Wanna track your credit score minute by minute, regardless of whether you speak English, Spanish, whatever? I have no idea why any sane person would want to do that, but SoFi will do it for you. More importantly, the number of people in the United States who spoke a language other than English at home has nearly tripled from 23.1 million (about 1 in 10) in 1980 to 67.8 million (almost 1 in 5), according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report. At the same time, the number of people who spoke only English also increased, growing by approximately one-fourth from 187.2 million in 1980 to 241 million in 2019. The Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the U.S. So, it is not surprising Spanish is the most common non-English language spoken in U.S. homes (62 percent), 12 times greater than the next four most common languages. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and the homeownership platform that unites the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process into one seamless, end-to-end solution. Today’s has an interview with New American Funding’s CEO Rick Arvielo on what drives mortgage rates and why now is a great time to be a borrower.)

Lender and Broker Software, Services, and Products

FACT: 83.5 percent of the 2,362 homebuyer assistance programs have active funding. In response to the burgeoning demand for DPA programs and education in today’s high-cost housing market, Down Payment Resource (DPR) CEO Rob Chrane tapped Tani Lawrence to manage the affordable housing fintech’s enterprise sales expansion. Lawrence brings two decades of mortgage industry experience to DPR’s mission of creating more homeowners. If you haven’t gotten on board the DPA train yet, your opportunity is right around the corner at the MBA’s Secondary & Capital Markets Conference & Expo. To learn how DPR can nourish your pipeline while creating life-changing opportunities for homebuyers, schedule a meeting with Rob and Tani in the big apple on May 21-24.

Strategies to maximize homebuying season! Looking to capitalize on every opportunity this homebuying season? Hear seasoned industry leaders share three crucial things you need to do to increase conversions, boost customer retention rates, and expand your referral partner network. In the latest installment of ICE Mortgage Technology®’s Breaking the ICE series, Eric Kujala, VP of Product Marketing at ICE Mortgage Technology, and Dan Catinella, Chief Lending Officer at Total Expert, discuss proven strategies to help you grow your business and enhance your customer base. Click here to watch the episode now.

Tired of wrestling with outdated mortgage technology? It might be time for an upgrade, and if you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, you’re not alone. In Black Knight’s new white paper, Why Lenders Are Rethinking Their Tech Right Now, mortgage technology experts take a deep dive into how to upgrade your tech stack. The white paper presents findings based on three years of conversations with dozens of lenders who’ve done exactly what you’re thinking about right now. Learn about common pain points those lenders faced in their lending tech stacks, the signs that told them it was time to upgrade, and their recommendations on how you can invest in better tech without the headache. Download your complimentary copy of the white paper here, and then schedule a talk with Black Knight to learn more.

Using an automated valuation model (AVM) in conventional and home equity lending can save lenders time and money, savings that can then be passed on to the homeowner. AVMs are faster than traditional approaches, delivering a valuation in seconds. ClearAVM™ is one of the highest-rated AVMs on the market, and reports on accuracy against real sale transactions. Download the ClearAVM Q1 2023 Performance Report to see how ClearAVM’s valuations perform nationwide.

Attention wholesale lenders! Are you looking to get ahead of the market and improve your broker relationships? If so, you need to act now! Imagine your brokers loving to work with you and coming back every time. The key to your success is Velma Connector! Connector automates robust TPO Communication for you, ensuring your brokers are informed, looped in on what needs done, and most importantly, happy! Say goodbye to confusion, missed deadlines, canceled loans, and frustrated brokers. Happy brokers mean more business, and Connector is the tool that can make that happen for you. Learn more about Connector’s TPO solution. Act now and secure your success!

Runners often stay focused on the finish line; visualizing success can lead to it. However, it’s just as important to train and prepare well before the race begins. When it comes to digital mortgages many lenders agree eMortgage is the finish line, but there’s no need to rush ahead: start with picking a good pair of shoes. In a down market, considering the features and solutions that effectively serve you and your borrowers allows for a more gradual shift into digital lending, while still empowering your business. In a recent editorial, Wolters Kluwer’s Kevin Wilzbach explored what makes an effective digital lending solution and encouraged lenders to stop focusing on the finish line. Instead, consider what you can do now to prepare for a full digital transformation. Read the article today.

Does it feel like your current point-of-sale vendor has lost focus on mortgage? At Maxwell, mortgage is all they do. Constantly looking to improve the origination experience, Maxwell Point of Sale offers unique features to help lenders stand out including lender configurability, technology that pre-fills the application for the borrower, a complete Spanish language application, payment capabilities, quick pre-approval letters and more. With an average implementation time of less than 2.5 weeks, Maxwell Point of Sale can start working for you and your borrowers quickly. Schedule a call with the team to learn more.

The challenges mortgage lenders are facing in 2023 are historic, and it’s vital to understand that decisions now will impact the long-term success and profitability of your company. The mortgage banking consulting experts at Richey May are here to help you make those all-important decisions around your go-forward strategies. We dive deep into an analysis of your operational and financial metrics, MSR cash flows, servicing retained strategies, and production data. Our advice is focused on helping companies succeed and return to profitability, so you can reach your goals this year and beyond. Contact us to begin your deep dive.

Servicing Software

HUD Mortgagee Letter 2023-03 is causing a lot of confusion among mortgage servicers, and rightly so. “While the letter’s intent was to provide a faster way to bring delinquent loans current, servicers are left to navigate some very difficult decisions,” says Donna Schmidt, founder and CEO of DLS Servicing, a company that provides compliance training, services and technology. Servicers looking to better understand the requirements of the HUD Mortgagee Letter 2023-03 can join DLS Servicing on Tuesday May 16 for a free webinar on this important topic, where the company’s CEO will provide valuable insights and practical solutions. The 45-minute event begins at 1pm EST and will end with a Q&A session to address lingering questions. Register now to secure your spot. Seats are limited.

It’s official: The transition is successfully completed, TMS’s subservicing operations have a new home, Servbank. Reinforced by its 400,000 customers, 70+ clients, and a proven track record of continuous growth, Servbank has become one of a handful of bank subservicing firms in the country. The great people, great tech, and best in class experience delivered to customers and clients is now bolstered with the surety of a depository institution, presenting a rare, safe, and complete partner solution for the industry. Learn more about Servbank.

Consumers: Spending and Homebuying Habits

In 1967, 8.1 percent of households earned more than $100,000 inflation adjusted, 53.2 percent (the middle class) earned between $35,000 and $100,000, and 38.7 percent earned less than $35,000. Today, 34 percent of the population earns greater than $100,000 (three times the percentage back in 1967), 42.1 percent earn between $35,000 and $100,000, and 30.2 percent earn less than $35,000. The middle class is shrinking, but it's because wages have gone up and more American households are earning more than ever.

LendingTree analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey to compare how men and women spend. Looking at several categories, when it came to spending on housing, a gender gap in the housing market was clear. Some data discoveries include on average, women pay 1.29 times more on owned dwellings, which include mortgage interest, property taxes, home insurance, and other expenses. When it comes to renting, men spend 1.12 times more on rented dwellings, which includes rent, parking fees, maintenance, and other related expenses. Read the details, available in the full study, Spending By Gender Study. LendingTree’s senior economist Jacob Channel stated, “There’s some evidence to suggest that women prioritize homeownership more than men and are more willing to make sacrifices to become homeowners. This can help explain not only why single women tend to spend more on homes that they own than men do but also why single women are more likely to be homeowners, even if they tend to earn lower incomes.”

Millennial homeownership is up to about 50 percent at this point, not far behind the level of Gen X and boomers when they were the same age. Reasons vary, but include getting married later in life (30 percent later); holding off on having babies by 32 percent (a driver of homeownership); renting in more expensive locations (down payment takes longer) and holding more student loan debt (46 percent of graduates back then vs. 75 percent now). As you figure out how to get this cohort as a customer, it always helps to have some raw data to lean on.

If you’re interested in home ownership by region, the St. Louis Fed comes through with some great statistics. In general, historically homeownership rates were highest in the Midwest, followed by the South, with the Northeast and West roughly the same. Not surprisingly, the homeownership rate has historically been higher for those households 65 years and older and lowest for those under 35 years.

Capital Markets

With the current market volatility, it’s even more important that your hedge advisor understands today’s market. A true seasoned advisor knows how to evaluate conditions and look at alternate coupons to hedge rather than taking bids at face value. Experience matters, especially in markets that are trading very wide. At Vice Capital Markets, the average trader has over 10 years of experience, which ensures that every trade is made with the best interest of each client’s individual portfolio and goals. Reach out Chris Bennett or Troy Baars today for a frank discussion on best practices for trading in today’s market or schedule a time to meet with Troy in person at the MBA Secondary conference later this month.

In terms of economic developments, the trading week opened with a rally by regional banks as PacWest cut its dividend to conserve cash, pushing the stock price up more than 20 percent, with Western Alliance up as well, along with Comerica and KeyBank. This week is relatively data-light, with the exception of the consumer price index tomorrow. President Biden and congressional leaders will meet today to discuss the debt limit, but the two sides are far apart. The talks come just weeks before the U.S. could run out of money to pay its bills unless the nation’s borrowing cap is raised, unless they kick the can down the road.

Today’s calendar got under way ahead of the open with NFIB small business optimism for April (down 1.1 to 89.0). Later today brings Redbook same store sales for the week ending May 6 and a Treasury auction of $40 billion of 3-year notes. Two Fed speakers are currently scheduled to deliver remarks: Governor Jefferson and New York President Williams. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said last week after opening the door to pausing interest rate hikes following 10 straight increases that the possibility of avoiding a recession is “more likely than that of having a recession.” We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by roughly .125, the 10-year yielding 3.49 after closing yesterday at 3.52 percent, and the 2-year at 4.00.