Training & Events; False Claims Penalty; Lender Products & Services

Residential mortgage bankers are notoriously bad at actually retiring. They usually seem to come back as teachers, consultants, remodelers, etc. But plenty of people do retire, and per U.S. News the #1 More »

The Toys ‘R’ Us brand may be brought back to life

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. Article source: More »

Appraisal White Paper; Data Filter Product; Capital Markets News

Everyone, and their brother, knows that the costs for builders to build a home are increasing. Politics aside, it turns out that the tariff changes are indeed impacting the cost of remodeling More »

Rates Edge Back Toward Long-Term Highs

Mortgage rates failed to extend yesterday’s modest improvement, moving modestly higher by the end of the day.  This takes the average lender very close to the long-term highs seen on October 5th.  Indeed, prospective More »

Rates Edge Back Toward Long-Term Highs

Mortgage rates failed to extend yesterday’s modest improvement, moving modestly higher by the end of the day.  This takes the average lender very close to the long-term highs seen on October 5th.  Indeed, prospective More »

Training & Events; False Claims Penalty; Lender Products & Services

Residential mortgage bankers are notoriously bad at actually retiring. They usually seem to come back as teachers, consultants, remodelers, etc. But plenty of people do retire, and per U.S. News the #1 place to retire is… Lancaster, PA? Bring a sweater.

Legal news

Eagle Home… Universal American Mortgage Company, LLC, based in Miami and operating as a subsidiary of Lennar Corporation, has agreed to pay the United States $13.2 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by falsely certifying that it complied with FHA mortgage insurance requirements in connection with certain loans. “…between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2011, UAMC knowingly submitted loans for FHA insurance that did not qualify.  The United States further alleged that UAMC improperly incentivized underwriters and knowingly failed to perform quality control reviews, which violated HUD requirements and contributed to UAMC’s submission of defective loans…” (The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Kat Nguyen-Seligman v. Lennar Corporation, Universal American Mortgage Company, LLC, and Eagle Home Mortgage of California, Inc., 14-cv-1435 (W.D. Wash.)

Does anyone with clients (LOs, vendors, attorneys, etc.) know their client? Of course. UC-Hastings law professor Joan Williams makes the point in her new book “White Working Class” that two-thirds of Americans don’t have college degrees. That statistic drives home her premise that lawyers and other elite professionals are sorely out of touch with most Americans. This matters, at least for some attorneys, because those are the folks who elected President Trump, who desire steady jobs and solid futures for their families, and who, importantly, are being priced out of legal services.

How would you ask about compensation during a job interview without sounding greedy? Here’s how. And, under “legal tidbits,” Uber limo drivers are not employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal judge has ruled, handing Uber a win against drivers who sued the company for allegedly failing to meet minimum wage and overtime requirements.

Capital markets

New Residential, a regular issuer of bonds backed by nonperforming and reperforming mortgages, is readying its first deal backed by newly originated mortgages, according to Fitch Ratings.

The U.S. 10-year closed the week yielding 3.20% on a light trading day with most headline economic reports centering around China reporting slightly weaker than expected YoY growth (actual 6.5%; expected 6.6%) for Q3. Incidentally, the report was overshadowed by comments from several Chinese officials discussing measures for supporting China’s capital markets. China’s President Xi Jinping and President Trump have tentatively agreed to meet during the G-20 summit at the end of November. Elsewhere internationally, some Italian officials allegedly favor reducing Italy’s 2019 deficit target, and its government as until today to respond to the EU Commission’s request for more details regarding the Italian budget for 2019.

In the U.S. the markets are looking for some good news to start the week after September existing home sales hit their lowest sales level since November 2015 due to supply and affordability constraints in this rising rate environment. We begin the week with only the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for September (down to +.17). Tomorrow’s only action is the $38 billion 2-yr Treasury note auction results at 13:00 ET. Wednesday, things pick back up with the Weekly MBA Mortgage Index, August FHFA Housing Price Index, September New Home Sales, and the September Beige Book. There are also central bank decisions due from the BoC and Riksbank.

Thursday sees September Durable Orders, Durable Orders -ex transportation, weekly Initial Claims, September Advance International Trade in Goods, September Advance Retail Inventories, September Advance Wholesale Inventories, September Pending Home Sales, and (abroad) central bank decisions from the ECB and Norges Bank. The week concludes with Advance Q3 GDP and the Q3 GDP Deflator, and Final October Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices (and therefore rate sheets) a smidge better/higher from Friday’s close and the 10-year yielding 3.19%.

Lender products services

“Are you still using “dumb” documents? Only SMART (Secure, Manageable, Archivable, Retrievable and Transferable) Docs allow data and documents to travel as one, reducing downstream risks with liquidity and repurchase. SigniaDocuments is the only doc provider with an entire library of Category 1 SMART Docs because we understand the risks lenders face after the loan closes. Other doc providers only deliver a SMART note and only care about getting the loan closed. The truth is, all documents are important, and all documents are reviewed after closing, that’s why the diligence business exists. To learn more about SigniaDocuments, please contact us here, or email Mike Romano directly.”

In wholesale news, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group® is continuing its expansion throughout the Southeast. Atlantic Bay, headquartered in Virginia Beach, is looking for growth-oriented brokerage companies, high performing mortgage teams, and companies with less than $500 million in sales who want to focus on production by removing obstacles to growth. Brokers who join Atlantic Bay experience growth rates in their personal production from 50 – 80 percent. Direct access to underwriting, secondary support, and realtor-focused marketing have all been drivers for increased growth. Two popular benefits of the Atlantic Bay way are simplicity in the compliance process and a mortgage banker assistant program. Atlantic Bay places great importance on culture, loving where you work, and giving back to the communities it serves. Email Justin Caplan to find out more about working at Atlantic Bay.

Here’s a hi-tech breakthrough in lending to self-employed borrowers. Amidst rising interest rates and declining origination volume, lenders must cast a wider net for customers, a growing number of which are self-employed. To capitalize on this trend, lenders need a simpler, faster way to underwrite mortgages for Americans who are their own bosses. To this end, Freddie Mac has integrated fintech vendor LoanBeam’s technology with Loan Product Advisor®, our  automated underwriting system, to introduce the first and only integrated self-employment income solution for the market. LoanBeam’s software uses optical character recognition technology to extract and digest a borrower’s tax returns and other financials, and then calculate a total income figure that aligns with Freddie Mac’s guidelines. This integration offers lenders several advantages, including an automated review of the accuracy of qualifying income, eliminating the need to chase down unnecessary documents that support residual/excess income and certainty that the income calculation is eligible for representation and warranty relief. Learn more.

Events and training

Learn why a well-supported appraisal report has become a necessity for appraisers to garner repeat business and the impact that has on banks and lenders by attending the October Research Enhance Reports to Drive Your Profitability Webinar 2PM Oct. 23rd. Rick Langdon, Chief Staff Appraiser from Wells Fargo Bank will discuss how those reports can be improved to make the process more efficient between banks, lenders, and appraisers. You will also hear Dustin Harris, Mentor/Coach from The Appraiser Coach teach appraisers the different ways they can improve appraisal reports.

Missed the Digital Mortgage Conference last month?  No worry – members of the California MBA Mortgage Technology Marketing Committee were there and have brought together some of the more exciting speakers and companies to talk to you about how they are changing the lending landscape, and what to expect in 2019.  Hear from Guild Mortgage, HouseCanary, WikiRealty, and Seroka Brand Development in this FREE webinar on October 23rd at 11AM (Pacific). Click here to register.

On Thursday, October 25th at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, CA join me, the California MBA, Joe Garrett, and their President’s Council member Riivos for a CFO Peer Group Luncheon event.  My colleague, Joe Garrett, and I will speak on planning for 2019, mergers and acquisitions and other top of mind issues for independent mortgage bankers. Please contact Susan Milazzo to make your reservation.

Register for the October 25th, Buckley Sandler webinar with partners Amanda Lawrence and Andrew Louis as they discuss recent significant litigation and enforcement actions related to mortgage origination. From False Claims Act claims to discrimination claims to repurchase/indemnification claims, this webinar will provide an in-depth discussion of those key cases and how they impact mortgage originators.

In North Carolina, the Charlotte Regional Mortgage Lenders Association lunch will be held on November 1. Check it out!

The November 1st MMLA Award and Installation Banquet is less than 2 weeks away. Check out a quick video to hear some highlights of what to expect. Invite your staff, coworkers and customers, register today.

On November 6th, the MBA-NJ Webinar Series will focus on Demystifying Credit Repair: Your Tools for Closing More Loans, Saving Time and Building Referrals.

Join MBA St. Louis on November 8th for Lunch and Program: The Changing Market and Marketing Strategies you can use to overcome the challenges.

It’s time to register for The UTAH Mortgage Expo, November 9th in Park City. With top speakers, great hands-on sessions and a wealth of opportunities from exhibitors and sponsors, it’s a can’t-miss day.

If you’re in the Kansas City area, register for the MBAKC Luncheon on November 15th. Speaker Rob Chrisman, questionable industry newcomer, will discuss, “What the Industry can expect in the First Half of 2019 – Without Making Forecasts.”

Ditech offers a comprehensive training curriculum on ditech products and processes, to keep your staff informed of the latest developments in products, technology solutions, compliance issues and process improvements. Each of these programs is offered by our training and development staff monthly and is updated regularly to reflect recent changes in the industry.

This is a frightening statistic, probably one of the most worrisome in recent years: 25% of mortgage bankers and Realtors in the country are on medication for mental illness. That is scary – it means that 75% are running around untreated.


People’s United Bank has opportunities for talented mortgage loan originators to join its growing organization. “Our Mortgage Account Officers/Loan Officers are supported by an experienced team that creates an environment for growing your business and providing your clients excellent service and products. Positions are currently available in Queens, Staten Island, Rockland and Putnam Counties in New York. As an Assistant Vice President, Mortgage Account Officer/Loan Officer you will originate residential mortgages and home equity products through our retail branch network and self-generated referral sources. We are a portfolio lender offering a wealth of portfolio products to our customers. To learn more about these positions and to apply online, please visit our website or you can email your resume to Elise Saltsman. Join us and show what your know-how can do.” 

GSF Mortgage Corporation (GSF) continues to expand the Single Close Construction Program. To date GSF has added over 300 Eligible Builders across the country. GSF is looking for Originators with experience in construction lending to help meet the demand of our Builder Partners. Programs offered are FHA-96.5% LTV, USDA-100% LTV, VA-100% LTV, and the recently added Conventional to 95% LTV. The program is also offered for FNMA High Balance Loans. All programs are single settlement without the need to requalify the borrower after initial closing. If you are an Originator with construction experience, please contact our VP of Retail, Frank Papaleo for information on the opportunity.

“Go for GOAT at PrimeLending. Are you currently headed toward GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) status? We’re here to help you find out in a matter of minutes by determining your GOAT Factor, a score that establishes whether you’re on path to become the Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or Serena Williams of the mortgage industry, or if you need to get on the right career track at PrimeLending. We’re a powerhouse who wants to be the best, surround ourselves with the best and work hard to get the job done right every time. If that sounds like you, contact Brian Miller at 469.737.5729 to get GOATing today.”

A thriving independent mortgage banker with a dynamic platform, excellent support, diverse product offerings, and exceptional, engaged leadership, is looking to expand in to the Colorado Springs market. Ideal candidate will be a seasoned Branch Manager with a minimum of five years’ experience in mortgage banking. Excellent leadership and recruiting skills a must. Send a confidential note of interest/resume to me for forwarding.

National MI continues with its growth and is excited to announce Jen Sopinski joined the Western Region, Northern California Northern Nevada Management team on October 1st.  Jen comes to National MI with VERY recent MI experience, she’s worked in title and the credit side of our business.  Jen brings strong customer relationships, MI experience and fantastic energy.   Please feel free to reach out to Jen (916.804.7488).

PHOENIX, the premier advisor for Trading, Mortgage Services and Analytics, welcomes Jason Eisendrath as SVP of Trading to the PHOENIX MSR and Whole Loan desk to expand its senior management team and continue to provide expert trading advisory, operational support and strategic solutions.

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6 Questions with 6 HUD Executives, Ep. 6: Ginnie Mae EVP and COO Michael Bright

Michael Bright knows his way around both the private and public sectors of housing finance.

Bright joined Ginnie Mae in 2017 from the Milken Institute. At the Milken Institute, Bright worked in the think tank’s Center for Financial Markets, where he led its housing program.

Prior to working at Milken, Bright served as a top aide to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee. While working for Corker, Bright helped author the Corker-Warner housing finance reform bill, which failed in the Senate in 2015 and would have seen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wound down and replaced. Bright also spent time with Wachovia Bank and Countrywide Financial earlier in his career.

Those experiences became a defining experience for him and are helping to guide Bright through his role at Ginnie Mae, where the now two-trillion dollar portfolio continues to grow. Listen to his exclusive conversation with Editor-in-Chief Jacob Gaffney as he discusses his plans to keep the “guardrails in place” at the nation’s only mortgage bond issuer with the full backing of the United States.



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JPMorgan Chase earnings increase, but reveal slowdown in mortgage sector

In the third quarter of 2018, JPMorgan Chase saw a decrease in its earnings from the previous quarter, but still managed to increase from the previous year despite a lackluster mortgage banking sector. 

After falling to $27.8 billion in the second quarter, JPMorgan’s revenue slid backwards in the third quarter to $27.3 billion. But this is still up from $25.3 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

Net income moderately increased, rising from the second quarter’s $8.3 billion to $8.4 billion in the third quarter this year. This is a total earnings per share of $2.34, up from $1.76 in the third quarter of 2017 and up from $2.29 in the second quarter of 2018.

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon attributed the bank’s growth to the strength of the international economy.

“JPMorgan Chase delivered strong results this quarter with top-line growth in each of our businesses, demonstrating the power of our platform,” Dimon said. “The U.S. and the global economy continue to show strength, despite increasing economic and geopolitical uncertainties, which at some point in the future may have negative effects on the economy.”

Although Chase experienced growth in revenue, mortgage banking revenue managed to put a drag on total earnings. 

JPMorgan’s home lending sector moved backwards, dropping 16% in revenue to $1.3 billion in the third quarter. This is also a decrease from $1.6 billion in the third quarter last year. The bank explained this drop was predominantly driven by production margin compression, loan spread and lower net servicing revenue.

Earlier this month, the bank laid off 400 employees in its consumer mortgage banking division, attributing the decision to a slowdown in areas of the mortgage market.

“Our servicing portfolio is performing well, with delinquencies accounting for less than 2% of all loans – a 22% decline from last year. When fewer people are struggling with their mortgages, and more people are using self-service channels, we can adjust staffing. Like all companies, we are making improvements to operate more efficiently and make slight adjustments to resources to best meet the needs of the market,” a spokesperson for the company said in an email.

These layoffs are not unique to the industry as banks industrywide continue to downsize to stay afloat.

In this year alone, Movement Mortgage, Wells Fargo and Capital One reduced their ranks, and experts predict this trend will continue.

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