Although today is not a Federal holiday, it certainly seems like it should be one. And not to be “Debbie Downer, it is hard to believe that we have two more months until the next Federal holiday. (Before I forget, can you do me a very quick favor? Please answer 1 yes/no question in a survey.) Sunday is Easter, and the press is reminding us that some public officials forecast that the pandemic would be over with by Easter of 2020. Nope. Most lenders and vendors are still working from home, and “work from home” (WFH) companies are now dealing with a scattered workforce, a portion of whom were hired during the pandemic. Here’s an article with tips on dealing with one of the WFH speedbumps: maintaining corporate culture. Speaking of being home, I was dealt a cruel blow last night when I actually read the description of the workout routine I’d been doing for the last year. “Helps you burn muscle and build fat” it said. Darn it!
Broker and Lender Products and Services
Flagstar Bank is excited to host housing data analyst and financial blogger, Logan Mohtashami, for its FLEX series on April 8th at 2PM ET. Logan will be sharing his thoughts on the past, present, and future state of the Housing Economics and Mortgage Rates. Attendees will gain more insight into the predicted demographics for housing sold during the years 2020-2024 and the economic impact to rapidly rising home prices. Register here for the free virtual event.
REMN Wholesale has announced that it is a 2021 AIME GOLD SPONSOR for the second consecutive year. REMN's GOLD level sponsorship of AIME (Association of Independent Mortgage Experts) showcases its continuous support for the broker community throughout all 50 states where REMN is licensed/authorized to conduct business. REMN has also announced that in April, it will begin a month-long weekly series of live webinar trainings focused exclusively on REMN’s renovation loan products. These live events are for brokers, MLOs, and loan processors seeking to expand their market reach. Trainings will cover product highlights & benefits, present market segment growth/opportunity, and utilization of the REMN-RENO platform with Renovation Lending Software technology. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for dates and details. REMN Wholesale is recognized nationally for its industry-leading underwriting turn times and Platinum Product Pricing for government and conventional loan products (purchase & refinance). Jumbo, Non-QM, and HELOC round out its overall product offering.
It may be April 2nd, but is your servicing risk management strategy still making a fool out of you? Don’t get caught using fool’s gold as your servicing risk management strategy. MQMR has the treasure map for striking gold with a free white paper, “Strategy.” And, to help you find where “X marks the spot,” MQMR’s Julie McCurley and Lisa Butler are hosting a TMConnect Webinar titled, “Cover Your Assets,” on April 13 at 4 p.m. ET.
“Let our experience work for you – even faster! Mr. Cooper’s Non-Delegated platform is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Our Non-Delegated platform is focused on rapid turn times, competitive pricing and helping our partners meet closing deadlines and afford their borrowers with quick access to capital. Recent Non-Delegated enhancements include FHA and VA product expansion, additional MI solutions and an expansive list of operations and technology enhancements focused on client experience! Let our dedicated team of experienced Mr. Cooper Underwriting Advisors help you get started today! Industry Intelligence! Upcoming sessions include Mitigating Suspicious Activity (April 7). We’ll provide helpful suggestions focused on validating Employment & Income and tips on uncovering red flags. Additionally, Capital Markets Forum (April 13) during which Brandon Story, Mr. Cooper’s SVP of Capital Markets will provide an economic update on the industry and an outlook on what we can expect heading into 2Q. If you’d like to attend, please reach out to your Mr. Cooper Correspondent Regional Sales team!
Roostify, a premium home lending technology provider, has just released its latest white paper, “The Resilience of the American Homebuyer During Covid-19”. The report details the pandemic’s impact on the mortgage industry through 2020 based on proprietary lending platform data and reveals critical insights into today’s lending market. Roostify’s report also offers crucial information about how lenders should think about the lending landscape moving through 2021.
Flood and Disaster News
The pandemic is a disaster, and FEMA’s declarations trigger investor policies around the nation. But there are things you should be aware of. The FHFA issued a request for input on risks posed by climate change and natural disasters to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the broader housing finance system. FHFA is soliciting public feedback in several areas, including identification and assessment of climate and natural disaster risks and potential enhancements to FHFA supervision and regulation as it relates to these risks.
Despite the drought in the West, with another expected bad summer fire season, floods are a discussion topic. In flood insurance news, a notice and request for comment was issued for new interagency questions and answers (Q&As) regarding the acceptance of flood insurance issued by private insurers, as required by regulations implementing the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Weiner, Brodsky Kider PC weighed in. “(Current) regulations require lending institutions to accept policies that meet the statutory definition of ‘private flood insurance’ in the Biggert-Waters Act. Lending institutions may also exercise their discretion to accept flood insurance policies issued by private insurers and plans providing flood coverage issued by mutual aid societies that do not meet the statutory definition of ‘private flood insurance,’ subject to certain restrictions. The 24 proposed Q&As are ‘broadly applicable to supervised lenders and servicers’ and provide clarity on three consolidated topics: The mandatory acceptance of private flood insurance, the circumstances where discretionary acceptance or refusal of private flood insurance is acceptable, and additional general compliance issues related to regulations implementing the Biggert-Waters Act.” Comments on the proposed questions and answers must be submitted on or before May 17, 2021.
Leadership from the National Association of Realtors (aka, NAR) met with National Flood Insurance Program Chief Executive David Maurstad to discuss the release of a new federal flood insurance rate structure. Risk Rating 2.0, as the initiative is known, was designed by the Federal Emergency Management Association to modernize NFIP’s insurance pricing methodology and more accurately tie its rates to the flood risks of individual properties. “Based on FEMA’s nationwide analysis, Risk Rating 2.0 will help ensure NFIP policyholders pay a rate proportionate to their property risk. The new initiative will also help FEMA identify and target mitigation grant dollars to the highest risk properties.” Risk Rating 2.0 represents the first significant update to NFIP rating methodology in almost 50 years. The new rates will begin to take effect on October 1, 2021, for new NFIP policyholders and for existing policyholders who may want to opt in to take advantage of immediate decreases in their premiums. All other existing policyholders would receive the new rates on April 1, 2022.
Mortgage Solutions Financial issued Announcement 04-21C in regard to the severe winter storms in Louisiana.
First Community Mortgage’s Disaster Announcement DA-21-04 provides updated information on Louisiana Severe Winter Storms.
On 3/9/2021, with DR-4590, FEMA declared federal disaster aid with individual assistance has been made available to 23 Louisiana parishes affected by severe winter storms. AmeriHome Mortgage issued a reminder to review its disaster reinspection requirements.
FEMA posted information on the Louisiana disaster declaration in DR-4590. For loans submitted with an appraisal dated on or before the incident period end date or for those submitted without an appraisal, Sun West will require an interior and exterior inspection prior-to-funding or purchase of any loans with subject properties that are determined to be at risk. The inspection must verify that the property is sound, habitable and in the same condition as when it was appraised.
First Community Mortgage’s Disaster Announcement DA-21-02 updates information on the Texas Severe Winter Storms.
In memo 21033, Flagstar Bank addresses satisfactory reinspection requirements for Government Transactions in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.
LoanDepot’s latest Weekly Announcement covers disaster updates on Oklahoma and Texas, Private Transfer Fee Policy in its Conventional Lending Guide, information regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s mandate for use of the Redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA).
The Citi Correspondent Lending Bulletin 2021-04 covers information on Texas Disaster Appraisal Requirements, Second Homes and Investment Properties conforming transactions,
Although the U.S. stock market is closed today, fixed-income markets are trading (with an early close for Good Friday) and are focused on President Biden's call for $2.30 trillion in infrastructure spending. The minimal movement we saw suggests markets had already priced it in. Economic data to close the week was mixed relative to expectations, as initial claims increased while the ISM Manufacturing Index for March reached a 37-year high. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending April 1, saw mortgage rates little changed, with the 30-year rate up 1 bp to 3.18 percent and the 15-year fixed and 5/1 hybrid ARM rates unchanged at 2.45 percent and 2.84 percent, respectively.
The U.S. economy is driven by housing and jobs, and this morning we received an update on the latter. The headline unemployment rate for March came in at 6.0 percent, as expected. Hourly earnings were -.1 percent, the workweek was 34.9 hours, and non-farm payroll clocked in strong at +916k. When the Desk returns on Monday, they will target up to $5.3 billion 30-year 2 percent and 2.5 percent over two morning operations. Friday begins with Agency MBS prices worse a few ticks versus Thursday’s close, and the 10-year is yielding 1.69 after closing Thursday at 1.68 after the employment stats.
Employment, Transitions, and Promotions
Churchill Mortgage has announced that Mickey Maloney joined the organization as the director of loan servicing. Maloney will assist the secondary marketing team in pricing, hedging, and trading in addition to growing the newly created servicing department. He aims to ensure that the companies loan servicing is a best-in-class experience for borrowers, helping further the company’s mission of becoming the lender for life among homebuyers. “It is truly a pleasure to join Churchill Mortgage. I’m excited by the opportunity to build the loan servicing program and advance the goals of this outstanding company,” said Maloney. “Churchill Mortgage has an incredible reputation within the industry. I look forward to applying my experience and leadership to help grow their business in this exciting next chapter.” Churchill Mortgage has been employee-owned since 2013! Churchill is growing and would love to speak with you about opportunities in your area. Learn more here.
San Francisco Bay Area IMB Newfi Lending hired Dan Bayer, CMB as SVP of NonQM Development & Strategy. Bayer brings 30 years of mortgage banking knowledge and extensive NonQM experience to the organization after spending time at both Deephaven & Angel Oak. Also new to Newfi is Kevin McCarthy, another NonQM veteran having spent several years at both Verus & Angel Oak. Some of these tools include live Scenario Desk, Deal desk interaction with your brokers and lenders partners, rules-based pricing and underwriting engine, same day exception and pricing answers, and bank Statement income calculation software analysis with immediate results. To learn more about the Newfi NonQM offering please reach out to Dan Bayer or visit www.newfiwholesale.com. Newfi is scaling up both its Sales and its Operation space in 2021, and is looking for sensationally talented Non-QM Underwriters, DE Underwriters and Wholesale Account Executives throughout the country. Please reach out to our SVP of Talent and Strategic Growth, Travis Butler.
“Your dream job is waiting for you at Knock, really. As a technology company creating innovative home loan products (like the Knock Home SwapTM) we help people quickly buy their new home before selling their existing one. Join us in our mission to bring certainty, convenience, and cost savings to home buying and selling. No matter your skillset or background, we believe a diverse Knockstar team only helps us build a stronger, better consumer tech brand. Please take a look at our several open positions here and apply today!”
Please help On Q Financial congratulate Matt Brammer on his promotion to VP, Correspondent and Wholesale Sales! Matt is a highly regarded mortgage industry veteran with over 25 years of sales experience and his industry relationships and dynamic background in Capital Markets and Third-Party channels will allow On Q to continue to grow its Correspondent and Wholesale production. On Q Financial has created a collaborative and client centric third-party platform where our Clients, Sales, and Operations truly share a voice together to effect change. We move as one unit and we move FAST! On Q Financials’ Correspondent and Wholesale channels provide services that cover the full life cycle of a mortgage banker including government and agency products in best efforts, Non-Delegated, Delegated, mandatory and trade desk. Contact Matt Brammer to learn more.
Plaza Home Mortgage announced that Mike Fontaine has been named Co-President of Plaza (he will also continue as Chief Operating Officer), and Michelle Richardson will become SVP, Chief Financial Officer. Fontaine, 17-year Plaza vet, had previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer, and Richardson joined the company in 2019 as SVP of Treasury and Finance. (Kevin Parra, Plaza’s Co-Founder, CEO, Chairman, and world traveler will share the President role with Mike.)