“So, HBO Max is now just ‘Max.’ Your move, Peacock.” Lenders continue to cogitate on their next moves as rates remain stubbornly high and inventory available for sale stubbornly low, and neither appears ready to change much any time in the near future. As I continue to visit with groups of lenders and vendors, lender’s overhead, and how comp figures into that, continues to be a hot topic. STRATMOR’s current blog is titled, “Compensation: Ever Changing,” and I asked STRATMOR CEO Lisa Springer about what lenders are doing in that area. “Lenders in increasing numbers are reaching out to STRATMOR to advise on compensation strategies from a holistic point of view, seeing how changes fit within the entire company. Management teams are thinking about structural changes and capitalizing on the opportunity to create win-win comp programs for both the employees and the companies.” In housing and inventory news, a recent real estate report from Zillow predicts 5% growth in home values this year. Housing inventory remains limited, which in turn continues to push property prices skyward and inflate home value appreciation. And sure you can read this list of hot new-home markets, and may even have branches in them, but do you have the products to offer those buyers? (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by MCT and its Hedge Advisory division. Download their recently released whitepaper, Mortgage Pipeline Hedging 101, for more information on hedging in today’s market. Today’s has an interview with Optifunder’s Carmel York that goes through a comprehensive overview of the warehouse lending space and current environment.)

Broker and Lender Services, Products, and Software

“Home equity lenders need fast, reliable, and objective property valuations to streamline processes, lower origination costs and deliver a better borrower experience, all while mitigating risk. This is a tough balancing act, but Black Knight can help. Our innovative mobile app – Validate – simplifies the property valuation process for home equity loans and lines of credit. Validate combines artificial intelligence, a condition-adjusted AVM and up-to-date property data with borrower-supplied property photographs to automatically determine a property’s value and the available equity. With Validate, lenders can save time and money, increase valuation accuracy, manage risk, and provide a better consumer experience. Learn more by scheduling a demo today.”

For many people, homebuyer assistance programs can make the difference between building wealth by making fixed mortgage payments or being subject to the ever-increasing cost of rent. This National Homeownership Month, Jackie, a single woman in the greater Tampa area, shared the story of how mortgage broker Pam Marron of Innovative Mortgage Services helped make her homeownership dreams a reality by pairing Pasco County Community Development’s DPA offering with Freddie Mac’s BorrowSmart program. Down Payment Resource made it easy for Pam to identify best-fit programs, understand requirements upfront and maximize the assistance she could provide Jackie. Learn how Down Payment Resource can help you be a community hero while filling your pipeline with eager first-time homebuyers.

“The Newrez Correspondent team would like to thank all of our lenders and industry partners who took the time to meet with us in NYC for the annual Secondary and Capital Markets Conference and Expo. It is a testament to the team and industry as we came together and discussed ways to navigate this fluctuating market. As a top-tier aggregator, our offering provides the product, pricing, and service our clients need to succeed and grow their business. Looking for Non QM? Our industry-leading Smart Series products are now available through LoanNEX. This product and pricing eligibility platform is available at no cost to our correspondents. Contact your regional sales manager to learn more! Believe it or not, we are only a little over 120 days from the National MBA Convention in Philadelphia. Save the date – We will have meeting space at the Loews Hotel - Stay tuned for more details as we prepare to take on the city of brotherly love! As always, thank you to our customers for their time, business, and partnerships!

Do you have a servicing portfolio? Do you understand how it is valued? With the decline in overall production, the MSR asset has become more critical than ever and effectively managing that asset demands ongoing oversight. MCT offers portfolio valuations that are accurate and easy to understand, with built-in safeguards focused on client and borrower data security. MCT’s fair value analysis and reports are customized to support servicer’s internal requirements and objectives, and extensive number of clients and MSR market knowledge keep your valuations timely, accurate, and reliable. Schedule a phone call with the MCT MSR experts to discuss a customized approach for valuing your MSR portfolio.

Non-Agency and Non-QM News

Sure, non-Agency production remains far below 10 percent of overall volume. But many programs are an important part of an LO’s offering to potential borrowers, and no LO wants to tell a client, “I can’t help you. But this other lender may be able to.” Let’s take a random look at what’s new out there.

Skip the pay stubs with Bank Statement Loans from the Industry’s Leader in Non-QM Solution Lending, Carrington Correspondent. Self-employed borrowers can use 12 or 24 months of bank statements to verify income and secure loans up to $3.5 million.

Summer Specials are in season at LoanStream. BPS’ off on some Government products and Non-QM: Full Doc, Alt Doc & DSCR.

Are your borrowers’ tax returns leaving them with too little income to qualify? Large amounts of tax write-offs can disqualify your borrowers from standard agency and Jumbo transactions. Champions Funding’s Activator loan option may be the perfect fit for those situations without the hassle of submitting tax returns. Now offering ITIN loans for non-U.S. Citizens.

Unite Mortgage, a DBA of Home Mortgage Alliance Corporation (HMAC), is offering the perfect program for borrowers looking to take cash out of their home but don't want to refinance their 1st mortgage due to having a low-rate locked in. Mortgage Brokers... The 2ND Mortgage Program from Jet Mortgage is here. Contact Aaron Hilton at 623-252-0606 or send an email to Aaron.Hilton@JetMortgage.com. Need a Bank Statement income analysis done? Click here and choose Aaron Hilton as your AE. Interested in learning more? Check out the Prime Seconds Matrix and Rate Sheet.

Champions Funding is 100% Non-QM with a dedicated underwriting team to move your files from submission to funding with ease – and GREAT communication. In a recent product update, Champions increased the Max LTV/CLTV by 5% on the Accelerator No Ratio (DSCR <.75) loan products at Champions Funding. Minimum 700 FICO to qualify with maximum loan amount up to $1 Million.

Capital Markets

In an about-face move, markets are seemingly succumbing to the Fed’s “higher rates for longer” projections to reduce U.S. growth to below its long-term trend and contain price pressures, with pricing in fed funds futures suggesting one additional 25 basis points hike at the July Federal Open Market Committee meeting and then holding firm at that level through the end of the year as the most likely outcome. Echoing his comments at the post-FOMC press-conference, Fed Chairman Powell delivered the first part of his two-day semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony on monetary policy to Congress yesterday, telling the House Financial Services Committee in prepared remarks that "there is still a long way to go" in reducing inflation and that most FOMC members expected that further rate hikes are needed this year to thwart persistently high inflation.

Which all reminds me… The semiannual testimony of the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman to Congress is commonly referred to as the Humphrey-Hawkins testimony in reference to the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act (the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978). The bill was named after its primary sponsors, Senator Hubert Humphrey and Representative Augustus Hawkins, and was enacted with the goal of promoting full employment and stable prices in the U.S. It mandated the Federal Reserve to pursue maximum employment and stable prices as part of its monetary policy objectives.

Additionally, the Act required the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to provide regular reports and testify before Congress on the state of the economy (including the outlook for inflation, unemployment, and economic growth), discuss the central bank's monetary policy decisions, and answer questions from members of Congress. The term "Humphrey-Hawkins testimony" became popularized as a shorthand way to refer to these semiannual appearances by the Federal Reserve Chairman to discuss the economy and monetary policy with Congress, in accordance with the requirements of the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. And Powell certainly put the “hawk” in Hawkins yesterday.

Fed Chair Powell’s main points were threefold. The inflation target of 2 percent is the goal the central bank intends to get back to, and though inflation has declined over the past year, we have a long way to go to get back there. The Summary of Economic Projections (“dot plot”) sees no rate cuts this year while market forecasts are (still, and likely wrongly) calling for a chance of one at the December meeting. Price stability comes first as a lousy currency negates all the work on the employment part of the Fed’s dual mandate. As Powell said in a recent presser, "Without price stability, the economy doesn't work for anyone. In particular, without price stability, we will not achieve a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all."

Today’s calendar contains three central bank decisions where more rate hikes are expected: the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Norges Bank, and the Bank of England (+ 50 basis points). The (busy) U.S. calendar is under way with the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for May, as well as weekly jobless claims (264k, roughly as expected and unchanged from last week, 1.759 million continuing claims: the labor market is still tight). Later today brings May existing home sales, May leading indicators, KC Fed manufacturing for June, a Treasury auction of $19 billion reopened 5-year TIPS, and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Markets Survey. Today is also loaded with Fed speakers including Chair Powell’s visit before the Senate Banking Committee, but also Governor Waller, Governor Bowman, Cleveland President Mester, and Richmond’s Barkin. The narrative since last week’s meeting is that the FOMC is trying to figure out whether it has done enough and how much more tightening is needed. After yesterday’s seesaw of rates rallying hard after selling hard, which eventually took us back to flat on the day, we begin Thursday with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Wednesday night, the 2-year at 4.71, and the 10-year unchanged 3.72 percent.


“Behind the scenes at Sagent! As we continue building the team to propel our vision and mission for the industry, it’s important to also recognize the existing (and powerful) team that have been supporting us since the beginning of our future-of-servicing journey. Meet Greg Lane (Director, Financial Analysis), finance + accounting aficionado, and according to him, “It doesn’t matter what the numbers are supposed to do, whether it’s investments, foam pricing (you’ll have to read to find out why this is relevant), or fintech software FP&A, it’s what I like to do.” But there is so much more to Greg than pricing and forecasting revenue. Greg is a loving husband, father, pet owner, golfer. While in college, he scored an internship in Beijing for 3 months supporting a sole distributor for European beverage brands. Check out our latest employee spotlight piece for a glimpse into Greg’s world and what it’s like to be a part of Team Sagent.

Are you frustrated as a retail loan officer or mortgage banker with the lack of flexibility to provide custom loan options? Take control: follow the lead of thousands of MLOs like you who have joined the wholesale channel in the last year. Whether you open your own independent mortgage brokerage or join a team as a loan officer, you’ll have the ability to provide your clients with the personalized solutions they need. Contact our team at BeAMortgageBroker.com today and you’ll be well on your way to a more fulfilling tomorrow.