My cat Myrtle has a certain amount of “girth,” as they say. But I tell her that she carries it well as the calories from line-caught halibut have far outweighed her time working out to burn them off. In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to remember her ever pumping iron. Turning to humans, it’s a proven fact that during the pandemic 87 percent of gym members didn’t even know that their gym was closed. Okay, maybe not proven, but it makes sense. Something else that makes sense is the non-QM product channel, there to help LOs help borrowers, but that segment continues to face an uphill battle. What are borrowers supposed to think when even Yahoo comes out with a sensationalist headline like, “U.S. mortgage lenders are starting to go bankrupt: how non-QM loans could be triggering the worst surge of failures since 2008.” Really? Other product development continues. One wonders about reverse discrimination, but if you’re Black or Latino in Dallas, Bank of America has a 0 percent down loan. Ribbon expanded RibbonReserve and is offering first-time homebuyers a 12-month price lock on a home, “providing more time to secure financing at the best possible terms… Ribbon purchases a home on behalf of a buyer with up to 12 months to secure financing at the best terms for them. Ribbon leases the home to the buyer, then sells back with a guaranteed home price lock for 12 months… Ribbon-backed Offers… waiving mortgage, appraisal, and home sale contingencies. Ribbon's guaranteed close, and appraisal protection gives buyers, sellers and agents added certainty in the homebuying process.” (Available here, today’s podcast has an interview with Jane Mason, CEO of Clairefire, on the current servicing landscape. This week’s podcast is sponsored by MCT’s Hedge Advisory. As the industry leader in pull-through analytics and best execution with the highest staff-to-client ratio, lenders of every size trust MCT to manage risk and optimize profitability in their mortgage loan pipeline management.)

Lender and Broker Services and Software

“Zoral’s Automation Platform Delivers Real ROI! It’s configurable, provides elasticity and scalability, can be inserted anywhere in your workflow and is affordable. Whether you close 500 loans a month or 5000, leveraging Zoral’s cloud-based, intelligent automation platform will immediately decrease processing, underwriting, and closing turn-times. Our AI/ML powered solutions will liberate your human resources from the monotony of performing highly repetitive, error prone, manual activities. For the past 18 years, Zoral has operated one of the largest intelligent automation labs in the world. Our best-in-class technology combined with our banking/mortgage domain expertise deliver the results you need for today’s challenging environment. Contact Zoral to learn more.”

Your borrowers can eSign your SSA-89 with Service 1st! Create clean initial disclosure packages and eliminate all wet signatures. Up to 50% faster turn times & unmatched customer service: S1 is the mortgage industry’s performance leader in credit and loan verifications with 37% of manual VOE/Is completed under 12 business hours. Learn how we work in synergy with loan operations teams to create lean workflows and simplify invoicing via our credit integrations with virtually all marketplace LOS platforms. The market is tough, and we’re standing by you. Schedule meeting time @MBA Annual in Nashville, Oct 23-26, to see how we can help support your business goals and initiatives.

Lender Toolkit’s AI Underwriter™ allows you to customize your conditions. Many other underwriting systems don’t take the lender’s needs into account. The lack of understanding unique lender needs results in a rigid and often one-sided experience. Lender Toolkit's AI Underwriter™ comes with Condition Builder™. This allows the lender to customize any of the 700+ conditions that exist in AI Underwriter™ with their own verbiage. Lenders can add all of their unique conditions including custom programs like Jumbo, DPA, Non-QM, overlays, and more. Condition Builder™ is able to use any custom fields within the lender's system, even new ones to evolve their mortgage manufacturing process. Want to control your own destiny? Click here to see how.

If dogs can retire comfortably, then humans should be able to as well. Unfortunately, thousands of aging Americans are concerned about their ability to support themselves financially post-retirement. With home equity at an all-time high, mortgage professionals can ease aging homeowners’ worries by helping them tap into their home equity with a reverse mortgage loan. For digital financial education strategies and tips for accessing home equity responsibly, join Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach together with Blackfin Group on September 8 at 2 pm ET. Proceeds will benefit United Help Ukraine, with Alex Kutsishin, Sales Boomerang + Mortgage Coach, and BlackFin each matching up to $1,000 of ticket sales. Register to support this great cause and gain innovative strategies for educating consumers of all ages.

New report: Advice from 5 Mortgage Vets on Managing Profitability in Q4 2022. The news paints a challenging picture for the remainder of 2022. But the truth is, with deliberate planning, it’s very possible to make money in tough markets like today’s. To dig into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, mortgage solutions provider Maxwell asked five experts (Serent Capital’s Amy Brandt, Richey May’s Seth Sprague, and Maxwell leaders Bryan Traeger, Anthony Ianni, and Kim Powers) for their thoughts on the rest of 2022. The result is a forward-looking game plan to help lenders best position themselves to compete in a tightening market. For expert advice on how to allocate spend to bolster your bottom line, launch new loan channels and products like HELOCs, hone your mortgage process to achieve peak efficiency, and more, don’t miss this free report (with accompanying webinar included!). Click here to download 2H 2022 Outlook: Managing Rising Rates, Declining Volume & the Possible Recession Ahead.

[New Podcast] In a world where headlines don't always tell the whole story, mortgage lenders must help homebuyers cut through the inflation and recession noise and get to the basis point on the market right now. In this new podcast from Qualia, “Mortgage Minutes: The Fast Track to Actionable Insights,” we’ll hear from Julian Hebron, founder of The Basis Point, and Jamie Kump, Director of High Growth Accounts at Qualia, as they review how lenders can best support homebuyers in today’s market. Julian and Jamie will discuss why lenders must serve as advisors to educate borrowers on inflation indexes, the reality about the current market that doesn't make the headlines, and how arming homebuyers with this knowledge can quell fears and foster trust. Listen to the Mortgage Minutes podcast today.

Two borrowers walk into the same Open House. Borrower #1 pulls out their phone, instantly sees the exact payment and cash to close for the offer they'll make, generates a pre-approval letter to match the offer, and texts it to their Realtor on the spot. At the same time, their loan officer is notified of everything as they sit at their kid's soccer game. Borrower #2 pulls out their phone, starts Googling random mortgage calculators that give them all different answers, and leaves a voicemail for their loan officer asking them to email a closing cost summary and updated pre-approval letter. They wait anxiously, refreshing their email, hoping for a reply. Give your prospects the first experience with QuickQual. It integrates with your LOS and gives your borrowers the digital, on-demand experience they expect. Head over to LenderLogix's site, and they'll text a sample QuickQual to your phone.

TPO Products

Are you currently brokering Non-QM? Would you like to capture more of this business In-House? Let Lakeview Correspondent’s experienced team of Non-Delegated Underwriters help guide the way to more in-house Non-QM production. Reach out to your Lakeview Correspondent’s Sales Team today to have a conversation on our Non-Delegated process flow and while you’re at it, let’s schedule some time together in Nashville at the upcoming MBA Annual Conference in October… It will be here before we know it. Let’s be sure to get together and discuss ways to do more business.

“If you’re a broker looking for new opportunities to help you better serve your buyers and build your business, Caliber Wholesale has exactly what you need. With our line of Non-QM loans, including SmartEdge, SmartSelf, and SmartVest, you’ll be able to give credit access to self-employed borrowers who may have been locked out of the market before, as well as appeal to entrepreneurs, those heavily invested in stock, and real estate investors. At Caliber, more credit access for your customers means more closed loans for you. Contact to get approved with us today if you aren’t already.”

Capital Markets: Applications, Supply, and Demand

When Bruce Springsteen sang “I’m goin’ down, down, down,” who knew he was talking about mortgage applications? Mortgage applications decreased 3.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data released this morning from MBA. The Refinance Index now sits 83 percent lower than the same week one year ago and the Purchase Index is 23 percent lower than the same week one year ago. “The 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached its highest level since mid-July. Mortgage rates and Treasury yields rose last week as Federal Reserve officials indicated that short-term rates would stay higher for longer. Mortgage rates have been volatile over the past month, bouncing between 5.4 percent and 5.8 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate VP of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “In another sign that market volatility has picked up, the average rate on a jumbo loan was 5.32 percent, 48 basis points lower than for a conforming loan.”

In the bond, and stock, markets, it seems that investors are beginning to realize the seriousness of the Fed’s commitment to getting inflation back down to 2 percent. All signs point to another big interest-rate hike in September, evidenced by solid labor and resilient household demand. U.S. job openings unexpectedly jumped to 11.2 million and consumer confidence advanced to the highest since May even as the Fed steps harder on the monetary policy brakes. Without a substantive slowdown in consumer spending and easing of wage pressure, the Fed’s job gets that much harder.

Officials continue to reiterate their commitment to raising rates to bring down inflation, though they remain vague on how large any potential upcoming rate hike would be. We saw yesterday that the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 103.2 in August, well above expectations, and house prices continue to rise with the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index up 18.6 percent year-over-year and the FHFA House Price Index rising 0.1 percent month-over-month in June.

The aforementioned MBA mortgage applications led off today’s economic calendar, though we have also received ADP employment figures (132k, a downsize surprise) ahead of August payrolls on Friday. Later this morning brings Chicago PMI for August and remarks from three Fed presidents: Cleveland’s Mester, New Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan, and Atlanta’s Bostic. The NY Fed Desk will purchase up to $386 million in GNII 4 percent through 5 percent MBS from early paydowns. As a reminder, the central bank is ending its purchases of MBS on September 14. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged and the 10-year yielding 3.12 after closing yesterday at 3.11 percent.

Careers and New Positions

Flagstar Bank Home Loans, an innovative mortgage bank lender, continues to focus on growth with the addition of key leaders in its retail division. Phil Deol joined as divisional manager in the Southwest region, expanding branches from Texas through Southern California. Deol is an experienced executive in the banking industry and a graduate from Harvard Business School. Daniel Watt was hired as regional manager for the Western Coast region, including Northern California and Nevada. Watt brings over 20 years of experience as a leader and originator with top bank lenders. Additionally, Mark Bratlien was promoted to senior vice president and divisional manager within four years of joining Flagstar. Bratlien continues to fulfill a pivotal role in expanding the retail division, most notably in California and the western United States. To learn more about Flagstar Bank Home Loans and why this retail platform isn’t just business as usual, visit its career page.

Hamilton Home Mortgage Announces New Sales Leadership Duo! Hamilton Home Mortgage, a proud member of the Lower family of companies, is excited to announce the promotion of DeAnna Adinolfo-Rivera to SVP, Regional Sales Manager. She joins Anthony Noble, SVP, Regional Sales Manager, and together they will lead Hamilton’s national sales team. DeAnna is a 12-year veteran of Hamilton and founder of their Fort Myers branch. In her new role, DeAnna will manage additional branches in FL, KY, MI, NC, and TX. Anthony has been with Hamilton for seven years and over sees branches in FL, NV, TX, and VA. As newly appointed members of Hamilton’s executive leadership team, DeAnna and Anthony will use their vision and extensive industry knowledge to grow the company’s business development and branch expansion efforts. Both report to Mark Korell, Senior Managing Director and member of Hamilton’s Office of the CEO. For more information, contact Mark Korell.

Becoming a Loan Officer is a rewarding career. Beyond achieving your professional goals, there’s pride in helping families achieve their dreams of homeownership. New American Funding has helped position loan officers and buyers alike for success in today’s market with its cash buyer program, Buyer Accepted. Take Michigan Senior Loan Officer Peter Grant, for example. His borrowers, a young, engaged couple, wanted to start their lives together in a new home immediately after their wedding. Despite being pre-approved, they couldn’t win a bid on a starter home. Peter helped turn the couple into cash buyers, using a cash offer via Buyer Accepted to secure the home. What’s more, with cash, they closed in just 13 days and in plenty of time before their big day! New American Funding can help give you the tools for success and come through for your clients too. Contact Jordyn Dexter today, 855-458-2023 EOE.

Acra Lending, the industry’s leading private mortgage lender, is hiring! Specializing in various Loan Programs including Bank Statement, Investor Cash Flow, Foreign National, ITIN, Fix & Flip/Multifamily programs, it’s never been a better time to join. We are actively hiring experienced Wholesale Account Executives, Mortgage Loan Officers, Correspondent Sales, Fix and Flip Account Executives, a Junior Web Developer and more! At Acra Lending, you will work alongside knowledgeable and passionate people who are motivated to provide industry leading programs to meet the needs of our customer. If interested, email or apply directly at JoinAcra.

Planet Home Lending has hired Lynette Hale-Lee (NMLS #873142) as Western Regional Manager. Hale-Lee will enhance Planet Home Lending's market share by recruiting additional mortgage loan originators and opening new branches in the West.