Here in Chicago, there are several restaurants that are “the place” to have afternoon tea. Tomorrow is the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. (And no, I was not working on a trading desk slinging MBS back then.) In those days, news traveled via word of mouth, rare newspapers, sermons, personal letters, or broadsides. People had time to think about things and contemplate. Nowadays, there are plenty of places from which to glean financial news. Unfortunately, the press is not one for putting good news in the headlines, and Navy Fed finds itself in the crosshairs of CNN breaking news of data on black and white borrower approval rates. Can regulators be far behind on this one? Industry vet Brian B. asks, “How much wealth was not created for minorities because of these actions? How did they treat other groups, i.e., single females, or Hispanics?” Lenders everywhere are interested in passing more costs on to borrowers regardless of race, and if so which costs? Charging for credit reports up front is certainly likely. (Today’s podcast can be found here, and this week’s is sponsored by Richey May, a recognized leader in providing specialized advisory, audit, tax, technology and other services to the mortgage industry for almost four decades. Today’s has an interview with Richey May’s Nathan Lee on profitable versus unprofitable mortgage companies and how to get in the proper growth mindset for 2024.)

Lender and Broker Products, Programs, and Services

“Have you let rules, redundancies, and risks lead you away from scaling your capabilities? Within your organization, are you looking at modernization of process automation all wrong? Find out how to steer clear of unnecessary redundancies and achieve meaningful results for both you and your customer. Make sure the focus on business rules and segregated processes per product hasn’t caused your operational processes to remain unchanged. Reimagine your mortgage offering and customer expansion for 2024. Clarifire’s blog, “Break the Rules – Reimagine Mortgage for Customer Expansion”, breaks down old mindsets so you can rebuild your approach to customer relationships, along with your mortgage and financial services offering. It’s time to drive relevant centralized process change by implementing automated workflow across broader segments of your organization. Let us show you how, with CLARIFIRE®’s truly BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®, to deliver a better approach, better results, and better software… today!”

Truv is now an approved third-party service provider supporting Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor® asset and income modeler (AIM). Revolution Mortgage estimates that they can save up to $20,000 in cost on verifications with TRUV over competitors. "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” said Femi Ayi, EVP Operations. Contact TRUV today to discuss how we can help you with your income, employment, insurance, and asset verifications. Come join us!

Loan Vision exclusively serves the mortgage industry by providing software built BY the mortgage industry FOR the mortgage industry. With Loan Vision, customers see improvements of 30%+ decrease in days to close the books, 20%+ reduction in accounting headcount, complete LOS to G/L automation, and improved reporting and visibility. Interested in learning how Loan Vision can help you run a more efficient and profitable company? Contact Carl Wooloff to schedule a call today.

The Work Number® and ICE Mortgage Technology: The Work Number database, the first instant verification service on Encompass Partner Connect(TM), gives mortgage lenders the ability to quickly and securely tap into more than 641M employee records from 2.9M employers. By leveraging the Partner Connect API platform, lenders can continue to build efficiency into their digital originations. Automated Service Ordering offers lenders the ability to build customizable order settings for verifications based on business rules where permissible purpose exists. Prospective homebuyers can also reap the benefits of the integration, since The Work Number verifications help reduce the amount of documentation they have to pull together for a loan application. To learn more about mortgage verifications via The Work Number database, please visit here. Additional information about Encompass(R) by ICE Mortgage Technology(R) can be found here.

Are you a real estate or mortgage professional looking to elevate your growth mindset and achieve new levels of success? Look no further than the highly anticipated "Kind Mindset" event, presented by Kind Lending. Taking place on January 16th, 2024, at The Buckhead Club in Atlanta, GA, this immersive event is designed to empower attendees with valuable insights on growth, success, and mindset. With an impressive lineup of speakers, including Kind Lending's CEO/Founder, Glenn Stearns, this event promises to be a transformative experience. Get ready to cultivate a "Kind Mindset" and embark on a journey of transformation and success. Register today.

Rocket Pro TPO’s innovative “December to Remember” campaign has already delivered 6 valuable wins to partners and clients with more to come. So far, Rocket Pro’s partners have received the following: a 25 bps LLPA on 30-year fixed rate conforming VA and FHA loans, a new Fast 15 Loan Guarantee, the chance to win a $1,050 underwriting credit, discounts for Bloomscape, a donation match for Built for Zero and access to their powerful Credit Upgrade service. 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.

FHA, VA, USDA, HECM, and Ginnie News

Plaza Home Mortgage® reverse software has been updated and is available to provide quotes under the new limits, effective immediately.

Highlights of LoanStream Mortgage MaxONE Down Payment Assistance Program include FHA DPA, Purchase Only, Min FICO 600 - DU Approve/Eligible (no manual underwriting), No First Time Home Buyer Requirement, Non-occupied Co-borrowers allowed per FHA guides, DTI - Follow AUS - Approved/Eligible, one borrower must complete HUD approved counseling, 96.5 percent Max LTV with 3.5 percent DPA (100 percent CLTV), Loan Amount to Conforming Limits, High Balance Not Allowed, Restrictions may apply.

In FHA & VA news, PRMG will accept the new loan limits on government products effective January 1, 2024. See each section as outlined in PRMG Product Update 23-55 for specific requirements by product type. It has not yet been announced when AUS systems will be updated to reflect the new limits. PRMG Product profiles will be updated soon to reflect the new loan limits, as applicable.

AmeriHome Mortgage Announcement 20231109-CL summarizes previously published changes made during November, additional changes made with this announcement, and recent Agency and regulatory news.

As announced in this Ginnie Mae Press Release, Ginnie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities Portfolio reached $2.51 Trillion in November.

Ginnie Mae has Added "Mr. Cooper Cybersecurity Incident - Sixth Business Day Update". To read the Ginnie Mae Bulletins posted additional information regarding Mr. Cooper Cybersecurity Incident.

In All Participants Memorandum (APM) 23-14, Ginnie Mae announced the implementation of the new monthly financial reporting form via the Mortgage Bankers Financial Reporting Form (MBFRF) portal.

In a recent USDA Rural Development SFHD Program Bulletin, a Notification of Waivers regarding the Single Family Housing Section 502 Direct Loan Program Community Land Trust (CLT) Pilot was published in the Federal Register. The pilot will test alternative eligibility criteria related to community representation for CLT organizations. The Agency intends to evaluate the impact of allowing eligibility criteria other than membership open to all residents of the geographic area which could meet the intent of the statutory requirements for CLTs to have specific community representation.

Training and Webinars

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

Today, Friday, December 15th, is next week’s 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”. Hear from MGIC’s Terry Aikin!

Tuesday, 12/19, 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. Next week is a wrap of 2023 and its ups and downs.

Discover the future of mortgage broker marketing in A&D Mortgage’s webinar series Part 2: "ChatGPT Unleashed: Transforming Mortgage Broker Marketing," featuring industry expert Scott Schang. Dive into AI-powered conversations that are reshaping customer engagement and lead generation. On December 19 at 1 PM (EST), learn practical strategies to seamlessly integrate ChatGPT into your operations and gain a competitive advantage.

Newrez’s next VA webinar on December 20 will focus on what you need to know about income for a successful VA transaction. Simply click here to register, and we’ll see you December 20.”

What is the Reverse Mortgage LESA? This is not your favorite sister! LESA (Life Expectancy Set-Aside) is a tax and insurance impound account required when HECM borrower(s) do not meet minimum guidelines as it relates to Financial Assessment. Plaza Home Mortgage Wednesday, December 20th, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST webinar will cover the HECM Financial Assessment guidelines and show examples of the LESA on the HECM loan.

Apply to be part of MBA Education's Future Leaders Program class of 2024. This one-of-a-kind experience gives you access to industry leaders, MBA events (including the National Advocacy Conference and Annual Convention), and the Lincoln Leadership Institute like no other program can. Enhance your skills over the course of three in-person sessions.

In a period of increased loan repurchases, adopting digital solutions can help mitigate risk and improve loan quality. In this video, Kevin Kauffman, Vice President of Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller Engagement, discusses how technology can help overcome challenges like rising interest rates.

Wednesday the 20th, 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. Hear from Steve Scanlon, Rewire, on how the human mind works!

The Knowledge Coop's new membership platform offers all state and federal Continuing Education courses in an engaging and exciting video format that you're sure to actually enjoy. Want to give yourself a sharper competitive edge? They also offer in-depth training on specific topics like VA Loans and FHA within their Coop Academy. Get access to industry experts and connect with other mortgage professionals all in one space. Use Code Chrisman10 for 10 percent off your first year of membership here.

Capital Markets

There was a lot of “green on the screens” yesterday in the wake of the Fed admitting that the next move in its fed funds rate will be downward. Based on current market conditions, few in the mortgage world are ready to say “'tis the season to be jolly,” but the Fed’s latest outlook points to an increased possibility of a more upbeat 2024.

More certainty over Fed policy is good news for the mortgage space overall, pushing down volatility and acting as support for MBS spreads. However, market exuberance has been overly optimistic and more dovish than the Fed throughout this tightening cycle. With that in mind, markets are now pricing in six rate cuts in 2024 with the first cut in March, even with the doves winning the day at the last FOMC meeting of 2023. Still, yesterday, the European Central Bank, Bank of England, Swiss National Bank, and Hong Kong Monetary Authority all left their key policy rates unchanged.

In this country, today’s economic calendar is under way with Empire manufacturing for December (109.42). Later today brings industrial production and capacity utilization for November, and preliminary December S&P Global PMIs. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged from Thursday evening’s levels, the 10-year yielding 3.92 after closing yesterday at 3.93 percent, and the 2-year at 4.41.

LO Jobs

“Did you achieve what you expected in 2023? Not many hit their goals, but at Guaranteed Rate Affinity we’ve built a proven platform for success and a strong sense of belief. Last year, we even had 34 LOs on the Scotsman Top Originators List*. Our organization is primed for success in 2024 and we have a clear path forward on how to achieve it with our tech, tools and most importantly, grit. This allows us to persevere and stay positive because we know that what you believe comes true. Want to start 2024 off with a team backing you so you can become a leader in your market? Get in touch with our Sales Leadership Team to get started today. *Based on Scotsman Guide’s 2022 Loan Originator’s List. Guaranteed Rate Affinity is an Equal Opportunity Employer.”

“Evergreen Home Loans is revolutionizing the mortgage industry by infusing professionalism with fun. We're looking for exceptional loan officers like you to join this vibrant journey! Beyond numbers and transactions, we cultivate a lively and enjoyable work environment. We believe fun within our team leads to satisfied clients and a rewarding career for you. Our team celebrates every milestone, fostering a culture of appreciation and camaraderie. We don't just close loans; we celebrate achievements, enhancing our team spirit.

We're committed to joy, extending it through community involvement where you can engage, connect, and enjoy a balanced work-life. At Evergreen Home Loans, your career is more than financial success; it's about enjoying the process and making a difference. Be part of a journey where home financing is memorable for both our clients and you. Join us and transform home financing into an exciting adventure! To view all of Evergreen’s career opportunities visit here: Evergreen Careers.”