If you’re staying here in Manhattan, space is at a premium. I don’t recall the last time my room had a bathroom where one could turn the shower on, flush the toilet, and brush their teeth in the sink, all for a nightly tariff that would more than cover the monthly rent in many places around the world. Although this conference is about all things capital markets, like screaming buybacks from the Agencies, especially Freddie Mac, the primary markets are also a source of conversation. “Good originators don’t always make good branch managers.” “Many LOs have high emotional IQs, so it is very difficult for them to let an LOA or processor go. If LOs were doing 20 loans a month, an LOA makes sense, but when they’re doing five?” “Forget volume: A roughly 67 percent drop in units in two years… How are lenders handling that?” Stay tuned for more topics from the hallways at the National Secondary! (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by Black Knight. From point-of-sale through post-closing, the company’s trusted loan origination system, Empower, as well as its integrated, end-to-end origination solutions deliver unmatched capabilities, functionality, and support to increase processing efficiencies and lower operational costs for lenders, as well as improve the homebuying experience for borrowers. Listen to an interview with Lender Price’s Paul Orlando on announcements from the MBA’s Secondary Conference from NYC, why now is the right time to be investing in technology, and what lenders should be focusing on for the second half of this year.)

Lender and Broker Products, Software, and Services

As Taco John’s battles the world for the trademark to ‘Taco Tuesday,’ lenders are battling each other for borrowers’ business. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s secret to coming out on top is its engaging, mobile-friendly homebuyer platform by SimpleNexus, an nCino company. Fairway’s Tino Sheridan attests that SimpleNexus’ single-sign-in mobile app has been an “indispensable” asset for his team, especially for nurturing borrowers through the lengthy education phase of the current market. SimpleNexus equips LOs to hook borrowers with tools that make it easy for them to search for homes, communicate with their loan team, apply for a loan, upload and eSign closing documents, and more. Want to stay sticky with pre-application leads and in-process homebuyers? See how SimpleNexus makes it possible!

“LoanStream Wholesale’s Spring Specials now Extended on Government and Non-QM!!! Restrictions apply and Specials are only here for a limited time: Great news! New heavy hitting Correspondent Regional Sales Executives have arrived at LoanStream, even more reason to contact us for your Correspondent Lending needs. LoanStream welcomes Ron Broccardo, covering the Heartland and Overland territory with over 20 years of experience at Wells Fargo and 25 years of industry experience. Eddie Fernandez, covering the Southwest and West coast with over 35 years of industry experience. Karen Mesi, covering the Midwest and Great Lakes with over 23 years of experience at PenFed Credit Union via TIAA/Everbank and most recently, ONE American Bank. Eddie Bean covering the Southeast, with over 31 years of industry experience. Our Correspondent division offers best in class product offerings including, Delegated, Non-Delegated and Emerging Banker, Plus Conforming, Government, Jumbo AUS, and Non-QM strong pricing on all programs. Learn more: Home - LoanStream Mortgage Correspondent (lscorrespondent.com).”

Implementing and maintaining new technology often means taking on exorbitant costs and adopting new processes. Don’t do it! Instead, outsource your processing, underwriting, and closing functions to Computershare Loan Services (CLS). Its originations fulfillment team maintains exceptional POS & LOS technology, develops policies and procedures that align with your business, and helps reduce non-compliance risk with airtight first and second lines of defense. Here's the best part— you don't need to commit to long-term contracts or high upfront costs, and you can choose onshore, offshore, and hybrid pricing models that fit your budget. Contact CLS today to see how outsourcing can benefit you.

Lender Price has launched a new game-changing product called Base Price Solution (BPS) specifically designed for capital markets and secondary marketing teams to automate their base price creation. The product significantly reduces the need for spreadsheets, improves accuracy, and enhances profitability. Directly integrated with top market data providers, lenders are able set up pricing plans for different types of products, reference buy-up and buy-down and MSR servicing grids imported into the system. Additionally, BPS allows manual channel-based subsidies at the coupon and interest rate level and complete traceability for audits. With BPS, lenders can quickly reprice within minutes during market swings and recall any committed pricing date to the history screen for reference or audit purposes. By automating the process, lenders save time, ensure competitive pricing, and reduce the risk of manual errors. Request demo, meet at MBA Secondary or email us for more information.

The Work Number® - Get JUST the Verification of Employment Data You Need at Closing! Equifax now offers updated mortgage verification solutions for lenders and brokers with the launch of Employment Select+™. Powered by The Work Number database, Employment Select+ enables an instant view into a borrower’s most recent 35 days of current and prior employment. This new solution helps lenders satisfy government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) home loan requirements for obtaining a verification of employment within ten business days of closing. Additionally, lenders can now access Equifax’s standard mortgage verification solutions with the option of a PDF receipt that provides documentation at order completion, helping them better manage loan costs. With access to 618 million records, The Work Number INSTANTLY returns records, updated each pay cycle, provided directly by employers and payroll providers—so there’s no need to collect an applicant’s private banking credentials, potentially exposing them and yourself to risk.

If you’re ready to bet on yourself and take your origination business to the next level, Direct Mortgage Loans has the program for you! DML yoU is a six-month training program exclusively designed by top-notch industry leaders, Jan Ozga and Dean Johnson. We have a track record in helping coach seasoned originators to reach their next level as a Branch Manager. Through the program, you’ll receive coaching around growth strategies, P&L management, networking, the keys to coaching a team, developing a marketing and branding strategy and more. Shape your own success story! Reach out to Director of Growth, Matt Wagner, to learn more about enrollment.

It’s a delicate balance: achieving and maintaining confidence in your market risk profile while simultaneously maximizing profitability. When the market constricts, like it’s doing today, it becomes even harder to optimize margins, maintain market neutrality and manage other factors to enhance profitability. Being able to quantify the primary market components of margin (e.g., branch margin, corporate margin and loan officer compensation) and also the secondary marketing parts of margin (e.g., best efforts-mandatory spread, hedge cost and gain on sale) allows you to more precisely make pricing decisions on the front end without losing sight of full, end-to-end profitability. Optimal Blue has the experience, expertise, and tools to help you dig deeper into your strategies for pricing, hedging, loan trading and MSR valuation that can lead to realizing significant increases in financial performance. To learn more, contact us.

We all know volumes will return eventually, so why not get ahead of your competition during this slow season to optimize your operations with CandorPLUS? CandorPLUS builds upon the popular Candor LES underwriting engine and is a Lean Six Sigma Man + Machine solution spanning the entire loan fulfillment process. Why is now the best time? Reasons include Current economic environment allows for favorable pricing. Manageable volume allows time to adopt and optimize. Right size operations for the last time - no more difficult layoffs. Instantly scale without additional headcount. Faster turn times increases market share and loyalty. Click here to learn more and take advantage of our introductory pricing!

Webinars, Events, and Training to Wrap up May

One can find a list of events through 2023 here under “Upcoming Events.” (Any changes or additions, shoot Ed a note.)

Using AI to Supercharge Your Mortgage Business! May 23 @ 1 PM EST. As the mortgage industry becomes increasingly competitive, mortgage brokers are looking for innovative ways to gain a competitive edge. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the industry, providing mortgage brokers with powerful tools to streamline their workflow and enhance customer experiences. In this webinar, we will explore how AI can help mortgage brokers increase their business by optimizing the mortgage process, improving customer engagement, and reducing costs. Whether you're a seasoned mortgage broker or just starting out in the industry, this webinar will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to take your business to the next level with AI. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the experts and discover the power of AI for your mortgage broker business!

As the mortgage industry continues to evolve, Non-QM lending is becoming an increasingly important option for borrowers who do not meet the strict requirements for qualified mortgage (QM) loans. Join Carrington Mortgage Services on Wednesday, May 24th at 10 a.m. PT | 1 p.m. ET for an informative webinar on the Ins and Outs of Non-QM Mortgages.

Come join California MBA for an enlightening and thrilling event with Bill Cleary from Fannie Mae and Kristin Broadley from QC Ally. They'll be revealing the crucial changes Fannie Mae has made in the first quarter of 2023, including Selling Guide and Beyond the Guide updates. Register for the Mortgage Quality and Compliance Webinar happening Thursday, May 25th, 2023 at 11 AM PST.

In a free webinar on Thursday, May 25 at 2 PM ET, Tony Blodgett of New American Funding, Scott Harris of Experience.com and TrustEngine’s Dave Savage will help you crack the code to consistently beating the majority of lenders and winning long-term customer loyalty. Register and break into the 5-star lenders club!

Many lenders and loan originators don’t realize they can leverage a HECM to help senior borrowers purchase a home. On Thursday, May 25, 11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET, join Plaza Home Mortgage® VP, Reverse Mortgage Division, Mark Reeve, as he’ll help answer these questions [and more]. Plus, Mark will share the ins and outs of a reverse mortgage and how you can simplify the reverse mortgage process with Plaza.

Friday the 26th at 3PM ET is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Tom Gallucci and me, and today with co-host Chris Bennett from Vice Capital. We’ll will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown”!

The private mortgage insurance companies certainly offer a fine set of classes: National MI University, the Enact’s course catalog of on-demand webinars, MGIC, Essent, Radian, and ARCH MI.

Capital Markets

Rates rose each day last week, including on Friday when debt ceiling news overshadowed Fed Chairman Powell's appearance at a panel discussion in Washington, during which he said that inflation is "far above" the Fed's objective, but also said that rates may not have to rise as much because of credit conditions. The housing sector is already operating under tight credit, and the general tightening in credit conditions has weighed on spending by households and businesses.

However, the U.S. economy is just emerging from an unprecedented debauchery of credit creation during QE4, so this tightening of credit and housing affordability (and availability) was to be expected and is meant in part to fix the damage already done. Tight credit conditions and less demand for credit will put downward pressure on money supply growth and bring prices back toward the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target.

Economic data released over the last week indicated the U.S. economy is slowly losing momentum, though not cooling as fast as some policy makers may have hoped. Many still forecast the U.S. to enter a recession by the end of the year, but the current economic picture is one of stubborn resilience. Consumers continue to spend as retail sales rose 0.4 percent in April and the control group measure, which excludes the more volatile categories, saw the second largest gain over the last seven months. Manufacturing production increased in April, but with downward revisions to the prior two months, overall production was flat.

Builder sentiment hit a 10-month high as buyer demand improved and smaller incentives were needed to clear inventory. Housing starts increased 2.2 percent to a 1.4-million-unit pace with a jump in single-family construction in the West. Meanwhile existing home sales fell 3.4 percent to a 4.28-million-unit pace as inventory remains sparse. Despite the slowdown, existing home sales were 7.0 percent above January’s low.

This last full week of May ahead of the Memorial Day weekend that includes an early close on Friday sees $120 billion in fixed coupon Treasury supply, PMI flashes, the second look at Q1 GDP, the Minutes from the May 2-3 FOMC meeting, with PCE and Michigan sentiment on Friday. In regard to MBS and besides more FDIC sales, Class D 48-hours is today. Today’s calendar has no economic releases, but includes remarks from St. Louis Fed President Bullard, Richmond Fed President Barkin, Atlanta Fed President Bostic, and San Francisco Fed President Daly. With no economic data of note on today’s calendar, we begin the week with Agency MBS prices and the 10-year yielding 3.68 after closing last week at 3.69 percent; the 2-year is at 4.26.