Rob Chrisman's

Daily Mortgage Commentary

  • Nov. 20: LO jobs & products; 1003 and CRM products; CRA req. study; world economies pushing US rates lower

    November 20, 2018

    Here are some tech developments as we seem to be moving closer to machines running our lives, or a loan being approved instantly by reading a fingerprint or retina. No, this isn’t a story from the Onion: British companies are planning to microchip personnel in order to boost security and stop them accessing sensitive areas. Biohax, a Swedish company that provides human chip implants…is in talks with a number of UK legal and financial firms to implant staff with the devices. One prospective client…is a major financial services firm with “hundreds of thousands of employees.” Around the world, Google Home users no longer need another voice assistant to communicate with GE products. And, of course, there is continued concern that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media companies sell access to our attention. Actual user information may not change hands, unless you include hacking, but the advertising business model drives company decision making in ways that are ultimately toxic to society.
     
    Jobs & LO-specific products
     
    Fidelity Bank Mortgage is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with retail mortgage production offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Since 2008, the Mortgage division has grown to over 36 offices and over 500 employees. Fidelity Bank Mortgage is a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae seller/servicer offering specialty products such as Portfolio Doctor Loans for eligible doctors, Construction-to-Permanent Loans, Escrow Holdback, and more. “The majority of our operational support is in the local markets, providing for the best possible customer service. Fidelity Bank Mortgage has one of the highest production averages per Loan Officer according to MBA/STRATMOR Peer Group Surveys and boasts well above average Performance and Loan Officer Loyalty. We are expanding into new markets and interested in Top Sales and Leadership Talent. Click here to contact David Rapson, Senior Vice President, Mortgage Production Manager, and view our eBook to learn more about our team.”
    GSF Mortgage Corp. is pleased to promote its Direct Originator Partnership Program for originators who are interested in a low expense and best execution opportunity in today’s market. The program has no branch or lender fees, translating to better pricing and compensation for the originator. Included in the partnership is access to Encompass Origination System, Optimal Blue Pricing Engine, Social Survey, MBS Highway, Sales Boomerang and HubSpot CRM—all at no charge to the originator. Originators participating in this partnership have enjoyed a 28-percent production increase—all while operating in a challenging market. If you are interested in the Direct Partnership please reach out to VP of Retail Lending, Frank Papaleo.
     
    Since launching its suite of mobile apps this year, Caliber Home Loans, Inc. has seen a steady increase in adoption along with the addition of features that increase the power of each for their producers and customers. The CaliberH2O mobile app for Loan Consultants, Account Executives and Wholesale Brokers enables users to find, price and lock loans from their mobile device. The app now allows its Caliber users to extend and change existing locks – just like they can in H2O itself. Loans will need to be eligible for changes within H2O. Among Caliber’s mobile milestones are number of downloads. To date, over 4,000 producers have downloaded the CaliberH2O mobile app. The Caliber Home Loans mobile app for customers and in-process borrowers has recently exceeded 100,000 downloads, and it has received mortgage payments over 165,000 times which adds up to over $281 million in payments made.
     
    There are so many things to be thankful for when making your career move to PrimeLending. At the top of that list will be world-class recruiters who make your transition simple, fast and seamless. That’s exactly what you can expect with PrimeLending recruiters Shay Crow and Nic Hartke by your side. Shay, who works with Brad Arendt in the Southeast, and Nic, who partners with Erik Hofstetter in the Mid-Atlantic, make achieving your goals their top priority. With their professional support and personal guidance, you’ll hit the ground loaning with the ability to originate on DAY ONE. At PrimeLending, our industry leading recruiters understand your needs and provide next-level assistance from the first conversation to your first day at our proven powerhouse. If you’re ready to give yourself something else to be thankful for, take your talents to PrimeLending. Just contact Shay or Nic to get started.
     
    Lender products and services
     
    Technology automates. Humans elevate. Technology helps mortgage loan officers (MLOs) reduce manual, repetitive tasks so they can enhance the experience for borrowers and co-marketing partners alike. MLOs won’t be replaced by technology, but the MLO who doesn’t leverage technology will be replaced by the one who does. Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is the sweet spot of personalized outreach. A Marketing Operating System (MOS) empowers MLOs to act on their data to identify opportunities and buying signals that trigger timely, relevant – automated – communications when borrowers are most apt to refinance, downsize or take out their next mortgage. Modernizing your MLOs’ workflow technology is no longer a “nice-to-have,” it’s a “must-have” if you hope to drive revenue growth and improve customer experience. Read the Total Expert guest blog by Dave Savage, Founder of Mortgage Coach: The Modern Mortgage Experience – Personalize and Then Get Personal.
     
    Todd Duncan is hosting his High Trust Sales Academy on December 4-7 in Las Vegas. Todd’s passion is to equip loan officers to make more money in less time with less stress, and the end of the year is the best time to do it. The High Trust Sales Academy is scheduled in December to prepare you to make 2019 your best year ever! Just imagine starting out January 2, 2019 with your perfectly crafted business plan in hand, with all of your systems and efficiencies well-oiled, and your top producing strategy ready to be executed. That could be your reality. Make the decision to change your business and your life next year, NOW!  Attendance is limited to the first 125 people. Register now before it’s too late!
     
    Vendor Surf announced that Anne McCullough has been named Head of Sales, effective December 3rd. McCullough comes to Vendor Surf from First Line Data, where she served as Vice President of Sales. Anne is an entrepreneurial-minded sales executive, attorney, and Muay Thai Black Belt. She received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and her B.A. from Marquette University. Anne has worked extensively in the legal, tech and mortgage industries in business development, consulting, sales, and marketing for over 25 years. She and her family currently reside in Clearwater, Florida. To discover how Vendor Surf’s search engine can boost sales, request a meeting with Anne
     
    Is your mortgage operation using the industry’s most advanced 1003 to streamline the application process for your borrowers? Floify, the next-generation point-of-sale system, earlier this year released the most sophisticated 1003 ever, and it has disrupted the mortgage world in a big way! Floify dramatically improved the application experience via their intuitive "interview-style" Q&A that guides borrowers through the process, step-by-step, by leveraging easily identifiable visual cues. Custom questions and automated needs-lists are just a few of the features you can enjoy with this fully embeddable 1003, which is in addition to the other powerful functionality that LOs already love about Floify, including a streamlined document collection portal with unlimited storage, automated text/email notifications, and more! If your lending operation could benefit from the efficiencies and cost-savings created by an advanced point-of-sale, now is the perfect time to adopt this incredible solution. Request a live demo to learn more!
     
    It just got even easier to close more deals with less effort: Usherpa has joined Blend’s partner ecosystem, giving members access to Blend’s consumer lending platform via streamlined integration with Usherpa’s industry-leading marketing CRM. Simply push a lead to Blend from Usherpa, and that prospective borrower will receive an email inviting them to start their application, with fields already pre-filled from Usherpa data. This game-changing partnership will empower Usherpa members to originate loans more easily and build stronger relationships. With data being pushed between Blend and Usherpa, you’ll eliminate double data entry and automate marketing sooner in the process, ultimately increase your pull-through and production. Here at Usherpa, your success is our top priority. Learn more about the Blend ecosystem integration here. Visit Usherpa.com to set up a demo today.
     
    Need some reading over the Holidays? Today we’re seeing more and more lending teams actively researching and purchasing technology solutions to accelerate their business. A study from Maxwell and HousingWire found that over 79% of lenders are planning to launch at least one new piece of technology in their organization this year, with 57% planning to launch two or more! In a crowded and complicated space, it’s hard to know the right questions to ask to help you find the right technology vendor. A free eBook — “Digital Mortgage Buyer’s Guide” — shines light on this process, touching on questions to ask and areas to focus on for those considering adopting new digital mortgage technology in their business. Download your complimentary copy here.
     
    CRA requirements
     
    While the Fed is looking at relaxing CRA regulations, 95 percent of bank lenders who responded to a recent STRATMOR survey on CRA and LMI lending indicated that complying with CRA requirements is and will continue to be a very important part of bank mortgage lending. In the November issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights Report, Principal Tom Finnegan offers six insights that help crystalize banks’ perspectives on what they are doing today to meet CRA requirements—and what they need for CRA reform to be effective in the future. The November issue also offers an article on one of the Seven Commandments for Achieving Borrower Satisfaction: Contact the Borrower Before Closing. 2018 YTD data from more than 80,000 borrowers participating in STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program shows a stunning drop in Net Promoter Score from 81 to -19 when the lender fails to communicate closing details to borrowers before the closing. MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari offers four steps lenders can take to keep up good borrower communication from application to closing. STRATMOR Insights Report
     
    Capital markets
     
    No part of every economy goes up equally every month consistently. Although there is some doubt out there about how long we can chug along for, economic data continues to point to a strong US economy. Think back to Personal spending increasing 0.4 percent in September and in line with the consumption figures reports in the third quarter GDP release. The demand in durable goods was partly driven by replacement needs following hurricane Florence. The inflation measure in the report preferred by the Fed was 2.0 percent at both the headline and core measures, in line with the Fed’s target. Consumer confidence hit 137.9 in October and isn’t far off from the all-time high reached in January 2000 during the tech bubble. The index is benefiting from increases in both current situation and future expectations and consumer remain enthused by the current job market and income expectations. The Employment Cost Index showed labor costs continue to rise as wages and salaries increase 0.9 percent over the last quarter. While it has been a slow push higher, wage growth is trending upward, in line with a tightening labor market. And remember that we had a stronger-than-expected jobs report which showed 250,000 jobs gained in October. It is notable that the ratio of the population age 25-54 that is employed is nearing the peak reached during the last expansion. Given the current strength of the labor market and the fact that inflation is at the Fed’s targeted level, expectations that the Fed will increase rates at their December meeting remain high. 
     
    Looking at yesterday’s bond market, the U.S. 10-year dropped 2bps more to start this week, closing Monday at 3.06% in a continuation of last week’s depression. The Treasury and MBS rally (and retreat in equities) was largely attributable to a very weak reading of the November NAHB Housing Market Index which logged its largest decline in more than four years. The poor housing data report is on trend with recent releases; and today we have October Housing Starts (consensus 1230K) and Building Permits (consensus 1260K), both of which will provide further clarity on the direction of housing.
     
    Internationally, the Asia-Pacific Communications Summit concluded without the release of a joint communique for the first time, due to the ongoing disagreement between United States and China. Separately, Reports from the UK indicate that two more MPs have submitted letters of no-confidence in Prime Minister May, bringing the total to 44, four short of the amount required to trigger a no-confidence vote. Finally, Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Italy will oppose Franco-German eurozone reform plans if they appear to be damaging for Italy.
     
    The global route in stocks is grabbing headlines, and the factors moving stocks are pushing rates lower. Ahead of a large economic calendar on tap tomorrow, today’s calendar is light, starting with housing starts and building permits for October (+1.5% due to apartments, but permits -.6%). Next up is Redbook same-store sales for the week ending November 12 at 8:55am ET (previously 0.2% MoM; 6.1% YoY). Lastly at 11:30am, Treasury will auction $50 billion 1- and $30 billion 2-month T-bills, both amounts unchanged versus last week. Tuesday starts with the 10-year yielding 3.04% and agency MBS prices not doing much versus last night’s close.
     
     
    This Thursday don’t fall for the ol’ pregnant turkey prank!
     
     
    Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: Don’t Underestimate Liquidity.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
     
     
    Rob
     
    (Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

     

     
     

  • Nov. 19: LO jobs; HELOC, reno, LOS products; Lehman litigation webinar & other upcoming events and training

    November 19, 2018

    Thanksgiving means many things to many people: family time, a half day of work Wednesday, or a four-day weekend. To the staff and students of Johns Hopkins, they are thankful for the gift from Michael Bloomberg, class of 1964, of $1.8 billion (with a “b”). Lenders and their staffs give millions every year to various causes, but beginning in the fall of 2019, Johns Hopkins will be a loan-free institution. “We will replace all undergraduate student loans with scholarships, and we will reduce overall family contributions to financial aid. In addition, for the spring 2019 semester, we will offer immediate loan relief to every enrolled undergraduate student whose financial aid package includes a federal need-based loan.” That is really something.   Jobs & personnel moves   “While many in the mortgage industry have been struggling, Prime Choice Funding, Inc. has been experiencing exponential

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  • Nov. 17: The housing market with 5% rates; blockchain update; Grandma’s Thanksgiving letter

    November 17, 2018

    The economy is like the weather, with everyone talking about it but there is nothing we can do about it. Some believe that growth will continue and rates will continue higher. Other aren’t so sure. (Thanks to California’s Steve A. who sent this note about Home Depot’s warning of a slow down ahead.) Sure, people in their 20s and 30s have heard about 3.5% mortgage rates for quite some time, but we’re in a different environment, and plenty of folks in our biz started their careers when rates were in the teens. Although not always easy when an LO is dealing with a hesitant borrower, it helps to keep rates’ impact on the housing market in perspective.   With that in mind, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist with First American Financial Corporation, wrote a piece that I received in my email

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