What color of front door “sells” the best? Some say black, although in a related topic red is the most popular. Doesn’t that mean red sells the best if there are more red front doors? Statistics are interesting things. LOs everywhere tell me that the deals are harder, and as an indication of both statistics and harder deals, a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealed that 11 percent of Americans have a "thin or stale" score file, and therefore it's impossible to generate a current, valid credit score for them. Another 11 percent are considered to be "credit invisible," meaning that they don't have a credit file with any of the three major credit bureaus. That's a total of 22 percent of the adult population of the United States, around 50 million, that doesn't have a credit score at all. As an investor or a lender, and one of these adults wants to buy a home, even with meager inventory of “for sale” homes, do you have a product for it? (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by PHH Mortgage. For over 30 years, PHH Mortgage has provided industry-leading mortgage services and helped countless homebuyers and homeowners find financing solutions to meet their needs. Hear an interview with PHH Mortgage’s Chris Sabbe that provides a wide-ranging subservicing overview.)

Lender and Broker Software and Services

Are you looking to Sell your mortgage company but are worried about tail R&W risk? Blue Water’s insured QC process is built for this*. If you are looking to mitigate buybacks, underwriting costs, streamline your business and/or exit your business, Blue Water’s fully customized rule set is completely digital and fast. Worried about operations costs? Take your capacity from 2 loans per file per day to 10! Whether you are making agency or Non-QM, Blue Water can help you save money, digitize your process, manage loan quality, transfer files, and reduce repurchase risk. What’s more? Blue Water’s technology is insured by certain underwriters at Lloyds of London*. Connect with our Sales Team at Sales@bluewater-fintech.com now. (*)Policy Summary & pricing available on request. Blue Water is not an insurance provider, broker, or underwriter. Services offered by Blue Water Financial Technologies Services, LLC a Minnesota based limited liability company.*

Deephaven recently announced its new Non-QM loan product to help originators close more loans! It’s called Equity Advantage and is a stand-alone second mortgage to help your borrowers achieve their goals. This means borrowers who want a cash-out refinance, but don’t want to lose their interest rate on a current mortgage, are in luck! This product is an ideal loan solution for self-employed borrowers needing a Bank Statement loan, real estate investors, and those who have recovered from credit events who fall outside of traditional requirements. Highlights include FICOs down to 680, loan amounts up to $500k, up to 85 percent CLTV, full doc, personal and business bank statements. Single family rentals, PUDs, town homes, 2-4 units and warrantable condos. Contact Deephaven today to learn more about their new stand-alone second mortgage and how they can help market this to your customers: Tom Davis, Chief Sales Officer at Deephaven.

In this market, hustle is everything. You can’t afford to waste a single deal, or a single minute. That’s why ReadyPrice has launched Shop.Lock.Deliver.® It’s an innovative new platform designed to help independent mortgage brokers like you save time and money. Now you can shop competitive loan offerings from multiple lenders, get rate lock guarantees in real time, receive underwriting findings, and deliver the borrower’s complete loan file to lenders, and all on a single platform, at no cost to brokers. It's the industry’s most powerful universal delivery portal, and it’s already helping brokers around the country thrive and compete in even the toughest market environments. Multiple lenders. One platform. Zero b.s. Check out ReadyPrice today.

To buy or not to buy mortgage leads? That is the question many lenders ask themselves when wells of purchase opportunity dry up. Sacrificing a portion of your budget for a list of leads may sound like a good move, but don’t be fooled by the convenience. For lead generation tactics that rely on your own database, check out the Quick Guide from the Black Knight team behind the Surefire℠ CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine. Download the Quick Guide for lead gen advice that’s free.

Winning Agent Business: The Lender’s Guide to a Strong Referral Network. In today’s market, a steady stream of referrals means the difference between maintaining a pipeline and scrounging for leads. And as we move towards market recovery, a robust book of business will help you take full advantage of profitable opportunities. Maxwell interviewed agents and broker-owners across the country to get firsthand advice to help you better network to create a strong funnel of referral leads. Download your free copy to learn qualities agents value in their lending partners, networking dos and don'ts, ways to become a go-to lender, and more.

STRATMOR on Employee Enthusiasm

Experts agree that the customer’s experience is never going to be better than the employee’s experience. What does that mean to a mortgage lender? It means the quality of the customer experience, which drives your revenues, is capped by the quality of your employee experience. According to Gallup, companies with high employee engagement record 18 percent better profitability, and another long-term study shows organizations that have a corporate culture with high levels of customer and employee appreciation increased revenue. In STRATMOR Group’s August Insights Report, Senior Advisor Sue Woodard looks closely at the employee experience and how it is directly related to the customer experience. She identifies what employees are looking for in their experience, and she shares insights from several lenders who have been recognized for being a top or best place to work. There’s great information you don’t want to miss in this new article on the STRATMOR website: “In the Battle to Win Borrowers, the Employee Experience Matters.”

Webinars, Training, and Events to Labor Day Weekend

A list of major conferences through 2023 and into 2024 can be found here, under “Conference list.” Send any additions or corrections to Ed Rosenthal.

Today at 3PM ET is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown featuring Camelia Martin, Head of Industry & Regulatory Affairs at Snapdocs. We’ll will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown”.

Tuesday the 29th is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman, and sponsored by National MI. Tune in every Tuesday at 1PM ET to the weekly video show designed to empower mortgage professionals to tap into the millennial market. This show demystifies the psychology of first-time homebuyers and offers strategies to win more market share with a key segment of the market. Sign up for a weekly reminder with the link to join and a sneak peek into the next episode.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for "Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Robbie and Rob will bring a unique mix of age perspective, expertise, and charisma to the screen, ensuring that the information is not only educational but also entertaining.

The Knowledge Coop's new membership platform offers all state and federal Continuing Education courses in an engaging and exciting video format that you're sure to actually enjoy. Want to give yourself a sharper competitive edge? They also offer in-depth training on specific topics like VA Loans and FHA within their Coop Academy. Get access to industry experts and connect with other mortgage professionals all in one space. Use Code Chrisman10 for 10 percent off your first year of membership here.

Capital Markets

The Jackson Hole summit began yesterday, though the focus has always been Fed Chair Powell's speech today. Central bankers are in a much harder time relative to last year, as a year ago, consumer-level inflation in both the U.S. and the Euro Area was still running above 8 percent, so the path forward was pretty clear for policymakers. Currently, inflation has fallen and there’s much more doubt about how sticky it will end up proving, and thus how much more central bankers still need to do.

Yesterday, two U.S. Federal Reserve officials signaled the central bank may be close to done with interest-rate increases given slowing inflation, but one of them held back from ruling out further hikes. For the moment, the market feels there will be no hike following the next meeting on September 20, but roughly a 40 percent likelihood of a hike in November.

Home price appreciation as well as wage growth remain top of mind for the Fed. Consumer spending came in stronger than expected in July, increasing 0.7 percent versus 0.4 percent forecast, while core retail sales increased 1.0 percent. Housing starts increased 3.9 percent to a 1.452 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate. Starts are 19.2 percent lower than the same period last year as high mortgage rates weigh on the market. Industrial production also expanded in July, however that was due mainly to higher utilities output as a result of higher-than-average summer temperatures. Manufacturing output contracted in July and was revised lower in June as well.

Yesterday’s economic releases included Durable goods orders declining 5.2 percent month-over-month in July, but excluding transportation, durable goods orders increased 0.5 percent month-over-month, and Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing the 30- and 15-year mortgage rates hitting their respective highest levels since June 2001 and April 2002. For the week ending August 24, 30- and 15-year rates rose 14 basis points and 9 basis points to 7.23 percent and 6.55 percent, respectively. Today’s calendar brings just the final August Michigan Sentiment, though we do receive important speeches from Fed Chair Powell and ECB head Lagarde. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices little changed and the 10-year also unchanged at 4.24 percent.

Employment and Transitions

Nations Direct Mortgage is thrilled to welcome Industry Veteran Greg Woolsey as its new Western Regional Sales Manager! Nations Direct is hiring in untapped territories for “first mover” Account Executives.

“Equity Solutions USA, Inc Celebrates 20 Years of Excellence! Out of Michigan comes news that Equity Solutions USA, Inc is excited to announce its 20th anniversary, marking two decades of thriving business and innovation. With profound gratitude, we reflect on our journey and express appreciation for the unwavering support from our valued clients and partners. Specializing in Residential and Commercial Property Valuation solutions, Equity Solutions ensures lenders meet rigorous regulatory compliance standards in today's market, while simultaneously exceeding customer expectations through top-tier Valuation products and services. Having been awarded the title of AMC Vendor of the Year by NAMB in 2022, we eagerly anticipate commemorating our anniversary at the NAMB National 2023 event, where we are honored to be a sponsoring partner. Stop by booth #715 and meet the Equity Team.

Looking ahead, we pledge to uphold innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction. Here's to the next 20 years and beyond in our shared journey of accomplishment.”

Equity Resources is a privately owned mortgage banker that is very pleased to continue with its growth and expansion. We are seeking career-focused (self-sourced) loan officers in all our markets. Equity is proudly celebrating our 30th anniversary and we are excited about our future! The average tenure of our LO team is 10+ years, with many LO’s celebrating their 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries with us! We are an agency direct lender currently licensed in 19 states along the east coast and mid-west. We offer a stellar marketing team that includes a social media director, a video production team, and a media team to support our loan officers. We help our loan officers develop a sustainable plan to assist them in growing their business with their referral partners. In addition, Equity offers a full suite of products (including several specialty lending programs.) For confidential inquiries to join our award- winning team, please contact Tom Piecenski, Executive Vice President of Sales at 614.327.5353.”

In the words of Mary Lou Cook, “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking the rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” A national lender is searching for a Product Development Manager. You will be responsible for identifying new investors, defining new products, developing profitability matrices, and leading a team to ensure that your ideas become reality. The lender is approved with all agencies, licensed to operate in all 50 states, and has its own internal robust servicing platform. A competitive compensation package is being offered to the person that can epitomize the words of Mary Lou Cook in their application. Confidential applications can be sent to Anjelica Nixt for consideration.”