Sometimes I send this Commentary out from some pretty nice places, sometimes not. Today comes from the tarmac at the Newark Airport, in Row 22, sitting next to some hairy guy who’s snoring and apparently went with the “Garlic Lover’s Pizza” last night. You can decide which category today fits in. “What do you call a small pepper in the autumn? A little chili.” Tomorrow is the fall equinox. Autumn? Autumnal? Different ways of saying similar things? Do you know the difference between a loan, a mortgage, a lien, a note, and a deed of trust? There are differences, just like there are differences in the reasons why people move. Unlike the convicted felon that I spent some time with yesterday, wanting a newer, better, or larger house or apartment has been the most common specific reason cited for moves over the past two years. That’s followed by establishing one’s own household, evidenced by a change in marital status becoming a more common reason for moving in 2022 than in 2021. The percentage of movers reporting housing unit upgrades declined, suggesting a reversal of a boom in housing demand that happened in 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. A quarter of movers reported family-related reasons for their move, the second most often-cited general reason for moving in 2022 and in several recent years. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week’s is sponsored by the Trade-In Mortgage powered by Calque. Homeowners can buy before they sell, make non-contingent offers, and tap their home equity to fund the down payment on their next home. Lenders can help their clients negotiate a lower purchase price, reduce their interest payments, and eliminate PMI. Hear an interview with Mayer Brown LLP’s Lauren B. Pryor on M&A activity in the mortgage space and what makes for a successful transaction in the current environment.)
Lender and Broker Software, Programs, and Services
“Cheers to 20 Years! We are proud to announce the 20 Year Anniversary for Carrington Mortgage! It’s been an incredible two decades filled with trust, growth, and a commitment to serving our partners. As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support. We look forward to many more years of serving our partners. We remain committed to being the industry’s leader in Non-QM solution lending. Our team of experts is ready to help you and your borrowers with a new home purchase or a refinance, all done in a timely and professional manner. Our program and product suite includes Non-QM, FHA, VA, USDA & GSE. Our Non-QM program offers you and your borrowers features and flexibility you may not find anywhere else. We’re here to help. Please contact us for more information about our products and services.”
In challenging down economic times, Loan Vision is your solution to maximizing profitability and reducing costs in your business. With Loan Vision, companies see improvements of 25% to 35% decrease in days to close the books, 20% reduction in accounting headcount, complete LOS to G/L automation, and improved reporting and visibility that allow for better business decisions. Don’t accept a competitive disadvantage or get caught flat footed in a recovering market. To improve your cash position, gain a competitive edge, and prepare your business for sustained growth, contact Carl Wooloff to schedule a call today.
From what people are saying, The Loan Store has consistently been among the “pricing leaders” and “process leaders” with agency loans, and they’ve also really been making a nice name for themselves with their Quick-Pay HELOCs. TLS is funding HELOCs 100% within 3-5 days (and paying 175 bps in comp), and that’s a great tool for LOs looking to expand their business. Plus, word on the street is that TLS will be expanding HELOCs to Texas soon, so that’s something else for Lone Star State LO’s to get excited about. Regardless of where you’ve set up shop, price out a HELOC in the TLS/Figure HELOC portal. Or, if you haven’t signed up with TLS yet, do that here.
Recent Trends in Fair Lending Compliance! When the DOJ announced its Combatting Redlining Initiative in October 2021, it was the department’s “most aggressive and coordinated” enforcement effort against financial institutions. The initiative has cost financial institutions $40 million in the first half of 2023 alone. The DOJ and regulators have not let up on enforcement actions against financial institutions (banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and other lenders) violating fair lending compliance laws. In fact, regulatory agencies have expanded the scope of fair lending enforcement. A recent article from the experts at Ncontracts highlights the significance of recent fair lending enforcement trends and what it means for your fair lending program. Read the full article.
Earlier this month, Apple announced the 15th version of its amazing, do-everything iPhone. It’s hard to imagine, but what if Steve Jobs never invented the iPhone? What if we all carried one device to make calls, and a completely different device to send a text? This is exactly what many lenders do today with their CRM software. They have one CRM for their retail loan officers, a different CRM for their direct-to-consumer team, and another CRM for their wholesale account executives. Wouldn’t it be nice to manage all of your business channels in just one CRM? That’s what OptifiNow Flex is: a retail, wholesale, correspondent, reverse, home equity and private money CRM that can be personalized to fit your business needs. Reach out to us to learn more and see why OptifiNow is the iPhone of mortgage CRM!
Attention Mortgage Lenders! Discover the secrets to thriving in this competitive market with our FREE white paper, tailored specifically for you. Written by Seroka Brand Development, the mortgage industry’s leading marketing and public relations company, this exclusive guide reveals top marketing and PR strategies for 2023. As the industry faces its current set of challenges, effective yet cost-conscious marketing is more crucial than ever for companies like yours, competing for every opportunity. Learn six impactful ways to reach your target market and secure success through the rest of 2023 and beyond. Don’t miss out on this invaluable resource: download your FREE white paper now.
Training, Webinars, and Events Next Week
A good place to start is here, and click on “events” for conferences in the future. Next week is the last week of September already?! Wasn’t it just Labor Day? Let’s see what’s up.
According to data from Gartner, two in three companies say customer experience is the primary area where they will compete for business. Lenders, how is your business utilizing customer feedback to drive revenue growth in today’s challenging market? Need help? Join STRATMOR Group’s customer experience experts as well as peer lenders for STRATMOR’s Customer Experience Workshop on September 25, 26 and 27. This highly interactive, virtual workshop is designed to give lenders specific, actionable ideas: you’ll learn how to optimize your loan processes to maximize repeat and referral business and achieve your growth goals in challenging market conditions. Register today!
Tuesday the 26th is the next Mortgages with Millennials with Kristin Messerli and Robbie Chrisman, and sponsored by National MI. Tune in every Tuesday at 10AM PT to the weekly video show designed to empower mortgage professionals to tap into the millennial market. This show demystifies the psychology of first-time homebuyers and offers strategies to win more market share with a key segment of the market. Sign up for a weekly reminder with the link to join and a sneak peek into the next episode.
On September 26, 2-3PM ET, FHA’s free, virtual webinar will assist FHA-approved lenders (and their auditors) with their upcoming Annual Recertification and provide information on how to successfully submit an acceptable recertification package via the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP). For detailed information, closely review the LEAP User Manual.
Free, on-site, FHA Underwriting Training in Philadelphia, PA., September 26, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Eastern) will provide an overview of FHA underwriting procedures and addresses several industry-related frequently asked questions (FAQs) as outlined in FHA’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. This training will also take an in-depth look at a variety of topics including credit, income, and asset (CIA) documentation; automated underwriting systems (AUS); closing; and more.
Free, on-site, FHA Appraisal Training in Philadelphia, PA., September 26, 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM (Eastern) will provide an overview of the appraisal requirements outlined in FHA’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. The training topics will include property inspection requirements, appraisal validity period, manufactured homes, water and septic, attic and crawl spaces inspection, and the FHA Appraiser Roster.
If you are looking for the housing policy and fintech event of the year to watch from the comfort of your office, Housing Finance Strategies’ #HousingDC23 is it. The agenda is published, and Complimentary Registration is now available. Sign up to view the premium content offered virtually and accessible to you starting September 26th.
If your credit union’s due diligence for quality control relies only on last-minute adjustments during post-closing processes, chances are you’re spending too much time putting out fires rather than adequately serving members’ needs. Market changes demand a more comprehensive and proactive approach to due diligence, and the experts at ACES Quality Management have the wherewithal to help you make that adjustment. Tune into this Inside Track webinar on September 27th at 1 pm CST to learn the why’s and how’s of improving your QC processes.
Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT is a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements. Listen to a unique mix of age perspective, expertise, and charisma to the screen, ensuring that the information is not only educational but also entertaining.
California MBA upcoming Mortgage Quality and Compliance Committee webinar, Navigating the Future of Work: Adapting Return to Office Policies, on Thursday September 28th at 11 A.M. PST. Expert panelists will provide valuable insight on the ever-changing work dynamics, the challenges of managing remote and in-house teams, and MLO enhanced requirements in CA (and other states).
AzAMP Annual EXPO, Luncheon, and 8-Hour NMLS CE Class, September 27–28, at the We-Ko-Pa Resort and Casino. Begin your experience on Wednesday, Sept. 27 with Part 1 of NMLS CE class. Full day of events begins on Thursday, September 28 including NMLS CE class Part 2, Luncheon with Keynote Speakers Allen Beydoun, UWM Executive Vice President and Robbie and Rob Chrisman, The Chrisman Commentary Daily Mortgage News, followed by the AzAMP Expo.
Watch on demand, at your leisure: Millennials and Gen Z’ers represent the largest group of first-time homebuyers. In less than 10 years, 3.1 million will have entered the market. Of these buyers, roughly 75 percent of them report checking social media daily. Making social media a necessary strategy for loan officers. Join Homebot’s VP of Marketing, Ashley Remstad and Mortgage Advisor Sosi Avila as they discuss key strategies and tactics for using social media to your advantage. Register for the webinar here.
The NCEO 2023 Fall Forum in Houston is September 26-28. Featuring top industry experts and thought leaders, the forum will update you on the latest trends and best practices in employee ownership. Network with other employee owners and industry professionals from across the country, sharing ideas, challenges, and successes.
Friday the 29th is The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30-45 minutes starting at noon PT in “The Rundown”.
Remember when all the “smartest guys in the room” were telling us that an inverted yield curve was a nearly sure sign of a recession? I haven’t heard that one lately. Even with the Fed just signaling lower interest rate volatility going forward, in theory translating into tightening MBS spreads and lower rates, mortgage rates still jumped by over .125 percent yesterday thanks to falling bond prices and “non-trivial stack decompression.” Much of the decrease in bond prices over the past couple of days stems from the markets still trying to fight the Fed. The yield curve remains highly inverted and will only unwind once the hard landing scenario becomes less probable.
On the data front, Existing home sales decreased 0.7 percent month-over-month in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million as sales were down 15 percent from the same period a year ago due to a well-known confluence of factors: higher mortgage rates, higher prices, limited supply, a lack of mobility, and homeowners who are reluctant to give up a low-rate mortgage. Keep in mind that an economic recession could also bring about an increase in inventory, as those who lose jobs may be forced to sell their homes and those uncertain about their jobs will not have the confidence to buy a home. While the overall U.S. economy remains resilient, there are growing signs starting to show U.S. households tightening budgets or starting to reduce discretionary spending.
Today’s economic calendar includes flash PMIs for much of Europe where modest increases are expected versus the prior readings. Domestically, S&P Global PMIs will be released later this morning, though the bigger headline is the resumption of Fed speakers following Wednesday’s FOMC events. Markets will receive remarks from Governor Cook, Boston President Collins, Minneapolis President Kashkari, and San Francisco President Daly. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices unchanged, the 10-year unchanged from Thursday at 4.48 percent, and the 2-year at 5.13.
“What distinguishes a company in the mortgage lending game? For Evergreen Home LoansTM, it’s an unwavering dedication to customer experience. As Evergreen’s CMO, Haavard Sterri, puts it, “At Evergreen Home Loans, customer satisfaction isn’t just a metric; it’s our mission. We go above and beyond to ensure our clients not only receive exceptional financial solutions but also feel valued every step of the way.” Take the Security Plus program, a gem that offers clients pre-approved, underwritten loans before house hunting begins. But why should job seekers pay attention? A firm that champions customer needs typically scores high on employee satisfaction. At Evergreen, you’re not a replaceable part; you’re integral to a collective mission of transforming the homebuying process. In a crowded field, Evergreen shines by marrying excellent customer service with fulfilling career opportunities. If you’re on the job hunt and value innovation, teamwork, and a relentless focus on the customer, Evergreen beckons. To view all open Evergreen careers visit our careers page.”
In the Northwest and California, Banner Bank is searching for Mortgage Loan Officers looking to create lasting Realtor and builder relationships at a bank focused on the market today. Banner has opportunities for lenders looking for local decision making with FHA, VA, USDA, state bond and true Portfolio lending opportunities along with servicing retained Fannie and Freddie loans to assist in client retention. Additional highlighted products cover CRA lending with private label no payment down payment assistance to help assist all borrowers with the right opportunity. Banner is the right fit for an established team, or the individual looking to grow their business and take the next step in their career. Please send resumes to Aaron Miller.
As a mortgage sales professional have you ever thought, “What if I could focus on only the things that actually grow my business, flipping the hourglass and spending 80 percent of my time on what I do best: building relationships?” Or “What if I could surround myself with sales support that is truly team inspired, results driven marketing and customer obsessed headache-free process?” Welcome to radius financial group! They started radius with one main focus: to offer a better value proposition than any other bank or mortgage company in the country for you, your borrowers and your referral partners. radius can help you grow your business, have a better quality of life, and make more money. For confidential inquires please contact Carla Herrera.