Fourth quarter already!? Was the third quarter of 2020 the best quarter ever to be in residential lending? Will the fourth quarter beat it? While much of our economy unfortunately languishes, “record breaking” has surpassed “unprecedented” on mortgage Zoom calls. LOs are “tonning it,” pipelines are full, margins plump. If you’re not making money in this environment, think about doing something else. And who wants or needs to offer the best rate on the street and overwhelm your already-swamped ops staff? Seasoned managers continue to focus on cash levels (knowing that warehouse & human capacity limit volume) while capital markets & accounting staffs eye best ex and cash management every day. On the large scale, as we start the 4th quarter, regulators will be the ones making changes as it is highly doubtful that much will be done in Congress about housing or finance, given the election. Speaking of, I don’t know which debate you watched the other night, but this is what was on my TV.
Broker and Lender Services and Products
Free eBook: “Mortgage Fraud: The Complete Lender Guide.” Data Facts has put together a free new eBook that'll help you understand the basics of mortgage fraud, learn how to detect fraud in the mortgage file, and prevent fraud before it harms your financial institution. You can download the eBook here. Mortgage fraud is a billion-dollar problem that isn’t going away, and you need to be prepared for when it impacts your lending institution. For more expert tools and resources that can help your mortgage lending team, subscribe to Data Fact’s weekly blog, and make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.
“Are your MLOs spending too much time with lousy leads? The old saying, "Time is money" couldn't be truer in mortgage right now. Maximize your marketing dollars and stop wasting time on phone calls from borrowers that aren’t going to do business with you. Monster Lead Group are the experts at producing high return, high converting direct mail campaigns using our exclusive intelligent response technology. That means more calls from borrowers that are ranked, scored, and identified to be more likely to transact with your offer. Sound good? We can help you. Get pricing and timing of a turn-key Monster direct mail campaign for your inbound call team. We do all the work; you take all the calls. Close more loans with your current capacity. Next: Request a call from a Monster expert right now.”
“What if you could always give your loan officers great opportunities? Grant yourself access to the most profitable and highest converting loans in existence. “In the first 4 months we took in $180M in applications and we have about 100 LOs. That is a significant impact to our business. My top performing LO attributes 25% of her business to Sales Boomerang alerts.” (Katherine Campbell, CMO, Assurance Financial) “Sales Boomerang gives us a conversion that is 2 ½ times better than our normal conversions.” (Tim Lewis, Castle and Cooke) The numbers speak for themselves: 20x Avg. ROI, $240 Avg Cost Per Acquired Loan, 10-20% Avg Lift to Loan Volume. Want to see exactly how much you lost this year? Request your report today. We will show you which competitor took your deal, what was the loan amount, what type of loan it was, the term and much more.”
Just like your borrowers, loan officers need access to information, too. The average loan has hundreds of pages of documents changing hands and comes from a variety of sources like loan origination software, documents, handouts that live in your cloud drive, or attachments that someone sent via email. Rather than making loan officers waste time searching, Capacity helps them instantly access the information they need during the loan process. Capacity connects apps, mines documents, captures tacit knowledge, and automates processes, all through a mobile-friendly chat interface. Deploy within 30 days. Request a demo to learn more.
For the majority of aspiring broker-owners, the upfront costs associated with starting a business are often the biggest obstacle keeping them from making the entrepreneurial leap. Home Point Financial is partnering with AIME to solve this issue, contributing $1 million from its community foundation to the new AIME Spark program, which will fund the creation of 50 minority-owned and female-owned brokerages. Each grant recipient will receive between $17,500 and $50,000 – an amount that goes a long way in covering expenses related to office space, licensing, technology, marketing and services, among other things. Sounds like an awesome opportunity – and kudos to Home Point and AIME for their continued commitment to growing the broker channel. For more information on the Spark program, visit the AIME website.
A Nose for eClose?
Lenders, how far along the road to digital innovation are you? According to STRATMOR Group’s 2019 Technology Insight Study, 18 percent of lenders reported live eClose capabilities. Whether you are well on your way with your digital plans or are thinking through what to do in 2021, you’ll want the data that is only available from STRATMOR Group’s Digital Innovation Survey, the third and final survey of the 2020 Technology Insight Study. The survey takes less than ten minutes to complete and best of all, participating lenders receive the survey report for FREE. Don’t miss your change to have data on the key digital capabilities and the benefits and barriers to the digital technology available in the mortgage market today—take the TIS: Digital Innovation Survey now!
Where would our industry be without homebuyers? Kristin Messerli and her team at Cultural Outreach have just released a timely new report on the NextGen Homebuyer. In collaboration with National MI, they surveyed 1,450 NextGen buyers (ages 22-37) to understand their motivations in homebuying, challenges, financial position, and the impact of COVID-19. NextGen buyers are optimistic about buying a home during COVID-19, and say they are purchasing out of a desire to have more space and to take advantage of low interest rates. Their greatest homebuying challenges include affordability and financial education: one in every five buyers is not confident in understanding any step of the home buying process. NextGen women experienced significantly more financial challenges than men, which the report indicates is strongly correlated with lower childhood financial education and negative effects of COVID-19 among women. Click here for the full report and more insights into NextGen trends.
E Mortgage Management, LLC., a progressive residential mortgage lender, has announced the Company will begin its transition into operating under its new legal name of EMM LOANS LLC and with the brand/logo of “emmloans”. recently experienced unparalleled volume and rapid growth and the rebranding strategy reflects the company’s vision for a better future in mortgage lending. Its new digital technology platform, EZPath, paired with the evolution of the name, image and brand, creates the perfect opportunity to reposition the company into a national household name. President and COO, Kevin Crichton observed, “With the implementation of essential digital technology, our lending platform became fast, simple and transparent. Paired with the current real estate market at an all-time high and it became obvious that the logical shift to transition our brand through the modernization of a new name, brand and color palette refresh would solidify our position in the marketplace.” (By the way, EMM LOANS LLC is hiring)
In MCT’s recent case study, Caleb Jeppsen, VP of Secondary Marketing at Virginia Credit Union, explains how MCT’s blend of industry knowledge, customer service, and award-winning software has helped Virginia Credit Union add value to their members. According to Mr. Jeppsen, “MCT has helped us earn an additional lift over best efforts on every loan we sell. This, along with the earnings from interest holds, has allowed Virginia Credit Union to offer more products, build more branches, provide better service, and create more mortgage loans for our membership.” MCT’s suite of software, including MCTlive!, Bid Auction Manager, Rapid Commit, and the new InvestorMatic program, enabled Virginia Credit Union to save 10 minutes per loan on data entry and 4 hours on each loan sale. For more information on how to improve your profitability and add hours of efficiency each week, contact MCT Today.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has called for industry comments on possible changes to regulations governing alternative trading systems, which have been criticized for inconsistency. SIFMA's Leslie Norwood said the group is reviewing the proposal with its members and will issue comments, noting, "There are, of course, important differences among the various fixed-income markets, and between fixed-income and equity markets."
At last, some volatility! Unfortunately, it worked against those who didn’t lock earlier in the week. U.S. Treasuries & Agency MBS ended Wednesday by pulling back across the curve, although the UMBS30 basis closed tighter with markets trading “risk-on” following. Much of that sentiment was caused by better than expected economic data (upwardly revised Q2 GDP, and upside beats in Chicago PMI and ADP employment) and optimism around further fiscal support as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said he and Nancy Pelosi "made a lot of progress over the last few days."
Pending Home Sales increased 8.8% in August when they were only expected to increase 3.2%. That comes on the heels of a 5.9% increase in July. The Chicago PMI increased to 62.4% in September when it was expected to register at 53.0% following an August reading of 51.2%. The third estimate for Q2 GDP registered a slight upward revision to -31.4% quarter-over-quarter annualized, slightly better than the second estimate of -31.7%. Despite the slight revision, Q2 of 2020 marked the biggest downturn for the U.S. economy on record.
Today’s economic calendar kicked off a little while ago with September job cuts from Challenger, Gray & Christmas (they jumped to 118,804 in September, up 2.6% from August's total of 115,762, and are 186% higher than September 2019). We’ve also received initial claims for the week ending September 26 (-36k to 837k) and continued claims for the week ending September 19 (-980k to 11.8 million), as well as August personal income and spending (-2.7 percent and +1.0 percent) and PCE prices. Later this morning brings final September Markit manufacturing PMI, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending September 25, the September ISM Manufacturing Index and August Construction Spending. The two Fed speakers scheduled are New York’s Williams and Governor Bowman. The NY Fed will conduct a three MBS FedTrades totaling up to $5.3 billion with settlement likely flipping to November. Those operations start with $892 million UMBS15 1.5% and 2%, followed by $2.9 billion UMBS30 2% and 2.5% and $1.5 billion GNII 2% and 2.5%. We begin the 4th quarter with Agency MBS prices down/worse .125 and the 10-year yielding .71 after closing at 0.68% yesterday based on economic news “that isn’t terrible” and unemployment is better than expected.
Royal Pacific Funding (RPF), has launched its Correspondent Channel of business. As an established wholesale mortgage lender, RPF has now expanded into correspondent lending with the intention to build its servicing portfolio. RPF Correspondent will offer Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, and FHA programs to serve a wide array of sellers. RPF offers commitment, experience and partnership to its clients giving them the liquidity options they seek in order to operate at their competitive best and to increase profitability. Founder and CEO, Sam Soliman, says, “We are excited to launch our Correspondent channel with 30 years of lending experience under our belt. RPF Correspondent is tailored to our partners’ secondary needs and we look forward to offering a quick and simple purchasing process to enhance the sellers’ lending abilities, while facilitating continued growth in the market.” RPF has also announced it is looking to expand its Correspondent National Sales team. Please reach out the HR Director, Char Mangrello, to inquire about open positions.
“Caliber Home Loans was recently recognized as a military-friendly employer by Victory Media for the third year in a row! We pride ourselves on giving veterans an opportunity to belong to a new troop after military service. We’re committed to providing professional development opportunities, career advancement and helping our veteran employees transition to the civilian workplace. Caliber also has a Military Veteran Employee Resource Group that raises funds for military support groups and volunteers countless hours with military organizations. If you’re looking for place to work that supports the military and communities where you live and work, Caliber has open positions in Operations and Sales. Visit our website today to view open opportunities. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller respectively.”
After over 13 years as a mortgage industry leader, Bellevue, Washington-based Axia Home Loans has launched Unified Reliance Wholesale, a revolution in wholesale lending. URW is led by industry powerhouses Dave Pilotte, Sigrid Hauser, and Chris Seinturier. The team brings more than 70 collective years of wholesale experience and a long history of success. Their unparalleled focus on exceptional customer service and efficiency is perfectly paired with Axia’s values and track record. As a 100-percent employee-owned independent mortgage bank, Axia’s expansion into wholesale will allow opportunities to diversify revenue, remain price competitive, and expand upon the team’s industry-leading talent. The move will further elevate Axia’s fulfillment capabilities and unmatched level of customer service. Call it a revolution, call it shaking things up—URW enters the industry with passion and an intention to be the best in the business and nothing less. Employment opportunities are available at urwholesale.com/join.
“First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation® is coming back to the Non-QM space with Maverick Solutions™! Do you want to join a team of Mortgage Mavericks and be a part of #MaverickRise? We are looking for highly motivated Non-QM Account Managers, and Non-QMUnderwriters who are ready to join a team of all-stars! FGMC invests in employees with ongoing training and leadership development opportunities, and invests in the community through a partnership with CASA and providing Paid-Time Off to volunteer. Key benefits of operations positions may include: Aggressive Compensation Plans with the possibility of Sign-On & Retention Bonuses, Monthly Incentive Programs, and 401-K Match with 2-year vesting! Plus, all Operations Positions are eligible for remote work. Contact us today or apply online to learn more!”