As the MBA’s conference in Nashville wraps up, lenders and vendors are in an interesting mindset. Optimists are saying, “There’s a lot of opportunity out there” and, “Rates will come back down and refis will give us some oomph.” The pessimists are saying, “Why do I care about multi-year Agency goals when I’ll be lucky to make it through the next two quarters. We’re just trying to cut costs fast enough, including LO comp, and outlast our competition.” Lenders everywhere are doing what they can now to make themselves more efficient, fearing rougher times ahead. Banks and credit unions are looking at cross-training skillsets: Prioritizing coverage and making sure to cross-train so people can play to their strengths. Analyzing what tasks they're doing, and the best people to do it. Workflow? Lenders are minimizing file touches, using a cheaper resource for parts of the file, and moving more duties from underwriting to cheaper personnel. Using checklists: Once a file hits intake, if there is enough information to make a credit decision, have it go right to the underwriter. Some lenders calculate income three different times, wasting more time and increasing the need for more processor bandwidth. (Today’s podcast is available here. This week’s is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology, and other services in the mortgage industry and in banking. Listen to an interview with Cottage CEO Alex Czarnecki on Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) feasibility, permitting, and financing.)
Broker and Lender Products, Services, and Software
“Analyzing your borrower’s credit profile is a crucial step in the mortgage approval process. Join Birchwood Credit Services and SimpleNexus, an nCino Company as we dispel credit myths, discuss cost effective ways to pull and analyze credit, and use modern mortgage technology to lower your costs and streamline your credit and verifications workflows. Register now for our free webinar, Dispelling Credit Myths to Increase Cost Savings and Closed Loans. For over three decades, Birchwood Credit Services has helped mortgage professionals streamline their workflows and increase efficiencies by offering the most robust credit reporting and verifications solutions to mortgage lenders, banks, brokers, and credit unions across the country. Backed by our ‘Service that Delights’ mantra, Birchwood is committed to outstanding customer service that is almost too good to be true- until you’ve experienced it for yourself. Want to brush up on consumer credit scores? Download our free eBook, Understanding and Maximizing Consumer Credit Scores.”
Want to shift your quality control from a cost to a value? Outsourcing your QC to Maxwell Diligence’s 100% onshore team gives your business access to competitive pricing, faster turn times, and robust reporting across a wide scope of services, including pre-close, post-close, adverse action, and more. Not only will you save on cost per loan file, but you’ll reduce overhead spend while gaining accurate, reliable results powered by technology. Plus, Maxwell Diligence integrates with your LOS to provide quick file transfers at the click of a button. Want to learn how Maxwell Diligence can help your team recoup revenue and mitigate risk in today’s market? To learn more about Maxwell Diligence, click here to schedule a call with our team.
Cost cutting remains a top priority for many mortgage lenders. One cost-saving automation opportunity that often gets overlooked: upfront fee collection. If you’re collecting fees manually, that’s labor intensive and removes your team’s focus from other revenue-generating tasks. If you’re not collecting them early enough, that’s money lost on deals that may not go through. With Fee Chaser by LenderLogix, you can request a fee payment with a click of a button within your LOS. Borrowers receive a secure payment link via text and email, complete the payment on their device, and everyone is sent a receipt. This type of high-touch, easy-to-use solution also impacts pull-through rates, as borrowers are more likely to close with you if there’s a financial investment upfront. Send a sample fee request to your phone, and set up a demo with LenderLogix to learn more.
Are Your Written Lending Policies Keeping Pace with the Economic Environment? The lending market is constantly evolving. After years of record-high mortgage volume, mortgage applications are down. Rising interest rates are increasing demand for riskier home loans. Many fear a recession is coming. While a lot has changed, one thing hasn’t: the need to follow your financial institution’s written lending programs. Lending policies and procedures exist for a reason. They ensure your FI is lending in a safe and sound manner. They also ensure your institution is following Fair Lending laws, offering consistent pricing and terms for similarly situated individuals. The stakes for Fair Lending are high, and no institution wants to find itself the subject of an investigation, enforcement action, or lawsuit. In this latest article, Ncontracts discusses what this means for your lending practices. Check it out here!
Zoral’s Intelligent Automation Has Changed Banking Around the Globe. 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 decades of banking/mortgage domain experience have allowed us to deliver innovative, yet pragmatic ‘Out of the Box’ solutions to meet today’s challenging business environment. Zoral’s Processing Automation reduces manual data entry, improves data integrity, and eliminates stare/compare tasks while providing a detailed roadmap for underwriting readiness and delight. Whether you close 500 loans a month or 5000, leveraging Zoral’s intelligent automation should be your first step towards an automated future. Contact Zoral to schedule a quick call to learn more.
How well is your production mix performing compared to your peers? If you are not sure, Richey May’s Peer View Ops can help you understand your production mix compared to your peers in real-time. In addition to FICO, LTV, and DTI comparisons, we show your average pricing compared to your peer groups by type, purpose, and occupancy mix. You will have the ability to filter any metric by any of these loan characteristics to make sure you understand how you’re performing compared to your peers in every cross section of performance. Contact us to schedule a demo to get a look at the reporting features and see how this tool helps drive your business.
Secure Insight is proud to announce the launch of its consumer and realtor designed fraud search engine. Consumers and real estate agents can now harness the power of the SI nationwide risk database of thousands of risk-assessed attorneys, title agents, escrow officers and notaries to help them make better choices for deal partners. The searches result in a specially designed report that gives these key drivers in the closing process access to information they have not been able to receive in the past. For a limited time, these reports are FREE.
Training and Events
Join Kevin Peranio, Chief Lending Officer at PRMG, on Wednesday, November 2nd at 9 AM PDT, as he provides insights on how lending teams can take advantage of this time of rising interest rates to become more data-driven to boost margins. The Executive Perspectives in Mortgage Lending is a new webinar series by Qualia where leaders in the lending industry share their experiences of ups-and-downs in turbulent market cycles. Not sure if you can make the live webinar? Register today and you will receive a recording once the event is complete.
Everyone has a go-to topic. You know, something you’re so passionate about, you can chat about it all day. For Rob Chrisman, it’s the mortgage industry. For Optimal Blue’s Mike Vough, it’s mortgage servicing rights, and for Black Knight’s Gunnar Blix, it’s housing economics. Don’t miss a rare opportunity to catch these two industry experts as they speak on their passions at IMN’s 8th Annual Residential Mortgage Servicing Rights Forum in New York City. On Nov. 14, Mike’s session will explore the economics of retain vs. release decisioning in today’s market. Then on Nov. 15, Gunnar will examine current housing and mortgage origination trends, and areas where markets appear stressed. Both sessions will offer valuable insight to support your business strategies. And as always, experts from Optimal Blue will be ready to answer questions and discuss strategies in the expo hall.
Register for a New Appraiser eLearning Course on Thursday, October 27th 9am-1pm CT.
This Friday at 3PM ET is the next edition of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Rich Swerbinsky and me. We’ll will be covering current events in the mortgage market for 45 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown with Rich and Rob”!
Join the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association as it hosts its 48th Annual Real Estate & Finance Conference on November 2 – 3 at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. They have a great lineup of speakers this year, including yours truly, as they explore topics such as team building, sales training, mortgage fraud, and more. Visit the Conference website here for more information or register today using the registration link.
Get tips on how to handle appraisal issues at MMLA Northern Michigan Luncheon November 3, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Traverse City Country Club. Hear from Appraiser, Kristal Meyers, on the current appraisal challenges after the home prices skyrocketed the past few years which are now stabilizing and, in some cases, price reductions. Kristal will also discuss how realtors and lenders can adjust to changing appraisals and better prepare their clients. $25/MMLA member and $30/non-member.
Reverse mortgages? Registration has opened for NRMLA’s Annual Meeting & Expo at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead, November 1- 3 NRMLA provides a vital venue where business owners, loan originators, servicers, underwriters, counselors and others can converse and learn from one another.
This November, Enact (formerly Genworth Mortgage Insurance) will host multiple live courses to help grow your business and positively impact homebuyers. In November explore different strategies for your success with courses on how to better partner with realtors, setting goals, and time management. Browse Enact’s course catalog of on-demand webinars, just have your company or individual NMLS ID handy when registering.
If you’re in the Atlanta area on November 9th, the Atlanta Mortgage Bankers Association’s lunch is being held at the Hyatt Regency. Come by and say hi!
Yesterday saw the release of a couple soft housing-related reports and a disappointing Consumer Confidence report for October. The FHFA House Price Index declined 0.7 percent in August, a similar decline to the previous month. Prices were up 11.9 percent from a year ago, but this is the first time since March 2011 that the index has seen two consecutive months of decline. The average 9.63 percent increase over the past 11 months puts the 2023 conforming loan limit around $709,500, with one last data point needed. And the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index declined 0.3 percent in July, remaining up 13.1 percent year-over-year after increasing a revised 16.0 percent year-over-year in July. The Southeast showed the biggest growth: the leading cities were Miami and Tampa.
There are some data points that could push the Fed to begin to slow rate hikes (summer and fall rate hikes are yet to impact the economy), and we could see the Fed signal that with its December projections. Consumer confidence declined in October, according to the Conference Board, as consumers' concerns about inflation picked up again on the back of rising gas and food prices. Higher mortgage rates continued to put pressure on demand, notably weakening not only house price growth, but mortgage origination activity. MBA mortgage applications decreased 1.7 percent from one week earlier to remain at the slowest pace since 1997 as mortgage rates increased for the 10th consecutive week to the highest level since 2001. Later today brings Advanced indicators for September, retail and wholesale inventories, new home sales for September, and a Treasury auction of $43 billion 5-year notes. In the very early going Agency MBS prices are up about .125 and the 10-year is at 4.06 after closing yesterday at 4.11 percent.
Employment; IMB Wanted
Flagstar Bank Home Loans, an innovative mortgage bank lender, continues to focus on providing mortgage solutions with expanded construction and renovation products through its retail division. Flagstar recently released its Jumbo 1XC 7/6 and Jumbo 1XC 10/6 ARM to complement its existing products. This top bank originator also offers its own portfolio Jumbo 1XC 30 Year Fixed and a 12-month Construction Draw Loan, in addition to agency 1XC 30 Year Fixed for conforming and high balance. Plus, extended rate locks during construction and availability on second homes. For primary residences, construction lending up to $3.5M on Fixed and up to $4M on ARM. By the way, if you’re an originator who thrives in the purchase market and wants a vast product set, like construction and renovation loans, balance sheet and a national footprint with the ability to originate in all 50 states, reach out to Flagstar today.
MGIC is hiring! Are you a sales leader who forms strong relationships, goal-oriented and results driven, and leads a sales team to drive results? As a Sales Manager with MGIC Investment Corporation covering the state of California, you will be responsible for managing an assigned territory working with your team and lenders to achieve sales objectives and results. The Sales Manager directs a group of Account Managers to identify new opportunities and enhance customer relationships, works closely with National Accounts, business development teams, underwriters, and regional processing centers, attends MGIC events and conference opportunities, and maintains and manages activities with each customer within Salesforce. Requirements include at least seven years of demonstrated sales leadership and/or sales experience, strong leadership skills including coaching and mentoring and directing work, ability to travel overnight, huge drive, ambition, and motivation for success, excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), strong presentation skills. Send your resume to Marisa Avila.
Land Home Financial Services (LHFS) is growing and is looking for a Marketing Director. LHFS, a leader in community-based lending programs, services and technology solutions is looking for a progressive team member that can establish, document, and execute on companywide marketing objectives. Why LHFS? We support retail and TPO production channels in 50 states, offer one of the broadest sets of lending programs, retain over 90% of our servicing and are investing in the next generation of technology. Interested candidates can send inquiries and resumes to Erika Brown.
National Mortgage Lender Looking to Acquire IMB! A leading privately-owned national mortgage lender is seeking to acquire a thriving IMB. With over 130 retail branches nationwide, this lender services $10.5 billion in loans. The company is licensed in all 50 states and retains nearly 100 percent of service rights on its mortgages to Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie Mae. The lender supports every facet of marketing, including lead generation campaigns, social media, content creation, PR, events partner programs, and more. If you’re interested in learning more, you can fill in your information here.