Lenders and vendors alike are emerging from Thanksgiving and looking ahead to which day they have off for Christmas in the U.S., the 23rd or the 26th. An informal Chrisman poll shows the 26th, but there is definitely a noticeable percentage who are taking both days off. It is good to keep things in perspective and appreciate what we have in the United States. Here in Mexico (yes, that Mexico; down here for a short visit) the daily minimum wage in pesos is $172.87 MXP (approximately $8.06 USD) for the countryside, slightly more in cities and tourist area. Yes, you read that correctly: 8 smackers. With a Gross Domestic Product of $1.4 billion, Mexico’s economy is about the same as Florida’s. Wages aside, in terms of interest rates, across the Atlantic, Ghana, which most people would be hard-pressed to identify on a map of Africa, the latest rate hike to combat inflation puts rates at a19-year high of 27 percent! Not a lot of rate and term refis there, that’s for sure. We don’t have it so bad. (Today’s podcast is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Candor Technology: Home of the One Touch Underwrite, supporting lenders from Point of Sale to Post Close QC, to reduce repurchase risk, increase underwriter productivity by 400 percent, and decrease turn-times by 10. Listen to an interview with The Money Source’s Johnny Spagnola on why customer experience is important in servicing.)
Lender and Broker Products, Software, and Services
Ranked by Fortune Magazine in 2022 as one of the 100 best Companies, Fortune 300 listing, and a history dating back to 1909, Mutual of Omaha has entered the Wholesale Mortgage Lending arena. Providing a variety of financial services, including Reverse mortgage and traditional mortgage products. In early March 2022, the firm announced the hiring of Colin Treend (President – Wholesale) and starting approving brokers in late April 2022 and are available to add as investor in Loansifter (upon request), ReadyPrice, and LenderPrice. Colin indicated, “This is a unique opportunity to leverage a world class brand and provide stable, consistent service and value in a market that has been treating brokers and their customers like raw materials in a manufacturing line. Mutual’s built-in advantages allow us to provide a consistently strong price, combined with world-class service and people, creating relationships and knowledge of your specific business.” If you would like to learn more, please click here.
Reduce Risk and Improve Loan Quality with Mortgage Quality Control Audit Services and Software from TENA. TENA provides Quality Control for all stages of the loan lifecycle, ensuring your firm stays compliant by reviewing files according to agency and investor guidelines, including State Compliance requirements. TENA’s Audit Services and SecondLook Software can equip your firm with the right tools to better analyze loan files, correct and reduce loan defects and refine processes. With TENA Web Services (TWS), you can create and implement action plans and generate reports on-demand. In Fannie Mae’s October issue of Quality Insider, Fannie Mae stresses the importance of having a strong Pre-Funding Quality Control program. With Pre-Funding QC reviews, you are able to identify and correct issues early in the process. Our audit services & software bring a clear picture into your firm’s loan manufacturing process and overall quality control. Contact us today to get started!
NEW EBOOK: Planning for 2023: How to Recoup Revenue, Save Costs & Drive Loan Volume in an Uncertain Market. Only 5 short weeks until the new year: Are you ready to hit the ground running? If you’re looking for fresh strategies to boost margins and open up new areas of opportunity, mortgage solutions provider Maxwell is here to help. To arm you with confidence, Maxwell interviewed four mortgage veterans (Maxwell’s Jim Smith, CMB, Alan Parris, and Peggy Rubadue, along with Thrive Mortgage’s Donielle Geiser) on best practices to tackle 2023’s market. With this free 12-page download, you’ll receive actionable advice to better use technology to improve efficiency and drive borrower leads, grow product and channel offerings sustainably, and flex your business to changing borrower needs. Ready to view 2023 as a call-to-action instead of an insurmountable challenge? Click here to download Planning for 2023: How to Recoup Revenue, Save Costs & Drive Loan Volume in an Uncertain Market.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is designated as Giving Tuesday as people around the country kick off the holiday season by giving back to their communities. With Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach, the industry’s only automated borrower retention and conversion platform, lenders can give back to their borrowers every day of the year with mortgage advice that makes a difference. As NEO Home Loans’ Drake Bloebaum attests, “With the help of Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach, I was able to show a customer that my advice was worth $4.3 million, which is far more valuable than a 0.625% difference in interest rate.” Sales Boomerang and Mortgage Coach don’t just add value for borrowers, lenders add an average of 2 loans per month, per mortgage advisor. Start giving back today.
LoanCraft is delivering a customized virtual sales experience for Home Equity and Mortgage. ViLO is LoanCraft’s “Virtual Loan Officer” system, which they now deliver as a standalone web app, or through a API. The unique system, which has a patent pending, provides an outstanding customer experience that tailors recommendations to the life needs of the customer. For more information, contact Ron George.
“We have officially entered the holiday season, and some of us signed up for the ‘Maintain-Don’t Gain Weight Challenge.’ You might have skipped the pumpkin pie last week, but the truth is it’s not about what you do for one or two nights out of the year that will determine your success. Instead, what you do consistently, day after day, will make a difference. Similarly, here at MQMR, we choose compliance every day. We know the little things our clients do daily add up to create a culture of compliance and ensure they do not get in hot water with a regulator. We know it’s not always easy, especially in today’s market, but it’s less expensive than any remediation costs. Give yourself permission to enjoy 2023 and let MQMR handle all your compliance needs. Schedule a call to learn more about our audit, risk, and compliance solutions, including annual (and mandatory) Subservicer, Doc Custodian, and AML Audits.”
STRATMOR and Technology
Lenders, have you completed the Digital Innovations Survey of STRATMOR's Technology Insight® Study yet? If not, you still have a little time before this survey closes. Whether you are well on your way with your digital plans or are thinking through what to do in 2023, you'll want the data that is only available from STRATMOR Technology Insight® Study. This survey takes less than 10 minutes and participating lenders receive the survey report for FREE. Don't miss your chance to have data on the key digital capabilities and the benefits and barriers to the digital technology available in the mortgage market today: take the Digital Innovations Survey now!
Compliance and Legal Tidbits
Companies are still grappling with the return to the office after the pandemic, and the “we’ve let the genie out of the bottle” HR dilemma. MQMR has some thoughts on “Remote Work Best Practices.”
The legal and regulatory requirements of Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices (“UDAAP”) are vast. Jonathan Foxx, Ph.D., MBA, recently wrote on the higher risk areas of UDAAP. Advertising, disclosures, and contract terms should be accurate, clear, and sufficiently informative. This also means that representations that go to the heart of a consumer’s decision to purchase a product or service, such as statements about costs, benefits, restrictions on use or availability, or qualification for a product, are especially material. Higher risk products, such as subprime loan and credit card products, overdraft protection services, rewards checking, and products marketed to the elderly or financially vulnerable or financially vulnerable unsophisticated, should be focused on. Use of affiliated or nonaffiliated third parties to provide products or services such as advertising or marketing, issuing credit cards, or offering products such as insurance or mortgage loans, and collection activity may also raise potential UDAAP risk. Finally, advertisements, particularly for mortgage loans, have attracted a great deal of regulatory scrutiny.
RESPA and Regulation X require mortgage loan servicers to respond to a mortgage borrower's Request for Information (RFI) and Notice of Error (NOE). This rule results from the Dodd-Frank Act’s expansion of the scope of RESPA’s complaint handling requirements beyond the previously existing Qualified Written Request (QWR) requirements. Jonathan Foxx, Ph.D., MBA, recently wrote on how important customer satisfaction is in response to a QWR. Customer satisfaction is subjective, but it presents certain evaluative metrics. Perhaps a way to view it is how happy a consumer is with products and services. Determining this likely requires surveys and encouraging customer feedback. But when you get a complaint, treat it with considerable care. It can fester into all manner of annoying legal and regulatory issues if left unattended. That said, no provision in RESPA requires you to guarantee customer satisfaction.
“It was a no-brainer,” said Frank Plenskofski, CFO of NewFed Mortgage. “Since we moved our hedge analytics to Optimal Blue Secondary Services (OBSS), the marks are more precise, and we have the assurance of knowing the Optimal Blue team is looking out for us.” In fact, Plenskofski’s team quickly experienced the unique value only the experts from Optimal Blue can provide. “There was some nervous apprehension here before we switched to OBSS, but the Optimal Blue team walked us through the transition seamlessly, without a single hiccup.” With a successful implementation behind them, NewFed appreciates knowing there’s plenty of innovations and integrations ahead. “Optimal Blue continues to demonstrate that they’re future-oriented. I’ve used their systems at previous companies, too, and as clients, we can always expect to see new stuff. When I look to the horizon, things look bright at NewFed with Optimal Blue on our side.”
Mortgage originators are increasingly utilizing MBS execution and are distributing BWICs (Bids Wanted in Competition), a formal request for bids on a package of securities, to securities dealers. However, the information transmitted to dealers is not currently standardized. As a result, dealers are struggling to keep up with the increased volume of BWICs, which often leads to delays, lower pricing, and lower rates of participation in the BWIC process. MISMO, the real estate finance industry's standards organization, announced the release of the BWIC standard template to facilitate the bidding process for mortgage-backed securities between mortgage originators and dealers. The standard has achieved “Candidate Recommendation” status, which means that it has been thoroughly reviewed by a wide range of organizations and industry participants and is available for use across the industry.
As Federal Reserve officials stressed that more rate hikes are coming, markets traded “risk-off” to open the week. St. Louis Fed President Bullard said markets may be underestimating the chances of higher rates, Fed Vice Chair Brainard said the string of supply shocks is keeping inflation risks elevated, and New York President Williams noted policymakers have more work to do to curb inflation. Investors are now looking to Chair Powell’s speech tomorrow to cement expectations that the Fed will slow its pace of rate increases next month and remind Americans that the fight against inflation will run through next year. Separately, there was also a risk-off reaction to a weekend of scattered protests in China over lockdown restrictions, and uncertainties around China’s Covid curbs and their impact on the global economy.
Today’s economic calendar has Redbook same store sales for the week ending November 26, which will be followed by September home prices from FHFA and Case-Shiller. This will be the final number to establish the conforming loan limits for 2023 (FHFA announces 2023 conforming loan limits later this morning), with expectations for the limit to be around 715k. The calendar concludes with November consumer confidence and Dallas Fed Texas services. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Monday afternoon and the 10-year yielding 3.70 after closing yesterday at 3.70 percent with a very inverted yield curve (the 2-year yield is 80 basis points above the 10-year!).
“PacRes Wholesale is pleased to roll out our Expanded Government Loan Program, featuring credit scores down to 550 with a 10% minimum down payment on FHA and VA. Standard government guidelines apply and requires an AUS approval. This is a fantastic option to expand homeownership options to a much deeper demographic. PacRes Wholesale also offers Seller Paid Temporary Buydowns, 3:2:1, 2:1, and 1:0 on all agency products including government. The seller’s contribution must meet Interested Party Contribution maximums per each product’s guidelines. PacRes has no LLPA for temporary buydowns! And take advantage of our RateSafe Lock & Shop program up to 120 days with no upfront fee! This is a nice offering in tandem with our TBD pre-approvals available on all agency products. Visit us today.”
A well-established independent mortgage banker based in the Midwest is in growth mode and looking for a recruiter to join its business development team. Parties interested in this recruiting position can confidentially contact me and I will forward your note & resume.