“They” say that as you age, life is like a toilet paper roll: the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. Dang. But… 2024 almost half over? What the heck? Certainly, it doesn’t seem like all years are equal, that’s for sure. Not all home equity loan uses are created equal either, but given the amount of equity out there it is easy to see why lenders and investors are tripping over themselves in offering the product. Some uses such as paying for common-sense home renovations not only make a home more livable, but also can increase resale value. Some uses, however, like using home equity to subsidize an extravagant and unaffordable lifestyle, are more likely to backfire. The states where the largest share of homeowners considered tapping home equity for home improvements were Mississippi (48 percent), Maine (46 percent), and West Virginia (44 percent). States where the largest share of homeowners considered tapping home equity for debt consolidation were Wyoming (44 percent), Idaho (43 percent), and South Dakota (41 percent). Today’s podcast is found here and this week’s is sponsored by Candor. Candor’s authentic Expert System AI has powered more than 2 million flawless, hands off underwrites. Every credit risk decision Candor makes is backed by a warranty, eliminating repurchase worries. Hear an interview with Fairway Independent’s Tyler Osby on how originators can be heroes to realtors by adding value through consistent communication methods and repeatable processes.

Software, Products, and Services for Lenders and Brokers

Lenders across the country are still looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing revenue. Start off easy by collecting fees upfront. Fee Chaser by LenderLogix makes it as easy as clicking a button... literally. Book a 15-minute demo and get started in a few weeks.

“Calling all loan originators: We need your insights! Take the annual Loan Originators Survey from MGIC and Loan Officer Hub to weigh in on how you handled the challenges and opportunities of the past year. Get a head start on comparing your strategies to your peers’: Complete the survey by June 30 and you’ll receive exclusive early access to the full survey report this fall!”

PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending, a subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH), offers funding for multiple mortgage products and programs with little to no additional requirements: FNMA HomeStyle, FHA 203K Full, Limited, and USDA Rural Housing renovation loans. Mortgage Revenue Bond and DPA loans with extended dwell times. Sub Limits for lower FICO scores, manufactured homes, renovation, construction and other unique mortgage products and programs. With over 30 years’ experience and a well-capitalized diversified financial holding company we provide our customers with confidence to meet their loan funding needs. If you are interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending please contact Deric Barnett, (469)955-6786.

ActiveComply, a leader in social media monitoring and virtual office inspections for the financial industry, recently announced that it has officially launched its highly anticipated website monitoring tool: WebCompass. WebCompass will automatically Discover custom employee websites, co-marketing pages, corporate websites, blog posts, news articles, event pages, and other brand mentions. Similar to ActiveComply’s social media monitoring tool used by many institutions today, ActiveComply’s WebCompass tool will not only monitor for compliance and brand reputation concerns, but will also scan for ADA compliance, SEO scoring, provide automated archival to meet record retention requirements, and more. WebCompass is leveraged by financial institutions for ongoing monitoring of corporate and employee-controlled websites alike. Learn more about managing your compliance confidently with ActiveComply or schedule a demo today to see real findings for your institution.

Investors, Vendors, Lender Program Changes

United Wholesale spread the word among brokers on Wednesday that, “To move forward with a HomeOne 0 percent Down loan, they need to have imported and locked by the end of the day Wednesday. No new locks or imports will be allowed as of midnight then. For any loan that is locked but still in a File Import status, they will need to be submitted no later than the end of the day Friday. Anything not locked by Wednesday and not submitted by EOB Friday, will be moved to Dead Import or Rejected. There is no specific date they the loans must close by.” (Editor’s conjecture: perhaps the AMI income numbers were too small for the purchase prices?)

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and VA have recently issued new requirements regarding the Reconsideration of Value (ROV) process effective for GSE loans with applications taken on or after August 29, 2024, and effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after Sept. 2, 2024. In addition to disclosures and a process and form for ROV requests, lenders must include the ROV process in their QC plan and practices, as well as ensure they implement and follow procedures regarding appraisal communication and internal operations.

Firstline Compliance observed, “The GSEs and Agencies are not developing a required or sample disclosure or request form, and we haven’t seen a resource for lenders and industry to understand how to implement these important changes, so we’re stepping in to fill the gap. We have created a free ROV Factsheet, a sample disclosure to be used with initial disclosure and again when the appraisal is sent to the borrower, and a ROV request form to satisfy these requirements.

As previously announced, effective for all Conventional Loans with (i) note dates of July 1, 2024, or later or (ii) for loans locked with AmeriHome on or after July 1, 2024, AmeriHome is transitioning its sub-servicing provider from Specialized Loan Servicing LLC to Shellpoint. Details are available in AmeriHome Mortgage Product Announcement 20240617-CL.

Recently, the Agencies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA, announced new policies for appraisal reconsideration of value (ROV). The new guidelines were developed to create a standardized process for lenders responding to borrower-initiated requests. For an overview of the new ROV requirements for lenders and appraisers, view AmeriHome Mortgage Product Announcement 20240615-CL.

Kind Lending provides more tools for broker success. Get on the FAST-TRACK with submitting Fannie Mae Condo loans. Program highlights include HOA Certification NOT required. A Master Insurance Policy IS required (preferably at loan submission). Appraisal Waivers/PDR allowed (Condo team to validate no litigation). Condo Team will validate NO Resort/Condotel characteristics. Project must remain eligible through financing.

In retail news, Wells Fargo announced the expansion of its Dream. Plan. Home.℠ closing cost credit to an additional 16 metro markets across the country. The closing cost credit provides up to $5,000 to make it easier for low- and moderate-income families to purchase a home. The credit may be applied toward non-recurring closing costs that can be a key barrier to homeownership but often are overlooked by potential buyers. As of April 30, 2024, more than 4,500 Wells Fargo customers have used the closing cost credit. Borrowers with combined income of up to 80 percent of their Area Median Income where the subject property is located may be eligible to obtain a Dream. Plan. Home. closing cost credit if they are purchasing a home that will be their primary residence. To qualify for the credit, homebuyers also must be getting a conventional/conforming or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage from Wells Fargo Home Lending.

A refinance boom could be on the horizon if mortgage rates fall below 6 percent, making $4 trillion worth of mortgages potentially eligible for refinancing. While refinance activity has already seen an uptick, Plaza Home Mortgage® Co-President, Jeff Leinan predicts a significant surge in purchase activity if rates drop further. This could be a great opportunity to explore opportunities in both refinancing and purchase markets.

Broker clients who have the loan origination platform ARIVE will be able to access Plaza Home Mortgage pricing easily and quickly in the near future.

Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2024-06 includes ADU occupancy clarification, Depreciating Markets monthly list updates, Section 400 Agency LTV / FICO Matrices, and Bona Fide Discount Points Exhibit 44 updates and clarifications regarding detached Co-op updates and residency.

Capital Markets

Ahead of today’s highly anticipated Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) inflation data release, we received a big batch of domestic data yesterday. Economic releases were headlined by an upward revision to Q1 Gross Domestic Product (to 1.4 percent from 1.3 percent), an unexpected decrease in weekly jobless claims (down 16k to 233k), and better-than-expected durable orders growth (actual 0.1 percent versus -1.2 percent expectations) for May. Though Q1 GDP was revised up (remember that we’re two days away from the end of Q2, so that Q1 report is very dated), personal spending growth was revised down to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent, suggesting consumers are reining in their discretionary spending. Pending Home Sales were down 2.1 percent in May after decreasing 7.7 percent in April.

But that’s not all! The U.S. Treasury completed this week's slate of strong note offerings with a $44 billion 7-year note sale that saw stellar demand. Atlanta Fed President Bostic repeated that he expects just one rate cut near the end of the year. Speaking of the Atlanta Fed, the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow forecast for Q2 GDP was revised down to 2.7 percent from 3.0 percent in the previous estimate. San Francisco Fed President Daly warned that the U.S. labor market is nearing an inflection point, where further slowing could mean higher unemployment as firms need to adjust not just vacancies but actual jobs.

Today brings the big data event of the week, with the release of the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the Core PCE Price Index. Annualized core prices were +.1 percent month over month, +2.6 percent year over year; indeed it was expected to have cooled by two-tenths of a percent to 2.6 percent, largely reflecting a pullback in gasoline prices during the month. The expected easing in price pressure gives investors a boost of confidence that the Fed will be able to cut rates in the near-term. Pricing in fed funds futures markets implies two rate cuts by the end of the year, including a nearly 60 percent chance that the Fed will ease rates by 25 basis points at the September FOMC meeting.

We’ve also received personal income and spending (+.5 percent and +.2 percent, roughly in line with expectations of increasing 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent month-over-month, respectively). Later today brings June Chicago PMI, final June Michigan sentiment, and remarks from Richmond Fed President Barkin and Governor Bowman. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Thursday’s close, the 10-year yielding 4.27 after closing yesterday at 4.29 percent, and the 2-year at 4.68.


“In May, Evergreen Home Loans achieved a remarkable milestone: a 100 percent on-time closing rate for all our loans. Evergreen is proud to share this achievement, which reflects the synergy and dedication of our team. Our loan officers and operations staff work hand-in-hand to ensure seamless transactions and satisfied homeowners. Closing loans on time is a commitment we make to our clients and a promise that sets us apart in the competitive mortgage landscape. We are looking for professionals who are eager to contribute to our success and share in our commitment to excellence. Join us in making homeownership a timely reality for families. Start your rewarding career in the mortgage industry with us. For opportunities, visit our careers page.”

In the Northwest and California, Banner Bank is searching for Mortgage Loan Officers looking to create lasting Realtor and builder relationships at a bank focused on the market today. Banner has opportunities for lenders looking for local decision making with FHA, VA, USDA, state bond and true Portfolio lending opportunities along with servicing retained Fannie and Freddie loans to assist in client retention. Additional highlighted products cover CRA lending with private label no payment down payment assistance to help assist all borrowers with the right opportunity. Banner is the right fit for an established team, or the individual looking to grow their business and take the next step in their career. Please send resumes to Aaron Miller.

EquiFi, a provider of shared equity home financing solutions, announced that 30-year vet Paul Giangrande has been appointed as corporate EVP and president of the EquiFi Mortgage Division to focus on the strategic scaling of EquiFi’s innovative home financing solutions. David Shapiro, CEO, and founder of EquiFi, notes, “Paul brings a distinguished reputation in the mortgage industry with an uncanny sense of distribution. We are honored to have him lead our expanding mortgage financing efforts.”

(Remember: employers can view posted resumes for several months for a nominal charge and job seekers can post their resumes for free on www.lendernews.com.)