Talk in the hallways here at the MBA Annual in Philly? How about the cost of insurance of all types. Case in point: “What Happens When the Flood Insurance Market Goes Underwater?” The NAR commission legal issues are a big, big deal, possibly impact real estate agents’ commission structure. The cost of credit will be going up, with the evening up of tiers: ask your CRA about it. Buybacks (repurchases) have been a problem for months. Several sales managers have told me that a new reason to touch base with previous clients, besides asking about outstanding 30 percent credit card debt, is LOs reminding previous borrowers about investing their money in a money market or Treasury Direct account and earning 5 percent. The CFPB’s attention, as well as that of other regulators, is on redlining, and we can expect to see fines and penalties due to that. (Today’s podcast can be found here: Sponsored by nCino, maker of the nCino Mortgage Suite, built for the modern mortgage lender. The nCino Mortgage Suite unites the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process. Hear an interview with Better CEO Vishal Garg and CFO Kevin Ryan on the industry’s inexorable march toward technology, their company’s recent financials, and what they have learned in this market cycle.)

Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services

Transactional lenders are being eclipsed by those offering better borrower experiences and an advisory approach to lending. Today’s nine-figure producers are topping the charts with modern, tailored experiences that resonate with clients on a deeper level. Are you ready to transform your mortgage lending game and achieve exceptional volume and profitability? Join TrustEngine on Wednesday, October 25 at 2 pm ET for Part 2 of our Path to Profitability webinar series, where Ben Miller, Ben Miller, EVP, U.S. Mortgage at nCino, and Dave Savage will delve into consultative selling and tech strategies that drive long-term success. Register now to grab a front row seat.

“Production Managers, we’re talking to YOU! Since the beginning of time, you’ve wondered ‘How can I get all my originators working more like my top producers?’ You’ve been looking for the holy grail: habit duplication. Usherpahas been researching habits of highly successful Loan Officers for 28 years. They’ve helped literally thousands of LOs increase production using habit duplication… through every conceivable market condition! How? Using data analytics and AI (and lengthy history in the industry), Usherpa identified the most powerful habits of successful producers. Leveraging those trends coupled with Usherpa’s technology and commitment to customized training, you can ensure your team is primed to operate like the big hitters. Make your life a little bit easier and give your LOs the tools to duplicate top producers’ habits, learn how here. While you’re at it download the Usherpa eGuide ‘3 Habits of Top Producing Loan Officers (You Can Duplicate).’”

Are you a warehouse lender seeking to optimize operations, reduce costs and enhance customer satisfaction? Look no further than ProMerit, the industry’s leading warehouse lending platform brought to you by SitusAMC. As a SaaS-enabled and cloud-hosted system, it offers the flexibility and resilience required to thrive in the ever-evolving technological landscape. Effortlessly manage, track, fund and secure repayments while supporting all of your reporting, audit and compliance requirements. Seamlessly integrate loan origination, corporate finance, cash management, disbursement systems and more to enable smooth data flow and streamlining processes with key platforms. Experience the power of automation, allowing you to schedule and execute tasks, import files, generate reports, and receive notifications of work complete. Elevate your warehouse lending operations to unprecedented heights with ProMerit. Discover a world of enhanced efficiency, reduced costs, and unparalleled customer satisfaction. Contact Anthony Beshara or Rich Berg.

With lower volumes, compressed margins, and the high cost of origination, increasing profitability and reducing expenses has never been more important. Now is the time to analyze your operations and identify opportunities to improve scalability, efficiency, and productivity, so you’re prepared for whatever comes next. ICE recently released an eBook designed to help you identify key areas impacting the cost of origination. Click here to download the free eBook now for proven strategies to maximize the ROI of your technology investment to make your business more profitable today and in the future.

Many mortgage lenders have continued to build business and soften the impact of this high-rate environment by presenting smart, alternative financing opportunities to their clients - like a HELOC. In fact, MLO customers of Symmetry Lending have reportedly brought in as much as $7 million in additional individual pipeline as a direct result of presenting Symmetry’s HELOC solution - stating that these loans would not have been possible, had it not been for the flexible financing opportunities Symmetry’s HELOC presented to them and their borrowers. With demand for HELOCs continuing to increase, many of your clients could be turning to other lenders and online retailers for their financial needs. Get in front of them first! Symmetry’s HELOCs can help your clients avoid Jumbo pricing, accessing the equity in their property without losing their current mortgage rate, recoup part of their down-payment for home renovations, and more… Connect with your Symmetry Lending Area Manager to formulate a plan for getting in front of the right borrowers, at the right time.

Are you struggling with declining production volumes and increasing costs per loan? Look no further. Outsourcing accounting is the elegant answer to this common challenge faced by independent mortgage banks. Whether you lack accounting expertise in-house or have a new team with no mortgage experience, the Richey May Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS) team is here to provide the support you need. Our team consists of industry experts who can customize a solution to meet your specific needs in this volatile time, without requiring any additional training. Whether you need help transitioning to loan level accounting, a fully outsourced function, or industry training for your controller, we've got you covered. Contact Richey May today!

“This week, Blue Water Financial Technologies (“Blue Water”) is celebrating its 5th anniversary, while also attending the MBA Annual in Philadelphia. We would like to thank our long-time clients, new partners, and incredible employees for their continued support. Over the past 5 years, Blue Water has launched MSR-X®, the first and largest all-agency MSR transaction platform; CaaS™, Correspondent as a Service Platform; white labeled its technology for some of the largest originators and warehouses in the industry; developed SuperTransfer™ and incorporated it’s all Digital Quality Control with over 1800+ investor driven rules into its end-to-end ecosystem that now services MSR, Whole Loans, 2nd Liens, Scratch & Dent & CRA. Not only is Blue Water 100 percent digital, but we are also blockchain ready and look forward to the next 5 years of innovations. From pricing, valuations, transactions, transfer, QC, to boarding, Blue Water makes it easy to scale up your pipeline. Connect with our Expert Sales Team today.”

“Year-end is nearly upon us; are you ready? CWDL is ready, with industry-specific audit, tax, accounting, and expanded outsourced CFO solutions to help you finish out the year stronger than ever. Our experts work with lenders all over the country to identify potential tax savings, streamline financial reporting, navigate complex regulations, and enhance overall fiscal health as we approach the end of the year. In a year as volatile as 2023, you need a partner who can help you make informed decisions, reduce financial uncertainty, and increase profitability. Reach out to Kasey English at 619.302.0010, or visit here to learn more.”

Events, Training, and Webinars

October if flying by as is the MBA Annual in Philadelphia. What’s happening out there? A good place to start is here, and click on “events” for conferences in the future.

Today is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman, and sponsored by National MI. Tune in every Tuesday at 10AM PT 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. Today’s guest? Ally Carty!

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. Listen to a unique mix of age perspective, expertise, and charisma to the screen, ensuring that the information is not only educational but also entertaining. Tomorrow’s features Fairway Independent CEO Steve Jacobson discussing his perspective on the difficulties facing a large IMB.

Make a note: this Wednesday, October 18th @ 1pm PT (4pm ET), NAMB is sponsoring a conversation with Lyle Radke, Sr. Director of Collateral Policy @ Fannie Mae and Michael Simmons at AXIS Appraisal Management Solutions about the future trajectory of appraising and how the changes can support and protect the lending industry. Join them and bring your questions.

Arch MI October webinars. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai says "AI is more profound than fire or electricity or anything we've done in the past." If you'd like to find out how you can use this powerful tool in your business, register to attend the upcoming Arch MI webinar on Wednesday, Oct 18th. Ginger Bell, CEO, Edumarketing will be sharing how to leverage AI for your marketing. Register here.

Join CoAMP and Deephaven Mortgage as they present NON-QM Best Practices October 19th @ 2:00 PM, MDT. Discover how to incorporate Tech and Traditional Training to become subject matter experts. Cost: Member & Member Guests - $25; Future Members - $50

Join MMBBA for Lunch & Learn: New Homes & Builder Update Thursday, October 19 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm. Hear Zonda's Nicollette Chapman deliver a powerful and impactful class about the current state of the housing market, the new construction market, local updates, and how to secure more builder business all backed by Zonda’s data.

Join Carrington Correspondent for an informative webinar, Thursday, October 19th | 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET, to discuss the unique advantages of P&L and Asset Conversion income documentation with Carrington's Non-QM loans. Carrington’s Non-QM solutions for self-employed and high-net-worth borrowers who could benefit from simplified income documentation requirements.

Join Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington for a fast-paced, fun presentation walking through the Fed's monetary policy, economy, interest rates and housing as we quickly approach 2024. “Reading the Markets: A Real-time Economic and Interest Rate Discussion” with Bill Bodnar, Thursday, October 19, 10 - 11 am.

Friday the 20th is The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown”. We’ll be joined by Mike Pulver, SVP and Manager of Residential Mortgage at Genesee Regional Bank.

There are Plaza’s free training sessions! There’s nothing spooky about these hot topics we’re covering: Build Your Business with Renovation Lending and ADUs. Getting Started with BREEZE as a New Plaza Client. What is the Reverse Mortgage LESA? Manufactured Home Appraisal Analysis.

Join TrustEngine on Wednesday, October 25 at 2 pm ET for Part 2 of our Path to Profitability webinar series, where Ben Miller, Ben Miller, EVP, U.S. Mortgage at nCino, and Dave Savage will delve into consultative selling and tech strategies that drive long-term success. Register now to grab a front row seat.

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.

The MBA on Repurchases and Appraisals

Bob Broeksmit, CMB, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), addressed today’s Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) remarks on loan repurchases and appraisals. “MBA has advocated strongly for FHFA to address the GSEs’ increased incidence of loan repurchase requests, especially for performing loans and those with relatively minor issues underwritten during the pandemic.

“We share FHFA and the GSEs’ goal of high-quality underwriting and will continue to work with them to ensure the rep and warranty framework is being applied in a balanced way, and that there are appropriate alternatives that lead to outcomes short of a repurchase request.

“FHFA’s policy change to provide rep and warrant relief for performing seasoned loans that have successfully exited COVID-19 forbearance plans is a longstanding recommendation that we are pleased to see implemented.

“MBA also supports FHFA’s ongoing work on data transparency regarding appraisals and believe the release of appraisal-level records will improve appraisal accuracy while ensuring consumer privacy and safety and soundness.”

Capital Markets

Tensions in the Middle East continue to dominate investor sentiment, though the MBS “basis” (the spread between mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries) closed wider and Treasuries pulled back in curve steepening fashion after another day went by without a major escalation in Israel's conflict with Hamas. A broadening conflict still appears imminent, though investors will also attempt to parse this week’s slate of earnings news and a lot of housing data with housing starts, the NAHB Housing Market Index and existing home sales.

Fannie Mae’s latest Home Price Index revealed that, on a quarterly basis, home prices rose a seasonally adjusted 2.0 percent in Q3 2023, a deceleration from 2.1 percent growth in the second quarter. Single-family home prices increased 5.3 percent from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023, up from the previous quarter’s revised annual growth rate of 2.9 percent. Keep in mind that there are several variables that go into home prices: existing supply, the pace of new homes being built, and the willingness of homeowners to sell their homes. None of those variables are doing very well right now.

For the first time in nearly two decades, clients are earning a real return in cash and can wait for more policy and market certainty before re-risking. The minutes released from the last FOMC meeting indicated the participants wanted to proceed cautiously when considering further monetary tightening in the near-term. This likely means there will not be a rate hike following the November 1st meeting, however most believed another rate hike prior to the yearend would be appropriate.

U.S. consumer prices advanced for a second month, likely reinforcing the Fed’s stated intent to keep interest rates high to further slow inflation. Consumer price data was mixed in September, rising slightly more than consensus estimates at the headline and matching estimates at the core level. Consumer prices were 3.7 percent higher than one year ago which was the same annual change observed in August. Energy prices continue to weigh on inflation data, accounting for nearly one fourth of the increase. Meanwhile producer prices moved significantly higher than expected in September and were revised higher for August. However, core prices declined from 2.9 percent to 2.8 percent from one year ago. Despite the Fed’s expectation for one more rate hike this year, the Fed Funds futures are pricing in a 70 percent probability that the FOMC has reached the end of the rate hike cycle and there will be no further tightening.

Today’s economic calendar is quite active and includes a number of key economic releases. We’ve already received retail sales for September (+.7 percent, +.6 percent ex-transportation, much stronger than expected). Later today brings industrial production and capacity utilization for September, business inventories for August, the NAHB Housing Market Index for October, remarks from New York Fed President Williams, Governor Bowman, Richmond President Barkin, and Minneapolis’ Kashkari. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices worse .250-.375, the 10-year yielding 4.79 after closing yesterday at 4.71 percent, and the 2-year at 5.14.