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I wonder if Fed Chair Jerome Powell ever hums to himself, “Everybody’s talking at me, I can’t hear a word they’re saying…” (Angelina Jolie’s father, John Voight, is alive and doing fine.) The bond market has heard him loud and clear, however. Rates are back up, and companies are wondering about if the cuts they made in the second half of 2022 are enough. Rather than reduce headcount there are other ways to lower expenses, and “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” is the current STRATMOR blog and discusses things other than layoffs. On a larger scale, you could have gambled the whole company and lost… One of the cryptocurrency industry's most prominent banks, Silvergate Capital Corp., announced on Wednesday its intention to shut down and voluntarily liquidate. (Today’s podcast can be found here and this week is sponsored by SimpleNexus, an nCino company and homeownership platform that unites the people, systems, and stages of the mortgage process into one seamless, end-to-end solution that spans engagement, origination, closing, incentive compensation, and business intelligence. Todays has an Interview with Frasco’s Michael Famiglietti on the mortgage risk mitigation space and various mortgage investigations to assist originators, insurers, investors and servicers.) Employment and transitions___________________________________________________ Academy Mortgage kicked off 2023 with its annual Leadership Summit: an in-person and virtual gathering designed to lift, inspire, and nurture the personal and professional development of not only their leaders but all team members companywide. The theme of this year’s two-day event was “Follow Your Compass” and the sessions were packed full of powerful inspirational messages from the company’s Leadership Team, top producers, and renowned guest speakers. Those in attendance participated in development workshops and a service project where they packed 1,200 weekend meal packs for local students in need. Friends, family, and guests were invited to join a special evening event to hear U.S. astronaut Captain Scott Kelly share his extraordinary story and the lessons he learned from his record-breaking year in space. Watch the highlights of Academy’s Leadership Summit here. Join the journey to experience the culture and connection that make Academy Mortgage unique: Contact VP of Business Development Scott Starr. “Planet Home Lending is hiring in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Why should MLOs care? For the same reason we’re now #10 in overall originations according to data from Refinitv. Commitment. We invest in our originators, their teams, and everything they need for support. And since Planet is an originator and a servicer, we service our loans and your borrowers. MLOs keep long-term access to their customers… We even put your name and picture on monthly statements, so you stay top of mind. Ready to make a move? Get in touch with Planet’s VP Talent Acquisition Peter Briggs (435-709-6278), because when you’re here, you’re home.” Sagent, a Warburg Pincus-backed fintech software company modernizing mortgage servicing for banks and lenders, appointed servicing exec Perry Hilzendeger as EVP of Servicing. “The move doubles down on Sagent’s stance that nuanced, technical software powering America’s highly regulated $13 trillion mortgage servicing sector must be built and led by servicing operators who get the details.” Broker and lender products, software, and services___________________________________________________ “No one else has a user-friendly dashboard like United One’s new Tax Monitoring system” - Senior Mortgage Executive. New Tax Monitoring Technology Provides Instant Insight into Loan Portfolio. United One’s new industry-leading technology simplifies real estate Tax Monitoring by providing instant insight into the client’s loan portfolio and highlights delinquencies using real-time data, all within its single-screen dashboard. It offers flexible and custom reporting, bulk processing capabilities, as well as ease of onboarding via electronic file transfer capabilities. The recently enhanced system provides solutions for single parcels through large development tracts and allows clients to automatically generate customizable delinquency letters. Using real-time data, solely searched by United One, it automatically provides updates to the client’s system. To learn more about United One’s new Tax Monitoring technology, click here to schedule a demo with our team. Right size for the last time! The industry is struggling to achieve high quality loan files with ease across the multitude of fragmented people, systems, and processes. To help with this challenge, Candor Technology is excited to announce the launch of Candor PLUS, a digitally driven service spanning the entire loan fulfillment mortgage process that delivers decision ready files. The service empowers lenders to deliver concierge level satisfaction while Candor PLUS accurately and efficiently completes laborious manufacturing tasks with state-of-the-art technology. This empowers lenders to scale instantly and reduce the chaos of adjusting workforce capacity to meet fluctuating market volumes. Contact Candor today to learn more. “Mortgage applications hit 28-year low! Interest rates leap back over 7%! OUCH!! Now more than ever, you need a plan to market first-time homebuyers. Don’t let questions of affordability stall your efforts to help these potential homeowners. The average national monthly rental payment for 2022 was $1,794 and if 2023 follows trend, that amount will increase more than 20%... now that’s an affordability issue! How can you instantly market first-time homebuyers? Cole Information has the data. We’re not offering stale, incomplete lead generation data. Cole delivers over 250 pivotal attributes that are accurate, meaningful, and comprehensive: Access pertinent information that will uncover promising future homebuyers who currently rent. Our results are instantaneous and actionable, starting with income level, vehicle ownership, credit indication, and more, all easily integrated into your auto-dialer or CRM. Don’t wait for your competition to cultivate first-time homebuyers. Find the prospecting data you’re missing at Cole Information!” “Choose Capacity and get 20% off your current helpdesk pricing. Check loan statuses or pull FHA guidelines instantly with our practical AI. Empower your team and customers with easy access to whatever answers or files they need on a secure, integrated support automation platform. And do it for 20% less than you're paying now. Deflect over 90% of tickets from your team, watch resolution times skyrocket, and reap the CSAT rewards. Sound interesting? Click here to book a 15-minute chat, and let’s explore how Capacity can help you do your best work.” “Turn fixed costs into variable costs on a dime. When the market zigs, lenders need the flexibility to zag. Richey May Advisory brings the mortgage industry expertise and agility you need to convert fixed costs into variable costs. Our difference maker is your ability to outsource services to highly trained experts in a model that fits your needs. Whether that means loan-level accounting, advisory, business intelligence, compliance support, cyber services, internal audits or underwriting automation, we have the tools, knowledge, and experience to deliver value and improve your financial performance unlike any competitor, anywhere. You’ll feel it almost immediately in your day-to-day operations. Even better, you’ll notice the difference in your bottom line. Reach out or visit our website to learn more about how we can help your operation pivot to a better place, no matter which direction the market goes.” Home equity products___________________________________________________ “Did you know that tappable equity has reached $8 trillion+? Given the incredible size of this market, home equity lending is a good opportunity to offset today’s lower purchase and refi volume and drive pipeline activity. But how do you get started? What’s needed to establish a successful home equity lending business? Read our complimentary e-book to learn more.” There are over 200 different species of chameleons in the world, each optimized for their own environment. Their ability to adapt and change color in their surroundings is key to their survival. In a rapidly evolving mortgage industry, lenders need to be able to adapt just as quickly. As home equity increases HELOCs present lenders with new opportunities, and innovative technology can help lenders offset the risks involved in home equity lending. In a recent Q&A with the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), Wolters Kluwer’s Mark Mackey explored the effects of the shifting industry and the growing importance of Home Equity, particularly in regard to credit unions. He also examines the risks and benefits of HELOCs. Learn more about the importance of HELOCs in the shifting industry by reading the Q&A today Looking to maximize HELOC revenue? Partner with LoanCare for advanced capabilities and flexible options. Know your customers with the highest propensity to buy through LoanCare Analytics, an on-demand data analytics service that offers 1,250 views into your portfolio with loan level specificity. We offer comprehensive HELOC solutions to meet your needs, including open-ended, segmented, fully amortized, and interest only HELOCs in both full and interim subservicing capacities. Highly rated by Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P, LoanCare has been servicing loans for banks, credit unions, IMBs and investors for 40 years. Contact LoanCare today. Varied broker, lender, and investor news___________________________________________________ There are constructive things going on around the biz, unlike the Department of Justice’s press release of this Detroit-area mortgage broker being charged with conspiring to defraud the IRS and filing false tax returns. Guaranteed Rate announced the launch of Same Day Mortgage, delivering a loan approval in less than 24 hours. “This program first rolled out to a select group of customers in 2022, resulting in $1.1 billion in closed loan volume. Today, Same Day Mortgage launches nationwide with a much larger portfolio of loan types and offerings including purchase and refinance; 72% of the company's conforming business qualifies for the program.” Imagine how successful you can be in 2023 when you can close loans without the burden of documenting income and employment. Save Your Borrower's loan from Mortgage Fall-Out,lock your next No Ratio loan with Champions Funding and take advantage of its Improved Rates & Pricing. United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) has expanded its One-Time Close New Construction product to include VA. “This product, originally announced last month for conventional loans, including ARMs and high balance, provides LO’s with a unique opportunity to generate new business and build referral partnerships with builders and real estate agents. There is only one full credit report to order, one down payment, one closing and one interest rate, with the option to modify down if the market improves once construction is complete. UWM will also facilitate communication with the builder and will provide checklists for the project and builder approvals, enabling all involved to communicate information throughout the entire approval process. In addition, once the loan is closed, UWM will handle the rest of the process by staying in direct communication with the builder on subsequent draws as well as subsequent inspections to confirm the project is on pace.” Speaking of VA loans, a new law makes it easier for survivors of Veterans exposed to toxic material, including burn pits, to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), tax-free benefit payments available for certain surviving spouses, children, or parents. They may also now be eligible for a one-time payment for accrued benefits, burial benefits, education and training, home loan certificates of eligibility, or health care. Find out which benefits you may qualify for and how to access them. A&D Mortgage is offering 0.25 Lender Credit for Non-QM Purchase mortgages in select western states. Enhancements have been made to Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions Business Bank Statement Elite program. Maximum loan amount $2 million (up from $1.5 million), Cash out CAN be used for reserves, Duplexes are now an acceptable property type. First Time Home Buyer Minimum credit score of 660, House history 0 x 30 by 12, 6 months of reserves (down from 12 months). Note, Cash out loans in a declining market (as defined by the appraiser) are not allowed. Capital markets___________________________________________________ Today, Agile Trading Technologies announced it facilitated the industry’s first fully-automated Assignment of Trade (AOT) transaction. As most capital markets folks know, wide bid-offer spreads over the past year due to market volatility have been a real challenge for originators’ profitability. AOTs save that bid-offer spread by assigning the hedge position to the investor as part of the loan sale, but the complexity and paperwork involved can make them a real headache… until now. “Agile’s full automation of the AOT process allows us to pass along improved execution to our customers as well as improve the efficiency of processing the AOTs. Since everyone is using the same database of record, it greatly reduces any potential errors and speeds up the process of acceptance," said Brandon Knudson, VP of National Correspondent Sales at Village Capital. Read the full press release or contact Agile to learn more about automating your AOTs. Fed Chairman Powell continued his testimony on Capitol Hill yesterday, but his appearance did not cause shockwaves in the market as it did on Tuesday. The most notable takeaway was him saying that there are no current plans to alter the Fed's 2 percent inflation goal. As far as economic data went, ADP reported that the private sector added 242,000 jobs in February, higher than the 220,000 forecast for tomorrow's jobs report. The bad news for the bond market is that annual pay increased 7.2 percent. Today’s calendar is under way with two labor market indicators ahead of tomorrow’s payrolls report: job cuts from Challenger, Gray & Christmas for February (77,770 job cuts in February, down a 24 percent from the 102,943 cuts announced in January, but 4x higher than the 15,245 cuts announced in the same month last year) and weekly jobless claims (a jump up to 211k versus expectations of 195k, 1.178 million continuing claims). Later today brings a Treasury auction of $18 billion 30-year bonds, Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and remarks from Fed Vice Chair of Supervision Barr. We begin the day with Agency MBS prices roughly unchanged , the 2-year at 5.03 percent, and the 10-year yielding 3.99 after closing yesterday at 3.98 percent. Years ago, an Irish World War II Spitfire pilot, and flying ace, was speaking in a Dublin church, and reminiscing about his war experiences."In 1942," he declared, "the situation was really tough. The Germans had a very strong air force. I remember," he continued, "one day I was protecting the bombers and suddenly, out of the clouds, these Fokkers appeared."There are a few gasps from the parishioners, and several of the children began to giggle."I looked up and realized that two of the Fokkers were directly above me. I aimed at the first one and shot him down. By then, though, the other Fokker was right on my tail."At this point, several of the elderly ladies of the church were blushing with embarrassment, the girls were all giggling, and the boys laughing loudly.The pastor finally stands up and says, "I think I should point out that 'Fokker' was the name of a German-Dutch aircraft company who made many of the planes used by the Germans during the war.""Yes, that's true," replied the old pilot, "but these Fokkers were flying Messerschmitt's."