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The Right Tools For Success

With real estate inventory low and a new wave of first-time homebuyers entering the market, home shoppers need every advantage when it comes to finding the right house as quickly – and seamlessly – as possible. The process can quickly become overwhelming. Lenders’ expertise can make the search more effective and, ultimately, successful. In turn, more and more borrowers are turning to lenders at the beginning of their home search to ensure a better experience.

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We live in an increasingly digital world. Homebuyers have come to expect the same digital experience when buying a home as they have when buying a cup of coffee through a mobile app. Fortunately, many of us in the mortgage industry are working to facilitate this experience, by providing borrowers with various digital tools, apps and online resources that are specifically geared toward the home-buying process.

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Some of these digital resources include:

Home Search Apps

Real estate and home search apps offer a convenient way for borrowers to begin their search for the perfect home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 51 percent of buyers found their home online last year and 44 percent began their home search from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Mobile apps such as HomeScout allow prospective borrowers to see real-time MLS listings, save their favorite properties, receive same-day pricing updates and other alerts, and access local agents and loan specialists.

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Mortgage Calculators

Online calculators allow borrowers to run all the numbers before they commit and see exactly how all the variables will affect their mortgage payment. From how much they can afford, to assessing interest rates and other points and fees, these tools offer users the opportunity to the find the right mortgage product. For lenders, these tools allow us to better understand a borrower’s budget and work within it to ensure they are not only getting a house they can afford, but also the right loan to facilitate debt-free homeownership.

Making sure borrowers understand the difference between the amount they can be approved for versus what is recommended for their budget is critical when it comes to their long-term financial success. Tools such as online mortgage payment calculators help ensure borrowers are on target.

Customized Mortgage Reports and Analytics

One of the best ways lenders can offer peace of mind for borrowers is with customized reports and analytical tools that compare different loan options and scenarios. These provide prospective homebuyers with a clear breakdown of the costs and benefits of each loan option. Having this information allows them to work in real-time with their lender to tweak the details and find the right program for their situation.

Homebuyer Educational Tools & Workshops

The home-buying process can be complex and learning face-to-face with local experts is a powerful method for borrowers to learn the ropes. And, for lenders, it can further establish that initial relationship. Whether in-person or through real-time webinars, these sessions prove invaluable for borrowers, helping them understand the processes and options. It can also, if posted online, allow them the freedom to access this information from anywhere, at their own pace.

Technology Only Goes So Far

While these tools are great resources for homebuyers, there is no substitute for the value an experienced mortgage lender can provide. Whether helping to answer questions or offering insight and advice, a knowledgeable lender can be tremendous support and the greatest tool in the process.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” product when it comes to a mortgage. Matching borrowers with the right loan can be a progressive process. As borrowers take the journey to homeownership, lenders should guide them along the way through upfront underwriting to position the borrower as a reliable buyer with more negotiating power. This helps borrowers close up to two to three weeks faster than their competition. In today’s housing market, it’s essential that lenders are able to provide this option to borrowers to help them market themselves as a trustworthy buyer during a bidding war.

Often in today’s high-speed culture, the mortgage industry can promise borrowers fast approvals and underwriting, but those same borrowers can end up feeling lost. By establishing one-on-one relationships with borrowers and educating them, lenders create trust and peace of mind in the home-buying experience.

Taking the time to understand borrowers and working to meet their needs – whether digital or otherwise – allows lenders to make sure potential homebuyers have all the tools to make the best decisions. Those choices can be the first steps towards building lasting relationships.

About The Author

Whitney Blessington

Whitney Blessington is Vice President of Marketing for Churchill Mortgage, a full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry. The company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 45 states. For more information, visit churchillmortgage.com or follow the company on Twitter, @ChurchillMtg, LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/churchill-mortgage/ . Reach Blessington at whitney.blessington@churchillmortgage.com.

Churchill Mortgage Expands California Operations

Churchill Mortgage has opened its newest branch in San Dimas, Calif. at 437 S. Cataract Ave, Unit 1-2, to enhance borrower service throughout the state. Churchill provides conventional FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states.

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Mike Hardy and Rick Mount will both serve as regional managers for Churchill’s operations in Southern California. Working together as a team since 2010, Hardy and Mount have more than 45 years of qualified experience in the mortgage industry guiding borrowers towards debt-free home ownership. Hardy’s background also includes experience as a Financial Advisor which allows him to better understand his borrower’s individual financial needs. Mount, prior to his work with Hardy, held several senior positions responsible for all aspects of the loan process.

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Other members of Churchill’s San Dimas, Calif. office include Melissa Chavez and Emily Holtzclaw as production managers; Ira Newman and Alana Smock as senior processors; Alyssa Torske as a processor assistant; Kristin Whitmer as marketing coordinator; and Ayman Botros, Christine Gilmartin, Randy Harrington, Mathew Herrera, Jonathan Jaidar, Geoffrey Kautzman, John Harsh, Gabriel Lozano, Jessica Martinez, Kevin Sprague and Troy Alexander as home loan specialists.

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“Churchill Mortgage’s mission to help borrowers save money, build wealth and achieve debt-free home ownership aligns with Rick and my own efforts to create a unique experience for each borrower that supports their overall financial goals,” said Hardy. “Joining Churchill is a natural transition for our team. We look forward to the enhanced level of service it will provide our borrowers.”

“All homebuyers deserve to work with a lender who is willing to put in the time necessary to ensure they make the best financial decision possible when purchasing a home,” said Mount. “Churchill Mortgage strives to fulfill this desire. As demand for housing in Southern California continues to grow, our efforts will be focused on guiding borrowers towards debt-free home ownership.”

“In a market as competitive as California, Rick and Mike’s leadership will be vital to helping borrowers make well-educated, thoughtful decisions regarding their next home purchase. We look forward to supporting their team as we continue to expand our Southern California presence,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Churchill Mortgage To Expedite The Mortgage Process For Homebuyers

Churchill Mortgage, a lender in the mortgage industry providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 44 states, announced the launch of its Certified Homebuyer Program to improve how borrowers search for and purchase a home.

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For many borrowers, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first and most important step towards making an offer on a house. Churchill, understanding the importance of expediting the process for homebuyers in a “seller’s market,” will now offer borrowers the opportunity to be pre-underwritten for their mortgage. This initial step will allow those borrowers to effectively get ahead of other buyers and have the confidence that any qualified offer they make on a house will go through in the most efficient manner.

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“The first step to debt free homeownership is finding the property you want and getting it under contract, but in many markets, there is a high level of competition between borrowers who may be interested in the same property,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Churchill’s Certified Homebuyer Program was designed to help our borrowers get a head start on securing funding so they are positioned to present offers that are already pre-approved and pre-underwritten – increasing their odds of having their offer selected.”

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Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage is a privately owned company by its more than 400 employees. A full-service and financially sound leader in the mortgage industry, the company provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 44 states. As heard on personal finance expert and author Dave Ramsey’s nationally syndicated radio show, the lender’s mission is to help borrowers achieve debt-free homeownership and build wealth through a smarter mortgage plan, regardless of their starting point. Churchill Mortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Churchill Holdings, Inc.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Lender Supports Financial Literacy

Churchill Mortgage announced the winner of its $5,000 nationwide sweepstakes, which was developed in recognition of Financial Literacy Month and as part of its commitment to financial health and education. Officially established in 2004, Financial Literacy Month is celebrated every April and is dedicated to teaching Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

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The winner is 60-year old Michael Bodnar, a resident of Carnegie, Penn. and employee with the Port Authority of Allegheny County. “I enter contests quite frequently and this is my biggest win so far, so we’re going to be smart about how we use the money,” said Bodnar. “After all, that’s what financial literacy is all about: knowing your limits, identifying what your future needs will be and working toward that.”

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Click here to read a Q&A between Churchill and Bodnar and learn how he plans to invest his winnings.

The National Financial Educators Council recently surveyed 2,409 people on what high school-level course would benefit them the most. An overwhelming 54 percent selected “Money Management (Personal Finance)”, emphasizing the need for greater financial educational resources. As a lender focused on providing borrowers with a personalized path to debt-free homeownership, Churchill is dedicated to educating borrowers to ensure that they choose the right home and build wealth over time through a smarter mortgage.

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“Financial literacy is a bigger issue than saving for a home purchase – it’s about making wise decisions every day and understanding the lifelong implications of each one,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Education leads to empowerment, which leads to more confidence in exercising responsible financial practices. As lenders, we have a fiduciary duty to help others by guiding individuals with the heart of a teacher and providing resources to help them achieve financial freedom.”

Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage operates with zero debt and focuses on providing borrowers with a personalized path to debt-free homeownership. The result is an educated borrower that chooses the right home and builds wealth over time through a smarter mortgage.

Churchill Mortgage Educates High School Students

In recognition of Financial Literacy Month and as part of its commitment to financial health and education, Churchill Mortgage is providing four high schools with Ramsey Solutions’ Foundations in Personal Finance, a full curriculum that teaches students how to manage their finances and build wealth to achieve a sound financial future.

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The high schools include: Brentwood High School (Brentwood, Tenn.), Greenwood High School (Greenwood, S.C.), Pine Creek High School (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and South Ridge High School (Beaverton, Ore.).

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According to the Council for Economic Education, only five states require high school students to complete a standalone semester personal finance course before they graduate, illustrating a greater need for financial literacy initiatives. A survey of more than 76,000 high school students (conducted by Ramsey Solutions) shows that high schoolers who take personal finance courses have a greater understanding of financial concepts, such as:

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>>The differences between credit and debit cards (86%);

>>How to pay income taxes (87%)

>>How home, auto and life insurance work (90%)

>>How student loans work (94%)

Launched in 2008 by financial expert Dave Ramsey, Foundations in Personal Finance is taught in one-in-three high schools nationwide and educates students on avoiding debt, budgeting with intention and investing and building wealth. The curriculum is an easy-to-use, turn-key program that meets education standards and benchmarks in all fifty states and Jump$tart national standards. More than three million students have taken Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum nationwide.

“When established early in life, healthy financial habits can make a monumental difference in quality of life. These habits would not be possible without powerful educational resources like Ramsey Solutions’ Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum and nationwide initiatives like Financial Literacy Month,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “At Churchill, we’re dedicated to educating and helping people achieve financial freedom with the heart of a teacher. Providing this curriculum to these schools is our way of giving back and for these students, it is the first and most important step to building a strong financial foundation.”

Lender Furthers Financial Literacy

In recognition of Financial Literacy Month and as part of its commitment to financial health and education, Churchill Mortgage announced a nationwide sweepstakes, which will give one lucky winner $5,000. Officially established in 2004, Financial Literacy Month is celebrated every April and is dedicated to teaching Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

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Emphasizing the need for financial education, the National Financial Educators Council recently surveyed 2,409 people on what high school-level course would benefit them the most. An overwhelming 54 percent selected “Money Management (Personal Finance)”.

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“More than 30 percent of Americans have no cash reserves and are living paycheck-to-paycheck, while consumer debt is currently more than $2 trillion. This highlights the troubling discrepancy between what people are spending and saving,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Financial Literacy Month highlights this issue and is a great opportunity for us to improve individuals’ financial situations by guiding them with the heart of a teacher and providing resources to help them achieve financial freedom.”

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Registration for Churchill Mortgage’s $5,000 giveaway is open until May 5 and available to U.S. residents 18 and older (excluding New York).

Founded in 1992, Churchill Mortgage operates with zero debt and focuses on providing borrowers with a personalized path to debt-free homeownership. The result is an educated borrower that chooses the right home and builds wealth over time through a smarter mortgage.

Churchill Expands Its Staff

Churchill Mortgage, a lender providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 40 states, announced the addition of 17 new employees at its’ branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina and Virginia.

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In Herndon, Va., Churchill welcomes six new employees, includingMargaret ‘Toni’ Hill as a senior processor, Oray Nicolai as a home loan specialist, Cindy Figliozzi as a loan partner and Melissa Davidson as a home loan assistant. In Phoenix, Joseph Gallo joins as the team’s newest loan manager, while Jacob FrascaMichael McDowell and Eric Smith join as home loan specialists. Churchill’s Grand Rapids, Mich., branch welcomes Matthew den Dulk and Rosemary Roberts as home loan assistants and Shanae Covington joins the lender’s Atlanta branch as a home loan assistant.

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The lender adds Michelle Southern as a home loan assistant in Charleston, S.C.; Kendall Hierl, Tim Hill and Jordan Price as home loan specialists in Orange, Calif. In Yuba City, Calif., Churchill welcomes Jonah Willisas an administrative assistant, and at its’ Colorado Springs, Colo. branch, Jane St. Onge joins as a loan processor.

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“It’s hard to believe that we’re already through the first quarter of 2017, but the growth we’ve experienced is exciting and reflects the strength of today’s mortgage industry,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Entering the warmer months, we’ll tap the expertise of these professionals in our effort to provide more borrowers across the country with a personalized path to debt-free homeownership through a Smarter Mortgage.”

Churchill Mortgage is currently selecting talented, driven mortgage professionals for inclusion within its Expansion Program.

Lender Ends 2016 On A High Note

Churchill Mortgage, a provider of conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 38 states, announced the addition of 24 new employees across its branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

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In Brentwood, Tenn., Churchill welcomes Chris Spence as a home loan specialist, David Bruce as a mortgage planning specialist and Latrese Flowers as a closing coordinator. The branch also adds Zachary McCollum as an associate developer, Stephanie Rogers as a loan processor and Sean Lewis as a technical support specialist. In Herndon, Va., the lender adds Donna Haleand Salman Ahmad as senior loan processors, Lynda Marie StewartRobert Lewandowski and Robert Jenkins as home loan specialists and Annie Tang as an assistant processor.

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Cindy Robinson and Krista Northrop join Churchill’s Phoenix branch as a home loan specialist and loan processor, respectively, and Heather Manning and Lindsey Berry join in Grand Rapids, Mich. as home loan assistants. In Portland, Ore., the lender welcomes Nicole Cook as a home loan specialist and Ashley Davidson as an assistant processor. Churchill’s Dallas branch also welcomes William Brewer and Darren Edgar as home loan specialists. The lender also adds Kathy Rex as a home loan specialist in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mara Coronado-Maller as a home loan specialist and Suzanne Moreton as a loan processor in Orange, Calif.; and Renee Shepherd as a home loan specialist in San Diego.      

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“The addition of these 24 mortgage professionals, combined with all of our successes this year, gives me a great deal of optimism about the state of the mortgage industry heading into 2017,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage. “Every single one of our employees is critical to our mission to serve borrowers with the heart of a teacher and their efforts will propel our ability to make homeownership achievable to families and individuals in communities across the country.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Putting The Interest Rate Hike Into Perspective

Should the interest rate hike be a concern for the mortgage industry? Will the demand from prospective homebuyers be decimated? The short answer is no.

Like most veterans of the mortgage industry, I remember when mortgage rates reached 18 percent. Today, that’s an APR on a credit card – not the interest on a mortgage payment.

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Earlier in the year it was reported that the median price of a house in 27 major metro areas in the U.S. was $222,700. Even if a buyer puts 20 percent down, an 18 percent interest rate means that the loan costs more than $965,000 over 30 years. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. As I write this, the average fixed-rate on a 30-year mortgage is 3.43 percent, which means that today’s homebuyer would pay less than $286,000 over the life of the loan – that’s a savings of more than $680,000. So a slight rate increase will not be detrimental for lenders. Consumers will still be purchasing homes; they’ll just adjust their budgets accordingly. It will be up to lenders to adjust and cater to their needs.

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All things considered, the industry is doing very well. The industry has been very effective at increasing the quality of loans within the past few years. With new regulatory standards -and most lenders’ ability to now adjust and appropriately respond to evolving compliance requirements – delinquency and default rates are at historic lows. Equifax recently reported that as of June 2016, the first mortgage write-off rate in the U.S. was 3.3 basis points of outstanding balances, while the total number of first mortgage defaults was 17,909, the lowest since January 2007.

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While the industry will not suffer dramatically from a rate hike, the cost of mortgages will certainly increase; therefore, the emphasis should shift toward making sure borrowers are provided with personalized service, a powerful differentiator that will grow your business. Thankfully, we live in an era in which technology is evolving faster than ever and new tools have made the home search and purchase process easier than ever for borrowers. Digital and mobile apps provide the most up-to-date, detailed information on a property, such as days-on-market, square footage, price, age, structure, associated school districts, interior and exterior layout, utility information and more. The borrower is engaged earlier than ever and is coming to the table with greater expectations of convenience and service. And the ability to meet these expectations requires that lenders’ systems are optimized to handle the workload. LOS technology workflows need to be configured so that the process is smooth, timely and compliant. There is always room for improvement and lenders should evaluate where systems can be tweaked to minimize timeframes. With ongoing improvements in operations, you can effectively manage the pipeline growth provided by your marketing department.

In addition to lenders taking a proactive approach to the rate hike, they shouldn’t ignore that the sentiment of home buyers continues trending upwards. In September, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Index in July-August was up 4.2 points over the same time period in 2015. Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said the return to a slight upward trend in the HPSI is in line with Fannie Mae’s forecast, which calls for a four percent growth in home sales this year “to the best level since 2006 and continued improvement for 2017.”

Ultimately, synergy between departments is going to dictate a lender’s success. From a marketing standpoint, the ability to effectively communicate and connect with a diverse population of potential homebuyers of all ages across digital and traditional channels will help you identify the best path to homeownership for everyone – something that is fundamental to helping borrowers achieve debt-free homeownership. Operationally, success relies on the deployment and integration of systems that streamline the origination process and facilitate ongoing relationships. And together, these two components must work in tandem to maximize the quality and volume of business.

About The Author

Matt Clarke

Matt Clarke is COO and CFO for Brentwood-Tenn. based Churchill Mortgage Corporation, a leader in the mortgage industry providing conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 33 states and the District of Columbia.

Lenders Speak Out

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The mortgage industry is changing. Purchases increased to 65 percent of all closed loans in June, up from 62 percent in May according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae. This is the highest closed loan purchase percentage since August of 2014. Refinances represented 34 percent of closed loans in June, down from 37 percent in May. Additionally, the 30-year note rate dropped to 4.04 from 4.06 in May, the lowest point in over a year.

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The average time to close all loans increased to 46 days in June, up from 45 days in May. The time to close a purchase rose to 46 days in June, up from 45 days in May, and the time to close a refinance rose to 47 days in June, up from 44 days in May. Similarly, the average time to close FHA loans rose to 47 days in June, up from 45 days in May. Time to close VA loans increased to 50 days in June, up from 49 days in May.

To reflect on the changes going on in mortgage lending we assembled a panel of well-respecting lenders. (Left to right) Daniel Jacobs, the EVP and managing director of national retail lending for MiMutual Mortgage, Joe Detmer, branch manager for Churchill Mortgage Corp.’s San Diego branch, and Jeff McGuiness, chief sales officer for Embrace Home Loans, shared their views on the state of mortgage lending.

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Q: How has mortgage lending changed since you first entered the space?

JOE DETMER: I entered the space in 1994. One thing that has changed dramatically is the rates. It is more affordable to buy vs. renting. People are finding safe haven in real estate. Guidelines have also changed that makes it tougher to get a loan and home prices haven’t gone up much, but housing is very affordable. I also think TRID was a good thing because it pushed out the people that were just in the industry to make money vs. those that are interested in taking care of their clients.

JEFF MCGUINESS: First, the most obvious change is that consumers are more educated. There is more accessibility to education around product types and what the implications are.

DANIEL JACOBS: When I got into the business it was very structured and dominated by sophisticated mortgage bankers and then it went wild. Now I think it has returned to the mid 90s. I feel like I’m back in the beginning of my career whereby everyone is older and more educated.

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Q: In your opinion, what does a lenders have to do in order to be successful these days?

JOE DETMER: You have to be competitive with rates and products, but there are so many new things available to borrowers. We have to offer world-class customer service. During your lifetime you are likely to have six mortgages, so you want to be their lifelong advisor. You have to have the heart of a teacher because most people don’t know what we know.

JEFF MCGUINESS: It comes down to one word: efficiency. Regulatory compliance is very complex and those that can absorb that efficiently into their process will win the day. We are all selling the same products so you have to be more efficient overall in how you get those products to market.

DANIEL JACOBS: If we go back to talking about how consumers are more educated, everyone is more sensitive to the experience. To be successful you have to focus on the feeling about the experience among both your borrowers and employees. You have to be focused on the end user experience.

Q: How can lenders do a better job reaching out to Millennials and new borrowers?

JOE DETMER: You have to understand their preference of communication. Kids are growing up in a digital world and you have to be respectful. I’m 54 years old so that was hard for me to adapt to at first. I thought that I had to talk to everyone, but they are okay getting texts. Also, there is so much information out there so you have to distinguish yourself.

DANIEL JACOBS: We talk about that every month in our marketing meetings. The habits of the Millennials are different as compared to our traditional borrowers and they always change. You need to use social media and alternate forms of communication. I think my kids communicate one way only to find that method is now out of style and they’ve moved on to another form of communication. These days we have to provide various options for communication.

JEFF MCGUINESS: You also have to address the complexion of our sales force to make sure that they are serving the borrower. We have an aging employee base. So, you have to have people at the front of the process to relate to new borrowers. Our employees don’t necessarily have to be young, but they do have to know how to reach out and engage younger people.

Q: What’s your take on TRID 2.0 and the overall regulatory burden?

JOE DETMER: I love it. For a long time we created the perfect loan process. TRID has created a flight plan for the clients to know what’s going to happen next if it is communicated correctly by the loan officer. TRID has clarified the process. Second, it got the fraud out of the industry. I don’t see the fraudulent actors anymore. The rules have made lending a more professional industry.

JEFF MCGUINESS: The way we choose to handle compliance is to participate in the industry through the MBA and other outlets so we understand what’s going to happen and how we will be impacted. We don’t argue the point, we spend our time getting ready. You can’t wait until the eleventh hour. The other key is understanding the impact on your people. We have very standard roles in our industry and we have to analyze how these new regulations impact their job. These regulations as administered can be burdensome on our people and we’re concerned about potential burnout. We want to be sensitive to the overall process changes around compliance and how our people are impacted.

DANIEL JACOBS: That’s right. We want to be different without being the pioneer that changes roles completely so everyone feels satisfied in their roles. There are timing differences that arise around when something has to be done and checked. So, what does that mean to our employees? This is a question that we’re always asking because we have to have that balance. A lot of what used to done pre-closing is now getting done at the front of the process, which is changing traditional roles.

Q: What new technologies should every lender be embracing?

JOE DETMER: If lenders are not using Mortgage Coach, I think they are missing the boat. The technology has been around, but it gives the borrower the total cost of the mortgage. It allows you to generate a full wealth presentation. I use it with all of our borrowers. I can give every borrower a total cost analysis of the loan now and over the next few years. Also, you need an active database technology to make it easy for you to keep in touch with your clients. There are only so many clients out there, so you want to keep them so they keep coming back to you. These are not new technologies, but not enough lenders use these tools.

DANIEL JACOBS: Lenders need to spend some time deciding how they are going to monitor and control the use of social media by their employees. That is the biggest compliance risk because there isn’t much oversight and regulators are going to start looking closely at this. So, what is the balance between employee privacy and compliance? Every mortgage company needs to focus on this area. Ignoring social media is a dangerous strategy.

JEFF MCGUINESS: Our LOS systems are challenged to do much more as compared to what they’ve ever done prior. We expect so much of them. It used to be that you could use a subpar LOS and work around it, but you can’t do that anymore. The reliance on the LOS is becoming greater and greater.

Q: Looking to the future, how do you think lending will change over the next few years?

JOE DETMER: You will see a consolidation among smaller mortgage banks. The consolidation won’t be of companies, but rather of mindset. People that don’t wrap their minds around the fact that we’re here to serve the clients will be pushed out. You have to truly serve the homebuying and home owning public.

JEFF MCGUINESS: We have been operating at artificially low rates for some time and that will change. There is also a lot of demand for homeownership. So, how do we meet that need without low interest rate? Are we going to see ARMs come back as a result? Coming off an over-dependence on the agencies, I think we’ll see more private capitol coming back into our space over the next few years.

DANIEL JACOBS: In the short term the mortgage industry will be boring and steady, especially as compared to the Presidential Election. But in the future mortgage lenders will have to learn how to compete with each other just like restaurants do. The wave of the future is how to capture market share.

Insider Profile

Daniel Jacobs is the EVP and managing director of national retail lending for MiMutual Mortgage. With nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, he has previously had senior positions at American Financial Network, Residential Finance Corporation and Freedom Mortgage Corporation. Jacobs can be reached at djacobs@mimutual.com.

Insider Profile

Joe Detmer is branch manager for Brentwood, Tenn.-based Churchill Mortgage Corporation’s San Diego branch. Detmer brings more than 26 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Churchill, he worked as a consultant for Land Home Financial and Skyline Homes (previously Rancho Financial), where he established partnerships with local industry affiliates. He has served as regional sales manager for U.S. Bank Home Mortgage and was instrumental in increasing the bank’s production volume by 600 percent in the San Diego region and surrounding counties.

Insider Profile

Jeff McGuiness is Chief Sales Officer for Embrace Home Loans, an approved lender for FHA, VA and an approved seller servicer for FNMA, FHLMC and GNMA. Embrace Home Loans has remained a prominent leader in the industry, having provided hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families with mortgage loans, and now helping banks to provide home financing through its Affinity and Assisted outsourced mortgage solutions.