“If you have no interest in banking, you are not a loan.” (Best said out loud to a 6th grader.) Cutting edge humor aside, this morning I head to Orlando for the FAMP event, in a state where there are a total of 186 banks operating with 4162 branches. Some of the conversation will be about Freddie Mac earning $2.9 billion in the 2nd quarter (how’d your company do?). Banks… Last Friday we saw something we haven’t seen for a while: a bank closure. “Heartland Tri-State Bank of Elkhart, Kansas, was closed by the Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver… the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Dream First Bank, National Association, of Syracuse, Kansas…” While we’re on Agency and government news, the Federal Reserve's quarterly Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey found that banks have tightened credit standards for both business and consumer clients, and they expect to tighten further through the rest of the year. "…a less favorable or more uncertain economic outlook, an expected deterioration in collateral values, and an expected deterioration in credit quality of [commercial real estate] and other loans." (Today’s podcast can be found here and is sponsored by Candor. Candor’s patented automated underwriting decision engine, CogniTech, is a state-of-the-art, 100 percent machine platform that can handle infinite loan scenarios. Listen to an interview with Polunsky Beitel Green attorney Andy Duane on recent capital rules plans changes by U.S. bank regulators.)

Lender and broker software, products, and services

In 2022, Americans spent an average of $6,000 on engagement rings to demonstrate lifelong commitment to their partners. Just as the act of proposing with a ring symbolizes a promise, SimpleNexus, an nCino company, also seeks to engage prospective homebuyers with the promise of an intuitive, modern home financing experience. A single-sign mobile app gives borrowers the convenience of managing their mortgage loan from anywhere, with a rich feature set that allows them to submit an application, scan and upload documents, eSign disclosures, and attend virtual eClosings. What’s more, built-in messaging and notification features foster meaningful connections between lenders, borrowers, and their real estate agents. See how SimpleNexus can put your organization and your borrowers on the path to a future filled with security and prosperity. Schedule a demo today.

Click links, ask questions later. The most common attack vector for a cyberattack is the human element. It’s what phishing emails, phone calls and text messages all have in common. Yet while it's the weakest link, the human element could be your organization’s greatest prevention layer if trained correctly. In an industry that incentivizes people based on sales goals, every mortgage lead has bottom line potential. And in the current market, it’s only human to go after leads without stopping to consider their legitimacy. But recent data shows just how risky clicking without thinking can be. According to ISACA, in 2022 social engineering (tricking humans) was the #1 attack vector, and even the best teams are vulnerable. Learn how to do a better job at testing and training your team to identify legitimate leads. Talk to Richey May’s cybersecurity experts for help assessing and defining your cybersecurity training needs.

“Attention Mortgage Technology Companies! Discover the secrets to thriving in this competitive market with our free white paper, tailored specifically for you. Written by Seroka Brand Development, the mortgage industry's leading marketing and public relations company, this exclusive guide reveals top marketing and PR strategies for 2023. As the industry faces its current set of challenges, effective yet cost-conscious marketing is more crucial than ever for companies like yours, competing for every opportunity. Learn six impactful ways to reach your target market and secure success through the rest of 2023 and beyond. Don't miss out on this invaluable resource: download your FREE white paper now.”

“AFR Wholesale® (AFR) is teaming up with financing experts from Fannie Mae for the next session of our Why Wait Live Webinar Series! Please join us Wednesday, August 9th at 2 PM EST, where we will be highlighting what you need to know about manufactured home financing. AFR has been a leading expert in manufactured homes for over 25 years. With this added knowledge and proven experience, we’ll be an extension of your team to help the prospects in your portfolio to become borrowers. Over this series, AFR has been discussing affordable financing solutions that together will help us provide homeownership opportunities to more families. Register Today! This is a live webinar, and a recording will not be provided. Sign up today and don’t miss it! If you are currently a partner of AFR, start utilizing these programs right away! Contact AFR by going to afrwholesale.com, email sales@afrwholesale.com or call 1-800-375-6071.”

“Why are some lenders and LOs thriving in this market? Because they know there are still 1st-time buyers and people seeking DPA! Stairs Financial aggregates DPA information and matches homebuyers, often CRA-eligible, to lenders/programs on our platform to help lenders create customers for life. Through Stairs, borrowers are educated about loan programs and terms to better understand their loan options before connecting with our lender network. Stairs is launching in Texas and quickly expanding nationwide with licenses in 40 states. We’re partnering with national, regional, and local lenders in every market to ensure every aspiring homeowner gets the help they need. By seamlessly connecting to your PPE, Stairs can show borrowers your rates, loan terms, and DPA program options. Further, we can deliver mortgage leads to your CRM or lead management system. If your firm wants to help more 1st-time buyers achieve their dream of homeownership, contact Mike Romano.”

"This seems too good to be true" is what we hear pretty often when it comes to QuickQual. Lucky for you, it is true. Loan officers issue QuickQuals right from within the LOS and give borrowers and Realtors the ability to run payments and update pre-approval letters within guardrails you set. Check out QuickQual by LenderLogix and they'll text a demo right to your phone!

Warehouse/liquidity programs

If you’re heading to California for Western Secondary, carve out time to meet with the team from Flagstar Bank. At a time when banks are downsizing or leaving the warehouse business altogether, Flagstar remains firmly committed to the mortgage space. They’re the second largest warehouse lender with $119 billion in assets, offering the strength, stability, and best-in-class service you’ve been looking for. Flagstar warehouses most loan types, including conventional, non-QM, and construction, and offers MSR, servicer advance, and EBO financing solutions. Their warehouse platform is flexible enough for 400+ warehouse clients of all sizes to fund quickly and easily. While you’re at the conference, talk to Flagstar about their experienced Specialized Mortgage Banking Solutions team to find out if they can help streamline operations and provide greater value for cash balances. With 35 years of experience, Flagstar is a trusted lending partner ready to unlock a world of opportunities for your business. Contact Jeff Neufeld or Patti Robins today to discuss what Flagstar can do for you.

“If you're attending the California MBA Western Secondary Market Conference in Dana Point, make sure to include Axos Bank's Warehouse Lending Team in your agenda. Our team will be available to discuss strategies and showcase how our diverse array of Agency, Jumbo, and Non-QM products can provide you with the flexibility and liquidity needed to become a top producer in today's market. With our expanded portfolio programs and extended cutoff times (6:15 p.m. ET), achieving success has never been easier. To secure a meeting time, simply reach out to Eric Nelepovitz and Justin Castillo via email, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact the Warehouse Lending team at 888-764-7080. Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your business to the next level.”

The only thing constant is change

Independent mortgage banks and credit unions aren’t the only entities who originate residential loans. Banks have been in the news!

Grizzled industry vet Ken Sonner, showing his age, noted, “The ‘Banc of California buying PacWest’ deal is very interesting. A $10BB bank tries to swallow a $40BB bank? Kinda like GreenPoint buying Headlands.” Don’t forget that Norwest bought Wells Fargo but kept Wells’ name.

And then there’s this story: “Donald Trump’s business empire faced a potential crisis after he left the White House and his longtime accounting firm warned not to rely on his past financial statements. But Axos Bank, an online-only financial firm headquartered in San Diego, soon agreed to loan him $225 million, stabilizing his finances.”

In general, do you think anything is permanent in residential lending? How many of 2008’s top 20 are still in the game? Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, Citi, Residential Capital LLC, Wachovia, SunTrust Mortgage, US Bank Home Mortgage, PHH Mortgage, Washington Mutual, Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker, Flagstar Bank, AmTrust Bank, National City Mortgage, ING Bank, BB&T Mortgage, First Horizon Home Loans, Franklin American Mortgage Company, and IndyMac.

How about in 2018?

Wells Fargo, Chase, Quicken Loans, PennyMac Financial, United Wholesale Mortgage, Bank of America Home Loans, U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, Caliber Home Loans, Amerihome Mortgage, loanDepot.com, Flagstar Bank, Freedom Mortgage, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., Guaranteed Rate Inc., SunTrust Mortgage, Nationstar Mortgage, Citizens Bank, Guild Mortgage, Stearns Lending LLC, and Navy Federal Credit Union.

Recognize some ghosts?

Capital markets: rates, as always, up some, down some

Yesterday was yet another volatile day in rates and MBS as rates staged another breakout to higher yields after shrugging off month-end buying and some weak data. While volatility remains elevated it also remains range-bound, and sentiment is that the Fed is finally finished with its historically aggressive pace of tightening.

On the data front, we received a weaker than expected ISM Manufacturing survey (Institute for Supply Management) for July as the manufacturing economy continues to contract. New Orders improved, and pricing pressures continue to fall. Supply delivery times decreased. Overall, the news on pricing should be good for the Fed, as it looks like its tightening policy is having the desired effect. There was also a smaller than expected increase in June Construction Spending (actual 0.5 percent) after increasing an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in May. Residential spending continues to be powered by new single-family construction to meet demand that cannot be satisfied through the existing home market.

Ahead of Friday’s payrolls report, job openings were 9.6 million at the end of June, according to the JOLTS report. Hires decreased to 5.9 million, with losses experienced in finance and manufacturing. The “quits” rate, which tends to forecast wage inflation, decreased to 2.4 percent from 2.6 percent in June and 2.7 percent a year ago. The jobs market remains exceptionally tight but continues to show incremental signs of weakening. Job openings have fallen 20 percent since the Fed began tightening policy in March 2022, even with the unemployment rate trending sideways. Price growth still elevated and a pullback in demand for workers ongoing, a "soft landing" remains far from assured, but this is an encouraging step toward inflation subsiding without a recession.

Today’s economic calendar kicked off with mortgage applications decreasing 3.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from MBA. We’ve also received ADP employment (324k, nearly twice as strong as expected! We’ll learn the U.S. Treasury details of the Quarterly Refunding (3-year notes, 10-year notes, and 30-year bonds) where we can expect amounts to increase from previous auctions in the face of a Fitch downgrade of U.S. debt. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Tuesday and the 10-year yielding 4.04 after closing yesterday at 4.05 percent; the 2-year is at 4.90, showing no impact of Fitch’s opinion of U.S. debt. Much ado about nothing?

Jobs and transitions

FLCBank is looking for seasoned Wholesale Account Executives in the northeast, southeast, central, and northwest regions. If you are looking to make a move and join a company with a tenured culture of collaboration, team-based success, and the security of working for a federally chartered national bank, then it’s time to call Bob Eisendrath, Strategic National Account Manager (414.350.3986). FLCBank is an agency-approved lender, offering a suite of Jumbo products with IO, fixed, and ARM options, as well as bank portfolio products like bridge loans. Our AEs work with Brokers, Non-Delegated Correspondents and have the opportunity to offer warehouse lines to your customers. FLCB cultivates a fun team environment where both sales and the operations staff are passionate about delivering exceptional customer experience with every loan. We offer competitive compensation, an energized culture, and seasoned operations and support staff. FLCBank is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.”

Do you have what it takes to be a mortgage superstar? Do you want to work with a lender that is leading the way in using AI to revolutionize the mortgage industry? If so, you need to check out Stockton Mortgage, a proud adopter of Lender Toolkit and its revolutionary solution, AI Underwriter™, which automates and applies underwriting conditions in 90 seconds or less. With just one click, you can review credit reports, income, assets, appraisals, loan data, fraud reports and more. Stockton Mortgage is using AI Underwriter to boost its productivity, quality, compliance, and find issues earlier in the process, delivering faster communication to Stockton’s customers. Stockton is looking for talented and ambitious professionals to join its team and grow with others on the team. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level and be part of the tech future of mortgage lending, visit Stockton’s website or contact the team today.

“Security National Mortgage Company (SNMC) has announced that Austin Jacks has joined the Company to serve as its Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Jacks has over a decade of mortgage industry marketing experience focused on creating marketing products and building teams to enable loan originators to thrive. Mr. Jacks most recently served as the field marketing manager for Nations Lending. Joel Harward, SNMC’s SVP, stated, “Austin's approach to modern marketing and his extensive experience will help us elevate awareness of the Company’s brand and expand its market share. His passion for marketing, strategic focus, and creativity will make him a great addition to the SNMC team. We are confident that Austin will play a key role in SNMC’s continued growth and success.” If you are interested to find out why Austin Jacks joined SNMC and why “It is Better Here”, please check us out here.”

How many ads for mortgages have you seen like this ad for mobile homes?