Are rates too high given where the U.S. economy is? Traders, investors, and the Fed think they’re where they need to be, given the information we have. Others believe they will head lower this year due to a slowing economy. The release of bank big bank earnings today is shedding some light on economic temperature, but recall that the word “patient” appeared in the recent FOMC minutes as well as in several comments by Fed Chairman Jay Powell related to the timing of potential upcoming rate hikes. (The last time we saw “patient” show up in Fed speak then Chairwoman Janet Yellen used it in reference to rate hikes in early 2015.) Would you patiently wait for your paycheck? U.S. government owes an estimated $5.3 billion to federal workers who have not been paid since the federal government shutdown began on Dec. 22. There are 826,531 federal workers who have gone without paychecks, with the total value of delayed wages rising at a rate of $2,000 per second. I’m sure the money is in the strongbox, right?
Jobs & personnel moves
Stearns Lending is excited to welcome Chad Schoep back to its team where he will serve as an SVP supporting the Wholesale and Non-Delegated Correspondent channel. A respected industry leader with more than 15 years of mortgage experience, he will be actively involved with strategic planning, tactical implementation, pricing, product development, counterparty risk and more. Chad’s previous affiliations have given him tremendous lending experience. “With proven results in growing all production channels, operations management and quality improvement, his contributions will have a major impact on the Stearns culture and customer experience,” said James Hecht, COO. “Chad’s skills complement the expertise of our current executive team, further cementing Stearns Lending as an industry pillar. We’re glad to have him back on board and know our broker partners will be, too.” If you are a broker interested in doing business or an Account Executive interested in joining Stearns, reach out to Chad.
AmCap Home Loans is expanding out West and has named Dave Bergstrom as Division President to help lead the expansion. “We are so pleased to welcome Dave and his team to the AmCap family. His inspiring attitude and true grit are excellent qualities that make him a perfect fit for our company culture and vision for growth,” said Garrett Clayton, AmCap CEO.
Bergstrom is a 30-year industry veteran based in Southern California. “I’m very happy to be part of a retail organization that is committed to expanding the company in the West. The leadership, tools and technology are exactly what is needed to make a quick impact on the market throughout the western states,” Bergstrom said. AmCap is currently seeking retail branches, branch managers and loan officers that would like an exciting opportunity to help fuel the expansion. If interested please submit a confidential resume to Dave Bergstrom.
ACC Mortgage, the oldest Non-QM lender, is extremely proud to announce that Brian Dacy has joined the company to become its National Sales Director. ACC was founded in 1999 as a small DC regional lender and has since grown to a 21-state wholesale Non-QM company. Brian and ACC’s president, Robert Senko, began their careers together 25 years ago with Cityscape Mortgage Corp., a front-runner in the securitization market. Since their collective days at Cityscape, Brian has been a leader in the industry building platforms for the likes of HSBC and First Guaranty with a combination of loyal talent and cutting-edge technology. By applying their successes and lessons from the past, Brian and Robert will utilize 50+ years of unique experience to take ACC to even higher levels with its “proof of concept”: ACC has the team and systems in place to deliver results for the brokers and bankers looking to grow their Non-QM business. ACC is hiring AEs and for brokers interested in becoming a partner, contact Brian Dacy.
Blue Water Financial Technologies announced it has hired Travis LaMar as Managing Director, Head of Capital Markets. “As a Managing Director, LaMar joins a strong data science and analytics team and brings 20 years of experience in mortgage secondary and capital markets to BWFT. He will focus on MSR brokerage, structuring solutions for MSR, and hedging solutions.” Congrats!
And Guaranteed Rate announced that industry veteran Joe Phalen has joined Guaranteed Rate Affinity as SVP of Strategic Growth for the mortgage origination joint venture between Guaranteed Rate, Inc. and Realogy Holdings Corp.
Lender products and services
Do you need to build your purchase business and develop agent relationships? Ron Vaimberg, nmpU President and Head Coach and a leading national trainer and coach to the mortgage industry, is conducting this 1 1/2-day Agent Relationship Sales Lab at the Westin Hotel – LAX in Los Angeles on Thursday, January 31st – Friday, February 1st. This workshop is limited to 30 attendees working directly with Ron to master his high-performance sales system for asking agents the right questions that will gain their attention, learn the pivot strategies around the objections hurled at you like “I already have a lender,” and discover the 5 steps to deliver the most powerful agent presentation you have ever experienced. Everything you need to master Ron’s proven system will be provided. This program comes with Ron’s exclusive 3 Hour Money Back Guarantee! Find all the details here. Early registration
discount expires on January 18th.
Creating PR that maximizes awareness, builds engagement and drives conversions is essential to success in today’s digital marketing world. One of the benefits of working with Seroka Brand Development is its 30+ years of mortgage industry PR experience combined with its focus on metrics and analytics in executing and evaluating its PR work. Amy Hansen, Seroka’s VP of PR and Strategic Planning relates how Seroka monitors 5 essential metrics to measure PR’s effectiveness including measuring share of voice, monitoring total potential viewership, providing social engagement data, determining website visitors obtained from earned coverage, evaluating search engine page ranking growth and much more. So, for 2019 why not #TurnUpYourBrand and make Seroka’s PR experience your advantage. Learn more here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation.
Ninety percent of the customer lifetime value is realized after the initial transaction. When salespeople earn the trust of their customers, they can become a trusted advisor. Empower your salespeople to build customers for life by blending human connection and technology. Hear from Todd Duncan and Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu about shifting your sales team’s mindset from commission to connection to build authentic relationships, enhance your brand and create an experience your customers can’t live without. Watch the webinar: Make Financial Transactions Personal Again to Build Customers for Life.
When shopping for a powerful Mortgage CRM, an intuitive and easy-to-learn system that not only addresses what you need but is also one you’ll use is critical. Content is King, so it’s imperative that your marketing is targeted, localized, and customizable based on your lending operation’s needs/workflow. Usherpa’s Launch Pad Custom Email Wizard was designed for corporate marketing teams and allows organizations to create content that aligns with their unique company vision. Marketing managers can seamlessly create marketing campaigns within the CRM without operating between multiple systems. Don’t hesitate. Learn more about Usherpa’s Launch Pad Custom Email Wizard and how it can take your business to the next level.
What’s the mortgage version of “having your cake and eating it too”? Well, thanks to United Wholesale Mortgage, it means having access to superb service, technology, partnership tools…AND price! UWM has dropped its rates across the board, for conventional, government and jumbo, giving the nation’s No. 1 wholesale lender unequaled pricing in the country to go along with everything else that makes it the most popular wholesale lender among mortgage brokers. And UWM has removed all state adjustments and all Loan Level Pricing Adjustments (LLPA) overlays. Now, not only will mortgage brokers enjoy the fastest and easiest experience by working with UWM, they’ll also get their customers unmatched best rates. To learn more, visit www.UWM.com/have-it-all.
I can’t get no… borrower satisfaction?
When it comes to borrower satisfaction, just how important is peer comparison? According to Mike Seminari, Director of STRATMOR’s MortgageSAT Program, it’s the difference between throwing darts at a map and having a GPS. “Being able to answer the question, ‘Are we ahead or behind the curve?’ gives lenders an opportunity to allocate time and financial resources to areas that have the greatest potential for immediate financial impact,” says Seminari. “One lender, who had quarter-over-quarter LO Satisfaction scores of 90, 92 and 91 was quite pleased with their high scores until they found out the National Average for this metric is 95. The lender wanted to be Best-in-Class, which is 98, and knowing where they stood in comparison to their peers stoked a fire for change.” Seminari suggests three actions lenders can take to begin to see their borrower satisfaction performance in context in this month’s MortgageSAT Tip.
Training and Events for the remainder of January
Tabrasa’s free webinar “The Industry Outlook 2019” will be on Wednesday, Jan 23 (11AM-12PM PST) will cover the Trump Era – two years in, how the Fed closed the books for 2018, the low-down on the Digital Mortgage, and the housing market’s success and swings. Register here!
Join Freddie Mac on January 16th to discuss how you can automate income assessment with Loan Product Advisor asset and income modeler (AIM), its solution for automating the manual processes of assessing borrower assets and income. Fewer documents, reduced time to close and a better client experience.
Register for a free webinar from the Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee on January 17th. Loan officers will benefit with the top 5 must do activities.
MBA/MW’s Kickoff 2019 Dinner & Networking event on January 23rd will feature an evening of Networking for residential and commercial real estate finance professionals. This event will also include the introduction of the 2019 Board of Governors and Committee Chairs, presentation of the Outstanding Service Awards and presentation of the Years-of-Service Recognition Awards.
Join MWF on January 24th as Tim Brinegar, Corporate Underwriter, discusses recent changes to the VA Refinances.
Don’t miss the MQAC upcoming webinar on January 24th, “HMDA: Submit with Confidence – Keys to Successful Data Integrity”.
On January 30th from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m., attend the Barriers to Accepting Homeownership event with the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center in Washington D.C. CEO Rob Chrane will be speaking.
The Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo on January 24th is approaching. “Join your community of mortgage professionals at the Carolinas’ largest event for mortgage originators, The Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo. Don’t miss out on our lineup of engaging events centered around networking, skill-building, and having a great time with your peers at our early year edition in Charlotte.”
Kick off 2019 at MBA’s Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference 2019 in San Francisco, January 28-31. Hear directly from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives at the General Session: What’s New with the GSEs. Plus, you’ll learn about the latest program updates, leadership changes, and priorities that will impact your business and the bottom line.
While this is not the same Federal Reserve as in the past, some industry experts believe that it won’t raise short term rates until the April 30/May 1 meeting, if at all. This would break the “every other meeting” pattern we saw in 2018 by skipping the March 19/20 and January 29/30 meetings. Quant jocks think we’ll see two rate hikes in 2019 and one more in 2020 although market expectations are more or less showing even one rate hike might be a stretch this year. Clearly, the markets are currently expecting the US economy to cool in 2019.
Much to the relief of capital markets folks, volatility in 2019 has dropped dramatically from the end of 2018. The U.S. 10-year closed Monday +1 bp to 2.71% as Treasuries saw little movement across the curve to start the week. Headlines revolved around a disappointing trade balance report out of China that showed a surprising year-over-year decline in both imports and exports during December, stoking global growth concerns. U.S. government shutdown chatter, Trump explicitly denying he worked for Russia, and today’s important Brexit plan vote in the UK Parliament will be discussion points throughout the rest of the week. And President Trump has reportedly offered to meet North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un in mid-February in Vietnam.
Today the New York Fed Manufacturing (expected to fall slightly, it hit a 20-month low!) and the Producer Price Index (PPI was -.2% versus expectations of unchanged, core -.1%) kicked off the economic calendar. Also today are three Federal Reserve President speakers: Minneapolis’ Kashkari, Dallas’ Kaplan, and Kansas City’s George. The UK will hold a parliamentary vote for Prime Minister May’s Brexit plan where a nay vote is expected with the number of nays likely to be more scrutinized. Bank earnings also continue today with JP Morgan and Well Fargo already reporting, and they weren’t good. We begin today with Agency MBS better by nearly .125 and the 10-year yielding 2.69%.
Three men were on an island and cried out, “We’re trapped and need to get across the water to the mainland!”
A genie suddenly appeared and curtly said, “I will grant you men three wishes.”
The first man said, “Turn me into a fish.” And he swam across the water to the other island.
The second man said, “Give me a boat.” And he rowed to the other side.
The third man said, “Turn me into a woman.” And she walked across the bridge.
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, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown.” 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 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 2019 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.)