THL Invests in G-Rate; Fair Lending and HMDA News

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Originators, who work with plenty of renters who want to be owners, should know that the Harvard Joint Center tells us that, “We’re finally seeing the record growth in renters slow down, but while the market has responded to rental housing needs for higher-income households, there are alarming trends that suggest a growing inability to supply housing that is affordable for middle- and working-class renters, let alone those with very low incomes.” Here’s the American Rental Housing report.

 

Company News

Will Wells Fargo ever catch a break? Now it is being sued by the Navajo Nation over its “predatory sales practices.”

Randolph Bancorp, based in Stoughton, Massachusetts, is “aligning its mortgage banking headcount with current origination volumes.” And thus layoffs.

Isn’t the first, won’t be the last…retail lender Guaranteed Rate, Inc. (aka G-Rate) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., a leading private equity firm that invests in middle market growth companies. “Under the agreement, THL will make a material capital and strategic investment in the Company. A portion of the proceeds of the investment will be used by Guaranteed Rate to fund the repurchase of certain shares from the Company’s existing shareholders, and the remainder will be used for general corporate purposes.

“THL’s capital infusion into Guaranteed Rate will be used to further enhance the Company’s value proposition to consumers, realtors and loan officers. Guaranteed Rate intends to build on its existing origination framework to create a next generation lending platform that further streamlines the mortgage process by enhancing workflow, allowing loan officers to spend less time working on individual files and more time developing relationships and growing the business…Guaranteed Rate also expects to leverage its enhanced capital structure to further develop proprietary products through its private label securitization and portfolio capabilities. Company founder Victor Ciardelli III will continue to lead Guaranteed Rate as CEO and Chairman of the Board running day-to-day operations, while THL will have a meaningful minority stake in the Company.”

The ultimate goal? “Becoming the country’s largest retail mortgage lender.” (It is currently 6th, and has approximately 220 branches.) “The Company earned over $778 million in gross revenue in 2016 and expects to fund over $20 billion in new mortgage loans for consumers in 2017.” Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Guaranteed Rate. Barclays acted as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to THL. 

First American Financial Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire Bank of America’s lien release business, which includes an agreement to provide these services to Bank of America going forward. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. Once the sale is complete, Bank of America’s lien release business and its employees will become part of First American’s Mortgage Solutions division, a leading provider of comprehensive solutions for residential lenders and servicers covering the entire loan spectrum.

Fair Lending and HMDA News

Tammy Butler, Master CMB, LSS Black Belt, and CEO of Fair Lending Diversity, Inc., writes, “As most lenders know, Fair Lending Training is required of all financial service employees each year. Wholesale lenders must also ensure that their TPOs have fair lending training and are discouraged from allowing the TPO to self-certify. Fair Lending Diversity is shaking up Fair Lending Training by offering engaging, effective and job-specific courses online/anytime. The present topics are ‘Basics of Fair Lending,’ ‘ECOA,’ ‘The Fair Housing Act,’ ‘HMDA,’ ‘Bias Awareness’ and the mortgage originator’s favorite, ‘Mystery Shopping.’ These courses are offered online, via webinar or live and can also be private labeled on a company’s LMS. Every two months we release a new course, and ‘RESPA and Marketing’ just released. Those who are interested can check us out at www.fairlendingdiversity.com/training. Discounts apply for larger volume lenders.”

And the Knowledge Coop offers online and live mortgage continuing education (CE), compliance management system software and compliance consulting services. Shoot Ken Perry an email for information.

SunTrust Mortgage is offering a special combination of pricing incentives on CRA-eligible purchase transactions.

As the mortgage industry prepares for the CFPB updates to HMDA requirements that become effective on January 1, 2018, Citi recently introduced multiple options Correspondents can leverage as a consistent means for providing 2 data points to Citi. Fields for the ULI and Business/Commercial Purpose have been added to Exhibit 16 – File Document Checklist. Be sure to use the most current version of this form which includes these fields. An additional field where the ULI can be provided within a Correspondent website registration on the Final Info tab (tab 3). Citi will begin adding conditional suspense reminders to loans where the Correspondent ULI and/or HMDA Business/Commercial Purpose haven’t been provided. These suspense items will be “waived” if the loan moves to a final Citi disposition in 2017.  

Keeping in line with the new HMDA rules, effective January 1, 2018, for all loans closed on or after January 1, 2018, PennyMac will require the lender’s valid Universal Loan Identifier (ULI) for each loan to be provided either at registration or as part of the credit package at delivery.

Pacific Union will require its delegated correspondent clients to provide the Universal Loan Identifier (ULI) number along with the new Demographic Information Addendum, which will be required for all mortgage loan applications taken on or after January 1, 2018. This is a new HMDA Requirement which becomes effective the first day of January.

Effective immediately, M&T will accept applications using the new URLA addendum that reflects the newly expanded demographic and GMI information for HMDA 2018.

Capital Markets

Treasuries have seen strong demand in recent years alongside reduced issuance which has kept yields low. Both those factors, however, may change course as we move into 2018 and beyond. The US budget deficit, which has been declining, is predicted to increase which would lead to an increase in treasury supply that would need to be absorbed by the market. Likewise, the Federal Reserve, which currently holds nearly 20 percent of outstanding Treasury securities, will become a net seller as it continues to shrink its balance sheet.

Foreign central banks that use Treasuries to manage currency exchange rates are not facing the market forces that would require a return to the amount of accumulation seen over the last decade. As a result, the private domestic and foreign sectors would be left as a principle buyer of Treasuries. Baring another financial crisis, it is unlikely that a significant increase in demand for safe-haven assets is on the horizon. If demand for Treasury debt does not keep up with the expected increase in supply, yields will need to rise. 

In terms of the daily bond market, Treasuries and agency MBS prices began yesterday down after retail sales posted stronger than expected gains (0.8% vs 0.3%), and Initial Jobless Claims fell by 11,000 to 225,000 and marked the 145th consecutive week below 300k. Prices, however, rebounded in the afternoon. A positive consumer outlook was affirmed by robust spending across discretionary categories. Yield curve watchers noticed that spreads between short and long-term bonds tightened on the day. 

Today’s economic calendar sees the regional Empire State Manufacturing Survey (“18,” weaker than expected but still pointing to growth) and November’s Industrial Production (0.3% and 77.1% expected) at 9:15am. The last day of the week starts with the 10-year yielding 2.36% and agency MBS prices nearly unchanged versus last night’s close.

Jobs, Products and Promotions

Caliber Home Loans, Inc., America’s fastest-growing mortgage company, is excited to announce Caliber HomeAccess Your Way Equity Line of Credit. HomeAccess provides borrowers with real-time access to funds. Customers have the flexibility to use their funds for a variety of needs, with no restrictions on the type of purchase. Customers can enjoy the convenience of a 10-year draw period followed by a 20-year repayment phase. “We are excited to build on our unique suite of products and services as we introduce our first non-mortgage product offering,” said Caliber CEO Sanjiv Das. ‘With HomeAccess, we are leveraging our high-quality service, speed and dedicated loan officers to address the needs of existing and potential customers.’ HomeAccess will launch in a select number of states, and is immediately available through local Caliber branches. To learn more about Caliber’s expanding range of lending products, visit www.caliberhomeloans.com.

Are you pining away for the good old days, when compliance and regulation didn’t eat up all your time and profit? Are you a broker, mini corr, retail branch, or independent closing $10M a month or LESS in the Northeast or Florida? Join a company with dynamic leadership, top technology and superior operations. In just the past 6 months we have added a $70M branch and 6 individual loan officers (and counting) as we reach for $500M in production. We are owned and operated in NE, a direct Fannie seller, going direct to Ginnie, fully delegated with a large complement of investors, we have an excellent servicing platform and we are ready to invest in you. Increase your offerings without having to increase your net worth, we will help you recruit and grow with fewer headaches. Combine forces with a strong partner without giving up your voice. Send a confidential email to Amy Tierce, VP of Sales and Marketing at Mortgage Equity Partners.

If you are an independent mortgage company or retail production team closing $2M to $50M per month and are looking for an opportunity with a nationwide company focused on growth and branch support, contact Bank of England Mortgage. “Since opening our doors in 1898 in England, Arkansas, our family-owned and FDIC insured bank provides big bank benefits with a community bank feel. We have survived the volatility of the mortgage industry for 119 years using a combination of stability, our flexible and entrepreneurial approach in helping you run your business, and focus on the success of your team. We offer an extensive range of loan products, nationwide lending, the advantage of modern technology and a distinct marketing approach to ensure your success. Tired of changing companies and looking for your forever career home? Contact your regional Bank of England Mortgage representative: West – Randolph Winston, (615) 812-5885, Midwest – Jim Lind, (913) 972-0822, Southeast – Roger Phillips, (205) 910-9339, or Northeast – Chris Copley, (717) 440-3346.

Congrats to Rian Furey. Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. announced Thursday that he has been hired as the Company’s President of Direct Lending, to lead CashCall (its consumer direct retail channel). Mr. Furey has held various executive positions in the direct lending businesses of several lenders.

Evergreen Home Loans, a full-service direct home loan lender offering origination, funding and home loan servicing with offices in six Western states, announced that Debbie Johnson joined the company’s executive team as chief financial officer, executive vice president reporting to President Don Burton.

And last but certainly not least, congrats to U.S. Bank’s John Hummel, EVP of Correspondent & HFA Lending, who has been elected to RESBOG. The MBA’s Residential Board of Governors (RESBOG) is a committee of industry leaders who set the priority of issues for the MBA in the coming year.

 



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