuyers increasingly want to “go green” not only to save money on utility bills, but also to be more environmentally conscious. Guild Mortgage announced a new loan program, in partnership with The Home Depot, to help homebuyers “go green” to save money and be environmentally conscious called GreenSmart Advantage. Homebuyers can save on utility costs and manage multiple payments by bundling the cost of brand-new, energy-efficient appliances from The Home Depot into their home loan with Guild. Mary Ann McGarry, CEO of Guild Mortgage, stated, “We know utility costs can be a big expense for homeowners and replacing old, outdated appliances add to those costs. With GreenSmart Advantage we can help our clients start off right, with energy cost savings that can last throughout the life of their loan. Beyond the cost savings, this program gives homeowners peace of mind that comes from knowing they’ll have brand new, energy-efficient appliances that are better for the environment.”

PRMG added a 30 Year Fixed Interest Only option to its Diamond Jumbo. PRMG Product Update 22-19 lists a few highlights, refer to the PRMG actual profiles for additional information.

Flagstar Bank has removed the requirement for a Jumbo Desk Review from an approved provider for products listed within Flagstar memo 22037.

AmeriHome is providing additional documentation options for the Portfolio Suite of programs (Express, Jumbo, and Expanded) when IRS tax and/or W-2 transcripts are not able to be obtained. See AmeriHome announcement 20220404-CL for details.

Wells Fargo Funding is no longer requiring a road maintenance agreement for properties on a community or privately owned and maintained street on Non-Conforming Loans. Review Wells Fargo Funding Newsflash C22-012nc for details.

Capital Markets: Fed Day

As is often the case on the day of Federal Open Market Committee decisions, there isn’t a whole lot to report on the capital markets side of things. The market expects a 50-basis point rate hike today (to a 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent target range) and further clarification on the Fed’s plans for its balance sheet, which is estimated to be a reduction of $95 billion per month.

Ahead of that meeting, and subsequent press conference from Chair Powell, we have seen that MBA mortgage applications increased 2.5 percent from one week earlier as mortgage rates rose again during the reporting period to 5.41 percent according to both Bankrate and Mortgage News Daily. Ahead of Friday's payrolls report, we’ve received ADP employment for April (247k private payroll jobs, less than expected, and small businesses losing 120k jobs), and the March trade deficit. Later this morning brings the final April S&P Global services PMI and ISM non-manufacturing PMI. The NY Desk will conduct a repeat of yesterday’s schedule targeting $2.1 billion 30-year 3.5 percent through 4.5 percent. We begin Hump Day with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year’s yield unchanged at 2.96 percent.

Jobs, Lender Wanted

Deephaven Mortgage, a premier Non-QM mortgage provider, is excited to welcome industry veteran Tom Davis as Chief Sales Officer where he will be expanding Deephaven’s sales reach and service footprint into more U.S. geographies. Davis’ first order of business is recruiting passionate Correspondent and Wholesale Account Executives. Deephaven, a pioneer in the Non-QM/Non-Agency sector, stands out for its competitive compensation, robust product set and flexible in-house underwriting. The company offers superior Non-QM sales and product training, and is backed by a winning culture. Loan professionals interested in the growing Non-QM market can click here to learn more about Deephaven Mortgage. For confidential conversations, please reach out to Tom Davis, apply online, or meet Tom and his colleagues at the upcoming MBA Secondary and Capital Markets Conference in New York.

With the increase in interest rates and decline in margins, it will continue to be challenging for smaller mortgage companies. Trying to balance all the overhead and operating expenses within your business can be overwhelmingly stressful during a time like this. You may have thought about selling your business and continuing to provide as many employees as possible with employment going forward… It is crucial to think about your long-term sustainability. A nationwide lender with both retail and wholesale channels that is seeking to acquire a company with top sales talent and the staff needed to support that aspect. If you are interested, please confidentially reach out to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt.

Synergy Home Mortgage, part of the Newrez Family of Companies, is looking for motivated loan officers in the Reno, NV area. This unique opportunity is one that you won’t want to miss out on. “This abrupt shift to a mostly purchase market really sets up Synergy Home Mortgage for continued success. Our joint venture partnership includes two of the top real estate brokerages in northern Nevada with more than 500 agents between them. This kind of access, plus our product mix and outstanding Ops, can definitely take loan officers to higher levels of production,” said Dereck Bowlen, Joint Venture President of Synergy Home Mortgage. Ready to make a move and join a team with plentiful resources and support? Apply now or contact Dereck Bowlen, or our recruiting team at today!

Back together again in Miami! More than 250 Loan Officers, Branch Managers, Production Leaders, and Operations top performers recently attended Supreme Lending’s President’s Club trip to Miami Beach. The honorees and their guests reconnected at a festive “Havana Nights” event; relaxed at the beaches and pools of the historic Eden Roc Resort; and were recognized at a formal Awards Gala for their extraordinary success in 2021. The President’s Club is a central component of Supreme’s rewards program for production and is awarded to the independent lender’s highest performers not only in Sales but also in Operations, uniquely. If you are interested in joining a mortgage company that recognizes the exceptional contributions of you AND your team, contact National Production Manager Ryan Baxter or follow Supreme Lending on LinkedIn.

Axos Bank is expanding its non-QM sales team to support increasing demand. “We’re looking for top producing National Account Executives (AEs) that want to grow their business in a bank environment. AEs enjoy a unique opportunity to originate non-QM jumbo loans with competitive pricing, advanced technology, make-sense underwriting guidelines, and dedicated marketing support. For a confidential inquiry, please email J Shoop.

An IMB based in Southern California is looking for a strong Director of Marketing to oversee lead generation, analytics, and social media efforts for the company. The candidate should have a proven track record of successful execution of plans and the ability to use analytics to drive and deliver results. Send me a confidential note of interest for forwarding.

Freddie Mac appointed 21-year Freddie veteran Kevin Palmer to head its multifamily business, effective May 9, 2022. Moving up from SVP for Single-Family Portfolio Management, he will serve as a member of the company’s Senior Operating Committee and report to the company’s president, Mike Hutchins.

Xactus, a verification provider for the mortgage industry, announced that James Owens has joined the company as Chief Technology Officer where he will set and oversee Xactus’ technology strategy, including all technical aspects of new product development and implementation across its platforms, and direct other corporate technical initiatives including IT and data security.