On a flight yesterday I had a choice of movies and, knowing nothing about it, chose “The Beekeeper,” filled with severed fingers and broken glass being shoved into jugular veins. Fortunately, I followed it with “Boys in the Boat” (predictable but well done), otherwise I was going to spend my weekend watching “Notting Hill” and “Pride & Prejudice” dozens of times to cancel out “The Beekeeper” gore. Plenty of capital markets folks and vendors will be watching movies on flights next weekend as they head to the MBA’s Secondary in The Big Apple. (The Origin of "The Big Apple": a jazz age term for a sure bet on horse racing.) I have a travel tip for you. Did you know you can text your flight number to yourself and preview the flight info without going into the App? For example, text AA0672 to yourself on your cell. Then double click on the flight number and select “preview flight.” Voila! (Found here, this week’s podcasts are sponsored by Matic, the digital insurance marketplace built for the mortgage industry. Matic integrates home insurance shopping into the lending and servicing experience, allowing customers to shop carriers and find a policy in minutes. Create a new revenue stream that boosts customer happiness today! Hear an excerpt of an interview with Brian Vieaux and Kyle Draper on how to be a next generation loan officer and build your book of business.)

Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services

A brief meeting with Secure Insight's CEO Andrew Liput and Client Development Manager Amanda Padd at the NS3 Settlement Services Conference in Naples Florida May 21-23 will introduce you to TruePay. If you are a title company or law firm looking for an easy to use, no contract, low fee disbursement fraud prevention tool, Andrew and Amanda will show you how easy it is to prevent wire fraud and mortgage payoff fraud. Book a time while there are still slots available by emailing Amanda, or stop by their booth and table in the vendor area. Amanda will also be conducting a 15-minute demo during the vendor demo session on May 21st at 2:30pm in the Orchid Ballroom.

“A big THANK YOU to our Western Alliance Bank clients and industry friends for 15 years of partnership, success, and growth! In an ever-evolving industry, one thing hasn’t changed: our appreciation for our clients and colleagues. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary as a national mortgage warehouse lender, we wish to take time out to thank you for your trust in our banking, lending, and treasury management team. Over the years, we have evolved in response to your needs, from warehouse lending to industry-leading technology integrations and asset classes including MSR Financing, Note Financing, and a dedicated Treasury Management team. Clients also benefit from synergies between Western Alliance Bank’s Specialized Mortgage Services Group and wholly owned subsidiary AmeriHome Mortgage for their Correspondent Lending solutions. Contact bankers Mark Short, Nicole Avey, Jim Karr, Elizabeth Mix and Nick Richards, Treasury Management specialist Chris Martin or the AmeriHome Sales Team. Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC.”

As summer heats up, make sure your real estate closings stay cool with top-notch signing services from the Stewart family of companies. NotaryCam brings the convenience of remote online notarization right to your door. With 24/7/365 availability, NotaryCam keeps things breezy, ensuring secure and seamless online notarizations whenever and wherever you need them. For quality in-person notary signing services, Signature Closers offers refreshing convenience with a nationwide network of mobile notaries across all 50 states and D.C. Book your notary quickly and safely using their SYNC online portal. Under the Stewart umbrella, both NotaryCam and Signature Closers feature thoroughly vetted signing agents who bring years of experience, verified credentials and the finesse of a seasoned pro. Catch them at NS3 at Booth 28 or the Stewart Meeting Room at Mangrove 1, Naples Grand Beach Resort, or email NotaryCam and Signature Closers to schedule a one-on-one.

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.

Wholesale and Correspondent Product and Financial News

Coming off a record month, SG Capital Partners is excited to announce updates to its Non-QM and DSCR program guidelines! The updates include several enhancements, including the addition of WVOE as an eligible doc type in the Prime and Plus Connect programs, as well as less restrictive gift fund and cash out seasoning requirements in Investor Connect (DSCR). All updates go into effect and all Product Pricing Engines will be updated on May 13th. Please reach out to your sales representative or sgcpsales@sgcp.com for more details. SG Capital Partners is also pleased to welcome Shane Larscheid to the team as a Sr. Business Development Manager! With more than 20 years’ experience in correspondent lending, Shane brings expertise and in-depth knowledge across business development, capital markets, operations, and credit risk. Please contact Shane Larscheid today to learn more about what SG Capital Partners can do for you.

New program offer alert! Mortgage Brokers can boost financing options for clients with Kind Lending's National FHA 100 percent Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA), available in 47 states! With NO first-time homebuyer requirements, NO max DTI with AUS approval, and NO max origination fees, this pivotal offering can significantly impact your portfolio and provide your borrowers additional options for acquiring their dream home. To learn more about this new program, join us on Tuesday, 5/14 for Kind's broker-facing virtual training. Register to reserve your spot today by clicking here! If you are not yet an official partner with us, come experience the Kind Difference, offering extensive & flexible financing solutions to your borrowers, surrounded by kindness at every corner! Visit www.kindtpo.com to get started.

REMN Wholesale, recognized as an industry leader in Wholesale Digital HELOCs, has launched EQUITY ACCESS, its new nationwide digital HELOC with loan amounts from $25k to $400k. Fast Closings: Applications can close fast, sometimes in as little as 1 day! As a borrower directed journey - the process will go as fast as they can. Features include Instant Income Verification for the vast majority of W-2 borrowers, automated analysis of bank statements to determine Income for both W-2 and Self-employed borrowers, single AVM up to $400k (appraisal options available), and Broker Portal with robust functionality and real-time detailed status on all pipeline loans. Minimum FICO 640 and max CLTV up to 80 percent (see weekly rate sheet for details). Flexible: Hybrid platform is digitally fast with humans to solve real-life complexities that will result in a higher close rate! And they provide fast payout (utilizing ACH). REMN Training Webinars for EQUITY ACCESS are scheduled for 5/14 (click here to register) or 5/21 (click here to register). To become a REMN partner, email Carl Markman.

Calling all football fans! In April, Rocket Pro TPO hosted a Special Edition NFL Draft-themed Pro Talks event in Detroit featuring Kirk Herbstreit. Mike Fawaz, EVP of Rocket Pro TPO, sat down with Kirk to discuss the power of preparation and how it’s key to any business. Don't miss the valuable insights shared; catch the replay today! Building upon the insights shared during Pro Talks, Rocket Pro TPO remains dedicated to supporting partners as purchase season continues. Rocket Pro TPO helps first-time homebuyers with ONE+ by Rocket Mortgage, a popular solution designed specifically for low-income borrowers in today's high interest rate markets. ONE+ simplifies the path to homeownership, allowing clients to secure a mortgage with just 1 percent down as Rocket covers the remaining 2 percent or provides a grant of $2,000, whichever is greater. As you assist clients in navigating today's challenging market, Rocket Pro TPO's nearly 40 years of industry experience and commitment to supporting partners can empower your business with resources for success. Contact Rocket Pro TPO today to explore partnership opportunities that can benefit both your clients and your business.

“Let’s talk luxury loans. Join us May 28 at 11:30 a.m. PT for our webinar: Leveling up With Luxury Loans. National Sales Director, J Shoop, will share industry insights and how to leverage Super Jumbo loans to close your big deals. Register today. Can’t wait? Don’t. Meet us at the 108th Annual TMBA Convention May 19-21 in Austin, TX. Our lending experts are looking forward to talking about Axos solutions. Schedule some time to chat with J. Shoop about partnering with Axos. And for warehouse lending inquires, reach out to Eric Nelepovitz or 888-764-7080.”

UWM, who turned some heads recently with a multi-billion servicing sale, released its first quarter numbers. United Wholesale closed $27.6 billion in total originations for the quarter (13 percent increase QoQ and 24 percent increase YoY) and set a record first-quarter purchase volume of $22.1 billion, compared to 20.7 billion in 4Q23 (a 7 percent increase) and $19.2 billion in 1Q23 (a 15 percent increase). UWM reported a net income of $180.5 million in 1Q24. The full earnings release can be found here.

Pennymac announced alignment with Freddie Mac Bulletin 2023-22 updates in Pennymac Announcement 24-40.

As part of pre and post purchase loan file due diligence, Pennymac may require documentation to support the exclusion of bona fide discount points from the points and fees calculation, where applicable. View Pennymac Announcements 24-41 for documentation requirements.

Pennymac Announcement 24-42 describes updates to Jumbo LLPAs for all Best-Efforts Commitments taken on or after Thursday, May 02, 2024. Updates to Conventional LLPAs are described in Pennymac Announcement 24-43 effective for all Best Efforts Commitments taken on or after Friday, May 3.

Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2024-04 announces credit policy updates on Net Tangible Benefit Refinances and US Government Savings Bonds and Securities. Depreciating Markets monthly list updates, HMDA Reporting update and Retiring Citi Initiatives Policy. Also, clarifications on HomeRun updates, Hazard Insurance – RESPA, 2-4 Unit PUDs and Non-Agency Updates, and Disaster Policy Reminder.

Citi Correspondent Lending Announced Expanded Non-Obligated Party Screening which includes a complete list of updated non-obligated parties that will be screened and revisions to Exhibit 65. Updates are being made to Citi's mandated AML and Sanctions screening process, effective with file reviews completed on/after Monday, May 6, 2024. The changes impact screening completed for Non-Obligated Parties (NOPs).

As previously announced, HomeReady® and Home Possible® Mortgages with VLIP credit are eligible for purchase. The VLIP offering provides a $2,500 LLPA credit to use towards down payment and closing costs. See AmeriHome Mortgage Product Announcement 20240502-CL for important Seller reminders regarding the VLIP credit refund.

AmeriHome Mortgage General Announcement 20240404-CL summarizes previously published changes made during April, additional changes made with this announcement, and recent Agency and regulatory news.

Quontic Bank Wholesale is waiving $1500 UW Fees on all New HELOAN Submissions.

Effective with new locks on or after April 29, Newrez Correspondent will introduce new LLPA adjustments on Conventional Primary Residences that fall into the applicable AMI.

Newrez Approved Correspondent Clients; effective with applications on or after April 29, 2024, enhancements, described in Newrez Announcement 2024-027, have been made to the Product Summary and Underwriting Guides for the Closed End Second Product.

PHH Mortgage posted a brief summary of updates to AllRegs Matrices and Guidelines.

PHH Mortgage made updates and clarifications to its Non-Agency product offerings.

Green Shoots for Volume?

According to Curinos, April 2024 funded mortgage volume increased 7 percent YoY and increased 10 percent MoM. In the Retail channel, funded volume increased 1 percent YoY and increased 8 percent MoM. The average 30-year conforming retail funded rate in April 2024 was 6.94, 8bps higher than March 2024 and 71bps higher than the same month last year. Purchase rates were 9bps higher MoM and 46bps higher YoY, while Refinance rates were 12bps higher MoM and 126bps higher YoY. Curinos sources a statistically significant data set directly from lenders to produce these benchmark figures. We drill into this data further here.

Capital Markets

Interest rates likely need to be held higher for longer to lower inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins says. "The recent upward surprises to activity and inflation suggest the likely need to keep policy at its current level until we have greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent… the recent data lead me to believe this will take more time than previously thought."

While bond yields, and mortgage rates, have trended higher over the course of 2024, there has been some recent relief. Some of the decline of late can be attributed to a softening labor market (initial jobless claims jumped to 231k yesterday), and market participants have finally come to grips with a more aggressive monetary policy stance from the Federal Reserve than had been hoped for and priced into markets at the beginning of the year. The slight decline in rates comes as we are in the thick of spring homebuying season, which is welcome news. Rates that are higher than people are expecting can slow down the pace of home sales and construction activity.

Swaps markets are currently implying roughly 45 basis points of easing by year-end, but any indications of a more hawkish stance from the Fed could both roil bond markets and reverberate across other asset classes. Developments in the broader economy outside of inflation, such as employment data and consumer spending, will likely play a crucial role in shaping market dynamics moving forward. Going beyond just the U.S., the world’s economic outlook is looking up as growth proves more resilient and prices in many countries are set to cool faster than previously expected.

Today's economic calendar doesn’t have much: the first look at May Michigan sentiment, the April budget statement, and a heavy slate of Fed speakers. Look for unchanged rat sheets as we begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged and the 10-year yielding 4.46 after closing yesterday at 4.45 percent.