This morning (as I head to Chicago) and every morning, I keep myself sharp by regularly asking myself the tough questions like, “What happened yesterday?” and “What was I planning on doing just now?” Looking forward, as some attendees of last week’s conference made note of the MBA Annual’s dates in Denver for next year butting up against Halloween, successful salespeople will tell you that many of their best business meetings last week, or at any conference, contained very little business and didn’t take place in a meeting room. I’ve seen this in action many times over the years. Numerous conversations were personal in nature and took place in the hallways or at social events. Yes, the sessions were valuable, although if you’re a company whose unofficial slogan is, “Survive until ’25,” you’re not likely to care much about some Agency’s “Five Year Plan.” (Today’s podcast can be found here, after 5:30AM PT, sponsored by Visio Lending and its top notch broker program. Visio is the nation's premier lender for buy and hold investors with over 2.5 billion closed loans for single-family rental properties, including vacation rentals. Listen to Part One of an interview with TechMor’s Chris Wiley on how mortgage companies can best assess the benefits of AI for their organizations.)

Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services

Given that servicing transfers deal with things called “BLOBs,” it’s not surprising that they can get a little messy. Binary large objects (or BLOBs) are the massive files containing the myriad documentation of a loan, or perhaps multiple loans. And servicers know BLOBs aren’t just a pain… They can open businesses up to risk too. In this new blog article, ICE Senior Vice President of Servicing Technology Product Dana Federspiel explores the pitfalls servicers need to be aware of during a servicing transfer to keep themselves and their borrowers safe. Read the blog, and then contact ICE when you’re ready to see how you can start streamlining your servicing transfers.

“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, an innovative platform designed to help independent mortgage brokers and their lenders 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, all on a single platform, at no cost to brokers. It’s already helping brokers around the country thrive and compete in the toughest market. Multiple lenders. One platform. Zero b.s. Come check us out today.”

“At Richey May we dig in and go deep. We have been focused on the mortgage banking industry for almost 40 years. It’s where we came from and it’s what we know. This singular intent has created a full suite of services and products designed specifically for mortgage banking leaders by people who truly know the ins and outs of your operations. Our goal is to equip mortgage leaders with the best, whether that means you are utilizing our game-changing platforms or leveraging our experts as an extension of your team, so you can accomplish your goals more easily and stay ahead of the curve. From audit and tax to accounting services, cybersecurity to intelligent automation to business intelligence, we have you covered. Contact our experts today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals.”

Free guide: Mortgage experts including Rob Chrisman, Maxwell Co-founder & CEO John Paasonen, and theLender EVP Chris Ledwidge give advice for 2024’s market reset. Is your lending business prepared for a market reset? To survive 2024, lenders need a fresh game plan driven by home buyer trends, creative lead generation, and insightful data. Maxwell put this guide together to help you refresh your thinking for the market ahead. In it, you’ll learn ways to rebuild your pipeline, the borrower segments that are still rising in the housing market, and how to better leverage data to make confident business decisions. Lenders: How you plan for the coming year is instrumental to your viability. Now is the time to rethink your business. Click here to download your free copy of Maxwell’s Mini-Guide to Surviving Today's Big Housing Market Reset.

Staying close to past clients while building new business can be exhausting for mortgage lenders… and expensive. Enter Milestones. Not only can lenders save an average of $150,000 in tech spend per year, but they can have a fully white-labeled automated post-close engagement system to capture repeatable & referral business. Go beyond one home value report every month, and tailor your business and brand with automated, personalized emails on autopilot to provide insights to your clients on how to maintain their homes, dive deep into their home finances, find trusted service providers, and more! With Milestones’, lenders are positioned as the primary resource for EVERYTHING real estate. Learn more and book a meeting with Rob Houser today!

Own Up is the nation’s only mortgage concierge marketplace enabling mortgage companies, banks, credit unions and brokers to access exclusive, high intent and highly qualified borrowers. A recipient of numerous accolades, including Fintech Breakthrough's "Best Digital Mortgage Platform," Own Up is currently onboarding select lenders to further its national expansion. Own Up seamlessly integrates into all major lender CRMs, lead management systems and pricing engines. Lenders interested in acquiring qualified leads with industry-leading conversion should reach out to learn more.

Broker, Correspondent, and TPO Programs

“Gateway Correspondent Lending is proud to offer our Clients the Texas Veterans Land Board Housing Assistance Program. The program offers Below Market Interest Rates to qualified veterans residing in the state of Texas. Eligible Texas Veterans and Military Members have an opportunity to purchase a home with a competitive, low-interest loan with little or no down payment. Veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating of 30% or greater may qualify for an additional .50% reduction in interest rate. What a great opportunity to thank and further serve our veteran community. For more information on the TVLB program and other Gateway offerings, please reach out.”

“Embrace the Autumn Spirit with Loan Stream’s October Special, available for a limited time only! Dive into the cozy atmosphere of October and enjoy a 25 BPS Price Improvement on Government and Non-QM Loans, applicable to Purchase, Rate/Term, and Cash-Out Loans. Some restrictions apply, so savor this exclusive offer for loans locked between 10/1/2023 and 10/31/2023. Reach out to your AE for detailed information. Additionally, seize the chance to Reign Over Your Loan Pipeline with The Lounge, our TPO portal designed just for our broker partners. The Lounge empowers you to take charge of your loans effortlessly: submit with just 6 clicks, choose to Disclose Immediately, Price, Run AUS, Credit, and More! Submit a Loan or Get Approved today!”

Champions Funding expands guidelines on the Accelerator DSCR program, now offering 5-8 units to qualify more investment borrowers who are looking to supercharge their RE portfolios even more. Plus, the DSCR/No Ratio .25 BPS Pricing Special runs now through 10/31/23 to save your borrowers money. New to DSCR? Learn how Loan Originators can expand their business with DSCR loans in states where a license may not be required. Learn more about Non-QM and partner with Champs TPO today.

Events, Training, and Webinars

A good place to start is here, and click on “events” for conferences in the future.

Tomorrow is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman. 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.

Home ownership remains the de facto American Dream, and as a credit union you are well-positioned to help your members make that dream a reality. So why do so many members choose to finance their home purchases elsewhere? Join Mark Teteris, CMB, and John Dumonsau from Optimal Blue on Oct. 24 for an ACUMA Inside Track webinar titled “Mortgage Pricing and the Member Journey.” During this knowledge-packed session, you will hear from experienced mortgage industry professionals on how you can position your credit union for mortgage success by creating a structure that provides members with the information, tools, products, pricing, and confidence to secure their home loan with you. Save your seat today.

Attend the largest annual gathering for the reverse mortgage industry, NRMLA’s Annual Meeting and Expo, October 23-25, in Nashville. Scott Fulton and Tara Ballman from the National Aging in Place Council will share insights on how our homes and our communities will be evolving in the coming years and how this will impact America's aging population. The preliminary agenda also features thought leaders and experts in AI, servicing, sales, professional development, capital markets, legal matters, and much more.

Learn the recent FHA updates on Dual LO Employment with MMLA’s Free Zoom Webinar, Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Ari Karen, Partner at Mitchell Sandler, will dive into the structural components necessary for effective and safe dual employment, as well as the contractual terms needed to properly employ dual loan officers.

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. This Wednesday’s features National MI!

Join MCT's Phil Rasori, Paul Yarbrough, and Justin Grant on October 25 at 11 A.M. Pacific for a practical guide to maximizing your loan trading profits during a one-hour webinar. You'll leave ready to analyze performance and make actionable changes to boost 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.

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.

Join upcoming Mortgage Quality and Compliance Committee webinar on October 26th at 11:00 AM PST. Presenters will cover Title/Escrow in Commercial and Residential Real Estate Transactions, Post-Closing Issues, Title and Escrow Claims and Litigation Bankruptcy.

Friday the 27th is The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET in “The Rundown”.

A shout out to Lender Toolkit and its 2024 Supercar event in Las Vegas to kick off ICE Experience 2024 on March 18! The company is offering early bird discounts on sponsorships, but only until October 31. Imagine your logo on an exotic car with your clients and prospects behind the wheel. And yours truly will be doing a live podcast! To get the deal on sponsorships reach out to Brent Emler or grab the sponsorship form.

Capital Markets

So much for all those people predicting lower rates throughout the year. Mortgage rates and benchmark Treasury yields hit their highest levels of the year, and of the last 20, last week. However, mortgage rates aren’t necessarily at prohibitive levels. The average 30-year mortgage rate over the past 50 years is 7.75 percent, and over 9 percent if we exclude the recent QE era. Of course, in the past we didn’t have millions of borrowers with 3 percent rates…

Economic data over the last week showed the effects that higher interest rates are having on different sectors of the economy. While housing hit new cyclical lows, spending at retail and food service establishments rose more than expected in September. Core retail sales were up 0.6 percent in September and up 1.6 percent over the third quarter.

Meanwhile, building permits fell 4.4 percent to an annualized 1.473 million units and are about 25 percent below the cycle high reached in December 2021. Similarly, housing starts are also about 25 percent below their cycle high seen in April 2022. Weakness primarily in the multifamily segment as single-family starts and permits have risen from lows earlier in the year. Existing home sales fell to 3.96 million units which is the lowest level since October 2010. Limited supply, record high prices, and multi-decade high interest rates will continue to weigh on housing into the new year.

Turning to this week’s scheduled news, we have month-end coupon supply (Treasury auctions) consisting of $141 billion or 2-year, 5-year, and 7-year notes and $26 billion 2-year FRNs, in addition to various Treasury bills. Potential market moving data includes S&P Global Markets October flash PMIs along with the first look at Q3 GDP on Thursday and PCE on Friday. The Fed is in its blackout period ahead of next week’s FOMC decision, though the Bank of Canada and European Central Bank will be out with their latest monetary policy decisions on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Regarding MBS, Class D 48-hours is today.

This week is also packed with equity earnings, and mortgage REIT Annaly is scheduled to report after Thursday’s close. The week is off to a quiet start with the only data point today the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for September. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices worse about 2.50 from Friday and the 10-year yielding 4.99 after closing last week at 4.92 percent.