“People would learn more from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.” Here’s a little trivia for the compliance folks in the coffee room: The CFPB handles 20,000 consumer complaints per week, and given that financing a home, and then servicing the loan, is the largest financial transaction most individuals go through, you gotta figure a chunk of the 20,000 involve mortgages. While we’re on the CFPB, Director Chopra addressed issues related to refinancing in a hearing on Capitol Hill last Thursday. But the headlines have been grabbed by interest rate improvements in our free market economy, and the economics calendar this week will be highlighted by the U.S. jobs report on Friday, arriving just five days before the Federal Reserve's December 13 meeting. (Expect payrolls growth will rise to 200K in November from 150k job additions in October, and the unemployment rate to stay steady at 3.9 percent.) Today’s podcast can be found here, and this week’s is sponsored by nCino, makers of the nCino Mortgage Suite for the modern mortgage lender. nCino Mortgage Suite's three core products, nCino Mortgage, nCino Incentive Compensation, and nCino Mortgage Analytics, unite the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process. Today’s has a wide-ranging interview with economist Elliot Eisenberg on government spending, the Fed’s balance sheet, and “Eisenbergian Economics.”

Lender and Broker Products, and Services

Servicing transfers are complicated, so it is critically important that you nail down the prep work beforehand. If you don’t, and the servicing transfer goes awry, it’s not only servicers who suffer, their customers do, too. The professional services team at ICE Mortgage Technology break down exactly what’s on the line, and what happens when poorly handled servicing transfers leave customers in a lurch. Read its new blog here to learn just how “high stakes” loan transfers can be, and the steps servicers can take to avoid borrower confusion, retention concerns, and even reputational risk, before they become a problem.

Exclusive data: Maxwell Q3 2023 Mortgage Lending Report reveals trends in interest rates, loan volume, and borrower demographics. Q3 brought continued challenges for home buyers and lenders. Despite 11 Fed rate hikes over the past year and a half, interest rates averaged 7.2 percent in Q3, the highest Maxwell data has recorded within the current market cycle. Still, Maxwell’s new report, which derives insights across more than 300 lenders and $290B in loan volume, shows signs of stabilization in Q3. Motivated borrower groups found creative paths to homeownership despite adversity, flocking to remaining pockets of affordability (hint: West Virginia). For insightful market data along with actionable advice from Maxwell experts on how to form a strong 2024 strategy, click here to get your free copy of Maxwell’s Q3 2023 Mortgage Lending Report.

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Final Rule: Preparing Your Bank for CRA Modernization! After years of discussions and false starts, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC issued their final rule modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in October. The almost 1,500-page final rule will take effect on April 1st, 2024. This means banks must comply with all the rule’s provisions by January 1, 2026 (aside from certain requirements taking effect January 1, 2027). How will CRA modernization impact your bank? What do regulators hope to achieve? What are they looking for from banks? What should your bank do to prepare? In this new article, experts from Ncontracts discuss this and more, plus offer insights on how the right resources can ease these regulatory burdens. Read the full article for more information.

Variety is the spice of life, which is why ICE maintains an ever-growing library of multimedia marketing content with its Surefire CRM and Mortgage Marketing Engine. Intelligently automated Blueprints for Success give lenders a leg up with effective marketing workflows without the hassles of A/B testing and complex configuration. Whether a lender launches our Blueprints for Success out-of-the-box or configures them to meet unique goals, these automated campaigns help nurture relationships, improve pull-through and power sales across the entire homeownership lifecycle. Explore how Surefire can power your sales strategy in 2024 and schedule a demo with the ICE team today.

Delinquencies have remained statistically low, but recent market data indicates an uptick in early-stage delinquencies, unemployment, and more Americans relying on credit to make ends meet, so that rate may continue to rise. Computershare Loan Services (CLS) is a highly rated subservicer that can take the heavy lifting of managing high-risk loans off your shoulders. All its services (originations fulfillment, co-issue MSR acquisition, subservicing, and its mortgage cooperative) help keep lenders one step ahead. In this industry, you deserve a partner that has it all. Contact CLS to find out how they can help you reach your goals, in any market.

Broker and Correspondent Programs

Give Your Pipeline a Boost this December with LoanStream’s Winter Specials on Non-QM and Prime! Purchase, Rate/Term & Refi Cash-Out on both. Non-QM, 50bps >65% to <= 75% LTV & 720+ FICO, 75bps >55% to <= 65% LTV & 720+ FICO, 100bps <= 55% LTV & 720+ FICO. These are only here for a limited time so take advantage and Contact your Account Executive for details. For loans locked 12/1/2023 through 12/31/2023. Restrictions apply. Interested in getting approved? Visit our Get Approved page now: Get Approved LoanStream Wholesale - Wholesale Mortgage Lending.

With the holiday season underway, Rocket Pro TPO is kicking off its December to Remember campaign by introducing a series of exciting and valuable wins throughout the month of December to celebrate and support Rocket Pro’s broker partners. On Friday, the first win was introduced: a 25 bps LLPA on 30-year fixed rate conforming VA loans that will be available all month. Check out this video message from EVP Mike Fawaz. And, today, Rocket Pro’s highly popular Fast 15 Loan Guarantee is back now through January 31st! This special offer for brokers guarantees that all eligible loans will be clear to close in 15 business days or they will pay your client $2,500. For correspondent partners, they guarantee that eligible loans will be clear to close in 15 business days, or they will waive the $999 acquisition fee. Requirements and rules apply. Partners are encouraged to watch their inboxes and Rocket Pro TPO's social media channels for more wins to come. Interested in learning more about a Broker or Non-Delegated Correspondent partnership? Contact Rocket Pro TPO to learn more.

Events, Training, and Webinars in December

TOP CEOs DISCUSS WINNING STRATEGIES FOR THE 2024-25 MORTGAGE CYCLE. Tomorrow, 12/5, at 2 PM ET, tune into HousingWire as Sagent CEO Dan Sogorka digs into this topic with industry leader Mark O’Donovan (Chase), moderated by Julian Hebron of The Basis Point. These 3 mortgage experts will uncover how lenders can thrive through 2025 and beyond, discussing vital topics such as navigating homebuyer affordability, lender priorities, FHFA, CFPB insights, and more. Don’t miss this powerhouse session! Register here to refine your strategies for the upcoming year or catch the recording if you can’t attend live.

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

Tomorrow, 12/5, is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman. Tune in every Tuesday at 1PM ET 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. This week’s guest is Kayla Gatmaitan, and education-focused LO for first time homebuyers.

If business is slow and you're looking for new opportunities, register for MBA Eastern Pennsylvania’s upcoming free session with Freddie Mac on Tuesday, December 5 at 11:00 a.m. One of the challenges homebuyers face in today’s market is saving for the down payment. In this session, the benefits and differences between two low down-payment offerings, Home Possible® and HomeOne® will be explored. Additionally, the session will cover Freddie Mac BorrowSmart AccessSM, a program that offers up to $3,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to help your clients reach homeownership.

The title industry faces many challenges going into 2024 and October Research wants to help you prepare your business. Orrick Partner Sherry-Maria Safchuk and CATIC SVP and National Agency Manager Kyle Rank will share their expertise and address critical issues such as consumer protection, cybersecurity trends, remote online notarizations, updates on the 1033 rule and more on the latest Industry and Regulatory Outlook webinar Dec. 5th. Stay ahead of the competition and start the new year strong. Register today at DoddFrankUpdate.com.

2023 Financial Institutions Professionals Webinar Series, presented by the Bonadio Group, December 5th, 6th, and 7th at 8:00 PST. During this complimentary event, industry experts will discuss emerging issues, impacts, insights, & more. Create your own personal agenda by choosing from several sessions, each designed as a roadmap to help you navigate what’s to come in the ever-changing financial services landscape. Each session offers 1 (one) credit of CPE.

Wednesday the 6th, 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 week’s guest is Mark Jones, President of Union Home Mortgage and Chairman of the MBA.

Join MBA St. Louis at St. Charles Realtors, Wednesday, December 6th, 8:00 am - 10:30 am, and test your knowledge on Conventional Loans. This engaging and interactive course led by Trainer MaryKay Scully, Enact MI’s Director of Customer Education will review the key areas of Credit, Income, Collateral, Liabilities, Assets, HomeReady and Home Possible. It will inform and engage participants. Assessing knowledge, while reviewing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, as well as Desktop Underwriter and Loan Product Adviser. Cost: $20 (covers light snacks and room rental).

Freddie Mac added enhancements to its HFA Advantage® mortgage offering, providing a competitive solution for housing professionals to consider for first-time and repeat homebuyers. In a free webinar, Thursday, December 7th, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET, you’ll learn more about HFA Advantage’s features and benefits, eligibility and homebuyer education requirements and new product enhancements.

With a residential real estate market that continues to change and evolve, WMBA has gathered industry professionals that offer different perspectives to give real insight into "Build for Rent" model, an increasing popular approach to residential new construction being built and held as rental properties. Join WMBA for the Income Property Luncheons on Thursday, December 7th, In Person Attendees: 11:30-1:00pm, Virtual Attendees: 12:00pm-1:00pm.

Join Angel Oak Mortgage on Thursday, December 7 at 10:00 PST for a webinar detailing its Investor Cash Flow (DSCR) programs and cover the top 20 broker questions. Learn how easily these loans close and help add to the bottom line.

Success leaves clues. Not surprisingly, many of the traits shared by high achievers are common sense in theory, but not necessarily common practice (otherwise, everyone would be a high achiever, right?). Discover the keys to having your best year ever, the most important (yet often missing) part of the formula for success and disciplines you often don’t think about. Join Hannah J. Barton and Blaine Rada, CSP, to discover these habits and incorporate them into your own life. TMBA Webinar, Habits of High Achievers, Thursday, December 7 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm.

Join LSEG Academy session Central Bank & Bond market outlook – Insight from IFR Markets,

Thursday, December 7th | 8:00 PST., as industry experts examine recent benchmark interest rate increases and likely changes to the direction of central banks’ monetary policies. They will also look at the commentary and insight provided by IFR Markets and showcase how benchmark rates have been impacting the bond and rates markets utilizing LSEG Workspace tools. The discussion will include expectations for interest rate moves in 2024 and provide an opportunity to ask questions to industry experts.

Friday, December 8, is the next episode of 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”. Listen to Rich Kuegler with Stewart Title!

Capital Markets

As mortgage rates dropped for the fifth consecutive week last week, Federal Reserve Chair Powell said that any speculation of potential rate cuts is still “premature.” Yes, inflation is easing, and the U.S. economy is cooling with Fed policy now well into restrictive territory. The full effect of higher rates is still working its way through the economy and the central bank has noted progress against inflation over the past six months. The hiking cycle is likely over, but the Fed is reluctant to admit as much or discuss any sort of rate cuts.

Economic data over the last week continued to show the U.S. economy is still expanding while inflation trends lower. Real GDP was revised up to 5.2 percent in the second update from 4.9 percent in the advance update. Consumer spending on services increased 0.2 percent in October and spending on nondurable goods increased 0.3 percent. The October PCE deflator was unchanged in October and showed prices were 3.0 percent higher than twelve months ago; the lowest annual reading since March 2021. While prices are still rising faster than the Fed’s preferred rate, the pace continues to slow and bodes well for a soft landing for the U.S. economy.

This can also be seen in housing prices which rose 0.7 percent in September and 3.9 percent from one year ago, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index. While elevated mortgage rates helped the slowdown, limited available for sale inventory has kept prices from outright declines. As a result of the continued progress on inflation and recent Fed comments around being well into restrictive territory, the markets expect the Fed is done hiking and will begin to cut rates in 2024.

This week’s economic calendar contains several higher tiered releases including the November payrolls report and preliminary December consumer sentiment on Friday. Between now and then, we will receive ISM Services for November, some labor market indicators, wholesale trade, and consumer credit. The week kicks off with just factory orders for October, due out later this morning. We begin Monday with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Friday evening, the 10-year yielding 4.25 after closing last week at 4.23 percent, and the 2-year at 4.61.