We have a whole generation of home buyers who have never seen a 5% mortgage rate, an interesting thought. We’re not in the “An ARM is better” territory, but lenders are certainly up for offering their clients all options that will help close the deal. The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts $1.2 trillion in purchase mortgage originations in 2019, a 4.2 percent increase from 2018 (although many are skeptical). Refinance originations are expected to continue to trend lower next year, decreasing by 12.4 percent to $395 billion. Will overall volume really be about the same as this year?
Jobs, business opportunities, & promotions
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc. (PRMG) has recently hired Garrett Griffin VP, Correspondent Divisional Sales Manager, to its Correspondent Leadership team! Garrett is a thirty-year mortgage veteran with years of developing Correspondent Sales Teams and expanding the Correspondent footprint across the country. He will be reporting to Jay Boand, Director of Correspondent Lending. In his new role with PRMG, Garrett will be responsible for continuing to build PRMG’s Correspondent channel throughout the United States. To join forces with a company that has been “Built by Originators for Originators” and to learn more about PRMG’s Correspondent channel, please contact Garrett Griffin (951.579.4838).
A motivated and experienced investor is seeking to acquire a FULL EAGLE/HUD Designated mortgage company. Licensed in CA would be preferred but is not required. The principals are currently involved in the day-to-day operations of a nationwide wholesale channel funding over $1 billion in annual production. The ideal situation is for current shareholders to liquidate all or a large portion of their equity through the transaction. Principals would be willing to negotiate/keep the existing team through the transition. Interested parties should contact HUDFullEagle@gmail.com.
“Throughout 2018, Nations Lending has received prestigious accolades in the lending industry from Scotsman Guide, Mortgage Executive Magazine, and National Professional Mortgage Magazine. Nations Lending has also been certified as a Great Place to Work and named a Fortune Best Small and Medium Workplace for 2018 – after just named to this year’s Inc5000 List as one of America’s fastest growing private companies. “There are companies, of all sizes, in the USA, and to be included on these lists among the best-of-the-best is a remarkable achievement,” said CEO Jeremy Sopko. In a downward trending marketplace, Nations Lending has opened new locations with its retail footprint in the past 30 days in California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado, to name a few. This is just the beginning for motivated sales leaders. Be the first to join our team in your area as we are looking to expand across the United States. For information on an opportunity to join our growing organization, please visit the company’s website.”
Genworth Mortgage Insurance welcomed 25-year mortgage industry veteran Kelli Brookman as Customer Sales Trainer. For the past 18 years, Kelli has trained thousands of Loan Officers on technical skills, closing the deal and retaining customers with a focus on sales and management training, and has spoken at lender sales conferences across the country. You can access Genworth’s course training catalog here or register to receive the monthly webinar calendar here.
United Community Bank announced the addition of industry veteran Jason Hultgren as SVP/Director of Mortgage Sales where he will utilize his extensive background to lead all UCMS Sales Managers and the sales recruiting efforts across the bank’s four-state footprint, capitalizing on growth opportunities for the mortgage sales teams to increase market share.
Lender products & services
BluePoint is offering free appraisals for BluePoint Mortgage partners between Oct 1st and December 31st, 2018! “@BluePointMtg we are pleased to present a market advantage to help our Mortgage Broker partners for the last quarter of 2018! BluePoint Mortgage will be crediting borrowers $500 dollars towards their appraisal cost at closing for all loan amounts over $300,000 including FHA/VA/Conventional and Non-Agency/Alt-QM loans. (*Excludes Reverse loans.) BluePoint Mortgage is focused on being a leader in providing niche products with speed and service within the wholesale lending arena. The expansion and dedication of operations staff to cover Alternative Mortgage options is leading the growth of niche products BluePoint
Mortgage has to offer. BluePoint has many options for mortgage broker partners including: Reverse Mortgage Loans, CalHFA Loans, DACA Loans, Bank Statement Loans, FHA/VA (550 FICO), Conventional (Fannie or Freddie) Loans, Non-Agency loans (500 FICO min) and more. For more information contact your AE, or for those that do not have one, please contact Marketing@BluePointMtg.com!”
Are you handing over your customers to a pack of wolves? For lenders, this is an area I often see as overlooked when it comes to subservicing. Your customers are your greatest asset, so why are you handing them over to a sub-par subservicer with antiquated technology? It’s time to demand more from your subservicer. Sign up now for this National Mortgage News Webinar to learn how happy customers equal future growth and the role technology plays in it. Ali Vafai, TMS president, and Barbara Yolles, TMS chief strategy officer, will unpack the importance of maintaining real-time relationships with your customers. Click to sign up for the LIVE Webinar on November 7 at 2p.m. EST.
“Lendsnap is the consumer app of choice for non-agency loans. Our partners close more loans faster because they automatically pull up to 24 months of original bank and investment statement PDFs. While other lenders and brokers make the client work too hard, Lendsnap gives you the decisive advantage. Show your borrowers a better way than manually downloading and updating statements over and over. Get them clear to close in days instead of weeks. Our simple yet powerful app includes custom landing pages, an Intelligent 1003 powered by PerfectLO, unlimited eSignatures, and automatic import of bank statements, W2’s and pay stubs. All this functionality is built in to our SOC2-audited platform with no hidden fees or setup charges. Lendsnap replaces many services you pay for separately today and fits your workflow without complicated and costly integrations. Request a free consultation with CEO Orion Parrott to go digital with Lendsnap now.”
Buzz is building about ARIVE, a new technology company partnered with AIME. Led by Joseph Cicali and Katie Sweeney, ARIVE is launching in January, and industry insiders are weighing in. Bill Dallas, President of Finance of America Mortgage and Co-Founder of cloudVirga, said, “The ARIVE digital mortgage platform is the biggest breakthrough for independent mortgage advisors ever. We are proud to be among the initial lender partners integrating into the platform but even more excited about how this will empower local mortgage advisors.” For more information, email media@ARIVE.com.
Congratulations to Caliber Home Loans, Inc. for winning the Outstanding Wholesale Mortgage Company award at the 2018 WAMP Business & Humanitarian Leadership Awards Gala in October. At their annual gala, WAMP recognizes companies that cherish philanthropy as a core value of its business model, creates leaders that astound the industry at a national level, and devoted to safeguarding the industry and consumers in the state of Washington. Caliber Wholesale is top-ranked lender in its channel, according to Scotsman Guide, and offers its broker partners a product portfolio that includes conventional, government and non-agency loans (Caliber Portfolio Lending). Caliber Wholesale is a full-service, national lender that works with brokers at a local level for a highly personalized experience on every loan. Brokers interested in becoming an approved Caliber business partner can download their broker package on www.caliberwholesale.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I don’t know why anyone would want to do anything different than this!” Mortgage Lenders are praising SCP Onsite Compliance, a total compliance management system offered by Strategic Compliance Partners. SCP Onsite includes a dedicated onsite Compliance Officer supported by team of consultants, attorneys, and tech solutions combined with the all the compliance services and support a mortgage lender needs to be compliant and grow – all at a fixed-cost. “Why would you ever want to recruit a Compliance Officer on your own again when you can get a better compliance solution and save tons of money at the same time?!” “To learn how you can benefit from SCP Onsite today, email Leslie Benjamin or give us a call 646.418.6635 for a free 3-minute compliance savings evaluation that could save you $100,000.”
Last chance to vote for the National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s Best Military Originators. Use this link to submit your vote. Voting ends Wednesday, October 31st.
If you haven’t done so already there’s still time to submit a nomination for the Best Military Originators or the Best Military Lenders. This honoree program recognizes those who focus their activities on helping active military personnel and veterans who bravely serve our country in pursuit of their home ownership dreams. Honorees will be showcased in National Mortgage Professional Magazine, both online and in our November 2018 print edition, and on Mortgage News Network. To nominate your lenders and originators, follow this link. The deadline to submit your nomination is Wednesday, October 31.
Legal, Lehman, CFPB news
Regarding the LBHI matter, I received this note last night from Arthur Prieston Chairman of American Mortgage Law Group. “Friday, three days before the October 29, 2018 hearing on the two motions that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (“LBHI”) filed in the beginning of this month, LBHI has filed numerous adversary complaints against mortgage lenders and brokers alleging indemnification claims relating to LBHI’s settlements with RMBS Trustees. Although the Bankruptcy Court has not yet ruled on LBHI’s motion to amend and extend the 2014 ADR Order to include these RMBS indemnification claims, LBHI has begun filing at least 40 adversary complaints so far today and many more are anticipated to be filed before Monday’s hearing.”
And Jonathan Jenkins from Jenkins Kayayan LLP wrote, “It’s almost Halloween, and tonight the Ghost of Lehman Brothers is up to more mischief under cover of darkness. Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. has electronically filed adversary proceedings against 64 more of its former brokers/correspondent lenders in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. LBHI is demanding indemnification for allegedly defective mortgages in connection with its recent $2.38 billion settlement with private-label RMBS Trustees. (Write to Jonathan if you’d like) a list of the new defendants (who apparently have not yet been served); there are many significant industry players among them. The complaints are copycat templates that provide little defendant-specific information beyond a list of loan numbers and LBHI’s claimed damages. In many cases, LBHI seek damages in the low-to-mid seven figure range, but there are a couple of demands in the low eight figures. The important thing to remember is that LBHI’s demands are likely inflated based on several faulty assumptions, and, in many cases, defendants will have solid loan-level defenses.”
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (nee CFPB) announced its latest enforcement action earlier this week and Mayer Brown’s Ori Lev just released a new Legal Update on the Bureau’s action. “…the Bureau continues to pursue claims of unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices (“UDAAP”) – despite their recent rulemaking announcement to define “abusiveness” – and examines the three claims of the Bureau’s enforcement action and how it differs from its words. The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection announcement its latest enforcement action earlier this week, and it demonstrated yet again that, notwithstanding Acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s rhetoric, the Bureau intends to continue to pursue claims of unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices (“UDAAP”). Indeed, just days after announcing that the Bureau will consider rulemaking to define “abusiveness”—because the standard is not well developed in the law in the same way that unfairness and deception are—the Bureau brought its first new abusiveness claim of the Mulvaney era.
News broke at the end of last week of Hilltop Holdings’ PrimeLending entering into a settlement with the DOJ and HUD. Hilltop Holdings’ had its earning call, but the information was contained in its 8-K (dated October 23).
“Hilltop Holdings Inc. previously disclosed that its wholly owned, indirect subsidiary, PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, was subject to a False Claims Act investigation being conducted by the United States Department of Justice relating to the origination of mortgage loans that were insured by the Federal Housing Administration. To avoid the delay, uncertainty, inconvenience and expense of protracted ligation that may be associated with this investigation, on October 23, 2018, PrimeLending entered into a Settlement Agreement and an Indemnification Agreement with the DOJ and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), respectively. In these agreements, PrimeLending did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing, and the DOJ and HUD did not make any concessions with respect to their alleged claims. These agreements provide for payments to each of the DOJ and HUD of $6.75 million, or $13.5 million in the aggregate. In exchange for these payments, each of the DOJ and HUD released any civil claims it may have related to certain mortgage loans originated by PrimeLending. As of September 30, 2018, these amounts were included in the Company’s reserve for indemnification liability.”
My guess is that “people in the know” are congratulating PrimeLending. It is difficult, if not impossible, for every file done by every lender to be perfect. And exorbitantly expensive. When files are nitpicked to find anything wrong, regulators will find something. The cost to defend this is huge and has gone on for years. And industry experts think we’ll see more settlements ahead.
The U.S. 10-year closed Friday at 3.08% after the release of a slightly stronger than expected advance GDP for the third quarter (actual 3.5%; expected 3.3%). The price deflator missed 2.1% expectations, registering at 1.7%. Notable was that real final sales of domestic product, which subtracts the change in private inventories, displayed their weakest growth rate since the Q4 2016. The recent weakness in stocks and the corresponding uptick in Treasuries have slightly diminished some market participants expectations for a December rate hike, but Federal Reserve officials have not hinted at any imminent changes to the policy course. (The implied probability of a December hike declined to 70% from 77% yesterday and 84% one week ago.) Overseas, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini reiterated that the government has no plans to alter its budget deficit target for 2019 and there is chatter this morning about Angela Merkel not running for CDU head in an election in Germany in December.
We began this packed week on the economic calendar with September personal income and spending (+.2%, +.4%, respectively) with inflation in the Fed’s target range. Chicago Fed President Evans will speak later in the morning. Tomorrow brings August Case-Shiller 20-city Index and October Consumer Confidence. Wednesday we receive the weekly MBA Mortgage Index, October ADP Employment Change, and the Q3 Employment Cost Index. Thursday sees weekly claims, Q3 Productivity-Preliminary, and Unit Labor Costs – Preliminary, September Construction Spending, and October ISM Manufacturing Index. The week closes with October Nonfarm Payrolls, Nonfarm Private Payrolls, Unemployment Rate, September Trade Balance, and September Factory Orders. We start the week with agency MBS prices little changed from Friday afternoon and the 10-year is yielding 3.09%.
I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave.
As I was standing there I noticed 4 grave diggers walking around with a coffin. 3 hours later and they’re still walking around with it.
I thought to myself, they’ve lost the plot!!
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, “The Rise of the Credit Unions.” 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 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.)