I imagine the Congressional kickball match is really something to watch at its summer picnic. That branch of the government has become very adept at kicking things down the road, this time with flood insurance. (Good luck having them act on something substantive like Fannie and Freddie’s future!) Just hours before the National Flood Insurance Program was set to expire yesterday, the Senate approved a four-month extension that will keep the program alive through Nov. 30. President Trump said he would sign the extension (which passed the House last week). Everyone is hoping for a longer-term NFIP extension; cynics say, “fat chance – we’ll be doing this again after Thanksgiving.”
Employment, business opportunities, & company news
An Atlanta-based lender is looking to acquire mortgage broker shops with established self-gen loan officers. The lender prefers the broker shop maintain its management, branding, and culture and allows LO’s to broker to other lenders. The structure lets the broker shop off load compliance and some administrative costs (e.g. accounting, payroll) while normally retaining processors. The lender offers superior technology relieving the broker shop of headaches associated with technical support/maintenance and has proven transition plans/procedures in place for a smooth integration. All communication will be held in strict confidence. Please send me a note/resume for forwarding; excuse any delays due to travel.
Expanding its offering for loan officers, Movement Mortgage is bridging the need for LO personal branding and digital marketing with its new Movement Marketing Suite. VP of Marketing Jake Fehling says Movement Marketing Suite transforms retail mortgage marketing by connecting retail loan officers to a comprehensive suite of technology tools and strategies backed by a team of personal brand and mortgage marketing consultants. Headlining the Movement Marketing Suite are corporate-subsidized partnerships with four new technology partners: Yext (SEO and digital listings), leadPops (lead funnels), Social Survey (reputation management) and Yip Yip (automatic social media content). Movement loan officers all get access to the Movement Marketing Suite and are empowered to automate and streamline marketing tasks while accessing resources and customized support from a team of content marketing, branding, social media, video and communications professionals. Learn more about opportunities at Movement Mortgage at MovementLO.com.
Efficiency Metrics are on every company’s list of “things that must improve” to lower costs. Some companies are making drastic reductions in their support staff. Cornerstone Home Lending, with 175 offices in 23 States takes a uniquely different approach in supporting its Loan Officers. For the past 30 years, Cornerstone is known for CLOSING LOANS ON-TIME and management understands that it takes more Loan Processors, Underwriters and Closers to meet the ongoing month-end closing rushes. Compare Cornerstone’s metrics to your company’s metrics for June fundings: 1 Loan Processor for every 1.1 Loan Officers; 1 Underwriter for every 2.1 Loan Officers; 1 Closer for every 4.1 Loan Officers; 1 Technology Specialist for every 3.3 Loan Officers. The result, Cornerstone Loan Officers averaged 8.6 funded units in June, while 10% of its Loan Officers funded 20 or more units! More support creates HAPPY Customers and more production per Loan Officer! For information about Cornerstone Home Lending contact Tom Lott.
“What’s your Plan B? With flat growth, low inventory, and margin compression, 2018 certainly has its challenges – and the 4th quarter is looming. Now is the time to consider a strategic conversation with American Pacific Mortgage. This video describes the unique solution we’ve built, and an invitation from APM’s Chairman, Kurt Reisig, on how we could strategically work together. Our business model empowers independent mortgage banks to operate under their brand and tap into our resources to compete. We provide the support, resources and technology, so you can focus on growing production. Interested in a confidential owner-to-owner conversation to explore a “Plan B” with Kurt Reisig? Please contact Peter Schwartz
(916.770.0053) or Mike Haden (916.223.3627).”
Caliber Home Loans, Inc. congratulates its Head of National Operations, Jennifer Corcoran, who was selected by HW as one of its 2018 Women of Influence. The magazine’s annual list recognizes high-achieving women in mortgage banking and real estate. As Senior Vice President, Jennifer and her operations team proved to be a tremendous asset to Caliber by achieving a 12% reduction in cost per loan in Q1 2018 over Q1 2017 and a 15% volume increase during the same period. Caliber produced its highest sales volume ever in 2017— at over $43 billion – and was profitable. To congratulate Jennifer on joining the ranks of such an elite group and thank her for her leadership, comment on Caliber’s LinkedIn announcement!
On August 1, 2018, FAMC will no longer be an independent entity and will instead become a division of Citizens Bank, N.A. There are a few items that will be changing and are therefore effective as of the acquisition date on August 1, 2018: MERS®, Note Endorsements, payment address for goodbye letters, and its Mortgagee Clause.
Stock analysts are dropping coverage of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, Inc. (NSM) due to the closing of its previously announced acquisition by WMIH Corp. (WMIH). Its shares are being delisted.
Digital & tech updates
Floify, the mortgage industry’s leading point-of-sale solution, continues to live up to its stellar reputation! Not only is their end-to-end automation platform saving LOs valuable time by handling redundant tasks associated with originating loans, they’re making the process more amazing than ever with a slick interview-style 1003, brandable landing pages, and a growing list of third-party integrations. In fact, Floify customers, from single LOs to large enterprises, have become so efficient that many are reporting record-breaking levels of production because of their newly automated mortgage processes. Just ask Floify advocate and top-producing LO, Calum Ross, who recently reported generating more than $165 million in personal production without ever emailing a client – now that’s some powerful stuff! If you’ve been considering Floify for your lending operation, there’s never been a better time to make the transition to this leading-edge mortgage solution. Request a live demo to learn more!
Will investing in an end-to-end digital loan process produce more satisfied borrowers? In the latest MortgageSAT Tip, STRATMOR Group’s MortgageSAT Director Mike Seminari says the benefits of going digital can be measured empirically, specifically by considering changes in Net Promoter Score (NPS). Take for example, automating the process of document collection, which lowers the possibility that a borrower will be asked for the same document multiple times. Solving this problem alone results in a 50-point gain in NPS — 29 more Promoters and 21 less Detractors — which translates to real loan revenue. “There seems to be a clear arrow pointing to revenue opportunity, and we’re already seeing evidence of lenders responding. One lender, recently mentioned in this column, is offering borrowers a .125 bps pricing improvement just for completing a digital 1003 through their digital mortgage app.” The tide is turning toward the digital experience, and the sooner lenders join the party, the sooner they will recoup technology costs and start reaping extended financial benefits. See the current MortgageSAT Tip for three practical steps to take for starting — or continuing — on the digital path.
Looking briefly overseas, China’s 3rd largest bank issued a farmland loan via blockchain.
Ditech Holding Corporation announced that it has launched a highly personalized mortgage point-of-sale system, customized collaboratively by its in-house Innovation Lab and Tavant, and powered by VELOX, a leading digital lending platform. This system, which will provide a data-driven business platform, is expected to drive excellence in customer experience through streamlined business processes with intelligent automation, improved fulfilment efficiency, and overall digital simplification.
Notarize and Title Resources have partnered up to expand online notarization for 100% digital real estate transactions. Together the companies will enable lenders, independent title agents and customers to benefit from fully digital online closings. This joining will expand online closings to 38 states and the District of Columbia, including new states Michigan, New Mexico and Wisconsin. The addition of these new states represents nearly 265 million Americans now able to complete online closings. Notarize expanded its real estate platform to include Notarize for Title Agents to enable title agents of all sizes to serve buyers and sellers online.
Informative Research (IR) has integrated with LendingQB’s LOS. With this new integration, users will be able to order multiple products including but not limited to Credit Supplements, 4506-Ts, PreClose Monitoring (UDM), Flood reports, and their popular SoftQual solution, which lets lenders pull a soft inquiry on an applicant’s credit report to prequalify.
Colonial National Mortgage has chosen Roostify to provide its applicants with a simple and intuitive platform for obtaining a home loan. Consumers will have the ability to apply and provide loan documents online making it simple for all parties to collaborate in real time to speed up the closing process. “Our goal with Roostify is to provide a superior loan process that offers benefit to both our customers and our loan officers,” said J. David Motley, President of Colonial. “Roostify allows us to deploy a single platform for our retail mortgage channels – and in time, our credit union division — further streamlining our internal processes and ensuring a uniformly excellent customer experience.”
Clallam County, Wash., is the 1800th jurisdiction to join Simplifile’s e-recording network and reap the benefits of e-recording within its day-to-day operations. With this addition, more than 50 percent of recording jurisdictions nationwide are now using Simplifile’s e-recording platform to electronically exchange, process, and record real estate documents within minutes, making it the largest e-recording network in the nation.
OpenClose announced at the CMBA’s 46th Annual Western Secondary Marketing Conference that it unveiled DecisionAssist™ Mobile, which provides fingertip access to the company’s proprietary web-based product and pricing engine (PPE). Using DecisionAssist Mobile, originators can quickly and efficiently compare eligible products and pricing and deliver the results directly to their borrowers from anywhere at any time via any mobile device. Retail originators, wholesale brokers and correspondent sellers can instantly quote multiple loan products for a specific loan scenario on-the-fly and immediately email the borrower comparative details. An email summary of the quoted prices is simultaneously returned to the originator to follow up with the borrower. The result is faster service, convenience, greater transparency, reduced cycle times and increased pull-through rates.
Rates were flat yesterday ahead of today’s FOMC policy statement. Japan is #3 in world GDP, so its markets matter. Overnight, the Bank of Japan released its own July policy statement with no change to the policy rate (-0.10%), but the target range for the 10-yr JGB yield will be widened – as expected. (The central bank acknowledged that its forecast for reaching the 2.0% inflation target in fiscal year 2019 will not materialize.)
Looking back at the bevy of U.S. economic releases from yesterday, they continued to be solid – despite the Fed’s short-term rate increases. The Personal Income and Spending Report for June didn’t produce any real surprises, which should keep the Federal Reserve inclined to think that it can continue to raise interest rates. The PCE Price Index was roughly in-line with expectations and contained comprehensive revisions, including a marked upward adjustment in the personal savings rate for the years 2013-2017. The employment cost index showed wages, salaries, and benefit costs are trending higher, which supports the inflation narrative and the thinking that the Federal Reserve will remain inclined to keep gradually raising interest rates. The Chicago PMI hit a six-month high for July as the Prices Paid Indicator hit its highest level since September 2008, indicative of pipeline inflation. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index beat expectations for July after an upwardly revised June, but a back-to-back decline in the Expectations Index suggests consumers do not anticipate growth accelerating.
Domestically, no rate hike is expected today (Fed Funds 1.75%-2.00%). Instead, the policy statement will be studied for clues that could solidify expectations for two more hikes before the end of 2018. The Fed Funds futures market points to a 94% implied probability of a rate hike in September while the implied probability of another increase in December sits at 70%. We have already had the weekly MBA Mortgage Index (-2.5%) and the July ADP Employment Change (+219k, stronger than expected), before June Construction Spending (expected 0.2%; prior 0.4%) and July ISM Index. Finally, at 2pm ET, we will have the August FOMC Rate Decision, July Auto Sales (prior 3.97 million), and July Truck Sales (prior 9.61 million). Rates? Yesterday the benchmark 10-year closed yielding 2.98% and this morning it is at 3.00% with agency MBS prices worse nearly .125, based on the continued solid U.S. economic news.
There are no real holidays in August, so how about some non-national holidays? (A cynic would say that this is all that Congress can agree on in this era, if Congress did indeed agree on any of these. Maybe most are special interest groups.) August is National Catfish Month, Romance Awareness Month, and Foot Health Month. August 1 is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day. August 3 is National Watermelon Day. August 4 is Twins Day Festival. August 6 is Wiggle Your Toes Day. August 7 is Sea Serpent Day. August 8 is Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night. August 10 is Lazy Day. August 12 is Middle Child’s Day. August 15 is National Relaxation Day & National Failures Day. August 18 is Bad Poetry Day. August 25 is Kiss-And-Make-Up Day. August 28 is World Sauntering Day. August 30 is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. August 31 is National Trail Mix Day.
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, “With Regulations, Be Careful What You Wish For.” 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.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 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.)