Cracker Jacks, Quaker Oats, Ferris Wheels, and 1893 Chicago have something in common. World’s Fairs, and World’s Expos, have pretty much gone away due to financial issues. A lot has happened since then, financially, and otherwise. Equifax was founded in 1899. The modern credit card, able to be used at various merchants, was developed in the 1950s, when many of today’s loan officers were entering the business. (Ok, just kidding.) FICO (legal name: Fair Isaac Corporation) began in 1956. FICO’s latest news came out yesterday with Encompass Lending Group and Equity Resources, Inc. being the latest to adopt FICO® Score 10 T. Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association and others have stated that credit-related price hikes have cost lenders & consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. FICO’s executives are well paid. FICO’s stock, at around $1,500 per share, has a price earnings ratio at around 77 (versus the S&P 500 average of around 25) although the only product with any great revenue growth is mortgage credit scores. (Other lines are flat or mediocre.) Observers suggest that Fair Isaac may only have two choices going forward: keep raising mortgage credit score prices even higher or watch its stock price plunge. Some give it near-monopoly status; American Economic Liberties Project’s Matt Stoller uses the word “cartel” when it comes to Experian, TransUnion, Equifax, and FICO. (Today’s podcast is found here and this week’s is sponsored by Bundle, the attorney-prepared legal documents company that is dedicated to the real estate, mortgage, and title industries. Fuel your operations and execution of documents from deeds to subordinations to assignments, and everything you need for any order, in one bundled price; receive 20 percent off using the code “Chrisman” at checkout. Hear an Interview with FirstClose’s Tedd Smith on a new national consumer survey that explored homeowners’ level of awareness of home equity and how it could be used to pay down higher interest credit card debt.)

Lender and Broker Services, Products, and Software

Spring EQ Wholesale is thrilled to unveil a new and unique product to the second mortgage industry: The FIXLINE product. FIXLINE is a fixed-rate HELOC, giving borrowers the flexibility of a line of credit with the stability of a fixed-rate loan. Register for its webinar taking place today, where their team will explore the ins-and-outs of the new FIXLINE product! Spring EQ is also excited to announce a recent addition to their TPO leadership team, Reno Heine. Reno joins Spring EQ as the SVP of TPO, bringing more than 25 years of mortgage industry experience. The need for home equity solutions is surging among borrowers, so make sure your business is prepared to meet this demand by partnering with the experts in home equity at Spring EQ. Interested in a wholesale partnership? Click here. Second mortgages are Spring EQ’s specialty, so think of them first for all your seconds.

Uncovering Fair Lending Risk to Build a Stronger Fair Lending Program! Preventing and detecting discrimination with an active fair lending compliance management system (Fair Lending CMS) is essential for every financial institution (FIs). FIs don’t just have a moral obligation to prevent and detect discrimination… They also have a legal obligation. Lending practices or programs that negatively impact a protected class can result in fines or enforcement actions, even if the discrimination was unintended. Ncontracts’ latest whitepaper introduces the key components of a fair lending compliance management system, discuss common fair lending mistakes, and highlight essential considerations when conducting a fair lending risk assessment to build or strengthen the institution’s overall fair lending program. Download the free whitepaper to learn more.

Events, Training, and Webinars

A good place for longer term conference planning is to start is here for in-person events in the future.

Today the 2nd at 11am PT, two veteran LOs discuss all things mortgage with Industry Leaders. Mortgage Pros 411 with Audrey Boissonou and Kevin Casey. And I get to join in!

Register now for FAMPChat Summer Series presented by the Central Florida FAMP Chapter beginning July 2nd, register now for all 10 sessions.

On Wednesday, July 10 at 11:00 am, NMMLA will present “The current and future state of Digital Mortgages” with Guest Speaker, Robert Pathman.

Thursday the 11th will be another episode of The Big Picture at 3PM ET… Rich Swerbinsky is interviewing the fabled Kevin Peranio of PRMG!

National MI: Leading a Team​​with Andrew Oxley - July 11th at 2pm ET.

Friday the 12th will see an episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Melissa Langdale and me covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET.

The Ultimate Mortgage Expo returns to New Orleans July 10 – 11. Join OCN in the Hotel Monteleone for a jam-packed event featuring 2 days of sessions and 2 days of exhibition hall opportunity. Also, come earlier on July 10 to enjoy complimentary access to the Mortgage Star Conference for women. Enjoy free access to this can't-miss event using the code OCNFREE.*

Join Servbank’s cohosted webinar with the Mortgage Bankers Association on July 11 at 1-2p ET to learn how handling thousands of service transfers has gotten Servbank’s transfer plan down to a science. With a battle-tested plan and a laser-focus on customer experience, the painless service transfer is a reality. Register for the webinar today! The webinar is free for non-members by creating an account and entering the campaign code “SERVBANK100” at checkout.

On June 20, federal regulators published new quality control standards for automated valuation models (AVMs). The standards focus especially on safeguarding the credibility and integrity of AVMs to support fair lending practices and non-discrimination in real estate property valuations. Attend a complimentary webinar hosted by ICE for an insightful panel discussion with leading valuation experts. The webinar, “New quality standards for AVMs - are you ready?” will take place Tuesday, July 16, from 2 – 3 p.m. ET. Save your seat today.

Join ACES EVP, Nick Volpe and ACES President, Phill McCall on July 17, 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM PDT for a QC NOW webinar as they take a deeper dive into these analytics and how it aligns with the current state of the industry and how to best navigate through the volatile financial landscape.

Join NAMB and Freddie Mac on Wednesday, July 17, from 2pm - 3:30pm ET for Self Employed-The Basics, to get started learning about the self-employed borrower. This introductory session is designed to provide you with the information you need to complete your analysis and to enhance your processes for underwriting self-employed borrowers, with a focus on the sole proprietor.

Newrez Correspondent offers a comprehensive training curriculum on Newrez products and processes, to keep your staff informed of the latest developments in products, technology solutions, compliance issues and process improvements. Each of these programs is offered by its training and development staff on a monthly basis and is updated regularly to reflect recent changes in the industry.

National MI upcoming July 2024 webinar sessions. How to Plan and Attack the Week for Loan Officers with Dr. Bruce Lund - July 18th at 1pm ET. Become an Open House Success Partner ​​​​​with Rebecca Lorenz - July 23rd at 1pm ET. Mortgage Industry Updates Impacting the Balance of 2024 and Beyond ​​​​​with Scott Weghorst, July 25th at 2pm ET.

Thursday July 18th will another episode of The Big Picture at 3PM ET… Rich Swerbinsky is interviewing the Stan Middleman from Freedom Mortgage.

Monday, 5 August 9:00 AM - Tuesday, 6 August at 6:00 PM PDT join the California Association of Mortgage Professionals on August 5th -August 6th for its Annual Summer CAMP at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, 1007 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, California. Attorney Brian Levy will be the featured speaker!

“Join me and other leaders in the Michigan mortgage industry at the MMLA Annual Lending Conference, August 14 – 16 @ Boyne Mountain Resort. Go to for all the registration and sponsorship information. I hope to see you there!”

August 19-21 will see the California MBA’s Western Secondary at the Terranea Resort in Southern California. Come say hi!

Whether you're an appraiser, educator, or you work for an AMC, lender, tech company, or E&O insurance firm, the Valuation Expo 2024 is your premier opportunity to stay up to date with industry advancements and meet the people at the forefront. Don't miss the chance to learn, network, and prosper. Register for Valuation Expo at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, August 19th - 21st.

NAMMBA CONNECT 2024, August 21-23, is calling for speakers who can inspire and empower our diverse community of mortgage professionals. Whether you specialize in innovative technology, leadership strategies, or industry trends, we invite you to join us in shaping the future of the mortgage industry. Submit your proposal through this speaker application form and be a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and growth.”

The MISMO Fall Summit is in Reston, Virginia, August 26-29 for a jam-packed program filled with presentations and strategy sessions focused on some of the most pressing issues in the industry. In-person and virtual attendance options are available. Early bird pricing extends through July 15, but space is limited, so register before it's too late.

September 4-6 the NY MBA is taking over the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY with a slate of top-notch speakers and information.

Register for the New England Mortgage Bankers two-day conference, September 11-13 in Portsmouth NH. Hear from a range of speakers, learn about new technologies and products, join golf and social events.

There’s the upcoming 2024 Pacific Northwest Mortgage Leaders Conference is Sunday, September 22 – Tuesday, September 24 at the Seattle Grand Sheraton. As the industry continues to evolve through technology, innovation, and adaptation, the conference will present an impressive lineup of local and national industry leaders who will share insights on critical topics impacting the mortgage industry.

“Loan Vision is excited to announce that registration is now OPEN for its 2024 Loan Vision Innovation Conference (previously the Loan Vision User Conference). With a focus on innovation, growth, and doing more with less, our new and improved annual conference is taking place in Chicago, Illinois from Monday, September 23rd – Wednesday the 25th. This conference will deliver highly recognized names in mortgage banking as our speakers, enhanced social networking events, and a fresh agenda for both executives and users and will be aimed at redefining industry standards and setting a new benchmark for excellence. If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Haleigh Heilman. To learn more about this conference, register, and book your hotel, please visit here.”

Registration has opened for the reverse mortgage industry’s biggest event of 2024, NRMLA’s Annual Meeting & Expo, September 24 from 1PM through September 26 at 12:00 pm, at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.

MBAC’s 68th Annual Convention is October 6-8 at the Embassy Suites in Myrtle Beach, SC. It is always worthwhile!

Capital Markets

Bond yields (read: mortgage rates) rose to the highest levels since late May yesterday to begin this holiday-shortened week that will likely be marked by low trading volumes. The jump in yields occurred a day after the first round of voting in France's parliamentary elections suggested that the National Rally far-right party scored a smaller win than some polls had expected.

At home, President Biden's widely derided performance in last week’s debate has put increased pressure (read: downward prices) on Treasuries, as a potential President Trump win is bringing anxiety into markets for a variety of reasons having to do with fiscal policy, tariff policy, and immigration policy. There is also mainstream media chatter that a Trump administration in 2025-2028 will be more inflammatory for rising budget deficits than a Biden administration.

In terms of cold hard data (read: not media speculation), the June ISM Manufacturing Index suggested there was a faster pace of contraction in the manufacturing sector last month than in May, signaling subdued activity for the manufacturing sector that fits with the narrative of a slowing economy. This was the third straight month, and 19th out of 20, that economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted.

Total construction spending decreased 0.1 percent month-over-month in May, as expected, following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent increase (from -0.1 percent) in April. Total private construction was down 0.3 percent month-over-month while total public construction was up 0.5 percent month-over-month. On a year-over-year basis, total construction spending was up 6.4 percent. The restrictive effects of tight monetary policy are becoming increasingly apparent across the construction industry, despite the construction market having navigated the higher interest rate environment relatively well, thus far.

Keep in mind that the big data point this week is the June jobs report on Friday, which is expected to show the unemployment rate rising to the highest level since late 2021, despite a decent monthly gain in payroll employment. Payrolls are expected to come in +190k from the previous release's +272k pace. More people are returning to the workforce, and there is slower job-finding among newly laid-off workers. Initial and continued claims have trended upward over the last few weeks, with initial claims trending at the highest level since last September and continued claims at the highest since December 2021.

Today’s economic calendar has little: Redbook same store sales for the week ending June 29, Fed Chair Powell’s participation in a panel discussion at the ECB Forum on Central Banking in Portugal, JOLTS job openings for June will be released, and Treasury will conduct several short-duration Treasury auctions. The May Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) is expected to show another step down in job openings and a cool rate of hiring across nonfarm industries. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices a few ticks better than Monday afternoon, the 10-year yielding 4.45 after closing yesterday at 4.48 percent, and the 2-year at 4.76.


“First Horizon Announces Mortgage Warehouse Lending Group leadership transition!

After joining First Tennessee in 1998, Bob Garrett, Executive Vice President of First Horizon’s Mortgage Warehouse Lending Group (MWL) is retiring. At a time when the company had a small footprint and little name recognition outside of Tennessee, Bob and his team were pioneers in the development of our national brand. Today MWL operates as one of the largest and best warehouse lenders in the nation and has funded over $1 trillion in mortgage loans under Bob’s leadership. Scott Walker, MWL Director of Business Development, will assume leadership of the business as Co-Director immediately and report to David Popwell. Bob will continue to assist Scott until his departure December 31, ensuring a smooth transition. Scott joined MWL in 2004 as a Relationship Manager and has since held several management roles. After joining the company, he quickly emerged as a significant contributor and well-regarded leader. “Bob’s legacy of excellence will not be forgotten as it serves as a building block for continued success,” said David Popwell, President of Specialty Banking. “We are fortunate to have Scott step into this role, a proven leader with the depth of experience and commitment to the company needed to continue to excel in this space. We wish Bob all the best in his retirement.”

Patrice Ficklin, who has led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's fair lending office since 2011, is leaving the CFPB to rejoin Fannie Mae. She’s an expert in bureaucracy: Ficklin has been the CFPB's only fair lending director through seven acting and permanent directors, setting up the agency's Office of Fair Lending & Equal Opportunity, responsible for the oversight and enforcement of fair lending laws. She has helped coordinate efforts with the Department of Justice to rein in redlining and introduced new rules and guidelines aimed at curbing the impacts of racial bias on home valuations. Kate Berry with American Banker reminds us that, “Ficklin previously served as Fannie Mae's associate general counsel for nearly a dozen years.” She is rejoining Fannie as its new fair lending officer.