Plenty of folks are moving to Florida, where I am today for a VA Conference. Do property taxes matter? Sure they do. Enough to move to an entirely different state? This article says, “Apparently.” Experts say that jobs are the most important determinant of where home buyers will locate. After that, state and local taxes matter in areas that are seeing strong population inflows anyway. Among the counties that saw the biggest percentage of in-migration in 2017, according to Census data, all are in Texas, Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas. (Texas’ property taxes aren’t low, but it has no personal income tax, making the overall tax burden much more manageable.) Lots more state stuff below.
State-level Changes and Lender State Changes
Texas has amended 7 TAC Chapter 153 Home Equity Lending. Key changes include: The current three percent fee limitation has been replaced with a two percent fee limitation. The revisions clarify that the fees included in the limitation calculation do not include certain third-party charges such as appraisal fees, property survey fees, lender’s title insurance premium and title report fees. The current prohibition on home equity loan for agricultural property has been removed. Certain subsidies of depository institutions have been added to the list of lenders permitted to make home equity loans. A home equity loan is now allowed to be refinanced into a non-home equity loan if four conditions are met: one-year timing limitation for refinance, limitation on advance of additional funds, may not be more than 80% LTV, required 12-day disclosure to property owner providing information concerning consumer protections that may be lost by a refinance into a non-home equity loan. The revisions outline changes to the required 12-day consumer disclosure to conform to new requirements. The current 50% limitation on additional debits or advances for a home equity line of credit has been removed.
South Dakota has enacted provisions regarding notifications relating to system security breaches where personal or protected information has been or may have been acquired by an unauthorized person. Personal information includes a person’s name in combination with other assigned identification numbers such as a social security number, driver’s license number, employee number or credit card number. Protected information includes a user name or email address in addition to a password or security question answer or other information that permits access to an online account; and an account number in addition to a security or access code that permits access to a financial account.
Florida has recently enacted House Bill 935, regarding business purpose mortgage loans. The updated provisions are effective as of July 1, 2018. The crux of this update is a new provision stating that, under Florida law, it is unlawful for any person in a mortgage loan transaction to misrepresent a residential mortgage loan as a business purpose loan. A “business purpose loan” is a mortgage loan in which the borrower intends to use the proceeds primarily for a business purpose, rather than a personal, family, or household purpose. A common example of a business purpose loan is the purchase of a non-owner-occupied investment property. An example of the type of fraud that this update is targeting is the situation where a borrower’s income is too low to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a primary residence. A borrower may decide to fraudulently apply for a mortgage to purchase the home as an investment property, so that he or she may use rental income to qualify for the loan.
Indiana amended provisions relating to notarial acts through Senate Bill 372. Provisions in this bill range from being effective immediately to being effective on July 1, 2019. Many of the amendments make technical changes to the standard language and definitions as they relate to notarial acts. There are also new provisions in Senate Bill 372 that specify requirements for remote notarial acts.
Rates stayed relatively flat yesterday after a shaky Friday on Wall Street, mostly due to the lack of any meaningful economic releases. The largest news of note was the Congressional Budget Office releasing its latest Budget and Economic Outlook, which projected a slowdown in real GDP over the next two and a half years. The budget deficit is expected to grow substantially over the next few years. This comes as China is reportedly looking into yuan devaluation as one of a litany of potential responses to tariffs. In mortgage-related news, private mortgage insurers saw their stocks take a pounding yesterday following MGIC’s decision to cut premiums citing benefits from lower corporate taxes.
We’ve already had the March NFIB Small Business Optimism this morning, reversing sharply. We’ve also had the March PPI (+.3%, strong) and core PPI (+.4%), of which both were expected to remain at 0.2% like their previous readings. We then have Redbook Same-Store Sales (previously 0.4% MoM and 4.4% YoY) before February Wholesale Inventories at 10am ET, where the consensus is a rise to 1.1% from the prior 0.8% reading. The only other news of note are a $30 billion 3-yr note auction, and remarks by Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan & Atlanta’s Fed President Bostic. We start Tuesday with agency MBS prices -.125 versus last night’s close and the 10-year yielding 2.80%.
LO Events and Training
Mortgage Professionals Academy is interested in teaching your employees their Continuing Education for 2018; offering live classes for mortgage Continuing Education and Pre-Licensing. “If you are a manager, owner, broker, AE., compliance officer or office manager who is hoping to have us come to your office to teach your employees, please reach out to us for a competitive bid. We offer a live, classroom setting in lieu of online learning, and in one day. We are flexible and can teach half day or evening classes. If you are interested, reach out to Corey Moser (800-746-1961). We have a 5-Star Rating from our students.”
Todd Duncan and High Trust are pleased to announce Sales Mastery 2018. Over 60,000 Loan Originators and Leaders have made Sales Mastery their trusted source for information to keep them on the leading edge. This 4-day event will be held in San Diego, California at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina on October 10-13th, 2018. Click here for more information. Success in sales has everything to do with keeping personal priorities. If your numbers are stale, it may just be a matter of trust. Sales Mastery 2017 is focused on bringing you fresh ideas, easy to implement strategies, and innovative training from the most unique, standout influencers and experts in the industry. Also, if you lead others and want to take your leadership skills to the next level, Todd has just released a free resource entitled, 5 Character Traits of Lousy Sales Leaders. You can download it here.
(By the way, yesterday’s commentary noted that The North Carolina Bankers Association is hosting the American Mortgage Conference on May 1-2. The location is in Pinehurst – no change; for out-of-towners Raleigh is the likely airport to use.)
Jobs and Products
“Act Presidential, everybody, you are representing Stearns! The 2018 Stearns Wholesale President’s Club Winner’s positive attitude, hard work and an unstoppable spirit have helped countless buyers achieve the American dream, while helping brokers grow their businesses. Positive attitude and recognition are great, but we thought a trip to Hyatt Ziva in Cabo San Lucas would be even better. All of our award-winning Account Executives and Operations team members are headed to the beach tomorrow for a fabulous and well-deserved vacation. Watch out Cabo…here we come! Want to be a part of our fun? Email email@example.com to learn more about Stearns.”
A very happy birthday to Mortgage Network, which is celebrating—holy cow—it’s 30th year in business! Over the past several decades, Mortgage Network has expanded from its New England roots and is now licensed in 27 states with more than 400 employees in over 40 branch offices. EVP Brian Koss attributes the company’s longevity to its vibrant sales culture, a “bend over backward” customer approach and a focus on technology. The company took the forward-thinking step of building its own technology platform, which lets borrowers start the mortgage process online while helping loan officers deliver an incredible, more efficient experience. “We’ve always done things differently here,” Koss says. “Because we’re privately owned, we call our own shots and cut through red tape for our clients.” Customer surveys have found 98% of Mortgage Network borrowers would recommend the lender to their family or friends, so the company is doing something right. And management is hiring!
Trying to keep everyone on the same page sometimes feels a bit like herding cats, especially if you have multiple branches, multiple operations centers, and distributed staff. Staying compliant and sticking to procedures can be hard without the right tools to support you. Here’s a little help to ensure your teams stay informed, have access to the most current job aides and other corporate resources, and follow consistent simple-to-use workflows. “The Hub” promises all of this, comes pre-configured with lots of mortgage-specific resources and workflows, and you can add your own within minutes. You might be surprised at how much of a unifying effect these simple-to-use tools can have on your scattered staff. The Hub is offering a free 15-day trial and they’ll waive your setup fee if you sign up before April 15th. More at http://thegrindhub.com.
The online loan trading platforms come up in conversations everywhere, with Resitrader appearing to be the leader in driving us to a market trading platform. We hear about adoption from both buyers and sellers who reference “the marketplace,” and what they mean is online trading. Maybe it’s time we start monitoring the whole loan volumes driven through platforms versus email.
“HomeScout – HBM knows that loan officers have got better things to do than managing traditional email and digital marketing campaigns and chasing dead end leads. In a recent survey, OutboundEngine found that over 31% of loan officers purchased leads, with many spending more than $500 a month, and average conversion rates between 2-4% without critical conversion processes. HBM has a proven 22-year history of drastically increasing lead conversion, making HomeScout the must have app for all lenders and agents looking to grow their business. Our consumer & realtor referral platform is an affordable lead conversion solution, and perfect for any lender or branch, regardless of size. For more information or to schedule a demo, reach out HERE or give us a call at 952-831-0623. You can also schedule an appointment with us at the MBA Technology Solutions Conference, in Detroit, MI April 15-18 and stop by our booth #318.”
Fundingshield, one of the fastest growing fintech firms in the risk, wire fraud and closing vendor compliance in the mortgage lending space, is pleased to share rapid growth in 2018 with a multiple increase in lender clients on its platform in the last 6 months. This includes several recently on-boarded household name banks using their loan transaction level services that have the market leading track record of over $530 Billion in verified mortgage closings with no losses, no claims and no delayed closings. “We are glad to see mortgage lenders approving and embracing our plug-n-play and pay per loan cloud-based solutions, especially the wire fraud services,” shared Ike Suri, Chairman & CEO. Fundingshield will be on two MBA Technology Solutions Conference panels in Detroit: Cyber Security: Learning From Previous Cyber Attacks and Residential Closing Session: A Conversation About Collaborative Opportunities where William Klumper, Senior Advisor of Fundingshield and Vice Chairman of MISMO, will be speaking alongside Blend, Arraya Solutions and a top 10 global law firm Jones Day.
Congrats to Mary Porges who is retiring this week after a stellar 35-year career at GE Capital (now Genworth), Chase and National MI!
And to Michelle Gill whom SoFi has named as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Gill comes to SoFi from TPG Sixth Street Partners, a credit firm, but prior to that was with Goldman Sachs doing mortgage securitizations.