Isn’t ice cream a great food!? In fact, I worked in an ice cream plant in my early 20s. Did you know that Moose Tracks ice cream was named for a miniature golf course in Michigan's Upper Peninsula? Thank you to Carla M. who reminded me that July is National Ice Cream Month with an article on the top flavors. It is fortuitous that chocolate and ice cream met, as many of the most popular flavors have it. I know for a fact that mortgage attorney Brian Levy’s favorite ice cream is the uncommon rum raisin, although his latest piece has no relation to it whatsoever. Brian Levy’s most recent Mortgage Musing covers crowdsourced housing policy, professionalism, conflicts of interest in affiliated business arrangements, and whether doctor body cams are a good idea (spoiler alert: no). If you want to be “a-mused” while learning something about the mortgage business, subscribe to Levy’s Musings (it’s free and he promises he won’t sell your email address). (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology and other services to the mortgage industry for almost four decades. To experience how Richey May can help you transform your mortgage business, visit Hear an interview with TD Bank’s Scott Lindner on first time homebuyer programs and advice.)

Lender and Broker Products, Services, and Software

“With Summer in full swing, we know that your clients may be looking for the financial flexibility to make improvements around the home, financially prepare their recently graduated senior for college, or even just stabilize their monthly debt payments. And they are looking to do so as affordably as possible. At Symmetry Lending, our HELOC rates are considerably lower than many credit cards and other HELOC providers, and we’re ready to help your clients make the most out of their money. Let us help you win and keep more business with our financially conscious HELOC offerings. Get in touch with Symmetry’s experts to learn more!”

Great News! Carrington Wholesale and Correspondent have introduced two game-changing product improvements. The first is a 40-year loan term option for fixed-rate and fixed-rate Bank Statement Non-QM Loans. Borrowers benefit from lower monthly payments and increased purchasing power, perfect for real estate investors seeking enhanced cash flow. The second is a Temporary buydown programs for FHA, VA, and Conventional purchase loans. Borrowers enjoy reduced payments for 1, 2, or 3 years, depending on the buydown type. Discover more at and Explore the perfect loan solutions for your borrower’s unique financial needs!

NEW EBOOK: The Essential Guide to Lending Efficiency. Today, labor makes up more than 50 percent of the cost to close a loan. That’s why it’s vital to boost your team’s productivity. In this eBook, mortgage solutions provider Maxwell lays out 4 vital steps to maximize efficiency without increasing overhead. From eliminating bottlenecks to thoughtfully automating busy work, these actions will transform your lending process and profitability. Want to create a nimble lending team that produces top borrower experiences and reduces leakage? Click here to download Maxwell’s free eBook, “The Essential Guide to Lending Efficiency.”

Working with self-employed borrowers? You're probably already utilizing a bank statement program, but have you familiarized yourself with Lite Doc programs? Join us on Wednesday, August 2 at 2:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT for a DealDesk session focused on Quontic's Lite Doc Program, presented by National Mortgage Professional. This interactive forum provides brokers and originators with the opportunity to share real deals and scenarios. Quontic Wholesale, a bank with CDFI status, offers unique income validation methods for its owner-occupied and investor Lite Doc programs. The program eliminates the need for tax returns or W2s and accepts 100 percent gift funds for down payment and closing costs. It allows one year of self-employed income and loan amounts up to $3,000,000 with up to 80 percent LTV and 50 percent DTI. Cash-out proceeds can be used towards reserves, and the program is available for various property types. Register here to present your deals and ask questions about Quontic's Lite Doc program.

FHA, VA, USDA, HECM (reverse), Ginnie News

Government products account for about 25 percent of applications and business. Let’s see who’s doing what.

What does the Veteran’s Administration tells vets about cash-out refinancing? Here you go: Cash-Out Refinance Loan | Veterans Affairs (

Ginnie Mae announced the expansion of its low-to-moderate income (LMI) disclosure initiative to include loan-level pool data for U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service (USDA-RHS) loans. This pool level borrower income data will be used in Ginnie Mae's Mortgage-Backed Security Level "LMI Income" disclosure. Ginnie Mae has been working to enhance its LMI disclosures, beginning with LMI geographic information two years ago and the addition of LMI income earlier this year. These disclosures are an integral part of Ginnie Mae's inherent social and environmental mission, and align with increased environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations from our mortgage-backed securities (MBS) investors.

The Fiscal Year 2023 income limits for the Single Family Direct Loan and Grant Programs were published on July 13, 2023 through Procedure Notice 587. The Guaranteed Underwriting System (GUS) and the Income Eligibility calculator on the Eligibility Website have been updated with the new income limits. The income limits were updated in the impacted websites and systems (e.g., UniFi and Section 502’s Self-Assessment tool). The following automated worksheets were also updated. Section 502 – Worksheet for Computing Income and Maximum Loan Calculator (as found on the Direct Loan Application Packagers pages). Section 504 – Automated Worksheet (as found on the Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants page (under the ‘To Apply’ tab).

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) posted additional translated materials to its recently launched Language Access Resources web page, including the HUD-92564-CN, “For Your Protection, Get a Home Inspection” form and the “Dispelling Homebuying Myths” four-part presentation series to help increase awareness and understanding of the homebuying process. The Dispelling Homebuying Myths series includes presentations on: Finding the Right Home; Qualifying for a Loan; Tips for Buying Your First Home; and Affording a Home.

FHA Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2023-15, considered industry feedback received on the draft ML posted on the Single Family Drafting Table and announced in FHA INFO 2023-41, implements changes to the processes FHA employs for instances of anticipated or actual default of a mortgagee’s disbursement obligations to a HECM borrower. The policies are designed to improve FHA’s ability to make prompt payments in the event of mortgagee default, ensuring that HECM borrowers receive scheduled or requested funds in a timely manner.

Ginnie Mae's mortgage-backed securities (MBS) portfolio outstanding grew to $2.422 trillion in June, including $39 billion of total MBS issuance, leading to $18 billion of net growth. Issuance for this month was significantly higher than May's $34 billion as well as April's $33 billion. For more information on monthly MBS issuance, UPB, REMIC monthly issuance, and global market analysis, visit Ginnie Mae Disclosure.

Carrington Correspondent USDA Price Improvement, 25 BPS in Price on Purchase Loans.

The future of reverse is there: The population aged 65 and older is projected to reach about 80.8 million by 2040, more than twice as many as in 2000, according to The Administration for Community Living. And with the median income of older persons at $26,668 in 2020, rising living costs and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses are inevitable for this fast-growing population. Maximize your senior clients’ potential for financial freedom by taking advantage of the benefits of reverse mortgages. The Plaza Home Mortgage® reverse team can help guide you through the process, whether you’re new to the reverse market or adding more reverse into your business strategy.

Capital Markets

Even as Freddie Mac reported yesterday that mortgage rates dropped from the prior week’s year-to-date highs after tame inflation reports last week, the combination of data, damaged technicals, and nervous markets ahead of next week’s central bank meetings saw the 10-year yield surge to its highest level in over a week. Market participants are at odds with the Fed once again with unemployment remaining at half-century lows as inflation cools. It’s still unclear if Fed tightening has tamed inflation, but some Fed members are calling for two additional 25 basis points rate hikes before year end, something the markets don’t have priced in. Monetary policy works with a long lag time, and rather than the Fed looking at early indicators like future inflation and commercial leasing activity, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has been focused on the lagging economic indicator of jobs.

Speaking of early indicators, we learned yesterday that the Index of Leading Economic Indicators fell again in June, fueled by gloomier consumer expectations, weaker new orders, an increased number of initial claims for unemployment, and a reduction in housing construction, according to the Conference Board. The Leading Index has been in decline for fifteen months, the longest streak of consecutive decreases since 2007-08 during the runup to the Great Recession. June’s data suggests economic activity will continue to decelerate in the months ahead due to elevated prices, tighter monetary policy, harder-to-get credit, and reduced government spending.

True, rates dropped over the last week, but the overall recent uptick in mortgage rates is clearly weighing on the resale market. Total existing home sales declined 3.3 percent to a 4.16-million-unit pace in June as the monthly median sales price ($410,200) reached its second-highest amount ever. Sales dropped by 18.9 percent from one year ago to 1.08 million at the end of June, with the inventory of unsold existing homes (3.1 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace) unchanged from the previous month. Even if rates were 0 percent, if there are no homes to buy, sales are going to drop.

Though today is Class D 48-hours for those that need to announce specific MBS involved in the trade before the settlement, there are no economic data points today, and we begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Thursday afternoon, the 10-year yielding 3.84 after closing yesterday at 3.85 percent, and the 2-year at 4.85: the yield curve inversion is alive and well.

Employment and Transitions

Chelsea Vonder Haar, Senior Vice President of Marketing for USA Mortgage, has been named a 2023 marketing leader by Vonder Haar has risen through the ranks over her 10-year history with USA Mortgage. Taking the reins of the marketing team in 2017, she spearheaded dramatic growth via a cutting-edge marketing strategy, helping evolve USA from a local lender to a national operation licensed in 49 states. USA Mortgage is a full-service mortgage bank known for its unmatched marketing options for their loan officers and real estate agents, helping them effectively reach more clients. Today, Vonder Haar’s award-winning group of 17 marketing professionals offers lead-generating print, social media, digital, and video marketing for thousands of stakeholders. Her team’s priority is to give USA’s loan officers numerous custom resources to grow and support their business. For a confidential conversation about joining USA, contact Brooke Anderson at 609-500-1520 or email us.”

“Keith McKay, CEO of Prime Choice Funding, invites you to participate in reshaping the mortgage industry. Our mission for 2023 is to become the top mortgage broker in the nation. Join our team and expand your professional horizon with our diverse loan programs, flexible compensation plans, and a unique opportunity to earn extra by offering solar solutions to your clients. Backed by comprehensive marketing resources, cutting-edge platform, and robust operations support, your potential for growth is limitless. With a history dating back to 2007, Prime Choice represents stability and innovation in finance and sustainability. Register for our webinar today and explore these rewarding opportunities.”