The mortgage industry does not move in unison, unlike some groups. (You’ll need sound.) But consistency is important. For example, Starbucks fans can be pretty much assured that the water that goes into the coffee, regardless of location around the world, will taste the same due to the filtration process, and brew a uniform product. Can you say the same about your originators? As a quick aside, STRATMOR offers a secret shopper program and senior advisor Brett McCracken said a lack of consistency is one of the most common findings from the program. “We recently shopped the same lender ten times with the same two scenarios. Besides the logo in the signature block of the emails we received, not much about the experiences overlapped. From how the originator approached the call to the advice we received to the follow up, it was all over the experience board. We can usually tell why one originator funds eight units a month and their colleague in the same office funds two based on those shops.” (Contact STRATMOR Group for more information about their secret shopper program.) Today’s podcast can be found here, and this week’s is sponsored by MCT. MCT’s technology and know-how continues to revolutionize how mortgage assets are priced, locked, protected, valued, and exchanged, offering clients the tools to thrive under any market condition.


“Freedom Mortgage is seeking the best Account Executives. We understand the best are not just product experts but, also relationship builders. We seek industry leaders. Freedom Mortgage Wholesale believes Account Executives are vital to our success. Freedom Mortgage has been creating success for 30 years. Our people and processes are time-tested giving us trusted stability… no matter market conditions. Our deep roots throughout the mortgage industry provide confidence for the future. Freedom Mortgage is 4EVER Wholesale. Join our strong group of Account Executives who average 15 years in industry and 10+ years at Freedom Mortgage. If you are the best and want to work with a financially stable company, contact Adam Middleman.”

First Continental Mortgage (FCM), an independent mortgage banker with over three decades of experience, is looking for a dynamic SVP/Production Manager in Houston, Texas. This critical role involves overseeing the Houston branch of a joint venture with one of the nation's top privately held home builders. Thanks to our exclusive partnerships with leading home builders, we are on track to fund over $2 billion in new construction loans this year. The ideal candidate will manage day-to-day operations, collaborate with senior management to oversee personal and team production, and maintain a robust relationship with our builder partner. Hiring a local professional is preferred but we are open to candidates who require relocation. If you're ready to contribute to our legacy of helping families own new construction homes, we'd love to hear from you. For more details and to apply, please visit FCM Careers or email your resume directly to Mike Smalling.”

An established, growing and well positioned independent mortgage bank in the Midwest is searching for a VP of Accounting/Controller who will be responsible for all facets of accounting including corporate and branch financial preparation, managing the accounting team, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in mortgage accounting concepts, from overseeing daily transactions and balancing to executing a speedy and accurate month end close. Cross-functional expertise is preferred as this person will work with various internal stakeholders as well as external regulators and auditors. Excellent servant leadership skills coupled with a professional approach to a remote work environment are a must. Encompass experience required and Loan Vision is preferred. If you are a detail-oriented individual that is passionate about the Mortgage business and looking for a stability within a best-in-class culture, this is the place for you! Interested parties should send a confidential resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for forwarding. (Please specify opportunity.)

An established independent mortgage bank in the Dallas metro area is searching for an Accounting Manager. “Join our dynamic team as an Accounting Manager and play a key role in overseeing all financial activities. As the Accounting Manager, you will be responsible for ensuring accurate and timely financial reporting, managing the accounting team, and maintaining compliance with industry regulations. Your expertise will be crucial in analyzing financial data, identifying trends, and providing strategic recommendations for improvement. You will also collaborate with other departments to streamline financial processes and enhance efficiency. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in accounting, excellent leadership skills, a deep understanding of industry regulations, and either live in the Dallas area or be prepared to relocate. Encompass and AMB experience is preferred. If you are a detail-oriented professional with a passion for finance and a desire to make a significant impact, we invite you to apply for this exciting opportunity.” Interested parties should send a confidential resume to Chrisman LLC’s Anjelica Nixt for forwarding. (Please specify opportunity.)

FHA has one job vacancy for an Appraiser, Job Announcement Number 23-HUD-2896-P. Duties include reviewing and managing appraisals, conducting detailed desk reviews of selected Appraisal Reports, resolving valuation issues involving common problems, such as, special zoning requirements in an area, any environmental hazards that may affect the property, properties located on leased land or on restricted lands.

Lender and Broker Products, Programs, and Services

As the holiday season approaches, the quest for the perfect gift begins, a task more intricate than untangling festive lights. Much like the challenge of choosing the right present for your child, navigating the Loan Origination System (LOS) landscape might seem daunting. Fortunately, picking the right LOS is a tad less tricky than deciphering a wish list filled with the latest trends and fads. So, let’s make this season a bit merrier and once the craziness of the holidays are over, come explore the joy of efficiency and automation with Dark Matter's Empower LOS because finding the right LOS is a walk in the park compared to picking out the perfect gift for your Uncle George.

Are you ready to elevate your business? Your income? Your life? Get ready for ELEVATE 2023, a powerful, free event and reception sponsored by West Capital Lending and Rocket Pro TPO on November 30, 2023, at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. Learn how to overcome market adversity and gain professional and personal insights from a lineup of speakers whose personal journeys will leave you inspired and ready to see opportunities others cannot. Featuring keynote speaker Mike Fawaz, EVP of Rocket Pro TPO, as well as the founders of West Capital Lending, Daniel Iskander and Eric Hines, plus other mortgage pros including Minh Nguyen, Neels Dhingra and Sosimo Avila Jr. If you’re ready to rise above, build your brand and conquer the market, register today! For additional event details and to register, click here.

“The challenges mortgage lenders are facing are unprecedented, and it is crucial to recognize that the decisions you make now will have a lasting impact on the success and profitability of your company. As we look to the new year with the potential of changing capital rules for banks, lenders need to create a tailored strategy to thrive and regain profitability. In the short term, lenders need to be prepared to manage their liquidity appropriately and avoid unnecessary delinquencies as Q4 ends on the weekend, which will be particularly important when December 29th is the last business day of 2023. At Richey May, our mortgage banking consulting experts are here to help as you make essential decisions impacting your future strategies. To get started on this in-depth exploration, contact us.”

Truv is saving lenders 60-80 percent over competitors. That’s the savings of multiple full-time employees. For example, Compass Mortgage saved roughly 60 percent in verification costs and maintained their same conversion rate. "Truv has given us the ability to lower costs, all while speeding up the verification process and providing better employment data" said Justin Venhousen, COO, Compass Mortgage. Stop wasting money. Contact TRUV today to discuss how we can help you with your income, employment, insurance, and asset verifications.

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 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.

“Hear how MLOs are getting more leads and closings by using credit optimization. And NO, it’s not credit repair. Join the NMP Webinar "Using Credit Optimization to Close More Loans" on Wednesday, December 7, at 02:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM PT, to learn these steps from CreditXpert, the masters of credit enhancement. This session reveals how their unique, data-driven platform can differentiate your approach, attracting both new homebuyers and wholesale partners. Mike Darne, VP of Marketing at CreditXpert, and Dan Green, Principal at Blackfin, will show you how to create custom credit improvement plans easily. This isn't about superficial credit repair; it's about strategically employing data to elevate your client's credit potential identifying optimization opportunities within various credit bands. Transform your perspective on borrower credit and open new doors in loan closing. Revolutionize your lending approach with this vital knowledge. Click here to join us live or sign up for the recording here.”

The U.S. is prone to tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, storms, volcanoes, and fires. FEMA is the official source of disaster declarations and when FEMA publishes them, lender and investor policies and procedures are triggered. From hurricanes to forest fires, the environmental impacts of climate change are becoming more pressing with each passing year. 90 percent of natural disasters involve some degree of flooding. Flood damage has cost Americans over $50 billion throughout the last decade.

Of course, the major Agencies post disaster assistance for their borrowers, although it is questionable whether the average borrower even knows what type of loan theirs is, or where their loan was sold. Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and the VA all have something. I mention this because…

The Illinois Severe Storms and Flooding hit FEMA: DR-4749-IL. Incident Period: Sep 17, 2023 - Sep 18, 2023 - Declaration Date: Nov 20, 2023.

In addition to the previously declared counties, disaster declaration for Illinois, DR-4749-IL, is being issued or modified. Reference PHH Correspondent Lending Library for all disaster declared counties, requirements, procedures, and conditions.

On 11/20/2023, with DR-4749, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance has been made available to Cook County Illinois affected by severe storms and flooding from 9/17/2023 to 9/18/2023. See AmeriHome Mortgage Announcement Number 20231107-CL for inspection requirements.

Capital Markets

Last week’s short holiday week was not lacking in economic indicators. On Monday, the release of the Leading Economic Index showed the 19th consecutive decline, falling 0.8 percent in October. Despite the prolonged slowing, a downturn has yet to manifest. Business investment in equipment remains stagnant as capital costs remain high. Durable goods orders fell 5.4 percent in October versus expectations for a 3.4 percent decline.

Of great interest to the readers of the Commentary, existing home sales were down 4.1 percent in October and the 3.79-million-unit pace was the slowest since 2010. Additionally, the 1.15 million units available for sale at the end of the month was close to a record low and the lack of inventory kept prices high. The median existing home price increased 3.4 percent over the previous twelve months and was 391,800 in October. The average price is 45 percent higher than October 2019 when the median sales price was $271,100. Mortgage rates may have peaked in October and the recent decline has renewed interest in home-buying. Mortgage purchase applications were up 3.9 percent for the week ending November 17 as the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate eased to 7.4 percent.

This week’s economic calendar kicks off later this morning with October New Home Sales and will be followed by $54 billion 2-year Treasury note and $55 billion 5-year Treasury note auction results. Highlights for the rest of the week include September home prices, November Consumer Confidence, the second estimate of Q3 GDP, October Retail and Wholesale Inventories, the November Fed Beige Book, October Personal Income and Spending, and PCE. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices unchanged from last Wednesday and Friday, and the 10-year yielding 4.47 after closing last week at 4.47 percent. The 2-year is at 4.94, still hovering around 5.00 percent.