Home schooling is the goodest thing I ever did for my two kids. Hopefully, they both learned that an inverted yield curve doesn’t automatically create, or lead to, a recession. As we approach 2024, short term rates have been higher than long term rates since 2022, and when you think of the last 10 recessions eight of the last 10 were preceded by an inverted yield curve. But now the “experts” are saying that this yield curve inversion is due to artificial reasons, namely the U.S. Federal Reserve’s actions that shifted rates, rather than more natural factors. Time will tell, and no one can eliminate business cycles, so we may have a recession (and with it, lower rates) at some point. But for now, “The U.S. economy is becoming increasingly recession resistant. State, local, and federal government spending as a percentage of GDP has risen from 29 percent in 1962 to 35 percent today. Healthcare spending has risen from 5 percent of GDP in 1962 to 18 percent in 2021. Collectively they have risen from 34 percent of GDP to 53 percent and most critically, both sectors are not particularly interest-rate sensitive.” So spoketh Dr. Elliot Eisenberg. (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. Hear an interview with Lender Price’s Dustin McClelland on how lenders can upgrade or enhance their pricing technology.)

Lender and Broker Products, Programs, and Services

Revolution Mortgage estimates that they can save up to $20,000 in cost on verifications with TRUV over competitors. Femi Ayi, EVP Operations shares how he estimates he is saving 80 percent on his verification costs with Truv in this recorded event. "Let's talk about our documentation costs and those giant monopolies that are out there and laughing at customers and increasing prices because they have a particular monopoly. You want to lower your manufacturing costs." Contact TRUV today for your income, employment, insurance, and asset verifications.

When a borrower or Realtor needs an updated pre-approval letter to submit an offer, how quickly can your loan officers turn it around? This quick?

Cutting-edge technology, lower rates, exceptional service… these are many of the claims made by today’s HELOC providers. It's important to thoroughly research these companies before partnering with them. Check with insiders and peers to learn about their experiences. A company with a solid reputation is worth its weight in gold. Symmetry Lending is a HELOC company you can trust and rely on, offering… SUCCESS: Symmetry’s proprietary technologies and dedicated fulfillment teams deliver industry-leading turn times and streamlined documentation processes. Built on three main principles: service, speed, and simplicity, Symmetry presents a foundation of long-term success for their business and clients. STABILITY: Symmetry began in 2018 with an exclusive focus on HELOCs. Their experienced leadership team has a combined 150 years of industry experience. VALUE: With on-demand staff, service, and resources, Symmetry is committed to creating exceptional, consistent experiences from submission to close. Follow Symmetry on Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about what differentiates them.

LoanPASS PPE and Uplist have announced a strategic partnership that integrates Uplist's suite of smart, real-time home shopping tools directly into LoanPASS's powerful product and pricing engine. This will allow loan officers to provide Uplist’s SmartBuyer™ Tool directly to perspective buyers from their LoanPASS interface. Loan officers will also have remote access to their rates through Uplist Quick Quotes, featuring real-time pricing, which includes detailed calculations for the popular 2-1 buydown. This fusion of technology will enable loan officers to easily deliver real-time, personalized solutions direct to their homebuyers and agents with the click of a button. Lenders and loan officers interested in leveraging this patent-pending technology can learn more by scheduling a no-pressure call with Uplist.

So, you've been dying to uncover the mystical wonders of Performance Marketing, right? Look no further! TrustEngine just dropped its Performance Marketing eBook in the digital realm. Hold onto your seats, folks, because TrustEngine is hyping up Performance Marketing like it's the reigning rockstar of the century. This isn't your average eBook; oh no, it's the clandestine weapon of epicness, crafted to illuminate our fabulous community. Learn the differences between traditional and performance marketing; the Mortgage Performance Marketing Platform and crafting a performance marketing strategy in 7 steps. Click here to download the FREE eBook today.

With mortgage volume struggling to recover, now is the perfect time for lenders to focus on their profitability with MCT's exclusive whitepaper: "Margin Management Best Practices." Dive deep into the intricate world of margin management, where success in the dynamic mortgage industry is defined. MCT’s Capital Markets Technology Advisor, Cody Echols, unravels the complexities, challenges, and actionable techniques to boost profit margins and navigate lending volumes with agility. Discover the strategic compass for effective margin management: analyze market share dynamics, understand volume trends, and fortify profitability against volatility. Don't just survive; thrive in the ever-transforming mortgage landscape! Ready to adapt and conquer? Download the MCT Whitepaper and elevate your margin management game.

“As year-end quickly approaches, lenders are hopeful that the recent rate rally continues, which is a great thing if you are originating loans. But what about lenders with servicing portfolios? As we consider a possible change in Fed cycle and liquidity needs, Lenders still have time to execute a trade on their portfolio by year end. Blue Water (“Blue Water Financial Technologies Services, LLC”) can assist lenders to sell bulk MSR, regardless of size. With BlueRATE™, a lender can obtain an instant portfolio valuation and then determine what to sell – whether it be a small geo carve or the entire MSR portfolio. Blue Water can also assist in moving your product quickly with Blue Water’s proprietary SuperTransfer™. With SuperTransfer™, transferring the portfolio to a buyer is easier than ever. Connect with our expert Sales Team to learn more.”

Earlier this year, Zillow Home Loans selected PHH Mortgage to provide subservicing for its residential mortgage portfolio. Following a collaborative onboarding and integration cycle, Zillow Home Loans and PHH completed an initial transfer of loans in August. PHH has worked with Zillow Home Loans to purchase loans on a correspondent and co-issue basis since 2019 and 2021, respectively. As of September 30, 2023, PHH Mortgage’s total servicing portfolio was approximately $296 billion, which included approximately $167 billion of subservicing. Earlier this year, PHH was recognized for servicing excellence for the third consecutive year through Freddie Mac’s Servicer Honors and Rewards Program (SHARP)SM in the top-tier servicing group and for the second consecutive year through Fannie Mae’s Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR)TM performer recognition. The Company also achieved HUD’s Tier 1 servicer ranking. No other servicer in the U.S. has been more highly decorated with these top awards from all three agencies over the past two years.

Compliance and Supervising LO’s

Our biz is still talking about the November 28 CFPB consent order fining Bank of America $12 million for failing to collect and report race and ethnicity information under HMDA. The CFPB alleges that the bank’s loan officers failed to ask applicants for their race and ethnicity information, and instead recorded that the applicant chose not to provide the information, which the bank reported.

Here is a US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement action. The CFPB ordered Bank of America to pay a $12 million penalty for submitting false mortgage lending information to the federal government under a long-standing federal law. For at least four years, hundreds of Bank of America loan officers failed to ask mortgage applicants certain demographic questions as required under federal law, and then falsely reported that the applicants had chosen not to respond. Under the CFPB’s order, Bank of America must pay $12 million into the CFPB’s victims relief fund.

Hundreds of Bank of America loan officers reported that 100 percent of mortgage applicants chose not to provide their demographic data over at least a three-month period. In fact, these loan officers were not asking applicants for demographic data, but instead were falsely recording that the applicants chose not to provide the information. Why? Because that is easier! It is sloppy, though: If you continually report that 100 percent of your applicants decline to answer, eventually someone will notice.

The issue didn’t spring up overnight. In 2013, BofA made attempts to train and monitor for this issue after noting that its rate of applicants not providing this HMDA information was high. The consent order alleges that in 2016, the bank’s monthly monitoring still showed that several offices and loan officers had information-not-provided rates three to four times the bank’s average, but the bank discontinued its monitoring.

In addition, the consent order alleges that in 2020, the bank found that over 400 loan officers recorded that applicants chose not to provide their race and ethnicity information on 100 percent of applications over a three-month period. The consent order also alleges that the loan officers were not asking applicants for their race, ethnicity, or sex, and instead were “wrongly recording on applications that the applicants chose not to provide the information.”

Capital Markets

Bonds once again climbed yesterday, the third consecutive day of gains, on bets the Fed will be able to start cutting rates in the first half of 2024, though Fed officials have signaled that cuts aren’t coming so soon. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book for November noted that economic activity slowed since the October report, as four Districts reported modest growth, two reported little change, while six reported declining activity. Discretionary retail sales decreased as consumers showed more sensitivity to prices. Travel remained healthy while demand for transportation services was sluggish. The outlook among manufacturers weakened while demand for business loans dipped. Consumer credit was healthy, but some banks saw rising delinquencies. Demand for labor slowed while price increases moderated but remained at a generally elevated level.

We also learned yesterday that Gross Domestic Product rose at the fastest pace in almost two years (+5.2 percent) while consumer spending advanced at a less-robust rate. The Fed’s preferred inflation metric, PCE, was also revised down to 2.3 percent, signaling rate hikes are working. Put it all together and it paints the picture that the U.S. economy was effectively booming in the third quarter despite higher interest rates, aided by a strong labor market and disinflation that fueled healthy consumer spending activity. The volatility index (VIX) or so-called “fear gauge,” dropped to its lowest since January 2020.

Personal income and spending (both +.2 percent, as expected) and weekly jobless claims (218k, as expected; 1.9 million continuing) led off today’s calendar. PCE was +.2 percent, core flat. After Richmond Fed President Barkin argued yesterday the Fed should keep hikes on the table, which was in contrast with Cleveland President Mester signaling support for standing pat next month and Atlanta President Bostic signaling he is increasingly convinced that prices and the economy will moderate, later today brings remarks from New York Fed President Williams. Markets will also receive Chicago PMI for November, pending home sales for October, and Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. We begin the last day of November with Agency MBS prices worse a few 32nds, the 10-year yielding 4.29 after closing yesterday at 4.27 percent, and the 2-year at 4.65 percent after a bunch of news that came in as expected.


“If you are looking for a lifeline to save your people and your business in this challenging rate environment, you have an opportunity to partner with a well-capitalized independent mortgage company with over 40 years of experience. We offer a portfolio product line that gives our origination team the opportunity to quote unique scenarios for DPA, 2nd liens, ARMs, non-owner, Jumbo, Doctor/Professional, and more. Our proprietary coaching program is free to all Loan Officers. Even in this market, we’ve doubled-down on the support we provide, from a dollar-for-dollar marketing match to in-house creative & design services, video marketing, social media, training, and credit services. With unmatched operations support at the branch and corporate levels, your clients and referral partners will be more than impressed. Our company is Fannie and Freddie seller/servicer, FHA, VA, and USDA approved. For a confidential conversation, please contact Anjelica Nixt and mention this opportunity.”

PrimeLending's Forward Commitment program opens doors to new opportunities for our LOs, offering homebuilders a quick way to move existing inventory without compromising value. By entering a short-term agreement with PrimeLending, builders can secure a block of funds at a significantly lower interest rate, enabling them to pass these promotional rates to potential homebuyers and convert more sales. The success speaks for itself! A builder in the Carolinas turned a $3 million agreement into the sale of 10 inventory homes within just 14 days. Forward Commitment is just one of many examples of how PrimeLending helps LOs redefine the narrative, stay ahead of the competition, and ultimately find new ways to close loans in the local market. Contact Nic Hartke now and discover how a move to PrimeLending can transform your approach and elevate your business. Your advantage starts here.

Don’t forget that the FHFA, which oversees Freddie & Fannie, is hiring.