My cat Myrtle doesn’t have a lot of rizz, and there are those that will argue that no cat has any charisma whatsoever. But plenty of marketing people do, or can create it, and even if you’re not in marketing, there are some clever marketing people out there. Creative minds as well, and if you’re looking for a Christmas present, here are the “best inventions of 2023” per Time Magazine. There is also cleverness and creativeness in the modular home manufacturing industry, probably far outpacing the ability of state and local government to issue permits. Meanwhile, lenders are facing a winter trying to figure out if they are in the “Survive until ‘25” camp or the “Grow more in ‘24” mindset? The credit industry is reeling as lenders grapple with soft versus hard pulls, renegotiating pricing, and bundled deals. And for some reason LO comp continues to be unsettled: dual comp, MLOs as real estate agents, transferring pipeline data when changing jobs, different fee structures within the same state, and so on. (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. Hear an interview with Mayer Brown LLP’s Holly Spencer Bunting on RESPA happenings and how the industry can get to better regulation.)

Lender and Broker Products, and Services

Out with the old; in with the new! One of the things we most look forward to in December (besides the holidays, of course!) is the opportunity to envision and plan for a great future. We've curated a killer panel of industry execs who will share best practices and their favorite secrets to help you usher in 2024 at the highest possible note. TrustEngine's Dave Savage hosts Dustin Owen of Waterstone Mortgage and Brian Covey of Revolution Mortgage in "Chaos to Clarity", a sure-to-be deliciously juicy webinar that will inspire and energize you to end 2023 with a bang and move powerfully into the new year. Register now to save your seat!

What's an internal audit anyway and do you need one? An internal audit acts as a third line of defense for your mortgage operation. It provides comprehensive assurance based on the highest level of independence and objectivity to evaluate the effectiveness of management’s internal controls. This function should advise your mortgage operation on plans to achieve the company's strategic, operational, financial and compliance goals. An effective internal audit should go far beyond just checking a compliance box; it should be an integral part of protecting your company. If you want to ensure you’re adhering to regulatory requirements and demonstrating good faith business practices, a Richey May internal audit is a good fit. If you’re looking to be Fannie Mae approved in the future or want to maintain your approved status, it’s required. If you’re unsure whether you need an internal audit, ask one of Richey May’s experts today or learn more here.

“Is it a challenge getting what was promised out of your current subservicer? New regulations are always moving the compliance goal posts and your customers are craving the newest technology and high-quality customer experience to meet their needs. After all, aren’t those the reasons you contracted with them? Perhaps it’s time for a change. Come meet Servbank at the MBA Servicing Solutions 2023 and let us show you how our cutting-edge, fully transparent and award-winning servicing platform (SIME), combined with our family of caring Customer Care reps, will protect your company from regulatory misses and keep your customers loyal by delivering a superior experience every time. If your current subservicer promised to make life easier for you, but continues to miss the mark, now is the time to partner with Servbank, the nation’s only fintech bank subservicer, who can meet your unique needs. Stop by booth #601, or schedule a meeting with Servbank.”

Right in time for the holidays, Floify has launched Floify Broker Edition, a one-stop lending platform that makes it easy for brokers to manage loans in one place. Wrapped in Floify’s famously sleek interface, Floify Broker Edition is packed with magical features that save precious time and money, such as automated mortgage call reporting, dual AUS functionality, and PPE and wholesaler integrations. Just like Santa’s elves, automated workflows advance loans behind the scenes so brokers can spend more time spreading the joy of homeownership and less time pushing paper. Treat yourself (and your borrowers!) this holiday season with a lending platform that’s a joy to use. Experience the magic of Floify Broker Edition firsthand and book a demo today.

Take advantage of more opportunities by adjusting your business to match the market. Recently, lenders who could quickly scale their home equity products were able to capitalize on the increased demand. Are you maximizing home equity lending in your system of record? Encompass® by ICE Mortgage Technology® is the only solution on the market that can be easily configured without any development efforts to support a user’s unique products and workflows for each of their channels, including retail, consumer direct, HELOC, wholesale and correspondent. This means you can quickly react to market changes and manage your business in your own way. Click here to read our recent blog that shares strategies to maximize your home equity lending business and how Encompass makes it easy.

A borrower’s servicing experience is only as good as the back-office environment that supports it, which is only as good as the technology that powers it. That’s why ICE is actively moving servicing forward through digitizing the consumer experience and streamlining back-office operations. The mortgage technology experts at ICE understand that effective servicing solutions are built from the “outside in”, designing with the customer in mind and working until the same level of convenience is brought to those working behind the scenes. Read the new blog from Sandra Madigan, Chief Digital Officer at ICE Mortgage Technology, to see how ICE is engineering with empathy, and helping people achieve and maintain the dream of homeownership.

In Naples, people hurl plates, appliances and even furniture out of their windows on New Year's Eve to symbolize making room for the new. If your LOS has been causing you strife, take a cue from the Neapolitans and chuck it out the window. Dark Matter Technologies is here to help you usher in a more prosperous 2024 with its Empower LOS. A fully cloud-based system, Empower brings your tech ecosystem together in one place and intelligently orchestrates delightful borrower experiences and efficient loan production. Schedule a demo with the Dark Matter team to learn how Empower can elevate your business in the year ahead.

Two things come to mind when looking for strategies to help LOs today. First, understand home buyers in the context of uncertainty in the market today. Get back to basics of why homeownership still makes sense: pride of ownership, building equity for the future, and a better environment for their family to live and grow. Next, be able to articulate good solid strategies to make home buying more affordable, both down payment strategies and ARMs to lower payments. It’s also important to understand buyer's bias against ARMs and counter with common sense arguments. Usherpa, the #1 ranked mortgage CRM in customer satisfaction and loyalty, is offering these FREE printable handouts with informational scripts to use when talking with your homebuyers and valuable resources you can easily send them about ARMs.

ActiveComply is thrilled to introduce a brand-new product, WebCompass™, to discover and manage your websites for branding, compliance, and accessibility. The same power as SocialShield™ for Social Media but now for website and brand compliance. With WebCompass™ you can discover and monitor company and employee websites & web pages, protect your brand with website content scans and compliance tracking, uncover rogue or unauthorized websites, and streamline reporting demands during regulatory examinations. Sign up today for a demo and the first 25 customers will receive a discount. ActiveComply cloud-based solutions help highly regulated industries confidently manage their social media and website compliance and virtual inspections.

Non-QM, DSCR, Jumbo Broker and Correspondent Program News

Can we continue our same ad please: Long-term Rental or Vacation Rental? Visio Lending is the nation’s leader in Non-QM Investor DSCR loans for buy and hold SFR rentals with nearly a decade of experience and over $2.5 billion in originations. No-DTI, 30-year terms, rate buy downs, free 45-day rate locks; I/O and Sub-1 DSCR options available. Through our top-notch Broker Program, brokers are able to earn up to 2 points YSP, and 5 points total. Visio Brokers can count on a designated Account Executive and in-house processing.

PRMG offers several Non-QM resources such as product matrices, job aids, trainings, calculators, worksheets, and other information to assist with using Non-QM loan products. Access the TPO Non-QM Resources page for detailed information.

Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions announced the release of its Blended Rate Calculator, providing borrowers with a quick and straightforward tool to estimate potential loan scenarios.

In tandem with its Angel Oak Mortgage Closed End Second Loans program, the Blended rate calculator helps you show borrowers what their 1st and 2nd payments, as well as LTV and blended rates, will be for both mortgages. This tool enables borrowers to easily assess how they can tap into their home’s equity while retaining their first mortgage.

PHH Mortgage announced new products for Non-Agency offering as of November 28th. Go to the company library to view the information.

A Jumbo option designed to empower homebuyers in high-value markets to secure their dream homes. Explore the advantages of Plaza’s new Jumbo Champion loan program, featuring top-notch pricing, loan amounts up to $3 million, and eligibility for FICO scores starting from 720.

LendSure Mortgage Corp., a Non-QM wholesale lender, announced the launch of its new Profit & Loss (P&L) Loan Program offering “a simplified and user-friendly process for business owners seeking capital in a complex financial landscape.” LendSure's P&L Loan Program is designed to cater to business owners and self-employed investors with fluctuating seasonal income or cash businesses. It eliminates the need for a self-employment questionnaire, simplifying and speeding up the application process and making it more convenient for borrowers to secure financing. “We aim to empower business owners, redefining industry standards and facilitating their path to financial success… The program offers two tiers of loan amounts, giving borrowers the choice to provide only P&L statements for loan amounts up to $1,000,000 or supply two months of bank statements with P&L statements for loan amounts up to $1,500,000. This flexibility enhances the broker-customer relationship by providing a straightforward, efficient solution for business owners. Reach out to LendSure for more information.

First time home buyer/ first time investors now have a chance to buy an investment property with no income. Hometown Equity Mortgage offers a Bridge for First time home buyers; up to 75 percent LTV on a purchase, no ratio DSCR product, NO VOR/VOM, allowed to live rent free. FICO down to 650, Flexible guidelines, 12-24 month I/O with no prepay or EPO.

HighTech Lending Wholesale is now offering Jumbo Reverse Mortgages the Platinum Reverse which comes in three variations: Maximum LTV Fixed Rate, Adjustable Rate with a Line of Credit, and Reduced LTV with a lower Fixed Rate. The minimum age for the Platinum is 55 in most states, but some require the borrower to be 60 or 62.

Capital Markets

First Community Mortgage has named Jeff Pancer to the new position of Executive Vice President, Capital Markets. Congratulations!

Markets finally paused recent optimism that has been riding on the assumption that the Fed will lower interest rates in 2024. Until yesterday, that optimism had fueled rallies in both stocks and bonds over the past few weeks, with investors continuing to overlook Fed rhetoric and bet on deep interest rate cuts next year. Fed Chair Powell on Friday reiterated that it is too early to consider cutting rates, and that the Federal Open Market Committee plans to keep policy restrictive for some time. Despite his stance, markets are still at odds with the Fed, pricing in the first rate cut as early as March and 125 basis points of rate cuts in total for 2024. Remember, sticky inflation can prevent the Fed from cutting.

The Fed is widely expected to leave rates unchanged for the third consecutive FOMC meeting next week, in what would be no change for the fourth out of the past five meetings. However, the post-meeting statement will likely continue to indicate that additional tightening is possible. The fear is that the Fed declaring victory too early while the economy is growing, and the labor market is tight is a risk if inflation spikes back up. The Fed has entered its blackout period ahead of the meeting, so we won’t get any more chatter from FOMC members until after the meeting. Additionally, there will be no Treasury note or bond auctions this week. This week will be dominated by the jobs report on Friday where expectations are for an improvement from October's report: an increase of 180,000 jobs in November and no change in unemployment.

Today’s economic calendar has a lot of non-market moving releases: Redbook same store sales for the week ending December 2, final November S&P Global services PMI, expected to decline slightly, ISM non-manufacturing PMI for November, expected to tick up, and JOLTS job opening for October, supposedly sliding to 9.35 million from 9.55 million in September. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices better by .125-.250, the 10-year yielding 4.23 after closing yesterday at 4.29 percent, and the 2-year yield down to 4.52 as investors continue to believe, perhaps mistakenly, that the Fed is not only done raising rates but will come around to cutting them.