Advancements in Servicing, LOS, POS, HELOC, Processing Tools; Insights into Agency Repurchase Progress

Exploring the intriguing realms of geography and demographics often leads to fascinating discoveries. While my cat Myrtle may never have hunted an eagle, the allure of a live bald eagle cam from California remains undeniable. Similarly, geographical facts such as Lake Tahoe and Reno lying west of Los Angeles, Maine being south of Paris, and most Canadians residing south of Seattle offer glimpses into the intricacies of our world.

Meanwhile, the scope of zoning regulations across America has garnered attention, with efforts such as the National Zoning Atlas aiming to consolidate all zoning rules into a single database. This endeavor holds significance as zoning regulations are considered a contributing factor to the nation’s housing affordability challenges. Increased transparency in zoning rules could potentially pave the way for innovative solutions to address housing affordability issues.

Furthermore, the spread of geographical knowledge offers intriguing insights, such as the revelation that if the world’s population were to inhabit areas with the density of New York City, all 8 billion people could comfortably reside within the confines of Texas, despite it being less than half the size of Alaska.

In the mortgage industry, concerns about repurchase risks persist coast to coast. In a recent interview with attorney James Brody, these concerns take center stage as discussions delve into the complexities surrounding agency repurchase progress. This interview sheds light on the challenges and strategies associated with mitigating repurchase risks, providing valuable insights for industry professionals.

Additionally, this week’s podcast, sponsored by Lender Toolkit, features discussions on the current challenges facing the mortgage industry and potential solutions. With Lender Toolkit’s AI-powered AI Underwriter and Prism borrower income automation tools, the process of loan approval can be streamlined, with loans approved in under two minutes. Hear from industry experts Mike McAuley and Brett Brumley as they explore the evolving landscape of the mortgage industry and innovative solutions to industry challenges.

Services, Products, and Software for Lenders and Brokers

Discover the Power of wemlo®: Behind-the-Scenes Processing for Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage brokers captivate borrowers with their expertise, but behind the scenes, wemlo® processors work tirelessly to make the magic happen. It’s a seamless process: brokers swiftly integrate with wemlo and then entrust loans to processors who work diligently to achieve swift clear-to-close outcomes. Picture wemlo as the invisible force delivering tangible results. Alongside its renowned support, wemlo offers processing assistance in 47 states plus Washington D.C., catering to numerous loan products and lenders. Ready to experience the efficiency of wemlo? Schedule your demo today. NMLS ID 1853218.

Revolutionizing Cost Savings in Loan Origination

Rising loan origination costs, particularly in a downturn, are a reality for most lenders. However, certain expenses, such as credit and verifications, have surged dramatically—up to 400% and 141%, respectively. This escalation is exacerbated by market incumbents monopolizing these services. But some lenders are fighting back. Take Lower, for instance, which has discovered a method to slash operational expenses by up to 80% while capturing more loans. Join us for an exclusive webinar on March 21 at 2pm ET, featuring insights from James Duncan and Donielle Geiser (Lower), Richard Grieser (Truv), and Rob Chrisman, as they discuss today’s market dynamics and how they’ve managed to rein in costs on operational line items once considered uncontrollable. RSVP now!

Experience FirstClose’s Cutting-Edge Home Equity Solution at ICE Experience 2024

Planning to attend ICE Experience 2024? Make sure to visit Booth #612 and connect with FirstClose. Pioneers in home equity solutions, FirstClose continues to lead the way with its fintech platform, specifically tailored for home equity loans (HELs) and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Learn how FirstClose’s platform revolutionizes the origination and closing processes, making them smarter, faster, and more efficient than ever before. And while you’re there, don’t miss the chance to relax at the Dog Park and spend some time with adorable pups from the Nevada SPCA. Schedule your meeting today!

Maxwell Unveils Blueprint Builder: Transforming Configurability for Mortgage Lenders

Introducing Maxwell Blueprint Builder—a groundbreaking feature within the Maxwell Point of Sale that empowers lenders to fully customize workflows, business rules, and user experiences. With Blueprint Builder, mortgage lenders gain unparalleled flexibility, connecting seamlessly with over 60 third-party integrations to craft tailored workflows aligned with their unique requirements. Now, lenders can adapt digital experiences to optimize operational processes across products and channels, all without the need for costly developer hires. Explore the possibilities of Blueprint Builder—schedule a call with the Maxwell team today.

Unlocking the True Cost of Your Mortgage LOS: A Guide by MeridianLink®

Is your current mortgage LOS draining more resources than it’s worth? From labor-intensive maintenance tasks to escalating expenses, the total cost of ownership may be higher than anticipated. Understanding how your LOS aligns with the unique demands of mortgage lending—and its associated costs—is crucial for ensuring it evolves alongside your borrowers and business needs. MeridianLink® recognizes the challenges of switching systems, which is why we’re sharing this insightful guide to help you navigate the process with confidence. Dive into the blog to learn more.

Latest Updates on Servicing and Payoff Products

Recap of MBA Servicing Solutions Conference & Expo: The recent “Executives Discuss Their Challenges, Goals” session shed light on the current state of the industry and offered insights into refreshing strategies. Amid discussions on customer pain points, the cost-effectiveness of analytical tools, and the potential implications of Basel III, servicing executives emphasized the importance of pausing to analyze and revitalize business processes.

Clarifire’s latest blog post, “Mortgage Executives Share Their Biggest Challenges and Solutions,” delves into these obstacles and explores the solutions available to mortgage servicers. Discover how leveraging no-code, deployable software combined with proven servicing automation can help reimagine servicing approaches and pivot from a defensive to an offensive game plan, achieving seamless automation and superior results with Clarifire®, truly BRIGHTER AUTOMATION®.

Post-Payoff Lien Release Management: Once a loan is paid off, timely lien release is crucial to maintaining borrower relationships and avoiding regulatory penalties. PerfectDocs®, from NTC, offers a user-friendly web-based platform for efficiently managing payoff processes and mortgage assignments for both MERS® and non-MERS loans. Visit the PerfectDocs/NTC kiosk at the upcoming ICE Experience to learn how PerfectDocs enables the creation, review, execution, recording, and tracking of all required documents for payoffs, default requirements, and loan transfers. Explore how NTC’s partnership and integration with ICE’s Simplifile® maximize eRecord coverage. Schedule a meeting here.

Sagent’s Partnership with CMG Financial: Sagent announces a new 7-year partnership with CMG Financial, a significant move to empower CMG’s servicing ecosystem. This partnership will integrate LoanServ (system of record), CARE (homeowner experience), and DataScape (cloud-based data reporting and insights) into CMG’s existing system. As CMG expands its servicing operations in-house to enhance the homeowner experience, Sagent is poised to support their homeowner-first strategy, fostering stronger relationships with today’s homeowners and buyers. Explore the full press release for more details.

MBA Recap: Latest Updates on Agency Repurchase Affairs

In 2023, concerns regarding loan repurchases loomed large within the mortgage industry. The pressure on lenders’ balance sheets due to repurchasing loans, even those with minor defects or performing loans, has been a significant focus. In a recent interview, attorney James Brody sheds light on this issue.

Sasha Hewlett, Assistant Vice President of Secondary & Capital Markets at MBA, shared insights into the steps taken by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to address lender repurchase concerns.

“Fannie Mae has reintroduced its Notice of Potential Defect (NOPD) process, offering sellers an extended window of 30 days to rectify specific identified defects before Fannie Mae initiates a repurchase demand. This move follows collaborative efforts between MBA, FHFA, and the GSEs to enhance the quality control process and mitigate the adverse effects of loan repurchases.”

“MBA President Broeksmit commended Fannie Mae’s initiative and also expressed support for a Freddie Mac pilot program aimed at reimagining the repurchase process, particularly for small lenders. While MBA appreciates Fannie Mae’s early notification approach, there’s room for further improvements in the repurchase process.”

“Fannie Mae has also introduced new capabilities in Desktop Underwriter (DU) to streamline mortgage origination. Effective March 29, 2024, lenders can use a single 12-month asset verification report to automatically validate income, employment, and assets, thereby reducing repurchase risk and enhancing loan quality control.”

“Freddie Mac has implemented several quality control (QC) enhancements, including the establishment of a Seller QC Council, accelerating Guide updates, and improving QC efficiency through technology.”

“Fannie Mae’s near-term efforts include adjusting Covid-forbearance delinquency treatment, expanding repurchase alternatives, reducing repurchase fees, and enhancing Day 1 Certainty validation services.”

“These initiatives reflect Fannie Mae’s commitment to improving the mortgage origination process and reducing repurchase risk. Moreover, Fannie Mae plans to introduce additional validation services and tools, further enhancing the lending experience for both lenders and borrowers.”

This comprehensive update from MBA provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of agency repurchase initiatives and underscores the ongoing efforts to streamline processes and enhance loan quality across the mortgage industry.

Navigating the Capital Markets Landscape: Insights and Strategies

Amidst the focus on residential lending, the spotlight veers towards another asset class that has been dominating recent headlines: the stock markets. Across the globe, stock markets have been reaching new heights, propelled by declining inflation rates and the anticipation of rate cuts. Economists anticipate the U.S.

Federal Reserve to implement rate cuts in June as they await further data to confirm that inflation remains near its sustainable 2 percent target. The recent testimony by Fed chair Jerome Powell before lawmakers has spurred traders to align with Fed officials’ projections, scaling back on previous expectations of a rate cut as early as March.

While this commentary primarily centers on residential lending, it’s crucial to acknowledge the broader economic landscape, particularly in light of recent stock market movements. The rally in stock markets globally has been fueled by declining inflation rates and mounting expectations of rate cuts. Analysts anticipate that the U.S. Federal Reserve will announce rate cuts in June as it waits for additional data to confirm that inflation remains close to its targeted 2 percent level. The recent testimony by Fed chair Jerome Powell before lawmakers has led traders to adjust their expectations, with the likelihood of a rate cut in March diminishing.

However, recent inflation data suggests a more nuanced picture. While headline inflation for February matched expectations with a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase, core CPI exceeded expectations with a 0.4 percent month-over-month rise. This upward trend in underlying inflation, coupled with increases in prices for used cars, air travel, and clothing, has prompted caution among Fed officials regarding the timing of rate cuts.

Total CPI rose 3.2 percent year-over-year, while core CPI increased by 3.8 percent year-over-year. The shelter index emerged as a significant driver of the monthly increase in core CPI, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the year-over-year rise. Excluding shelter, CPI saw a more modest increase of 1.8 percent year-over-year.

The latest inflation report, which is the final major report before the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, reinforces expectations for multiple rate cuts this year. While the first rate cut is not anticipated at the upcoming meeting, the data may influence the timing of future cuts. The fed funds futures market suggests confidence in an initial rate cut announcement at the June FOMC meeting, contingent upon continued progress in disinflation in the coming months.

Looking ahead, the economic calendar includes key releases such as the producer price index and retail sales figures. Producer prices in February are expected to rise moderately, reflecting higher transportation and warehousing costs attributed to increased diesel prices. Meanwhile, retail sales are anticipated to rebound sharply, driven by increased spending at gas stations, higher purchases of new vehicles, and elevated discretionary spending on durable goods following weather-related constraints in January. Industrial production is projected to remain flat, with mixed effects from milder weather conditions.

In today’s economic landscape, mortgage applications have surged by 7.1 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Although this increase is encouraging, purchase application volume remains below last year’s levels by approximately 11 percent. Additionally, Treasury auctions, highlighted by $22 billion in reopened 30-year bonds, mark the only other activity on the domestic economic calendar. As the day unfolds, Agency MBS prices are marginally lower than Tuesday’s close, with yields on the 10-year Treasury note standing at 4.19 percent after closing at 4.16 percent yesterday, and the 2-year yield at 4.61 percent.

Employment Market Updates

We’ve done it again! Motto Mortgage has secured its position on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2024 Franchise 500® list for the fifth consecutive year. This time, we’ve clinched the #1 spot in the Miscellaneous Financial Services category! It seems like the folks at Entrepreneur Magazine have impeccable taste.

At Motto Mortgage, we offer franchise owners a comprehensive package that includes professional marketing content, a diverse product mix, strong relationships with wholesale lenders, compliance support, and much more, right from Day One. Essentially, we’ve assembled an entire business model for you, and the industry is definitely taking notice. Are you ready to own an award-winning mortgage business? Reach out to us for all the details.

In addition, there’s a fantastic job opportunity available for a Supervisory Underwriter in Santa Ana with the FHA. This role involves overseeing all technical underwriting, insurance endorsement, and related functions. You’ll be responsible for monitoring the progress of goal achievement, interpreting HUD technical instructions, and providing guidance to personnel on interpretation. For more details, check out Job Announcement.

Matthew Graham
Matthew Graham
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