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Mortgage Applications Increase In Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 2.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 17, 2019.


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The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 8 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.


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“Mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage hitting its lowest level since January 2018, leading to a rebound in refinances. The refinance index increased 8 percent to its highest level in over a month, and once again there was an increase in average refinance loan sizes, as borrowers with larger balances responded accordingly to lower rates,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity declined again, but remained around 7 percent higher than a year ago. We’re keeping a close eye on whether there may be some adverse effects of the ongoing global trade disputes on overall demand. Some potential homebuyers may be delaying their home search until there’s more certainty.”


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The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 40.5 percent of total applications from 37.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.8 percent of total applications.


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The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.4 percent from 10.1 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.0 percent from 10.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.33 percent from 4.40 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) remained unchanged at 4.24 percent, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.34 percent from 4.32 percent, with points decreasing to 0.47 from 0.49 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.78 percent, with points decreasing to 0.40 from 0.43 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.57 percent from 3.82 percent, with points decreasing to 0.37 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate
decreased from last week.

Independent Mortgage Bankers’ Production Volume And Profits Down In 2018

Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $367 on each loan they originated in 2018, down from $711 per loan in 2017, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported today in its Annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.


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“Despite a healthy economy in 2018, the mortgage market suffered, as rate hikes hurt refinancing volume and low housing inventories priced some potential homebuyers out of the purchase market,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s Vice President of Industry Analysis. “For mortgage companies, there was the perfect storm of lower production revenues combined with rising expenses, which together contributed to the lowest net production income per loan since 2008. Production revenues per loan dropped despite study-high loan balances in 2018. At the same time, production expenses per loan grew to a study-high of $8,278 per loan last year.”  


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Added Walsh, “For those holding mortgage servicing rights (MSR), it was the silver lining that boosted overall profitability. Including both production and servicing operations, 69 percent of the firms posted overall pre-tax net financial profits in 2018, compared to only 47 percent of firms with net servicing income excluded.”


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Among the other key findings of MBA’s 2018 Annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report:

>> Average production volume was $2.0 billion (8,171 loans) per company in 2018, down from $2.13 billion (8,882 loans) per company in 2017. On a repeater company basis, average production volume was $2.07 billion (8,502 loans) in 2018, down from $2.11 billion (8,824 loans) in 2017. For the mortgage industry as whole, MBA estimates production volume at $1.64 trillion in 2018, down from $1.76 trillion in 2017.


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>> In basis points, the average production profit (net production income) was 14 basis points in 2018, compared to 31 basis points in 2017. In the first half of 2018, net production income averaged 18 basis points, then dropped to 9 basis points in the second half of 2018. Since the inception of the Annual Performance Report in 2008, net production income by year has averaged 49 bps ($1,020 per loan).

>> The refinancing share of total originations (by dollar volume) decreased to 20 percent in 2018 from 25 percent in 2017. For the mortgage industry as a whole, MBA estimates the refinancing share last year decreased to 28 percent  from 35 percent in 2017.

>> The average loan balance for first mortgages reached a study-high of $251,084 in 2018, up from $245,500 in 2017. This is the 9th consecutive year of rising loan balances on first mortgages.

>> Total production revenues (fee income, net secondary marking income and warehouse spread) were 362 basis points in 2018, down from 379 bps in 2017. On a per-loan basis, production revenues were $8,645 per loan in 2018, down from $8,793 per loan in 2017.

>> Total loan production expenses – commissions, compensation, occupancy, equipment, and other production expenses and corporate allocations – increased to $8,278 per loan in 2018, up from $8,082 in 2017.  

>> Personnel expenses averaged $5,524 per loan in 2018, up from $5,346 per loan in 2017.

>> Productivity was 1.8 loans originated per production employee per month in 2018, down from 1.9 in 2017. Production employees include sales, fulfillment and production support functions.

>> Net servicing financial income, which includes net servicing operational income, as well as mortgage servicing right (MSR) amortization and gains and losses on MSR valuations, was $203 per loan in 2018, up from $64 per loan in 2017.

Including all business lines, 69 percent of the firms in the study posted pre-tax net financial profits in 2018, down from 80 percent in 2017. In the first half of 2018, 73 percent of reporting repeater firms posted pre-tax financial profits, compared to 55 percent in the second half of 2018.

MBA’s Mortgage Bankers Performance Report series offers a variety of performance measures on the mortgage banking industry and is intended as a financial and operational benchmark for independent mortgage companies, subsidiaries and other non-depository institutions. Of the 280 firms that reported production, 80 percent were independent mortgage companies and remaining 20 percent were subsidiaries and other non-depository institutions.

CEO Predicts 10% Increase In VA Lending

Rob Posner, founder and CEO of NewDay USA, a national VA mortgage lender, announced a forecast for 10 percent growth in VA loan volume for 2019 over last year. He said NewDay USA’s total origination volume for this year is expected to reach $2.4 billion, compared to $2.2 billion in 2018.


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Posner indicated an expected increase to 11,000 residential loan originations at NewDay USA this year, with the Operation Home purchase division assisting 2,000 veteran families buy homes by the end of the year. He attributed the projected growth to the company’s national Operation Home purchase campaign, a commitment to lend to under-served veterans and first-time homebuyers and a dedicated team of professionals trained specifically to help military borrowers.  


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“NewDay’s fintech business model relies on analytics powered by an information-based decisioning capability that allows us to say ‘yes’ to veterans when other lenders say ‘no’,” Posner said. “We understand how to effectively evaluate the credit history and background of active-duty service men and women and veteran families.  We also understand the homeownership needs of our military since serving veteran families is all we do.” 


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NewDay USA is currently the 8th largest VA mortgage lender in the country. Posner said NewDay USA is well on its way toward its goal of becoming the #1 VA mortgage company in America serving veterans and their families.  “With our high-tech, high-touch manual underwriting process, we strive to ensure that our veterans have every possible opportunity to use their VA benefits for their share of the American Dream,” Posner added. 


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NewDay USA is a nationwide VA mortgage lender focused on helping active military personnel, veterans, and their families achieve their financial and housing goals. NewDay USA is also a Ginnie Mae (GNMA) approved issuer/servicer. The company employs best practices in mortgage lending and career growth for mortgage professionals. Consistent with its mission, NewDay is a philanthropic partner of numerous organizations focused on assisting military veterans and their families in need. The NewDay USA Foundation provides four-year scholarships to the children of fallen and severely disabled military veterans to attend JROTC military high schools across the nation. The company is also a major philanthropic partner of the Medal of Honor Foundation, the USO, Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness, and is a major sponsor of the Military Bowl. Community service and giving back in the form of volunteerism also plays a significant role among the NewDay USA workforce. NewDay USA is a registered trade name of New Day Financial, LLC, which is a key holding of Chrysalis Holdings, LLC, a premier private investment company focused on the financial services industry.

Gateway Names New CFO

Gateway Mortgage Group, a full-service mortgage company licensed in 40 states and the District of Columbia, announced Christopher Treece as Chief Financial Officer. Treece will oversee all aspects of the company’s finance and accounting functions including financial reporting, accounting operations, funding, deposit operations, and asset liability management. 


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“Christopher brings a wealth of proven experience and expertise in the financial services industry to Gateway, making him a great asset to our team,” said Stephen Curry, CEO of Gateway. “As our company begins to evolve into a full-service bank, Christopher brings critical insights which will enhance strategies, improve execution and drive efficiencies. This is good for our investors, customers, team members, and all other stakeholders.”


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Treece joins Gateway with substantial industry experience, having worked in both public accounting and for bank holding companies. Previously, he was the Chief Financial Officer for Guaranty Bancorp in Denver, Colo. which was sold to Independent Bank Group in 2018. As a member of a small management team, Treece helped double the size of the bank while improving the operating metrics to be among the top quartile within the bank’s peer group. His career started as a public accountant where he spent 13 years serving financial institutions of all kinds. Treece graduated from Truman State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant.


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“Gateway is an amazing company, and I’m thrilled to join a powerhouse executive team,” said Treece. “The ongoing success of the company provides a ton of momentum and the path for opportunity is significant. Gateway is full of driven professionals who live out the company’s core values, and I am eager to help the company reach more customers with modern financial solutions.”


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Gateway experienced record growth in 2018, funding more than 29,000 units for a total of $6.1 billion in mortgage loans, up ten percent from 2017.While many of the nations were announcing layoffs in 2018, Gateway opened a total of 40 new branches in 22 states and added over 341 team members. Ending the year strong and entering 2019 with momentum, the company continues to focus on gaining market share and remains in the top tier of mortgage origination and servicing providers.

Accelerate Your Sales Today

Christine Beckwith, a veteran who rose from the trenches to become a respected and well-known Executive Mortgage Industry Leader celebrated her 30thyear in the industry this past July. To her own surprise, she jumped into her 5-year business plan early by launching a national coaching and consulting company: 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching. 


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When we asked her about this big move from senior executive sales position at AnnieMac Home Mortgage to become Master Coach and Founder of her own entrepreneurial business, her answer was authentic and classically Buffy (as she is known to her peers). Here’s how she describes her new business and the state of mortgage lending:


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Q: Christine, you have had quite the year; been in the spotlight, visible in many publications, received awards and lots of attention. To what do you credit the year you are having?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH: “It has been quite a year indeed. Well, I published my two books in the start of 2018.  ‘Wise Eyes- See Your Way to Success’, is my life’s work written in personal stories and successful top tips that I believe can change a sales person’s life. I open up about my humble beginning and get real with professionals about what it took for me and what it will take for them to have a winning career in sales. 


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I also wrote, ‘Clear Boundaries- Every Business Woman’s Essential Safety Guide’. This book was co-authored with Jessica Peterson and became a Best Seller overnight. It has taken on a life of its own, for which we are both grateful and astounded. It was written to help women stay safe in any situation from a truly state-of-the-art perspective. The book is focused on helping women position themselves for safety and on how men can help their loved ones stay safe. We hope—no, we already know—it saves lives. 

Clear Boundaries was dedicated to a murdered co-worker who lost her life in a domestic situation on December 30th, 2017. She was the compliance manager at AnnieMac Home Mortgage, so the dedication has an emotional connotation for me. The MBA and Marcia Davies, COO specifically has endorsed Clear Boundaries and the women who attended MBA Annual mPower Empowerment session received a donated copy. We are proud of that. 

I feel blessed this year to have been listed amongst elite men and women in several award publications; especially since these are nominated industry publications. It is gratifying to realize that my colleagues and employees put me there. I have also had the pleasure of writing this year as a feature writer now in many magazines. I give credit to the acclaim I’ve received this year to writing and copiously sharing what I write. I love writing, obviously. Words are powerful, and I believe they change lives.” 


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Q: Tell us what you have seen change most over 30 years?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“Every year presents new changes, obstacles, and hurdles to mount and conquer. I’ve enjoyed no breaks in my career since 1988, so I have seen this industry in all phases of growth and recession. Good and bad, some ugly years. That said, I think what has most changed is technology. When I started, we were scrolling carbon copied legal size notes in a typewriter. Today we are digitally uploading documents on an iPhone as the consumer is seated before us. 

Q: What has been the most rewarding thing about working in the Mortgage Industry?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“I think teaching others how to manage, how to survive, and more over thrive. How to handle fires in a productive manner, to stay in the pocket of prospecting, and ride their sales highs. How to work a business plan. How to compete. All of it. I am an athlete and competitor. I went to school for sports medicine and nutrition, and I will kill myself to win a contest. That competitive mindset is what I applied my whole career and it has led to substantial wins. 

In the past five years many have seen me as a senior sales leader a few times removed from the trenches. And while true, the reality is that I kept my head in the trenches by keeping up my competitive edge by holding master mind sessions at the Mortgage Loan Originator seat. This kept me fresh and let me see what the originators were seeing. 

And of course, there are plenty of guys in the industry who knew me for two decades when I was directly competing. I won contests where I was up against 200 guys at the top level. I ran districts to the top of national company level—from the bottom. As you might expect, I withstood a lot of bullying verbally and proved repeatedly that I could dish it back out. What I liked best was to beat them with results instead of words. I earned my seat at the table. 

Q: Ok, let’s go in a different direction. What has been the hardest thing in the past 30 years?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“What a great question! I will stay true to my authentic self and own this. The honest answer is fighting for respect and judgement based on accomplishments. It was especially challenging to not be diminished because I am a woman playing on a male-dominated field. It was an uphill battle and one I believe is still angled sharply today for women. I am not sure we can completely solve the problem, but I will continue to help women and men do so. 

Assumptions are made when you become a minority senior executive sales leader. People automatically assume I am a feminist, trying to prove something. I’ve never understood why. Why does my accomplishment need a label? I had many men assume I was voting for Hillary Clinton when the Presidential Election was happening. That in and of itself was insulting. Assumptive, inaccurate, but also not surprising. All my career I have had to explain what I did. Two decades ago I showed up in a Chicago district to speak to 125 employees. I stood in the back of the room having let myself in quietly.

A guy also leaning against the wall next to me asked, “Oh, are you that company trainer coming from corporate?” 

I said, “Yeah, something like that.” You would think that when I was introduced as the Senior Vice President of Sales and went to the podium to speak, he might have understood that I was much more than a corporate trainer. I do not believe he even knew that, partnered with another SVP, I ran the company at the senior level, responsible for all of retain sales. 

Repeatedly in my career I have had to defend that I actually was in charge. And sad to say, if I didn’t watch out, there was always some guy I worked with who would rise up, attempt to push me over, or want to diminish my role. To not become jaded, defensive, and bitter is an art in and of itself. It’s been trying and made success even sweeter. The roles I’ve chosen and risen into are not for the thinned skin. When people see me fly my flag high and proud, understand that it’s on purpose, to say proudly, “Yes, I may be a unicorn, but I am what I am.”

Q: Describe what you’ve been doing the past 5 years?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“I’ve been forecasting sales, building sales business plans, teaching sales techniques, coaching, holding management meetings, fronting our real estate and realtor facing platform, speaking within the industry, making contributions to the women’s movement in our industry, writing in industry magazines, and building my coaching company that is about to launch. I’ve been raising a son who is now a teenager, keeping a home, exercising, and striving to be a good sister. Daughter, and girlfriend. Most of all I have been feeling like I want to engrave my name in this field and leave a legacy for others. I’ve worked hard to be a shining example for all people, female or male. It is my intent to encourage others to take leaps into their next best selves through carefully made plans and daily focus on drivers that lead to results. 

Q: What has been your advice to loan originators about this past year economy?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“Another great question. I wrote an article on this subject that was published in Mortgage Women Magazine and shared by mPower in the MBA News. The article title was “How to Stay in a Solid Sales Seat in 2018—The Game of Musical Mortgage Chairs.” (find on Linkedin) In the article I gave the advice to stay seated unless you were sitting in a sinking boat. The cliff notes version is this: Markets like this make people nervous. 

When things slow, management gets pressure from above. Since I’ve been in their seats, early on this year I, with the other senior sales leaders on our team, knew enough to batten down the hatches and to discuss what the ugly parts of this years’ market would look like. Experience predicted that compressed margins would make people, especially managers. We advised our people against making a jump when other companies wave guarantee monies. That’s most often a short-sighted mistake. We still had casualty, less than most. We did pick up all the swimmers (the good ones) who were bailing out of their sinking ships. 

This market is rough as it has multi-faceted issues, like rising rates, inventory pressures, and compressed margins. We have to widen and deepen the sales funnels. I said it hundreds of times this year, markets like this are a fifth-grade math problem. Johnny sells 10 apples a day for $1. How many apples does he need to sell to make the same money if apples are only worth 50 cents now? Answer: Johnny needs to sell more apples which means work harder for less.

That is math no one wants to face or hear but it’s true. Sales people need to adjust, ebb and flow to match efforts with the market state. Show me a rigid sales guy and I will show you a guy who will not bounce when he hits the wall, it will crumble him to pieces. 

This market is a sign of a slowly strengthening economy. It has problems that can’t be solved overnight and won’t be. We will prevail, but we need to row steady, stay in the boat, and bail any water we are taking on. We need to stick together as a team. We need to keep our eye on the bottom line of our P & L’s and stay lean and mean. And most of all, we need to be willing to make difficult decisions to benefit the whole of the team. 

Q:Where do you think technology is taking the Mortgage Industry?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“I think it’s going to take us everywhere. LOL! Mobile, Block Chain (long term), the lead flow arena–all will strengthen when equity begins to return combined with a desire for activity or more volume. MLO’s need to get active to fill the void. We are figuring out the algorithms of this market and as we do, we will see technology help us get where the business is going. 

We talked about this on the Progressive Lending FinTech panel during MBA Annual. Mortgage companies investing in technology need to make a 2-year commitment because sales people adapt slowly. The average age of the MLO is 52. That will change. We are seeing younger originators enter the space again. There was a big lull for a while when the first reactive rigid regulation of licensure for MLO’s came out in 08’, but with the letting out of the belts combined with signs of past years stronger economy, younger originators are emerging. With their thirst for technology they will drive us to greater usage. My mom still doesn’t text, it kills me. I would do anything to send her a text. If I can get my mother to text, I can teach anyone anything on earth. I have made this my greatest goal in life. 

Q:If you could say anything to the mortgage industry for the past 30-year career and to up and coming professionals what would that be?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:“You ask excellent and topical questions. My best advice? Assume nothing. I would tell them to stay pliable and be prepared to adjust. I would remind them they are an extension of Wall Street, that they sell on a moving platform and as such, what they are selling, how, and to whom, will all change tomorrow. 

Being successful is far less about “selling” than it is about networking and being trusted. Find your tribe of referral partners and offer them value. 

Show up when you say you will, be professional, work hard, don’t take anything less than excellence from leadership, and if you want to have career succession be authentic. People will follow you if you are real. They know the difference. 

Don’t succumb to the wolves. There are many; keep your head down and walk by them. Have Faith that you are making a difference. Believe in you. Be Strong at all times. 

Compete like your life depended on it. Be the game changer, the bar raiser and don’t let words hurt you, especially if directed by lesser individuals who are trying to shake you. You chose a career of survival, be a survivor. Don’t see yourself as a victim, play harder, out smart your competition, just be better. 

Be the best…your best, the highest and best version of yourself you can be. Remember people are watching. If what you are doing can’t be printed on the front of the NYTimes, don’t do it. Finally, remember you are building your legacy every day you’re alive. Build a great one, one your grandchildren will gather their grandchildren around to repeat; the story of their ancestry. We need more of that. Be that. 

Q:Final thoughts?

CHRISTINE BECKWITH:Long after we are gone the homes we close on will be occupied by folks who are sitting around a fireplace or table with a family who is kept, warm, safe, and healthy. Those roofs will weather storms, will create memories from holidays, and raise generations of people to come who will one day be figuring out the economy of a future we can’t even imagine. Let’s take the baton, do whatever we can with it to push the ball forward and hand it off, in great shape with the spirit of entrepreneurs, heart and soul for the next guy in line. 

INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS

Christine Beckwith thinks:

1.) Even with the global economy slowing moderately as we head into 2019, we continue to say goodbye to the effects of the financial crisis & the worst recession since the Great Depression of 1929, the best advice for mortgage professionals is “stay relentlessly focused” on their own personal business and financial wellness. Hone Sales Skills, Refine Business Plans at a laser focus and build your savings, reduce debt and be focused on business growth.

2.) Ignore volatility in stocks, bonds and commodities because these are things you simply cannot control. What you can control are you actions and attitude, which brings me full circle back to staying relentlessly focused. 

3.) Inflation might increase a bit but this should be offset by a more rapidly slowing Asian and European economy, which in essence allows us to import disinflation. So despite a modest slowdown in economic growth the US housing market will remain strong due to a persistent supply and demand imbalance.

INSIDER PROFILE

Christine Beckwith became a 30-year mortgage industry veteran in 2018.  Over 3 decades she has consistently won in mortgage sales originations at all ranks, from the Loan Officer seat and up the ranks all the way to her Regional sales management roles at the top 5% consistently. For the past 18 years she has run mortgage companies at a senior and executive level. During that time, she has continued to win public awards for breaking several glass ceilings.  She would become a sought after public speaker on the mortgage circuit and in January will be speaking on Gary Vaynerchuk bill at his Agent2021 tour, in Miami at the Miami Gardens Stadium.  Christine will also co-host the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers Convention in April.   This past year Christine won numerous awards including “Most Elite Women in Mortgage” by MPA, a 3X recipient of this public nominated & culled award.  She also was named “Most Connected Mortgage Professional” by National Mortgage Publications and “Most Powerful women in Banking” by NMP as well.   She was the feature story and cover of Mortgage Womens Magazine for the March/April edition and now is a monthly columnist for that publication.   She has written and released two bestselling books in early 2018 and won the American BookFest award for her Sales book ‘Wise Eyes’ while receiving the “Best Selling” label for ‘Clear Boundaries’ her safety book by ‘Hot New Releases’ & ‘Womens Business’ Book ratings.  On November 1st, Christine fully launched her Coaching company 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching & Consulting into the Mortgage finance and Real Estate world.

Castle & Cooke Mortgage Completes Successful Year Of Community Service

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, an independent mortgage lenders with locations across the United States, initiated a productive year of community service in 2018, completing 52 projects with an estimated 472 volunteers and 1,026 service hours donated to charities.


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Each week in 2018, a Castle & Cooke Mortgage branch or corporate team volunteered their time or coordinated donations for a charity of their choosing. From organizing food and clothing drives to volunteering at care centers and helping animals in need, Castle & Cooke Mortgage employees served a wide range of causes and individuals.


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“I am extraordinarily proud of the time, energy, and resources that Castle & Cooke Mortgage employees put toward helping their communities last year,” said Adam Thorpe, CEO of Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC (NMLS# 1251). “It’s been remarkable to see their work make a positive difference in people’s lives across the country. Service has become integral to our culture and commitments as an organization.”


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Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC® is one of the nation’s leading independent mortgage lenders with locations across the United States. The company has over 300 employees and is founded on four core values — honesty, integrity, transparency, and reliability. Headquartered in Draper, Utah, the company is renowned for its smooth and efficient origination process, the unparalleled support it provides to its sales force and the quality customer service it offers to borrowers. The company has also been repeatedly recognized as a top employer.


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National Lender Continues To Grow Through Strategic Planning

Planet Home Lending, LLC, a national lender and servicer, opened 26 active distributed retail branches and brought on 165 mortgage loan originators in 2018. Planet Home Lending also enjoyed additional growth in 2018 in its other channels.


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“We have taken a very deliberate approach to how we conduct business and how we want to grow our business,” said Michael Dubeck, CEO and president of Planet Home Lending. “The industry continues to fluctuate based on rates; however, we are proving that it is possible to be stable and provide consistency to your clients through offering a variety of loan products.”


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Planet Home Lending enjoyed several other successes last year:

  • Planet Management Group grew its private client Sub-Servicing Portfolio by 300 percent

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  • The correspondent division expanded its client base by 40 percent
  • Planet Renovation Capital expanded to serve nine states and added a new loan origination system
  • Planet Home Lending’s Retention Retail operation opened a new office in Mt. Laurel, N.J.
  • The company rolled out 66 loan programs and products

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  • To support the new branches, Planet added the Surefire CRM and launched Skymore™, a personal digital mortgage assistant
  • Partnering with the National Forest Foundation to donate three trees for every loan closed in 2019

The company also was able to trim the origination costs in its retention division and saw significant growth in its distributed retail loan volume.

“Approaching the industry from the standpoint of what can we do better, and what can we improve, has been the foundation for our continued success,” Dubeck added. “We are focused on making sure we provide the best service using the right tools to meet the needs of consumers.”

Founded in 2007, Planet Home Lending is a privately held, national residential mortgage lender with multiple business channels uniquely positioned to provide competitive products and services. The company is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA, and USDA as well as a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, a full Ginnie Mae Issuer and approved sub-servicer, and a Standard & Poor’s-and Fitch-rated special and prime residential servicer. Planet Home Lending, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Lender.

Castle & Cooke Mortgage Expands North Salt Lake Branch

Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, an independent mortgage lender with locations across the United States, announced that Jessie Van Wagoner (NMLS# 1576482), loan officer, joined its North Salt Lake branch (NMLS# 1437513). Previously, he worked on Castle & Cooke Mortgage’s corporate production team and focused on borrower retention.


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Van Wagoner will continue to work with borrowers so they may realize their dream of home ownership and will report to branch manager, Dan Hubrich.


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Van Wagoner has been a loan officer for Castle & Cooke Mortgage since 2017. As a loan officer, he has been able to help more than 200 individuals and families achieve their home financing goals in the past 2 years. He specializes in Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA loans, as well as jumbo loans and down payment assistance programs. Van Wagoner is available to provide an exceptional mortgage experience to a wide array of homebuyers.


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“Jessie’s drive and commitment to homebuyers is second to none,” said Dan Hubrich (NMLS #198767), branch manager for the North Salt Lake branch of Castle & Cooke Mortgage. “His integrity and responsiveness will be integral to the growing success of the North Salt Lake branch.”


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Prior to joining Castle & Cooke Mortgage, Van Wagoner worked as a general contractor in residential and commercial construction for 10 years. This experience translated to an interest in home repairs and remodeling that he still holds today. When not assisting clients, Jessie enjoys the outdoors – camping, hunting, fishing and playing golf – and spending time with his family, raising his two boys.

“I am excited for the opportunity to educate and provide quality service to homebuyers in the North Salt Lake area,” said Van Wagoner. “I look forward to helping them find a great mortgage for their needs.”

Van Wagoner can be reached at jvanwagoner@castlecookemortgage.com or at the Castle & Cooke Mortgage North Salt Lake branch at 1010 N. 500 E. Ste. 320, North Salt Lake, UT 84054.

Churchill Mortgage Promotes Liliana Nigrelli To Chief Compliance Officer

Churchill Mortgage, a lender that provides conventional, FHA, VA and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states, announced the promotion of Liliana Nigrelli to Chief Compliance Officer.


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In her role as Chief Compliance Officer, Nigrelli will be responsible for managing Churchill’s compliance team as it ensures the lender meets all state and federal regulations, tracks new or potential regulatory changes, and supports Churchill’s sales and operations teams. Nigrelli previously served as Churchill’s Vice President of Compliance. During her eight years at the company, she has successfully guided the lender through more than 80 state audits, in addition to overseeing multiple federal and agency audits.


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Nigrelli’s success is not limited to her work within the compliance department. She has also been recognized and commended by her fellow Churchill employees for her willingness and effort to support every team, from facilities staff to individual loan officers. In 2017, Nigrelli was awarded Churchill’s coveted ‘Broomsweeper’ award, which recognizes one employee who has gone above and beyond in helping fellow staff and is based on a company-wide vote of all employees. 


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“Our compliance team works to safeguard Churchill customers while ensuring our sales teams’ have the proper support to conduct their jobs with full confidence they are following all state and federal regulations,” said Nigrelli. “It’s a pleasure to accept this new role. I’m proud of the compliance team we’ve built and their great work each and every day.”


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“Promoting Liliana to Chief Compliance Officer is an integral step in our efforts to promote greater levels of transparency and reliability for our loan originators and sales teams,” said Matt Clarke, COO and CFO of Churchill Mortgage. “We value Liliana’s dedication to building a cohesive compliance team and the knowledge she brings to the table, but more than those, we value her dedication to ensuring Churchill is a world-class lender in not only sales and operations, but compliance as well.”

Foreclosures Drop To 13-Year Low

ATTOM Data Solutions released its Year-End 2018 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 624,753 U.S. properties in 2018, down 8 percent from 2017 and down 78 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010 to the lowest level since 2005.


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Those 624,753 properties with foreclosure filings in 2018 represented 0.47 percent of all U.S. housing units, down from 0.51 percent in 2017 and down from a peak of 2.23 percent in 2010 to the lowest level since 2005.


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ATTOM’s year-end foreclosure report provides a unique count of properties with a foreclosure filing during the year based on publicly recorded and published foreclosure filings collected in more than 2,500 counties nationwide, with address-level data on more than 23 million foreclosure filings historically also available for license or customized reporting. See full methodology below.


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The report also includes new data for December 2018, when there were 52,069 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, down 2 percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago — the 6th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity.


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“Plummeting foreclosure completions combined with consistently falling foreclosure timelines in 2018 provide evidence that most of the distress from the last housing crisis has now been cleaned up,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer. “But there was also some evidence of distress gradually returning to the housing market in 2018, with foreclosure starts increasing from the previous year in more than one-third of all state and local housing markets. 

“Some of that distress was driven by natural disasters, most notably in Houston, where foreclosure starts increased 61 percent,” Teta continued. “But natural disasters do not explain the increase in markets such as Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Milwaukee and Austin — all of which posted double-digit percentage increases in foreclosure starts in 2018.”

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