Both basketball player Bill Russell and Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on Star Trek,” passing away!? Meanwhile, today I head to Chicago, the #1 city for naked bike riding. (No, I’m not bringing my bike.) On a more serious topic, this week we receive the “employment situation report,” and per the Census Bureau, 16 million working-age Americans have “long COVID” impacting their ability to work. How does that skew the numbers? Housing and jobs continued to drive the U.S. economy, and I continue to receive questions about hybrid ARMs. While you might assume ARM volumes would be growing rapidly with higher rates, the inverted yield curve and lack of price discovery for anything approaching a reasonable premium has kept issuance low. Fannie’s trading desk reports that, “While we have seen a modest uptick in application volume, that has not directly translated into pool issuance. Instead, we continue to see many portfolio lenders simply choose to hold the product on balance sheet, which makes sense given their currently low deposit costs. Some lenders choosing to hold product on balance sheet may be priced through GSE execution, adding to the confusion. Keep in mind ARMs work the best with a steep curve and in instances where there are few LLPAs being converted into rate.” (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking. Today’s features an interview with David Lewis, National Renovation Manager for Homespire Mortgage, on renovation lending.)
Lender and Broker Services and Software
“Symmetry Lending has landed in Hawaii! We’re now delivering the industry-leading turn times and delivery confidence of Concurrent, Post-Close, and Stand-Alone Symmetry HELOCs to the Paradise of the Pacific! Regardless of where you live, the Symmetry HELOC is more than just a great product to help your client, it’s also a client retention tool. Rates go up and down, but clients remain loyal when they receive the best value. Add the value of Symmetry HELOCs to your lending toolkit today. Visit Symmetry’s Credit & Income Guide and Pricing Guide or call your Area Manager!”
Did you know that OptifiNow is the only CRM provider that includes daily maintenance and system administration with their platform? OptifiNow's White Glove Support handles routine tasks such as data uploads, system configuration and marketing campaigns as well as more advanced projects like third-party integrations, custom software development and database management. If lenders have limited resources to manage a CRM, OptifiNow fills the gap with our White Glove Support services to ensure your platform is running smoothly and stays relevant. OptifiNow essentially becomes a part of a lender’s staff, resulting in better user adoption and ROI. If you're spending more time maintaining a CRM and getting less value from it, OptifiNow has an all-inclusive solution that simplifies your sales and marketing needs. Contact OptifiNow and learn how you can build the CRM you’ve always wanted.
Northpointe Bank Correspondent Lending announces its new AUS Jumbo loan program that leverages automated approval and documentation to help close your loans faster. The AUS Jumbo program allows for loan amounts up to $3,000,000, loan-to-value ratios up to 80%, purchase and rate/term refinances, and is eligible for 1–2-unit primary residences, 1-4 unit second homes, and 1–4-unit investment properties. Restricted stock units are allowed for qualifying income. Approved Northpointe Bank clients have access to non-delegated, prior approval, and delegated options. Third-party origination is allowed and the program is eligible in all 50 states and Washington DC. Northpointe Bank provides tailored solutions to maximize your profitability and help grow your business. View program details for more information or email us.
If razor-thin margins keep you up at night, tackle them head-on with the help of Capital Markets Cooperative (CMC). CMC’s platform of carefully selected investors and vendors offers their members negotiated pricing on commonly used mortgage services. Maximize revenue and find new outlets into the secondary markets with CMC’s preferred investors. Minimize costs and beef up margins with best-in-class vendors like Bryant Park Capital, Certified Credit, Richey May, Indecomm, ServiceLink, and DocProbe. CMC does the heavy lifting by bringing you the products that best fit your needs. Contact the CMC team today for a customized review of preferred partners and member benefits!
DecisionGenius’ glass box technology picks up where black box systems leave questions, delivering in-depth, automated decisioning on both Conventional and non-QM lending. DecisionGenius is backed by reps and warrants as part of our “Indecomm Promise” to our clients. Integrated with multiple LOS, Indecomm’s DecisionGenius makes intelligent loan decisions faster across credit, assets, appraisal, and income (which includes wage, self, and bank statements). Demo DecisionGenius today and get more information.
California! New Down Payment Assistance option for County Employees in 37 Counties! Golden State Finance Authority is now offering up to 5.5% in down payment and closing cost assistance (DPA), combined with attractive First Mortgage interest rates for employees of GSFA Member Counties purchasing or refinancing a primary residence. The “Assist-to-Own” DPA is available for single-family 1–4-unit residences, condominiums, and townhomes and even some manufactured homes. The Program has flexible guidelines: Minimum FICO 640; Maximum DTI 50% and best of all there is no first-time homebuyer requirement to qualify. --- If you are a Lender interested in offering “Assist-to-Own” DPA to your borrowers, join us for Lender Training or click here for more info.
Events to Start August
After two years of pandemic-induced delays, roughly 2.5 million weddings are expected to happen this year, according to the Wedding Report… The most since 1984! When a consumer experiences a positive life-changing event (marriage, childbirth, or a child’s high school graduation) or a difficult one (divorce or a death in the family), a good financial friend will reach out right away to help them make their next financial move. Sales Boomerang’s latest borrower intelligence offering, Life Event Alerts, mines public records to help lenders be that financial friend that borrowers cherish. On August 10 at 1 pm ET, get a first look at this exciting new product and learn why Life Event Alerts are the perfect match for lenders’ pipelines in 2022.
National MI University August Line-up - Learn today, lead tomorrow, with National MI University’s August Webinars, Classes include: Shift Up Your Emotional Intelligence Part 3 with Jennifer Powers - Aug. 2 at 11am PT. Freddie Mac Business Opportunities with Consumer Insights with Nora Guerra & Mia Jones - Aug. 3 at 10am PT. Basics of Underwriting the Self-Employed Borrower with Marianne Collins - Aug. 9 at 10am PT. The Fortune is in the Follow-Up with Dr. Bruce Lund - Aug. 10 at 10am PT. Planning for High Performance with Andrew Oxley - Aug. 16 at 11am PT. Negotiate like a Ninja with Rebecca Lorenz - Aug. 18 at 10am PT
The private mortgage insurance companies offer a fine range of very cost-effective/free training: National MI University, Enact’s course catalog of on-demand webinars, MGIC, Essent, Radian, and Arch MI.
Is professional development and learning part of your success strategy? Are you interested in taking a deep dive into loanDepot Wholesale's systems and programs - and getting all your questions answered? Join LDW trainers for info-packed webinars on topics ranging from mello® Broker Portal to Renovation Loans.
PRMG University August Calendar of Live Webinars is posted. Some training webinars are offered several times, click the training link to view available dates and times. Tuesday, August 23 at 10:00 PDT - Freddie Mac Refi Possible and Fannie Mae RefiNow. Tuesday, August 23 at 9:30 PDT - Wholesale Housing Finance Authority Products Training. Monday, August 15 at 1:00 PDT - PRMG's non-QM Investor Solution product. Wednesday, August 31 at 1:00 PDT - PRMG's non-QM Expanded Access product.
Take a Deep Dive Into Non-QM with Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions product focused webinar series. Register for Deep Dive Into Bank Statement Loans on August 2nd. Deep Dive Into DSCR, Including Foreign National on August 9th. Deep Dive Into Full Doc Including ITIN on August 16th.
There’s still time to join Freddie Mac for August 2nd complimentary webinar focused on Condominium Project Review and General Project Eligibility requirements. Join this 1.5-hour session, beginning at 1 pm ET, to learn more as you navigate through the four different project review types and how to choose the best path for your loan.
Register for Complianceiq 60-minute live webinar AML Red Flags – Signs of Money Laundering on Friday, August 5. This AML training, developed by 25-year independent consultant speaker to banks focusing on issues of fraud, Jim George, will begin with a list of money laundering strategies actually found in use.
Class Valuation, announced a new quarterly webinar series, “Leaders in Lending.” Generally featuring one webinar each quarter, the series is being kicked-off with two back-to-back webinars featuring thought leaders from the GSEs. The first webinar in the series, “Get to Know ACE+ PDR,” was held on Monday, July 18, the recording is available to view. The second webinar scheduled for Aug. 1 at 3:30 p.m. EST will cover Fannie Mae’s inspection-based waiver program with Justin Alexander from Fannie Mae joining as a guest panelist.
This Friday at noon PT is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Rich and Rob. We’ll will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 45 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown with Rich and Rob”!
Unemployment is low, and families have savings. Do those point to a recession? Economists are still haggling over whether the Fed appeared "dovish" or "hawkish" during last Wednesday's meeting. The central bank raised the federal funds rate by three quarters of a percentage point for the second month in a row - to a range of 2.25% to 2.5% - but Jay Powell's vision of an end to the current rate-hiking cycle excited investors and triggered an equity rally during the session. According to the Fed, rates are now "right in the range" of "neutral" (i.e. an interest rate that neither hinders nor fuels economic growth), while Powell expressed further doubt that the U.S. was in a recession - given the low unemployment rate and solid job gains.
Per Chair Powell, “These rate hikes have been large and they have come quickly, and it's likely that their full effect has not been felt by the economy. So there's probably some additional significant tightening in the pipeline... As the stance of monetary policy tightens further, it likely will become appropriate to slow the pace of increases while we assess how are our accumulative policy adjustments are affecting the economy and inflation."
"We do see there are two-sided risks: There would be the risk of doing too much - imposing more of a downturn on the economy than was necessary, but the risk of doing too little and leaving the economy with this entrenched inflation - it only raises the costs of dealing with it later to the extent that people start to see it as part of their economic lives on a sustained basis. I don't think that's happened yet, but when that starts to happen, it just gets that much harder and the pain will be that much greater... Restoring price stability is just something we have got to do. There isn't an option to fail."
Last week Powell was clearer than usual about telegraphing what lay ahead at coming gatherings, though this time around, things were less specific. "While another unusually large increase could be appropriate at our next meeting, that is a decision that will depend on the data we get between now and then," he declared. "It's time to just go to a meeting-by-meeting basis and to not provide the kind of clear guidance that we had provided." That could make things more opaque going into the second half of 2022, though it's not as extreme as the ECB, which last week scrapped forward guidance "of any kind."
Last week’s busy economic calendar started with another monthly decline in new home sales. Sales declined 8.1 percent from May to a 590k annualized pace which was the slowest pace since April 2020. Higher interest rates have reduced affordability while some would-be buyers have canceled contracts over concerns of buying at the peak of a market that is starting to see price reductions. The slowdown has led to a rebound in new home inventory not seen since 2010 at 9.3 months’ worth. Meanwhile, the slowing economy has caused mortgage rates to reverse course as inflation expectations begin to shift due to Federal Reserve policy and declining output. Despite two consecutive quarters of negative GDP, strength in the labor market and resilient consumer demand have prevented the National Bureau of Economic Research from formally classifying the current environment as recessionary. While segments of the economy are slowing from recent highs, the economy as a whole is not collapsing. Inflation remains well above the Fed’s target and the labor market is still imbalanced in their view.
This week brings the July employment report on Friday where the current consensus is 250k new jobs and the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.6 percent. Currently scheduled “Fed speak” is on the lighter side, though the RBA and the BoE are both expected to hike rates on Thursday. Today’s calendar brings July manufacturing PMI readings from S&P Global and ISM, both due out later this morning, as is June construction spending. The Desk will purchase up to $839 million UMBS30 4 percent through 5 percent. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Friday and the 10-year yielding 2.65 after closing last week at 2.64 percent.
Essent Guaranty is hiring an Account Manager to cover Michigan. Essent Guaranty, a leader in the mortgage insurance industry and a great place to work, is looking for a results-driven Account Manager to call on mortgage lenders, banks, and credit unions. Essent offers very competitive compensation and benefits packages and makes it easy for serious professionals to transition. As an Account Manager, you will drive profitable mortgage insurance business using a risk centric approach and a goal of delivering value to our lenders through credit enhancement solutions. If you have mortgage lending experience and relevant business development experience within the financial services, mortgage, secondary markets, capital markets or mortgage insurance industries, this may be the job for you. If you are interested in joining our team, please send a resume to Robyn Donnelly. Learn more about Essent Guaranty.