NMP National Mortgage Professional June 2020

Page 1

JUNE 2020


Volume 12, Issue 6

HECM YEAH! Reverse mortgages grab market share

APPRAISING THE APPRAISAL PROCESS A special section on new valuation innovations

THE SHASHANK REDEMPTION Immigrant to struggling broker to top originator. How one California mortgage pro is out to conquer the country.

REFI HIGHS Applications soar, but

rate volatility gives jitters THREE TIPS TO


Experience The Difference MORE Expertise MORE Service MORE Technology Experience the Biggest and Best Originator of Non-QM1 Visit AngelOakMS.com | 855.631.9943 Š Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions LLC NMLS #1160240, Corporate office, 980 Hammond Drive, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA, 30328. This communication is sent only by Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions LLC and is not intended to imply that any of our loan products will be offered by or in conjunction with HUD, FHA, VA, the U.S. government or any federal, state or local governmental body. This is a business-to-business communication and is intended for licensed mortgage professionals only and is not intended to be distributed to the consumer or the general public. Each application is reviewed independently for approval and not all applicants will qualify for the program. Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions LLC is an Equal Opportunity Lender and does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, other classifications protected under Fair Housing Act of 1968. 1Inside Nonconforming Markets, August 30, 2019. Based on Google reviews of comparable lenders. MS_A052_0520

The Leader in Non-QM 2


Volume 12 Number 6 JUNE 2020


nationalmortgageprofessional.com 6 Take A Deep Dive Beyond The Headlines Housing and mortgage stats don’t give you the real story unless you learn to read between the lines. 8 The Beckwith Blog: Managing & Organizing The Notifications In Your Head How to journal your way to mental freedom in 10 easy steps.

11 Credit Issues From Forbearance Bear Watching Educate yourself on the impact of COVID-19 on homebuyers’ credit. 12 The Mortgage Godfather: Learning How To Make More Money Look at your competition and do the opposite! 16 Build-A-Broker: Eat Your Frogs First Productivity tips for mortgage pros to have the most impact.

18 Build-A-Broker: Poor Forecasting Can Sabotage Your Business Plan Forecasting is one of the most critical steps in the business planning process. 19 Three Tips For Purchasing A New LOS A trustworthy LOS provider is more than a vendor—it is a true partner. 20 My First Million Dollars: How To Create A Client Attraction System Master your priorities, master your life, make your first million. 22 Make Decisions That Make A Difference Good decision-making stems from good judgment. 24 Special Section: The State Of Appraisals & Valuations How Perpetual Change Has Driven Innovations In Valuation Technology Alternatives to full appraisals have gained increasing attention and support. 26 AMC Guide 2020 Get to know select AMCs as they share their story about why their lender clients love to work with them.


30 Elevating The Appraisal Experience In Today’s New Market The appraisal experience in the “new norm.” 32 Appraisals And Social Distancing: A Living Lab Rapidly evolving technology is at the heart of the appraisal industry. 34 The Changing Landscape Of The Real Estate Appraisal Industry Adopting the right appraisal technology is mission critical. 36 Desktop And Drive-By Appraisals: Helpful Or Harmful? The pros and cons of desktop and drive-by appraisals in the era of COVID-19. 40 Digital Disruption In The Appraisal Industry Adapting to change in a constantly-evolving industry. 43 Heard on NMP TV 44 The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Action Plan Getting to know Shashank Shekhar

50 Reverse Is True Originators are finding the reverse market strong for worried seniors, despite concerns about drops in property values. 55 NMP News Flash 56 Refis Take The Top Spot Purchase business looks iffy for 2020, but refinances are keeping pipelines full. 60 Payment Plans: Forbearance Curve Flattens, But Dark Clouds Loom 63 My Best Deal 65 Demographic Damage: Troubles Ahead For AAPI Homebuyers 67 New to Market: June 2020 70 Regulatory Reaction: Feds Launch Consumer Website Amidst Pandemic 72 NMP Calendar of Events 74 Facebook Thoughts: Quarantine Lessons & Murder Hornets


No Time To Spare An inside look at the Arcus Lending growth story NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE |


JUNE 2020


JUNE 2020

Volume 12, Issue 6


Reverse mortgages grab market share APPRAISING THE APPRAISAL PROCESS A special section on new valuation innovations




Immigrant to struggling broker to top originator. How one California mortgage pro is out to conquer the country.


More For You The business world outside our doors is nuts. The economy is crazy – mortgage applications are soaring, while unemployment filings are crippling state systems. Some mortgage products all but disappear one day, only to reappear in new garb just a few weeks later. Overlays, regulations, interest rates all seem to change multiple times daily. The mortgage world isn’t what it once was. And neither is National Mortgage Professional magazine. In this issue, we’re starting our journey to a whole new publication, a new cooperative, and new opportunities, all for you. We’ve added more writers and asked them to be more analytical and insightful to provide you with better information. We’ve done a top-down re-design of the publication to make it more attractive and enticing. We’re giving you more ways to access news, analysis and data you need to be the best. And we’re investing in more resources, such as bringing on industry veteran journalist Lew Sichelman as an exclusive contributor to NMP.


While we’re delighted with the new look for the publication, making this prettier hasn’t been our guiding light. Everything we’ve done so far, and everything we’re still working on, has been in service of one mantra: “Will this be something that helps an originator?” That means simplifying access to information, making stories easier to navigate, and giving us guidance on what kinds of news and articles we want to feature. When you’re a magazine called National Mortgage Professional, you’d better be sure that everything you do is focused on that audience. It’s also why you’ll see a sharpening of our brand across platforms. We’re part of the Originator Connect Network, which produces dozens of live (and now virtual) mortgage conferences across the nation. But from the news side, we want to make it easier for you to know when you’re dealing with us, the oldest and most trusted name in mortgage news. That’s why you’ll see our Mortgage News Network video platform become NMP TV over the next few weeks, and all our social media sites become NMP sites.


In a topsy-turvy era, mortgage pros need once source they know they can count on. We’re American-owned. We don’t split our time covering both originators and Realtors, we just stick to mortgages. We work with some of the best mortgage leaders in the country. And we serve more mortgage originators than any other outlet or organization. We take this mission seriously. We are, after all, here to do just one thing, and that’s to connect you to the story of your success.

VI N C E N T M . VALVO Publisher, Editor & CEO 4


Applications soar, but rate volatility gives jitters


Volume 12, Number 6

STAFF CEO, PUBLISHER & EDITOR Vincent M. Valvo ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Beverly Bolnick MANAGING EDITOR Keith Griffin SENIOR EDITOR Eric C. Peck CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Christine Beckwith, George Yacik, Lew Sichelman, Ken Liebeskind, Norm Bell, Ralph LoVuolo, Harvey Mackay, Nick Roberson, Pam Marron GRAPHIC DESIGN MANAGER Stacy Murray INTERACTIVE DESIGN DIRECTOR Alison Valvo USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER Billy Valvo ONLINE CONTENT DIRECTOR Navindra Persaud MARKETING & EVENT ASSOCIATE Melissa Pianin HEAD OF ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH Andrew Berman CLIENT SUCCESS COORDINATOR Jaclyn Leitermann FOUNDING PUBLISHER Joel Berman Submit your news to editorial@ambizmedia.com If you would like additional copies of National Mortage Professional Call (860) 719-1991 or email info@ambizmedia.com


© 2020 American Business Media LLC All rights reserved. National Mortgage Professional magazine is a trademark of American Business Media LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Advertising, editorial and production inquiries should be directed to: American Business Media LLC 345 North Main St., Suite 313 West Hartford, CT 06117 Phone: (860) 719-1991 info@ambizmedia.com

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Take A Deep Dive Beyond The Headlines Housing and mortgage stats don’t give you the real story unless you learn to read between the lines BY LEW SICHELMAN | CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


he headlines couldn’t have been more different, yet the stories below them were pretty much the same. “Home sales Up In March,” blared one. “March Home Sales Falter,” read another. And they were both right – in their own way. By the time you read this, the numbers will be out for April or maybe even May and they will likely be dismal, so the March reports are all but useless now. But I use them here, not just to make a deadline, but to make the point you must read beyond the headlines. And sometime, behind the stories themselves. In the case of the March home sales, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales were indeed higher than they were for the same month last year. But at the same time, they

were lower than the month before. So again, both headlines had it correct. This kind of thing happens all the time, and it does a disservice to anyone searching, hoping, praying for some good news. Take the announcement by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would buy closed loans that had not yet been delivered to the GSEs it was appointed to oversee postGreat Recession. Or the decision that lifted the weight off servicers’ shoulders about forwarding principal and interest payments to investors. Beyond the headlines, if you read far enough, you find out that not every agency loan that moves into forbearance before it can be transferred to the agencies qualifies. Indeed, there were some pretty significant exceptions. And even if a loan did qualify, steep loan-level price adjustments were required: 500 basis points for loans to first-time buyers and 700 for “all other loans.” Not so great, huh? And it means originators would be incurring a steep loss. Bose George, a research analyst with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, thinks the charge won’t do much to help borrowers with weaker credit profiles. Furthermore, George said in a research note

that the fee is likely to result in “material” losses for lenders on eligible loans, adding that he sees the announcement as a modest negative for originators and servicers.

AN INCOMPLETE RESCUE No so great, either, was the FHFA announcement that it was coming to the rescue of servicers of GSE loans to borrowers impacted by COVID-19. Before Fannie and Freddie will take over regularly scheduled payments, though, servicers have to advance four months of principal and interest. Yikes, that’s a lot of money. And what about insurance and tax payments? “Having an end date is extremely helpful,” Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour said in late April. “Still, even knowing that time limit, with today’s number of forbearance plans, servicers are still looking at more than $7 billion dollars in advances over those four months. And the forbearance numbers are climbing steadily, day by day.” “Forbearance takes a lot of liquidity,” agreed David Stevens, the former president of the Mortgage Bankers Association and a former Federal Housing Administration commissioner, who noted that four months is “much longer” than even during the Great

The question is, where does all that money come from? Massive credit demands are being put on lenders and services in an absolutely unknown way. Recession. “The question is, where does all that money come from? Massive credit demands are being put on lenders and services in an absolutely unknown way.” The lesson, then, is to read on, for the devil truly is always in the details, not the headlines. And while you’re at it, remember that all real estate is local. There is no national market. So, forget all those sales figures you receive from your national trade associations. Take sales. For one thing, they are not sales, they are closed contracts on sales that took place as far back as two or three months ago, before the pandemic panic set in. While tens of thousands of so-called “sales” closed in March, they actually took place a while ago. That makes them all but useless, except maybe to locate a starting point for when the market started to slide. For another thing, they are national numbers. Your market may be markedly different, and probably is. So, forget about these stats. Look to what’s happening in your state or, better yet, your city or town. The better figures come from your local real estate, home builder and mortgage organizations, not from their trade associations in Washington.

Staggering to be sure. But about a fourth of the people who are out of work have been furloughed, not fired. While the unemployment rate is bad, it isn’t quite as bad as it seem. Temporary layoffs as a percentage of unemployment is normally 10-15%; at last look, it was almost double that. And job losses are uneven at best. Understandably, the hardest hit state is Michigan, where 21.8% of the civilian workforce is out of work, according to the Tax Foundation. Connecticut is second, at 21.5% and Pennsylvania is fourth at 19.6%. But Vermont is third, with 20.9% of its workforce no longer employed. Vermont? On the flip side, only 5.4% of South Dakota’s workforce has been sidelined, and just 6.4% of Wyoming’s workforce is no longer employed at this writing. Understandable. Those are small states

employment-wise. But Florida, with its beaches and thousands of restaurants and other services catering to retirees and tourists, is 47th on the list of hardest hit states, with “only” 6.5% of its civilian workforce on leave. That’s even more astounding when you learn that the leisure and hospitality sector nationwide is the most impacted by layoffs, accounting for five times the hit taken by other non-farm job classifications, according to Meyers Research. But cooks, clerks, cleaners and others in those lines of work earn an average of just $25,000 a year. That’s not your typical mortgage client. So, the impact on the housing sector is minimal. There’s an old saying that figures lie and liars figure. I’m not suggesting that the good folks who produce our national stats aren’t telling the truth. What I am suggesting, though, is that we have to dig deeper, sometimes much deeper.

Lew Sichelman is a contributing writer to National Mortgage Professional magazine. He has been covering the housing and mortgage sectors for 52 years. His syndicated column appears in major newspapers throughout the country. He also has been the real estate editor at two major Washington, D.C., dailies and spent 30 years on the staff of National Mortgage News, formerly National Thrift News.

Another example: Unemployment numbers. 44 million at last count.





Managing & Organizing The Notifications In Your Head How to journal your way to mental freedom in 10 easy steps BY CHRISTINE BECKWITH | CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


could tell endless stories about my growth over three decades in handling high stress levels and multitasking. For the better part of the past two decades, I have been a senior sales executive, a business owner, a fundraiser and a health enthusiast. I work in a high demand, fast paced, all stakes deadline environment, driven on constantly assessed metrics and results, while managing a home, traveling for work, raising a child and trying to be a healthy professional. So, I have mastered the art of compartmentalizing it all. I would love to say I did this through personal insight but the truth is I did it through professional training. Training that taught me how to off-board the clutter and chaos and make organization out of all of it. Training that taught me how to shut off the work brain and turn on the home brain at the flip of a switch. Then finally

experience allowed me to put it all into a simple system I have shared with hundreds of other people who are equally as hectic in their own busy lives. I hope it helps you as well. Once I learned the “Ten Tips for Professional & Personal Organization” that I have written below, my life, which I felt I had been chasing, suddenly changed and I was in complete control. I have been teaching these tips to professionals for two decades and it is one of my most raved about classes. So here goes, enjoy! First, did you know that every single thing you need to do is swirling around in your head and because these things are outstanding things due, that your brain or as I call it, your human computer, will keep sending you memory messages? They remind you that these things must be done. So, the simple act of writing things down will off-board or shut down the reminder. Almost like clicking “Dismiss” on your computer pop-up reminders under activities.

So, starting a working journal is a straightforward way to clean up all your repetitive thoughts and clear your mind. When you do this, your level of creativity, ability to think, ability to digest reading, to absorb meeting materials and even clearly learn class education is at a far higher and more receptive level than you would be left with otherwise with all that chaos happening in your brain. Furthermore, what is that chaos doing to your stress levels? To the output of great work results? What is the price you are paying for this level of overwhelming thinking? Doing the working journal daily can physically change your entire outlook on the quality and happiness of your work and your personal life. You can be a more attentive partner and spouse, parent and coach. Simply put, organizing thoughts and offboarding these thoughts can lead to a healthier lifestyle, one you control and one that gets amazing results.

“This seems like such a simple process, too simple, stupid simple. But it’s harder than you think to create these organizational habits.”

Buy A Journal: It may be a blank journal or get a Day-Timer with single full pages representing each day. #1. Top Line: Day/Date Each Page #2. Second Line: Your List of Professional or Work “To-Do’s” Each to-do item should then be labeled either A or B. A for “Absolutely Must Be Done Today” and B for “Secondary Task, does not need to be done today.” #3. Third Line: “Personal To-Do Items” - Only list things here that you MUST do today. All other personal to-do items can be listed on the appropriate page, so if you know you need to drop off dry cleaning on Wednesday, write it in the personal todo item on Wednesday. Simple. #4. Fourth Line: “Due From Others” - Every time you give someone something to do that is owed back to you, write it here. Give it an owner’s name and a due date with a description of the thing due. Example: Due FridaySue - Accounting for September. #5. Fifth Line: “Projects”- List all projects needing to be done this week that aren’t single to-do items. These things may take several hours to complete or several days. You should apply an expected timeline. These should be bigger items that need more attention and MUST be done that week. Example: “Create the Excel spreadsheet for the new coaching platform-two hours.” #6. When to do your journal? The last thing you are going to do every night is write the next day’s Management Journal Page. You will do several things in reviewing your day and as your day has transpired. • First - You will put a strike though the to-do items completed. You will strike out those things collected that were

due from others as complete as well.

and conversely be able to relax and be comfortable while working your project and to-do list on those days.

• Second - You will circle all things not completed and carry those over to the next day. Apply an A and B to each item again. Please note, if you carry an A item over more than twice, you aren’t prioritizing correctly. • Finally - Your new list should be neat, clean, and each section filled as outlined above so when you wake up and begin working the next day you are able to open your journal and work with it at your side. As things transpire thoughout the day you can write to-do items into proper days based on due dates, time needed to complete, etc. #7. Say NO today to things that you can’t fit in your schedule. We all accept too much work. The word “NO” is not pleasing to say, so we avoid it. Instead, how about a “I can do this for you by tomorrow” which is not a NO and gives you a whole extra day. When you begin to use this management journal system you will discover you know much better if you can handle taking a job on today or tomorrow. You may even see that you are booked out days ahead. #8. Journal vs. Electronic Calendar -Your electronic calendar should reflect physical appointments for calls and meetings and have time blocked to work on the to-do list. Some days I have three two-hour blocks to handle my workload and project list, leaving only two more hours for meetings. #9. Bulking like activities into a single day - For time management sake, book your physical appointments all in one day: morning, noon and night if need be. These will allow for to-do work and project work on the opposing days and allow you also to be dressed professionally and accordingly for face-to-face meetings

#10. Walk Away: Have some sort of timeline on work ending. Whatever that schedule is, whether working late some nights or not, whenever that time is, you at that time are walking away from your work, your phone, your desk, your email and you are then living in the space of your family, your home, your life and your personal world. You must do this. I realize that is easy to say. I have worked all my adult life needing to provide weekend and often evening services. How you ask? While doing what I just wrote? I have learned that the same people who called me at night and weekends were willing when asked to speak to me during business hours on lunch breaks and early evening. If I had to accommodate weekend work, I would put it all into a Saturday time frame of two to three hours and I would let my family know I had to work. This seems like such a simple process, too simple, stupid simple. But it’s harder than you think to create these organizational habits. Most people work from a to-do list, but many have everything and the kitchen sink listed, not prioritized, not separated from personal things to do, and certainly not organized in a manner that allowed you to be present in whatever world you are living in with a clutter-free brain. Good luck. Feel free to ask me questions! I have hundreds of people who use this system. They tell me it has lifted the weight of stress and raised organization to new levels never experienced.

Christine Beckwith is a 30-year mortgage industry veteran who has broken many glass ceilings and has blazed a trail for many female professionals to come. Christine is currently president and chief operating officer of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching and Consulting.




08/billing update Jeff


BOSS OF ME No commute The average work commute is 25 minutes1, or more than 200 hours a year! How many more loans could you close with 200 extra hours?

Lower stress + higher morale = more productive Compared to working at an office, 82% of remote workers are less stressed, 80% have higher morale, and 70% are more productive.2

Not for novices New LOs benefit from the help and knowledge of their colleagues at the office being just a few steps away.

2: https://remote.co/10-stats-about-remote-work

1: 2006-2011 U.S. Census

Self-motivation required

Need a productive space

You’ll have to set your goals and hold yourself accountable – for better or worse, there’s no one looking over your shoulder.

You don’t need a full home office, but you’ll almost certainly benefit from a dedicated space. How much are you willing to invest?

Fewer distractions Enjoy getting work done in your own controlled environment free of co-workers and meetings.

Fragile work-life balance LOs that already work atypical hours may find it even more difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance by working where they live.

Greater flexibility More easily cater to the schedule of a real estate agent or customer without having to clock-in at the office.

9 This infographic has been brought to you by your friends at MGIC! mgic.com 17-50985 11/17

12 6





FORBEARANCE FACTS Know the facts about mortgage options for those who may temporarily struggle to pay. You are going to need this information when you can provide these same clients with a mortgage as soon as they get back on their feet. A massive number of job losses have occurred. Many homeowners are still employed, but hours may have been drastically cut. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued forbearance policies that allow a temporary suspension or reduction of mortgage payments, and FHA provided similar policy with a partial claim option (see

HUD Mortgagee Letter 2020-06). The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers in forbearance can apply for refis and new purchase mortgages once their loans are current, thus waiving its previous mandatory wait of 12 months.

KEEPING A CLOSE WATCH ON CREDIT Under the CARES act, borrowers in a forbearance plan should be reported to credit bureaus as current. I asked Terry Clemans, director of the National Consumer Reporting Association Inc. how we could trust that delinquency during the forbearance period would be reported correctly. My concern was due to credit issues during the last housing crisis. Terry reminded me that there was no national emergency proclaimed during the housing crisis. A national emergency proclamation was issued effective March 1, 2020, prior to the forbearance directives. There is specific credit code for accounts affected by a natural or declared disaster. As long as loan servicers apply the code correctly, borrower credit should not be negatively impacted during publicly-stated

forbearance periods. Those who can qualify to refinance on the other side of this pandemic will most likely NEED a refinance, and urgently. There will be changes as issues arise, but many of us are keeping a close watch on what credit looks like after the forbearance.

TIMELY NEW RESOURCE During my time on the HUD Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC) from 2016-2019, I learned a great deal about how much HUD housing counselors and certified credit counselors could do to help challenged clients, both pre- and post-purchase. That realization is what started a path to connect loan originators and real estate agents to housing and credit counselors to get challenged clients “Mortgage Ready.” A website, Clients2Homeowners. com, was developed to provide steps to connect and resources for credit help, down payment assistance and budgeting for clients. Industry professionals will be on the call. Loan originators, real estate agents and housing counselors … this is open to all of you!

Pamela M. Marron is a senior loan originator with Innovative Mortgage Services Inc.

“Know the facts about mortgage options for those who may temporarily struggle to pay. You are going to need this information when you can provide these same clients with a mortgage as soon as they get back on their feet.”


lients need mortgages now, whether for a purchase or refinance. Even though uncertainty about COVID 19 looms, many are still cautiously purchasing homes or refinancing. Need is the driving force in spite of the coronavirus. For home purchasers, the need is a deadline date: that their lease is ending or their existing home is closing, or their landlord is selling the home they rent. For those who refinance, cashing out on some of their existing equity for reserves or reducing payments for tighter budgets is the reason.





Learning How To Make More Money



o, here’s a story that happened recently that makes so clear what I’ve been trying to get across to all of you for the last 40 or 50 years … be different. To be successful, get outside of the person everyone is trying to fit you into and present yourself differently, like a chameleon. Look at what your competitors do and do it better! Do things different and take it up a notch to do things even more differently. Find out what they do and follow the principle of Wall Street brokers: “Buy when everyone is selling and sell when everyone is buying.” It doesn’t take a super genius to know what your real estate agents need, find out what they need and give it to them, and do that repeatedly. A client of mine, Scott, told me the following story … When he started in the industry as a loan officer in the early-1990s, Scott went to the most successful real estate office in his area. In his hand, he carried his company rate sheet,

as was the custom since getting rates via an app had not yet been instituted. With only a couple of weeks under his belt, this was an office he had not yet visited. Strangely, he had learned that no other MLO in his company was doing business with any of that company’s agents. He couldn’t understand why. But having the confidence of an alpha male lion, he walked in with no appointment. He told the receptionist that he had an appointment with the broker/ manager. Scott had done his research and knew the reputation of the company and their people— they were sharks. Was he afraid? Apparently not much. He decided that the worst that would happen would be that his butt would be kicked out the door. “Hell,” he said, “they weren’t doing business with me at this point, so I had nothing to lose.”

USE YOUR TENACITY The receptionist was distracted and told him where the office was for the broker/manager and he walked right back. He introduced himself, and while standing in front of the desk, handed his rate sheet to the broker/manager. She asked him what his name was and ripped his rate sheet into many pieces and told, not asked, him to leave the office and never come back.

Seriously, what would you do if this happened to you? Do you have the alpha-male lion attitude? Here is what he told me. “I said, ‘OK, thank you.’ I walked straight for the front door and went to my car. I waited about two hours before I saw her leave. When I saw her drive away, I got a few more rate sheets and walked back in the office and put one copy in the mail slot for every salesperson. “What, you think I’ve never heard ‘No!’ before? To be successful in the business, at a young age, I learned that a loan officer is going to be told ‘No!’ at times. In the short time before I went to that office, it had already happened to me a bunch of times. But, I also know that they can’t say ‘No!’ forever. Today, I still do business with those people. They loved and still love to tell people that story. They loved my tenacity. I know you teach my salespeople to never give up and that’s why I have you coach them.”

ADDING A TWIST That conversation took place about 2 p.m. and three hours later, I had another call with another guy I coach, Bernie. When he answered, I said, “Tell me something you did since our last call that you are happy about.” Bernie replied, “Ralph, you know I love these ideas you give me, but I heard an idea on a podcast the other day that I knew you would love. So, I’m doing it, but I added a little twist.”

Photo by alphaspirit

“Please explain,” I said. “I sent a text to about eight real estate agents I would like to do more business with, but with the virus here in New Jersey not allowing me to go to their office, I know I have to keep my face in front of them, so I’m doing the next best thing,” Bernie explained. “Here’s the idea. You know how real estate agents are trying to sell people using virtual videos? Well, I like this idea better and so I texted it. So far, five of them say they love it.” “I’m dying, hurry up,” I replied. “How long before you tell me?” “Instead of a real estate agent doing a video of a house, I suggested they call a prospective buyer and tell them to be prepared because they are going to call them back in a little while,” said Bernie. “They are going to a listing they found that the buyer will like When they are in the driveway, they are going to turn on their phone camera, walk up to the house, and then go in a walk-thru in the house while sending a live video to a prospective buyer. “In fact,” Bernie continued, “if they have multiple prospective buyers, they could show the house more than once and it is such an effective use

“Look at what your competitors do and do it better! Do things different and take it up a notch to do things even more different.” of time. One guy said he could show the house about three or four times. I can’t believe how much the real estate people I sent the idea to love it. In addition to the five who liked it, one said they didn’t like it and one hasn’t gotten back to me yet.”

DELIVER NEW IDEAS “Bern, I couldn’t be happier for you,” I said. “The fact that you’ve picked up on this way of getting the attention of real estate people fills my heart. I swear to God, I could not be happier for you.” We spoke for a little more and just as we were saying goodbye, he said, “Oh, Ralph, wait! I just got a text back from the guy who had not gotten back to me before. Let me read to you what he said … ‘That is actually a great idea!’” I replied, “Oh! wow, I’m so happy for you. Is this someone who you’ve

been trying to get business from?” “Yes, he gave me a deal already, but now I’ve sent him a couple of your ideas, plus this new one, so we have lots to talk about now.” If you want to keep talking like everyone else who does what you do, go right ahead. But, if you want to get inside the mind and heart of real estate agents, give them ideas that they need for the environment they are living in. That is what I teach people to do. If you want a coach that will put the fire inside you so you can overcome “No!,” contact me. Or, you could continue to struggle … the choice is yours!

Ralph LoVuolo Sr. has nearly 60 years history in the mortgage business. He was a co-founder/president of the NYAMB and a long-term member of the board of directors of NAMB.






BUILD-A-BROKER: Be A Task Master To Stay On Top Of Your Pipeline Financial Forecasting Is The Only Way Forward YOUR FIRST MILLION DOLLARS: Conquer The Busy-ness Of Business Think Before You Act. But Act Nonetheless CAREER TICKER: People On The Move


> Maxwell has

announced that Altavera Mortgage Services Founder and former CEO Brian Simons, a 23-year veteran of the industry, has joined the company as president.

> Sagent

Lending Technologies appointed Dan Sogorka to the role of CEO and president.

> Mortgage

CRM platform Insellerate announced the addition of Dan Zuch, chief revenue officer, to its leadership team.

> Primary

Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) promoted Richard J. Armstrong to the role of executive vice president and general counsel.





Eat Your Frogs First

Productivity tips for mortgage pros to have the most impact


e’re in a unique situation: pipelines are full, but given the coronavirus pandemic, we’re having to keep up with changes in the law, changes in business guidelines, and borrower inquiries. Using our days productively is now more critical than ever. If you feel like you’ve been stuck in a productivity rut recently or that you’re not being as effective as you could be given the current environment, maybe you need a new method of working. In this blog post, we’ll discuss productivity tips and tactics you can use to master your time and leave work feeling accomplished at the end of each day.

BEFORE WE BEGIN Here are just a few things to keep in mind before diving into these productivity tips. 1) Don’t try to incorporate all these tactics into your time management routine at once. Focus on one and master it, then evaluate whether you can and should add another one. 2) Whichever one of these tips you choose, remember to keep your meaningful goals at the forefront of your mind – preferably in your calendar. 3) Prioritize impactful actions over busy actions. Figure out where you make the most difference and try to automate tasks that don’t add as much value.

PERFORM A TIME STUDY ON YOURSELF We can hear your eyes rolling in their sockets. But trust us, tracking your time for just a week or two can help you identify where you’re spending time productively and where you’re wasting it. You can keep your time study on paper, or you can manage it digitally. Either way, work in 15- to 30-minute increments and write down what you were working on during that time spurt. All you need to do is set a timer for your chosen time interval and write out your results in a notebook or on an Excel spreadsheet at the end of each interval. Once you’ve done your time study, categorize your time into productive work, busy work, and distractions. Color code those times to see where you’re really spending your time.

If you set out with the mindset that you’re going to get the most difficult tasks out of the way at the beginning of the week, then you’ll be in a much more productive mindset. PEOPLE ON THE MOVE //

> Sierra Pacific

Mortgage hired Curtis Dair as chief financial officer, citing his three decades of diverse accounting, finance and lending services.



> Delane Olin

> Kelley

has been named chief lending officer for Home Point Financial.

Tillinghast joined Plaza Home Mortgage as senior vice president, chief underwriter.

> Gateway

Mortgage Group, a division of Gateway First Bank, has promoted Tina Knaut to regional vice president of the Southwest.

TIP #1:

Time Blocking One of the biggest time sucks we face is when we switch from one task to the other haphazardly. The mental effort needed to switch gears on what you’re doing is significant and trying to regain your train of thought on a task you abandoned can take several minutes. Time blocking can help mitigate the impact of that switch. The key thing to remember about time blocking is that you block your time based what you think it should take you to complete a task, not based on the clock. Setting up your time blocking is simple. Open the calendar you reference most often – typically your digital work calendar – and set appointments for the tasks you need to accomplish each day. Use your most difficult week from your time study to set expectations for how you need to block your time. Color-coding is particularly useful since it shows you visually where all your time is going.

TIP #2:

TIP #3:

Make Monday Your Most Difficult Day

Create a Plan To Work Through

If you’ve ever heard the saying “Eat your frogs first,” that’s the principle we want you to apply here. That’s to say, do the most difficult or most impactful tasks first. You should do this for each week and each day. The trouble is Tuesdays tend to be our most difficult days because we’re still easing back into work on Mondays. It can be particularly difficult to switch into work mode if you work from home, too. If you set out with the mindset that you’re going to get the most difficult tasks out of the way at the beginning of the week, then you’ll be in a much more productive mindset. One of the easiest ways to go about doing this is to aim to complete 80% of your week’s to-do list by Wednesday. That will give you Thursday to complete the last 20% and Friday to organize and prepare for the week ahead. Something else you should do at the end of each day: a 15-minute brain dump. That’s where you write out all the things you still have outstanding for the week. You should also prioritize your tasks for the following day. Doing this each day will help you feel like you can leave work at work.

If you’re more of a big picture kind of person, creating a plan to execute on every day might be better for you. This type of time management involves setting your overarching goal and breaking it up into specific steps that you can work on daily. For example, your goal might be to get a promotion in a year or to get 500 new leads into your pipeline in a month. Either of those would be your goal that you plan for. Next, you need to ask some questions to build out your plan: · What steps do you need to take to attain that goal? · How frequently do those steps need to occur? · Who will need to be involved to achieve your goal? Using this method will minimize the number of decisions (and analysis paralysis) you might have because all the steps will be written out for you. Once you have your steps solidified, add those steps to your calendar, scheduling the most important ones first.


> Sagent, a

mortgage servicing fintech company, chose David Doyle as executive vice president of business development.

> NewDay

USA selected Eugene Mizin as its new senior vice president of operations and finance.

> Carrington

Mortgage Services promoted Kevin DeLory to the role of senior vice president, wholesale and correspondent.

> Mortgage

CRM platform Insellerate added Scott Roberts, senior vice president of sales, to its leadership team.




Poor Forecasting Can Sabotage Your Business Plan How to get a more accurate crystal ball


evenue forecasting is one of the most critical elements of a business plan. Accurate forecasting can help you validate the business case for your brokerage and help you build trust among future investors and partners. Poor forecasting, on the other hand, can sabotage your business before it even gets off the ground. And yet many startups don’t give their forecast the attention it deserves. They end up getting the numbers wrong … by a long shot. If a startup brokerage goes under, it’s most often within the first two years and is usually a direct result of poor financial management and the business running out of capital. Revenue forecasts are one of the most overlooked areas of the business plan, yet an accurate and realistic forecast is vital to the health and longevity of running your own brokerage, rather than being an LO on someone’s else’s roster.

A QUICK REVIEW—WHAT IS FORECASTING? The concept of revenue forecasting is pretty straightforward. Simply put, it’s the calculation of the amount of

money a company will receive from sales during a particular period. Most companies determine forecasts for a period of time in the future based on actual sales revenue earned in the past. For a startup, this presents an obvious problem. Forecasting can feel like throwing a dart blindfolded. Why is it such a critical step in the business planning process? When starting out, your reputation is what you’re selling. If you’re trying to secure funding or recruit the right team, you need to sell them on your vision and dream. Backing that up with realistic revenue expectations based on researched data is one of the most important ways to show your key stakeholders that you’ve developed a firm business case for your brokerage. As the owner of the business about to make a large investment of time and money into your new venture, solid, accurate projections are the clearest way to also prove to yourself that your investment will be a profitable one.

THREE COMMON FORECASTING TRAPS Giving the revenue forecast its deserved place in a business plan

isn’t an easy task. So, why is it that forecasts are a challenge for startups? 1. The Lack-of-Data Trap. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to forecast accurately when starting your business. For all other businesses with historical data, past metrics are used to project profits and losses. This data is simply not available when you’re starting out. 2. The Over-Simplification Trap. Confident entrepreneurs typically project growth linearly with consistent growth over time. This creates what looks like a ‘hockey stick’ graph – a forecast that the startup will have stellar growth that keeps going up and up indefinitely. Smart partners will immediately meet hockey stick graphs with skepticism, knowing the projection is oversimplified. 3. The Not-Based-in-Reality Trap. Similar to assuming immediate and consistent growth right out of the gate, entrepreneurs tend to cherrypick data and leave out other critical pieces of the puzzle. Demand for your product, competition, market size, pricing, and marketing expenses are just a handful of the elements of a well-developed forecast that a surprising number of owners omit.


> Black Knight

announced that Richard Lombardi has joined the company’s data & analytics organization as senior vice president for data strategy & innovation.


> WFG National


Title Insurance Company hired Natalie Koonce as vice president, national escrow advisor.

> Technology

veteran Jesse Decker joined Sagent, a mortgage servicing fintech company, as executive vice president of customer success.

> Guild

Mortgage appointed Michael Querrey vice president, strategic retail growth, for its Mountain West Division.


THREE TIPS For Purchasing A New LOS AVOID PITFALLS, CREATE A SOLID FORECAST The first step is learning how to avoid what’s referred to as “confirmation bias.” We usually test to prove that our hunches are correct, which is where things can go wrong in the revenue forecast. It’s your job as a new broker to be aware of this pitfall and find ways to reduce or eliminate confirmation bias.

UNDERSTANDING MARKET DEMAND Market demand for a product is the anticipated total volume purchased by a defined customer group in a defined geographical area during a defined period of time in a defined environment—i.e., expecting 10 purchase loans a month for the first half of the year in your two-town market where average loan amounts are $375,000. Once you understand market demand, you can estimate your company’s potential share of that market. Also, consider how you’ll gain market share. Will you steal it from your competitors? Or, will your product or service open up opportunities to create new market share? You’ll want to estimate future market demand for your products or services based on the growth of sales in the industry and changes in market share. A place to begin when accessing market demand for your product or service over a competitor could include asking yourself questions like:


> Kevin Hughes

joined Black Knight as senior vice president of sales and business development for its Multiple Listing Services technology business.

BY SHAKRIA HALL Now is a good time to search for a new LOS. Brokers must be able to rely on their LOS providers not only to deliver a quality product, but to quickly adapt to market changes when needed. Identifying an exceptional LOS provider doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Here are some considerations for picking a new system.

Longevity And Experience

Adaptability, features and ease of use: These are all important requirements in an LOS. However, experience must be at the core of your software decision. All the bells and whistles in the world won’t mean a thing if the software you select is not efficient. The ideal LOS will ensure accuracy and compliance, and work to simplify the origination process. The most experienced providers—the ones who have been in business for decades and are still going strong— know the mortgage industry well and understand exactly what loan officers need. Experience is vital, and in today’s fast-changing lending environment, it is critical to success. Great LOS providers are constantly innovating their solutions and creating technology.

Customer Service

Customer service is always important, but in this rapidly-changing environment, it can make or break your business. Answering calls and responding to emails are crucial, but so is training. Offering unlimited access to training materials and resources allows you to always have answers at your fingertips. Speed of implementation is another consideration—how soon can a provider get you up and running? Finally, consider how well an LOS integrates with third-party solutions and your existing systems. The software you choose should be ready to use after a streamlined implementation from Day 1.


A trustworthy LOS provider is more than a vendor—it is a true partner, committed to your success as much as its own. The guidance such a partner provides is invaluable in making the most of the LOS and keeping your pipeline flowing. This journey starts with your provider working with you to determine what you need and what solutions best meet those requirements. It continues with training, webinars and educational resources so your team not only learns how to use the software better, but also refines their skills with best practices, industry developments and more. A trustworthy LOS partner offers something that other providers struggle with: Peace of mind. From your first interactions during the selection process through implementation, to training and beyond, a great LOS provider is focused on your requirements, your concerns and your success. Shakria Hall is brand marketing manager at Calyx, an established provider of compliant mortgage software solutions used by banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders and brokerages nationwide. She may be reached by e-mail at Shakria_Hall@CalyxSoftware.com. SPONSORED EDITORIAL




How To Create A Client Attraction System

Master your priorities, master your life, make your first million BY JEN DU PLESSIS, SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


here I was, yet again, on my phone outside a restaurant having socalled “dinner” with my family, pacing on the concrete-curb-balancebeam (you know the one); talking with a client “who needed me,” when I happened to glance through the restaurant window to see my family laughing and enjoying dinner, creating memories…without me! My heart sank. And in that moment, I realized that after 20 years in lending, working ridiculously long hours, experiencing financial ups and downs, being overwhelmed and stressed in the daily chaos, chasing uncommitted Realtors (often on weekends) and harming my family, life, health and business; I hadn’t been in many of their memories at all. Somewhere along the way I had lost sight of what truly made me happy. I thought, “Oh my gosh, I’m prisoner to a business that owns me, and I’m losing everything that’s important to me!”

‘BUSY-NESS OF THE BUSINESS’ I was so focused on the busynessof-the-business (doing activities for the sake of activities) that it felt like eating soup with a fork. I was tired,

drained and not fulfilled. When I was with my family … I really wasn’t. Yes, I was there, physically; but never emotionally. How many games, recitals, romantic evenings, birthday parties have you physically and emotionally missed? Do you even remember them? I’ve been there…for 20 long years. It just makes me sick to think about it now…just sick. When do you really uncover this reality? When your daughter tells you about something fun that happened during a family vacation, and you don’t even remember being on that vacation!! To make matters worse, at that time, I was consistently funding 18 loans a month but couldn’t seem to break through the ceiling to the next level. I was losing sleep over what I could be doing wrong, feeling that everyone else was doing more business than me, resulting in me having the insatiable drive to work even more! I began to wonder if it was all really worth it. Living in chaos, working long hours, babysitting your loans, chasing clients,

Realtors and money doesn’t result in success. Period.

LIFE AND SUCCESS So then, I started to think how can we gain both experiences – life and success? The great Les Brown, says “If you’re casual about your life, your life will become a casualty.” Ask yourself, is your life becoming a casualty because of your business? I’ve come to learn that, “A life of priorities and values, adds value everywhere in your life.” Prioritize your family, and you will be fulfilled; your health, and you will feel better; your finances, and you will sleep better. Everything in your life will grow—including your business! My father used to say, “Jen, you can rust out or you can wear out, it’s your choice.” It is a choice. A choice to be present during the journey we call life. What I learned was that if I was going to withstand a long-term career in lending it would be essential for me to choose my life desires first; and then build an amazing business to add value everywhere. I can help you with this too. The key was to get out of my own way and let go of the invisible chip on my shoulder. The chip many of us have—my clients only want me, no


> Angel Oak

Home Loans is continuing its expansion in Texas with a new branch in El Paso with Jason Trujillo serving as branch manager.


> The American

Land Title Association announced the appointment of Chris Morton as senior vice president of public affairs.


> SimpleNexus

announced the election of Senior Sales Executive Cathleen Schreiner Gates to its board of directors.

> David

Lowman, a 40-year industry veteran and former executive vice president with Freddie Mac, has been appointed to the Roostify board of directors.

one else could do a better job and it is easier to just do it myself.

CRACK THE BOTTLENECK I was in a bottleneck situation because of my inability to let go, and my insatiable appetite to control everything. Sound familiar? When I was able to slow down enough to think through my business, I was able to recognize that one of the reasons I was experiencing a revolving door of referrals wasn’t because of me, it was because of the systems that were created to build a killer customer experience. If I could duplicate the experience and the systems utilizing team members, I’d get more of my time back. So, I made the choice to hire others to help me with tasks I dreaded, and within a few months, we broke through that glass ceiling; and not just to 19 loans per month, but right on up to 26, and then 30 and more. I had created a client attraction system, which in turn saved time and therefore allowed me more personal time to pursue the things I loved (like competitive ballroom dancing, boating, competitive shooting, “dates” with my husband, children and grandchildren).

BE PRESENT IN ALL ASPECTS There would be no stopping our team, resulting in over $1 billion funding, during a time when I began to transition into full-time speaking, coaching and podcasting. More than just the funding volume increasing;

> Planet Home

Lending has named Jim McDonald as chief marketing officer.


my personal and professional relationships excelled as well. Then there was my psychological state. I was present in all aspects of my life. To my surprise I attracted even more people, which allowed me to continue to work less, live more and grow my business. Looking back, I’m dumbfounded as to why I spent so many years sabotaging everything that was so important to me. Imagine the results you could be experiencing right now, if you could make this type of pivot in your business? Ten years after my “restaurant” experience, there I was yet again, this time spending a month with my husband in Europe sitting on the balcony of our hotel in Barcelona, Spain. I gazed across and looked at him, thinking and feeling so free-spirited, relaxed, present, and experiencing life. In that moment, I realized that my business was growing and running smoothly back home… without me! And that felt good.

During 15 of her 37 years in the mortgage industry, Jen Du Plessis has been listed in the top 1% of loan officers nationwide; spending three years in the top 200 of nationally ranked originators and has funded over $1 billion in mortgage loans. She has been seen and heard on Good Morning America, Sirus/XM Radio, Voice America and Mortgage News Network.

> CMG Financial

and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties announced that their joint venture, Welcome Home Funding, will be led by John Dutra, president.

Lifestyle Business Mastery

Often, we know what to do; but not how to do it. Let me introduce you to the five Lifestyle Business Mastery strategies, that implemented effectively and properly, can lead you to achieving more success (whether financial or personal). Clarity: Are you clear about your core values? What you truly want in life? What fulfills you? What are your priorities? Is your marketing message clear and consistent? Does it align with your values? Does your brand align with your message? Credibility: What have you done to improve yourself personally and professionally? Certifications? Designations? Are you a master influencer in your area? Are you known for a specific niche or product, or are you selling anything to anyone? Do your clients see you as an expert? Community: Are you nurturing or neglecting your database? Do you have systems to ensure regular engagement? Are you working with the right people? Saying no to the wrong people? What retention plan do you have in place? Communication: Do you have value-added systems in place to attract referral partners? What kind of client experience are you creating? Is it consistent? Are your systems in your head or easy to implement? Continuity: Would your calendar show consistency in your daily routine for leads, processing, retention and referral partner contact? Are you tracking and measuring your activities and results? Do you have an accountability partner? A mentor or coach? Are you scheduling time for you FIRST? Very simply, these are the five areas I’ve focused on for years, even now. The simplicity is astounding, yet so many continue with the chaos. —Jen Du Plessis

> LenderClose

has announced the addition of Vice President of Client Relations Timothy Hall to its growing team.


announced the appointment of P.A. (Paul) Larkins, a 35year banking and financial services executive, as its chairman.





Make Decisions That Make A Difference

Good decision-making stems from good judgment BY HARVEY MACKAY | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


he late famed oil prospector and corporate raider, T. Boone Pickens, once said in commencement remarks at George Washington University, “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome.’ You must be willing to fire.” It’s common knowledge that most people simply do not like to make tough decisions. That’s why the frustrated executive replaced the “In” and “Out” trays on his desk with one labeled “Stalled.” We are at a critical point for many businesses right now; decisions made today affect the future survival of every operation. The pandemic has stalled all kinds of decisions that would have been five-minute conversations just weeks ago. And so many decisions were made for us by government orders. Can’t overrule those. So how best to approach these pressing issues that are within our control that need immediate action? Sigmund Freud and his niece once discussed how difficult it was for some people to make a decision. He

said, “I’ll tell you what I tell them. I ask them to toss a coin.” His niece said, “I can’t believe it. You, a man of science, guided by senseless chance!” Freud answered, “I did not say you should follow blindly what the coin tells you. What I want you to do is to note what the coin indicates. Then look into your own reactions. Ask yourself, ‘Am I pleased? Am I disappointed?’ That will help you to recognize how you really feel about the matter, deep down inside. With that as a basis, you’ll then be ready to make up your mind and come to the right decision.”

STAY TRUE TO YOU We grow by making decisions and assuming responsibility for them. You’re not going to be right all the time. In fact, President Harry S

Truman said, “Whenever I make a bum decision, I just go out and make another.” One of his predecessors, President Theodore Roosevelt, had a little different take. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing,” he said. Sitting on a decision too long just creates a new problem. Not making a decision is doing nothing. Counselor and researcher Trudi Griffin says there are simple ways to make the decision process less intimidating, such as “identifying the worst case scenario, making a spreadsheet, and following your gut instinct.” In addition, she recommends considering whether the decision will be permanent. “Most decisions are reversible. So, you can take comfort in knowing that if you hate your decision, you can always make a change to fix the situation later on.” In addition, she counsels to “learn to distinguish between an impulse

Strong leaders have no problem in making decisions.


> Landtrust

Title Services named Carmen Carbonara director of sales for residential services.


> LenderClose

announced the addition of Software Engineer Steven Krossner to its team in Des Moines, Iowa.


> Wyndham

Capital Mortgage announced that industry veteran Barbara Boccia, CRCM, MBA, JD, joined the company as senior vice president of risk and compliance.

> Total Expert

named Anna Klombies as its chief people officer.

answer will be no. But ask them if they learned from their mistakes, and I will also guarantee that the answer will be yes, at least from the smartest ones. Good decision-making is learned. It stems from good judgment, which is also learned, frequently the hard way. But with practice, good decisionmaking becomes much easier. Strong leaders have T. Boone Pickens, president of BP Capital Group. Photo by Steve Jurvetson. no problem in making decisions. They are and intelligent decision.” Once you’ve confident that their weighed your options, you can usually conclusions are the best. Warren figure out if your first reaction was Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, reasonable or a quick fix. Take a said, “My idea of a group decision is breath and give yourself time to think. to look in the mirror.” Buffet takes responsibility for his decisions, and his stockholders trust LEARNING FROM MISTAKES his judgment. Therein lies another Ask any CEO or manager if they are facet of decision-making: owning proud of all the decisions they have made, and I will guarantee that the it. Celebrate when you’ve made the

right choice and find a fix when you haven’t. The folly of human nature is neatly summed up by the case of the schoolteacher who invested her life savings in a business enterprise, which had been elaborately explained to her by a swindler. When her investment disappeared and the wonderful dream was shattered, she went to the office of the Better Business Bureau. “Why on earth didn’t you come to us first,” they asked. “Didn’t you know about the Better Business Bureau?” “Oh, yes,” said the teacher sadly. I’ve always known about you. But I didn’t come because I was afraid you’d tell me not to do it.” Mackay’s Moral: Life is all about decisions. Choose wisely.

Harvey Mackay is an entrepreneur and internationally recognized sales expert.




How Perpetual Change Has Driven Innovations In Valuation Technology Alternatives to full appraisals have gained increasing attention and support BY VLADIMIR BIEN-AIME | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


t is abundantly clear in these uncertain times that the need for impartial and bankable valuations are indispensable. The factors that contribute to the volatility of the market and the risk to the lending institutions are numerous and momentous. Lenders must operate in an environment beset with natural disasters, unforeseen unemployment, fraud, cyber-attacks and even pandemics. Faced with these dynamics, it’s imperative that lenders have the necessary real estate collateral to make themselves whole to ensure the longevity of their institutions.

Companies that are quickly able to adapt to the sudden changes will not only survive these precarious times but will thrive. This pandemic has ushered in the age of social distancing and has significantly impeded the mortgage process. Appraisers are now required to produce creditable valuations without access to the interior of the subject property. This turn of events has not only disrupted the mortgage process but introduced additional risk to the lender. These unprecedented tribulations have produced some major innovations to accommodate the interference. The top tier

“Efficient lenders that embrace technology and combine it with industry best practices can realize significant growth with minimal risk.” Fortunately, technology has kept up. New valuation platforms have emerged to provide the means for an efficient and secure method for managing the entire process. These next-generation platforms can automate the entire process, while providing complete control, transparency and compliance. The market leaders provide seamless integration with loan origination systems (LOS), automated review and configurable risk and performancebased vendor allocation. The elite solution providers offer rolebased dashboards with service level agreements (SLAs), build your own review forms, one-day implementation and a compliance guarantee.


providers were able to quickly deliver a secure mobile inspection app that allows borrowers to procure highquality photos of both the interior and exterior of a subject property. This alleviates the appraiser from this burdensome task, while adhering to the current social distancing guidelines and the temporary GSEs appraisal policy. The state-of-theart solutions seamlessly integrates the borrower-self inspection process into the current workflow, remain highly configurable, and leverages geocoded image tracking and fraud prevention technology to ensure integrity. Although this technology was developed in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect


Vladimir Bien-Aime is president and CEO of GlobalDMS.

this technology to provide value for years to come.

MARKET INNOVATIONS Not all innovation is driven by catastrophe, sometime good customer service and good old fashion competition produce some amazing results. Recently, historically low interest rates and rising home prices have increased borrower equity nationwide and have created a healthy home equity loan and HELOC market. Efficient lenders that embrace technology and combine it with industry best practices can realize significant growth with minimal risk. As a result, lenders are aggressively courting potential borrowers and their ability to keep costs down and provide customers a fast and hassle-free mortgage experience crucial to their overall success. The Global DMS Appraisal Price Index (GAPI) tells us the national average for 1004 (URAR) appraisal is $525, but in Los Angeles County, the average is $700, and in New York,

it’s about $1,400. Our data also shows the average turn-time to complete an appraisal is six days and it takes about five days to schedule the home inspection with the borrower. Utilizing the traditional appraisal process to close an equity-based loan product is very expensive, timeconsuming and provides a less-thanoptimal borrower experience. While no one tool is best for all valuation needs, appraisal alternatives are designed to give lenders a variety of tools to value property that fit specific situations. A hybrid appraisal is a valuation report that resembles a desktop appraisal in that it has a shorter appraisal form and is performed by an appraiser who typically never visits the property. However, a hybrid appraisal usually includes an exterior observation of the property conducted by a third-party vendor, normally a real estate agent or home inspector. Hybrid appraisals cost substantially less than a full appraisal, normally between $100 and $250, and often are completed within 24 hours of assignment. Although there is vast benefit of introducing hybrid appraisals to the valuation approach, there are some important considerations. Lenders must have the in-house valuation expertise to

develop a proprietary short form (as there is no government standard) or partner with a trusted AMC or valuation technology partner.

DATA WINS The proliferation of big data, industry data standards (MISMO), GSE support and improved statistical modeling has position automated valuation models (AVMs) as a suitable alternative for conducting collateral evaluations. AVMetrics, an independent AVM testing company, has recorded significant improvement in the accuracy of AVMs over a 10-year period. The Federal Evaluation Guidelines account for the use of AVMs, provided the transaction is less than $400,000, they are tested regularly, they include a property condition report and the borrower receives a copy. Several enterprise valuation management platforms have developed compliant evaluation for lenders by pairing a comprehensive AVM report with a third-party inspection service to ascertain the property condition, market and location influences. These types of products have been branded by AMCs that offer them, but are generally referred to as hybrid AVMs or evaluations. These types of products do not require an appraiser

and turn-times range from 48 hours to the same day utilizing an Uberstyle inspection assignment app, while maintaining a low price point between $50-$100. AVMs are regularly used by loan officers for borrower pre-qualification as a substitute for the currently non-compliant appraiser-based Comp Check that opened the doors for pre-crisis inappropriate value conversations. AVMs have also found their way into the review process to validate information, and as a research tool in lieu of MLS access, to provide alternate comparable properties as part of the rebuttal process. With an enterprise valuation platform in place, lenders can develop a risk-based collateral valuation approach incorporating various valuation products based on the level of risk. Lenders typically bear the loan origination cost for their equity-based lending programs. This ensures lenders get the best mix of price, quality, speed and compliance for every valuation. An effective collateral risk strategy will consider the collateral valuation, compliance, credit, income and overall loan risks ensuring a better borrower experience and a considerable competitive advantage.






Lenders need appraisal management companies (AMCs) that are in-sync with their borrowers’ overall customer experience. When doing that, each lender finds different needs, such as technology integration, the quality of reporting, size of appraiser network, ease of ordering, and so on. This month, we present our AMC Guide 2020 to allow select AMCs to share their story about why their lender clients love to work with them.

ACT Appraisal, Inc. www.actappraisal.com Erika Franks, COO Established 1998 ACT services mortgage banks, community banks, credit unions, hard money lenders, brokers, lenders, correspondents, or any other entity that originates residential mortgage loans of any kind. Including FHA, CONV, or portfolio lenders. What sets ACT apart from the competition? ACT is very fairly priced, and ACT offers the best service you will receive for your money. Our ops, sales, and QC departments are available 24/7/365, via email and phone. Our communication is second to none. All milestones during the processing of the order are communicated directly to the ordering party or any others desired. All of our appraisers receive a quality score on each and every order. The AppraisalVision system can tell you in seconds which AMC is the best for your order. Call for more info. Feedback from Lenders: References are available upon request. We have hundreds of repeat clients, some going back as far as 2002, before the great recession. We are an accredited member of the BBB. Testimonials also available upon request. _____________________________


Appraisal Nation www.appraisalnation.com Michael Tedesco, CEO Established 2007 Appraisal Nation was established with the small to mid-sized lenders in mind. Our goal is to provide them with the same expertise and care that the large companies receive. What sets Appraisal Nation apart from the competition? What sets Appraisal Nation apart from other AMCs is our hands-on customer service approach while having experts from all facets of the real estate industry on our team to provide that service. Our team is trained to be customer service based and to go the extra step to make sure our clients and ultimately their clients are satisfied with the work we do. The one thing our team has, however, is something that cannot be trained. We hire people that CARE about our company, the work we do, and the clients that allow us to do that work. Feedback from Lenders: “My experience talking to you last night and your follow up afterwards has been hands down the best example of good customer service I have ever seen from an AMC. I am accustomed to AMCs having very rude and


unhelpful staff that make our jobs more difficult, in fact I always thought the AMC situation was the one true negative to being a broker vs a mortgage banker. You have changed my opinion of that. Thanks again for your help. Appraisal received and everyone is pleased.” - Scott Tennant, Mortgage Loan Originator at Access Home Mortgage _____________________________

Arivs www.arivs.com Bryan Caffrey, CEO Established 2008 Arivs is the industry’s first and only appraisal management company that combines the strengths and resources of a national presence with the expertise and personal touch of local management. What sets Arivs apart from the competition? With nearly 20 offices around the country, we excel in appraiser and client relationships, as well as geographical competency. Appraiser rapport and knowing appraisers’ strengths makes for superior appraisal reports which in turn makes for a superior borrower/lender experience. Knowing lenders on the local level greatly enhances rapport building with agents as well. Our model also strengthens

the ability to problem solve with underwriters. Come to Arivs and we’ll make you a partner for life. Feedback from Lenders: “If we have questions on an appraisal-there is someone who will always listen and get answers for us. If we need to challenge a value given-there is an in-house appraiser who will look it over and give honest, unbiased feedback. We have built a relationship with Arivs over the years because their service is stellar, and they are a top-notch management company. We simply wouldn’t use anyone else.” -Citywide Home Loans “I am constantly impressed with their ability to rise to the challenges they are faced with in our industry.” - CMG Financial _____________________________

Class Valuation www.classvaluation.com John Fraas, CEO Established 2009 Class Valuation is one of the top AMCs in the country, delivering outstanding service to each and every client. We are committed to combining the best people, processes, and technology to help our clients be successful. Our goal: to best serve our clients through continual innovation of the valuation process.



What sets Class Valuation apart from the competition? Class defines itself by providing the highest levels of service and state of the art innovations to our business partners. To differentiate in a competitive landscape, Class provides solutions that allow our clients to close more loans, faster. 24 Hour Appraiser QuickPay, INvision YourHome borrower inspection app, FastTrac Pro broker dashboards, and State & County Guaranteed Pricing Models are some of the resources we offer to provide efficiency and faster turn times to our partners. Feedback from Lenders: “I use Class Valuation as my primary go-to AMC. I place all orders through Class, unless I am unable due to the lender requirements. They provide great service with the best coverage in any area.” - Division Mortgage Group _____________________________

Clear Capital www.clearcapital.com Duane Andrews, CEO Established 2001 Our clients are innovative lenders focused on delivering the best experience in the industry to their clients. Every lender can benefit from our ability to be an agile valuation partner that leverages state-of-the-art technology with a team of seasoned professional valuation staff.

What sets Clear Capital apart from the competition? Clear Capital’s unique combination of innovative and modern valuation products, highly accurate real estate analytics, and our focus on the client experience—not quarterly profits—set us apart from the competition. We have extensive data and insight on nearly every U.S. property, nearly 20 years of completing boots-onthe-ground valuations, and industry-leading data science expertise. Additionally, Clear Capital has passionate people using amazing technology, all of whom are focused on one primary goal: customer satisfaction. Our resources, both human and technological, continue to propel us to be the premier valuation partner for lenders. Feedback from Lenders: Feedback from two of America’s largest lenders states: “Clear Capital has become our go-to AMC. Their turntimes are untouchable, just outstanding. Their communication is more thorough than any other partner and they put it all together with competitive quality.” “Clear Capital is our favorite partner to innovate in the valuation space with, investing in new programs to push the industry forward and learning quickly to ensure the new program is successful.” _____________________________

3) Compared to other AMCs we’ve used Computershare is by far the best. _____________________________ Computershare Valuation Services www.computershareloan services.com Tom Millon, CEO Established 2017 Computershare Valuation Services, part of Computershare Loan Services, is a fully compliant, nationwide, full-service AMC. Computershare delivers high quality valuation products including, traditional appraisals, desktop appraisals, BPO’s, inspections and specialty appraisal and review products. Our robust suite of products gives us the ability to provide more unique solutions to clients. What sets Computershare apart from the competition? Computershare is backed by the strength of an international, public traded company. We consistently provide high-quality valuation products and an unparalleled client experience. Our access, and willingness, to adapt to innovative technology allows us to provide customized solutions for the unique needs of our clients. Feedback from Lenders: Some comments we’ve received from our partners: 1) Computershare is our best AMC partner in quality and turnaround time. 2) We are very pleased with the level of quality and service we receive from Computershare.

Lender’s 1st Choice AMC LLC lenders1stchoiceamc.com Lisa Wiley, Chief Business Officer Established 2015 Our current geographic service footprint includes the following states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Colorado (very soon North Carolina and Maryland). We do not bid appraisals and frankly do not believe in this approach. We choose each appraiser for each assignment based upon proximity, competency, and service. What sets Lender’s 1st Choice AMC apart from the competition? Our team has decades of experience in lending and appraising leadership roles; thus, we understand the many challenges our clients face endeavoring to grow organically in a highly competitive, regulated space. We are competent yet humble. Customer experience is paramount; hence, we actively listen and engage with our clients and the appraisers alike. We have walked in their shoes and thus bring an intense focus on finding the right balance between speed to






market/speed to closing and risk. Our emphasis is to be great at the basics: ethics, humility, integrity, service, competence, and good ole American ingenuity and hard work! Feedback from Lenders: “Lender’s 1st Choice AMC understands and is responsive to the appraisal needs of their clients. Their staff are experts with years of experience not only in offering appraisal services, but also in mortgage lending. The staff is professional, courteous, prompt in responding, and works to ensure the appraisal report is completed in a timely and accurate manner. Lender’s 1st Choice is a trusted and valued business partner with a high degree of integrity. Without hesitation, I would recommend Lender’s 1st Choice as a top-notch AMC to any mortgage lender. “ - Lori Allen, SVP Mortgage Services, Security Service Federal Credit Union _________________________

Lenders Valuation Service www.lvs-amc.com Tiffany Wojcik President and CEO Established 2014 At LVS, our clients are mortgage companies, banks, and credit unions that are national as well as regional. The greatest benefit to lenders is that LVS offers unparalleled communication and followthrough. LVS also works to be an advocate for the lender and appraiser to deliver the best possible report. What sets LVS apart from the competition? LVS stands out as a top AMC in many ways. Most importantly is that we are regional and concentrate in being the best in the 10 states that we service rather than being the largest AMC. We have developed relationships with our appraisers and clients that allows LVS to deliver the best service. We work extremely hard at giving the best service as far as communication, turn time, quotes, QC process, revision rate, and finished product. When things don’t go as planned, we are in the trenches to deliver what our clients signed for. Feedback from Lenders: “I am writing this email on behalf of Lenders Valuation Services. I started using LVS a few years ago because I wasn’t getting the service I needed from other AMC’s. Not only



did LVS do everything they promised, they actually went above and beyond. Their dedication to customer service and follow-up is second to none in the industry. I never have to worry about Appraisal orders, which means I can spend more time managing production and building business in my region. LVS is by far my top AMC, I would recommend them to anyone that wants a firstrate service.” _________________________

Radian Valuation Services LLC www.radian.com Doug Mitro, Senior Vice President, Valuations Operations Established 2005 At Radian Valuation Services, we’re focused on delivering a higher standard of report quality, technology, and customer service. We provide mortgage originators, mortgage loan servicers, due diligence firms and other financial institutions compliant third-party vendor management services that meet their fulfillment needs and exceed their expectations in all 50 states. What sets Radian Valuation Services apart from the competition? Radian Valuation Services distinguishes itself based on its superb quality and customer service. Our hightouch customer service is second to none. One of our

experienced and capable employees answers your request – every time. Our combination of automated and human report review ensures an industry leading low report addendum rate, enabling our clients to make quick lending decisions, close loans faster, and operate much more efficiently. Feedback from Lenders: “We are very happy with the pricing, turn times, and customer service we have been receiving.” “Oh, thank you. This is why I like your appraisal company.” “You are a very good team of people to be working with and we enjoy the great service that we get from you.” “It seems your company is able to obtain much better pricing (and timing) on the more rural properties, which is great, and I really appreciate how user friendly your order screen is. The website is hands down 10x better than the others I’ve ordered from.” _________________________



ServiceLink www.svclnk.com David Steinmetz, Division President Established 1967 ServiceLink offers lenders a nationwide, comprehensive suite of tech-enabled valuation solutions with the largest and most knowledgeable appraiser network. ServiceLink helps lenders determine true real estate value and identify collateral risk through traditional appraisals, hybrid valuations, property condition reports, appraisal evaluations, broker price opinions, disaster inspections and automated valuations. What sets ServiceLink apart from the competition? ServiceLink’s exclusive technology platform, EXOS, tracks real-time performance and uses AI and machine learning to automate panel and market management. It also offers a complete appraisal review solution, customized to lenders’ rules. The new EXOS Valuations solution extends the digital mortgage experience and streamlines both purchase and refinance transactions. It allows real estate agents and consumers to select the exact date and time of their appraisals and syncs directly with the appraiser’s calendar to schedule it. The consumer immediately receives the appointment details along with the appraiser’s photo, name, contact information and make and model of their car.

Feedback from Lenders: ServiceLink works with a broad array of national, regional and local lenders. Here’s a comment from Nancy Mateer, Appraisal Department Supervisor of First National Bank America on their experience: “We have a great working relationship with ServiceLink. Their staff is always ready and willing to help when we call in with questions and we truly appreciate their inprocess feedback and quick responses to our issues. Their commitment to quick evaluation and appraisal turn times continuously help us meet our own turn time goals. The team repeatedly goes above and beyond to make sure everything is running smoothly.” _________________________

SingleSource Property Solutions www.singlesourceproperty. com Brian Uffelman, Chairman; Brian Cullen, CEO; Andre Lacouture, President; Ed Austin, COO Established 2000 SingleSource provides nationwide valuations, title and settlement, REO asset management and field services to many of the largest loan-origination, servicing and secondary entities. Our client base ranges from Top Ten lenders to regional credit unions – we can customize our services to fit the needs of any lender. What sets SingleSource apart

from the competition? SingleSource’s experienced team provides a wealth of mortgage origination, servicing and property management experience. Our software solution provides partners access to a variety of easy-touse tools, that can be efficiently integrated with their existing IT structure to meet their needs. We provide national appraisal services utilizing industryleading tools that include: a proprietary scoring model that grades every valuation report, MLS tools that verify data points in delivered products, use of robotic process automation (RPA) and staff field appraisers in

key markets nationwide. We are committed to providing the best service with high performance standards for every customer. Feedback from Lenders: “I can honestly say that SingleSource is one of the most servicefocused organizations I have encountered. Our relationship with SingleSource has been expanded numerous times over the past few years in large part due to our comfort and trust in dealing with them. Our inquiries and requests are always promptly resolved and in a professional and friendly manner.”




Elevating The Appraisal Experience In Today’s New Market BY CARLA K. KENNEDY | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


ow that she’s working from home, Michelle scheduled her Zoom meetings around the window when an appraiser was due to arrive, yet another hurdle to clear for a refinance on her San Francisco home. Suddenly, she realized she was about to let a stranger in her home, a person she had heard from only once and knew nothing about. She had no idea if she needed to do anything in preparation for this appointment, or even be home during the inspection.

appraisers and homeowners find themselves in a precarious position. In many cases, the inability for appraisers to physically inspect the interior of a home because either party did not want to allow an interior inspection could cause a delay in the mortgage process. This is where lenders are looking to AMCs to provide compliance-driven solutions to obtain an accurate appraisal, while accommodating the challenges of the inspection process. As closing companies have quickly launched eClose and eNotary digital

“As closing companies have quickly launched eClose and eNotary digital signature technology to accommodate contact-free signings, AMCs are rapidly implementing applications that leverage smartphones and drone technology to provide an accurate picture of the property and its condition.” She had not even invited friends or immediate family into her home since the shelter-in-place order began. Would it be safe to allow this person in? And if so, what safety protocols do they follow? She shared her concern during a last-minute call with her loan officer hoping to gather enough information to set her mind at ease. This scenario has played out tens of thousands of times since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the industry fast and hard, with pipelines bursting from a rate-driven refi boom. This “new normal” required a hard and immediate pivot to ensure consumers could close on their refinances without driving up lender costs. With the current shelter-in-place mandates and the secondary market’s temporary inspection waivers, both


signature technology to accommodate contact-free signings, AMCs are rapidly implementing applications that leverage smartphones and drone technology to provide an accurate picture of the property and its condition.

CONSUMER AFFECT Consumers associate their overall satisfaction and experience with the lender throughout the origination touchpoints, and in many cases where service providers are used, the lender is not in direct control of the interaction. Assuring good communication and leveraging new technological tools help give a borrower piece of mind and are essential to reputation and brand management. COVID-19 takes it to an


Carla K. Kennedy is senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Mortgage Connect LLC.

entirely new level, with unwavering demands for the health and safety of consumers and appraisers. A virtual inspection solution, similar to a 3-D tour used by real estate agents, is being implemented today in many forms. Prior to the home inspection, the appraiser can send a link to a homeowner to gather pertinent information on the property and take geocoded photos of the interior of the home. The appraiser can then follow up with the homeowner for required information that may not be in county property data, such as an upgrades or additions to the home. Requests of information could include, but are not limited to: • Photographs • Video • Measurements • Invoices • Old repair receipts • Insurance documentation • Client inventories or spreadsheets • Model or serial number(s) of appliances During the virtual inspection, the consumer or selling agent would “tour” the appraiser using

a smartphone. In real-time, the appraiser can request a closer inspection of specific areas, to validate current condition and quality of the property. Clearly defining the metrics on process, communication, safety, quality and service are key elements in the success blueprint to create a virtual inspection experience so good that it inspires loyalty and eliminates the opportunity for fraud and reduce the lenders risk

as an instrument to attract the best and brightest appraisers in the market. Companies that use outdated technology find themselves at a competitive disadvantage from their value as a service provider, to the consumer experience, and in talent acquisition. Not to mention, millennials raised with advanced technology from an early age expect innovative processes and vision. Can technology replace people? Not yet. While there are many

to learn. Take mold, for example. A machine could mistake mold for paint or wallpaper. Since no two mold infestations are identical in size or shape, a machine can’t “learn” mold. With that in mind, innovations that fuel communication and connectivity, aid in delivering data and analytics, and develop valuation products that are lower in cost, will lead the pack. By keeping people central to the development goal, everyone wins–the lender, appraiser and consumer.

ways machine learning can help with some tasks, a big part of the consumer experience and accuracy of the valuation is based on people and subjective opinion. This is why the appraiser provides his or her opinion of market value. That coupled with the fact humans can see and understand things that a machine can’t and may never have the ability

In today’s market, technology is not a magic bullet, so knowing where to use it and where to wrap in traditional forms of one-on-one support is key. People remain an important part of the process. As we begin to settle into our “new normal,” it will be the innovators who thrive … those who will find a way to get the job done.

TECH SHOULD ENABLE SAFETY, EXCELLENCE Technology and product innovation go hand in hand, but the key is where to deploy technology, and how to ensure it enables the service levels that consumers need. According to a JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey, the increased implementation of technology has improved borrower satisfaction levels, but consumers still want personal interaction throughout the loan process, including a personal followup after an initial inquiry. The appraisal process benefits from technology at every stage, and emerging technologies drive innovation in everything from product development to communications. Mobile apps have gained traction, connecting appraisers with an efficient process with scheduling, real-time collaboration, status updates, information and frequent notifications. Ordering an appraisal via an app improves efficiency and enhances the mortgage appraisal experience. Apps also serve as an effective means of consumer communication. Smart AMCs continually innovate




Appraisals And Social Distancing: A Living Lab Currently appraisers are taking a ‘belt and suspenders approach’ BY RICHARD GARRIE | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


imiting in-person contact is on the minds of everyone, causing the appraisal process to endure unique challenges. Appraisers are considered critical infrastructure employees, lender pipelines are bursting at the seams, yet most homeowners do not want them in the house – likely a prudent stance. A few states have even disallowed appraisers from entering homes. When your own brothers and sisters are banned from visiting, the likelihood of a complete stranger roaming around the house is low. In response, and moving with unprecedented swiftness, the respective governing housing agencies announced appraisal liabilities to minimize the need for interior inspections for appraisals during the crisis. They are allowing information to be gathered from sources that have, historically, not been viable sources for appraisers. These new guidelines and regulations have put alternative valuation products front and center, such as exterior-only (i.e., driveby) or desktop appraisals. Before the pandemic, these products were not often used. Muscle memory has kicked in for all of us – in a “Back to the Future” sort of way. Not surprisingly, most appraisers tend to prefer the exterior drive-by appraisals, as they are also able to get a sense of the neighborhood, which is helpful in determining a home’s value. With their name and reputation on the line, appraisers desire to see it for themselves where possible. I will not bore you with all of the


maneuvering and adjustment that had to be made, but I will highlight a few of the noteworthy aspects.

SPEED AND FLEXIBILITY Our panel of appraisers has always been the center of our universe. Therefore, it is fitting that I start with them. There is nothing like a national emergency to illustrate what kind of vendor partners you have. The speed and flexibility in which our appraisal panel has adapted to so many overnight changes have been inspiring, as has their professional dedication. As expected, regarding these alternative methods, the two fundamental dimensions everyone wants to know about are turn time and quality. Here at United States Appraisals both dimensions are performing as expected, in line with established service level agreements. These are not new or unfamiliar appraisal products. They have just been less utilized in the recent past. And, regardless of the chosen method to assess value, appraisers simply never waiver on the quality of the result, always willing to vigorously defend their work product. Dusting off and achieving such stability has been a monumental effort, as we contend with barriers not generally in play. For example, some transactions have taken a bit longer due to factors outside of our control, such as limited access to county data, making market analysis more challenging. Fortunately, the 3,000plus counties across the U.S. have made great strides in recent years getting their data online. Appraisers


Richard Garrie is chief valuation officer for United States Appraisals. His primary role is leading the quality assurance team.

also rely upon multiple listing service information and other third-party data sources to identify the property details.

DEFENDING FOR YEARS Looking ahead, we fully anticipate the potential for added scrutiny and “defending the valuation” on all reviews completed during the pandemic’s temporary guidelines. While we always gather and maintain the necessary documentation on how we derive values, we are currently taking a “belt and suspenders approach,” documenting actions, data sources and overall methodology like never before. We will need to respond confidently and defend our conclusions years into the future, so we maintain a record of all market factors and sources at the time of the report. Rapidly evolving technology is at the heart of our industry and now compulsory in the appraisal and valuation process. When performing due diligence on potential appraisal

management companies (AMCs) to engage, go much deeper than their vendor onboarding process, turn time and quality metrics. This trifecta is still essential, but you should be taking a deeper dive into the AMCs underlying methods of achieving success and systemically replicating it on every order. Ask the AMCs about their technology road map – seeking specific examples of how they have deployed new technology, and about the resulting benefits to their organization and its clients. These are the new foundations which that best-in-class AMCs are being built. The installment of such technology pillars should touch all appraisal and valuation products, including the alternative methods heavily relied upon during this pandemic. Examples include: • Artificial intelligence and machine learning: These technologies can fast-track appraisals by incorporating real-time scheduling and the ability to instantly analyze thousands of specific data points, appraiser trends and other critical essentials. • Robotic process automation (RPA): Technology that allows you to configure software (‘robot’) to mimic and integrate the most repetitive actions of humans (e.g., appraisers, QC staff, etc.) within digital systems to complete a business process. Via the user interface, RPA captures data and executes steps once performed by humans, as they interpret data, initiate actions, and talk to other systems. It’s about capturing decades of organizational, appraiser and employee subject matter expertise, best practices and checklists, and replicating them with robots that never take a break or make errors.

“And, regardless of the chosen method to assess value, appraisers simply never waiver on the quality of the result, always willing to vigorously defend their work product.” subject property has always been essential, leveraging those most knowledgeable on the area. Mobile technology, combined with geocoding, is the perfect combo to identify current appraiser location and availability to schedule in real-time. It works the same way as finding nearby Uber and Lyft drivers. Of course, proximity alone is not sufficient, so you must ensure the AMC also applies past appraiser performance factors when assigning orders based upon mobile devices.

THE PATH FORWARD Speaking of mobile technology, several AMCs have launched apps to deliver the best results for the revived alternative appraisal products. These apps are built to give homeowners step-by-step guidance to take and submit the requisite photos. I had always heard that people support what they help create, although I never envisioned homeowners being such an active participant in the home valuation process.

There’s some irony there, as homeowners have often shadowed appraisers going room by room, trying to add as much insight as possible to maximize the final valuation – not always welcomed by appraisers. Now we deliberately ask homeowners for that assistance. Many homeowners are often eager to offer video walkthroughs as well. While nothing takes the place of an on-site appraiser inspection, being able to see photos adds significant benefit to the temporary process. It also provides some peace of mind for all stakeholders. In the end, all guidelines during all times, temporary or permanent, are intended to mitigate risk and protect individual assets and portfolios. What we are presently experiencing could very well be a living lab to help further define the path forward as we wrestle with appraiser shortages and very few new entrants to the profession, combined with the continued availability and reliance upon data.

• Mobile apps and geocoding: Appraiser proximity to the




Photo by Kristen Prahl

The Changing Landscape Of The Real Estate Appraisal Industry Adopting the right appraisal technology mission critical BY PAUL DOMAN | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


he COVID-19 pandemic is changing life for everyone and disrupting entire industries–including the real estate appraisal industry. Traditionally, the appraisal industry has been high touch. Appraisers pride themselves on being thorough and accurate, lenders want to ensure that the property valuation is adequate to cover their risk and complies with regulations, and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have defined standards that often necessitate an interior inspection. This results in a large portion of home inspections being done on-site, inside the home and


often, in the presence of the borrower. Suddenly, we are in a period where social distancing is required with no definitive end date. This new state of business is causing disruption across the real estate lending markets. Both the GSEs and lenders are working to quickly adapt their policies and procedures to keep business flowing. This includes changes as to how appraisals are conducted. As a lender or an appraiser, your ability to adapt to these changes is critical for both current and future success. This means keeping pace with evolving regulations, embracing new technologies, and adapting both your processes and mindset.


KEEP PACE WITH EVOLVING REGULATIONS Over the past two years, the GSEs have been working on appraisal modernization guidelines. These projects, while stalled in the shortterm due to the pandemic, are likely to resume with renewed intensity post-pandemic. The outbreak is bringing to light the critical role that desktop appraisal technology could play in keeping the mortgage industry running smoothly, in both good times and bad, if the GSEs allow for desktop appraisals on more loan types. Under the revised GSE appraisal guidelines announced in April 2020 to directly address the social distancing

and stay-at-home mandates, to keep business flowing the GSEs will allow either a desktop appraisal or an exterior-only appraisal if an interior inspection is not feasible due to COVID-19 concerns, with desktop appraisals being preferred for purchase transactions. While these recent GSE policies are intended to be temporary, they are likely to accelerate more permanent guideline changes, particularly the requirements on which loans are eligible for desktop appraisals. So, investing in technology to power appraisals is not only a safe investment right now, but a smart one.

EMBRACING NEW TECHNOLOGIES Even before the pandemic, lenders who invested in modern technology to streamline appraisals and improve transparency found it a highly effective way to improve operational efficiency and lower operating costs. Software-as-a-service and cloudbased applications have become the new standard in technology and, in most cases, require no upfront investment. Lenders who had already embraced technology to power appraisal management are in a good position relative to their competitors both from an agility perspective and the ability to support remote work environments thanks to the online access to critical data and processes.

adoption of remote video notaries and e-closing technologies. After all, a property appraisal is of no value to the lender or borrower if social distancing prevents the loan from closing in a timely manner.

ADAPTING YOUR PROCESSES AND MINDSET Paul Doman is president and CEO of Accurate Group.

constituents to collaborate more effectively and give everyone visibility into appraisal status and information–a capability that is critical in today’s environment. Desktop appraisal technology also plays a crucial role in the social distancing environment and requires minimal upfront investment. They offer a big payoff in productivity, enabling appraisers to handle more volume at a lower cost with less administrative effort. Adopting the right desktop appraisal platform is mission critical for short- and longterm value. In addition, mobile technologies are suddenly in the spotlight. Remote data collection solutions are necessary to collect accurate interior inspection data and photos, and both lenders and appraisers are rushing to adopt them.

“And while appraisers in the past may have been skeptical of change, they too are likely to appreciate new tools to make their jobs easier and keep themselves safe in the current environment.” Through automation and better visibility, the right appraisal technology can accelerate processes, reduce errors and enforce compliance checks, while also improving productivity and lowering costs, thus having a direct impact on profitability. The best appraisal management technology platforms also enable all

It is likely that directed remote data collection, which allows for remote collection of property information and photos, will become the wave of the future due to benefits including speed, accuracy and safety. While I am focusing on the appraisal industry, it is worth mentioning the accelerated pace of

New GSE guidelines, technology and modes of working all necessitate process changes. This includes aligning your systems and vendors in a way that automate workflows and maximize productivity, while also ensuring profitability and compliance. Change is never easy, and it is definitely not at a time when every aspect of your life – and the lives of your family, friends, colleagues and co-workers – has been upended. But because appraisals have historically been viewed as a necessary evil by many lenders and borrowers, any changes that streamline the process, accelerate turn times and make them a more interesting facet of the loan process – cloud and mobile-technologies, for example – are likely to be welcomed, especially when it is critical to keeping the mortgage industry afloat. While appraisers in the past may have been skeptical of change, they too are likely to appreciate new tools to make their jobs easier and keep themselves safe in the current environment.

NAVIGATING THE NEW NORMAL Traditionally, lenders, AMCs, appraisers and regulators have not been the best of friends. But the era of social distancing is requiring more collaboration than ever to ensure the stability and sustainability of the mortgage and real estate industries. There has never been a more critical time for agility and openness to new processes and technologies–embrace them. Your ability to survive and thrive now and in the future depends on it.




Desktop And Drive-By Appraisals: Helpful Or Harmful? The key is to pair them with the right circumstances BY ADAM JOHNSTON | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


re desktop and driveby appraisals helpful or harmful? In short, maybe, it depends, sort of … “I’m busy right now, can I have ketchup with that?” Frankly, there’s no simple answer to the question of desktop and driveby “goodness.” They are what they are, as in both have potential benefits and risks. The key is to pair them with the right circumstances and effective risk controls. For background, desktop appraisal is a general term that describes real estate appraisals completed by licensed appraisers without visiting the subject property. Drive-by appraisals/exterior-only appraisals generally refer to real estate appraisals that include an appraiser’s in-person observation of the subject property from the street but exclude an actual on-site or interior inspection. Recently, desktop and drive-by appraisals temporarily replaced many interior inspection appraisals as a necessary response to health risks and quarantine orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This adaptation was necessary to protect the wellbeing of homeowners and appraisers, while keeping the mortgage process moving; allowing professional appraisers to continue as the trusted backbone of property valuation.

I’M A LOAN OFFICER, HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL WITH DRIVE-BY AND DESKTOP APPRAISALS? If you’re a loan officer, the availability of desktop and drive-by appraisals during the social distancing and stay-


at-home requirements associated with COVID-19 are a net positive. There are a few primary reasons for this: • Desktop and drive-by appraisals have enabled the mortgage lending process to continue and the mortgage industry to continue receiving appraisals completed by professional appraisers. • Desktop and drive-by appraisals are generally less expensive than appraisals requiring an interior inspection, thus saving your borrower money. • Desktop and drive-by appraisals are generally completed more quickly than appraisals requiring an interior inspection. Since there is no inspection, the complication of an appointment is removed, which may result in improved turn-time for receipt of the appraisal. Also, for a refinance, this may save a borrower the inconvenience of taking time off for the appointment. A downside of desktop and driveby appraisals is that the appraiser typically lacks current and personally verifiable details about the property’s interior. On a purchase transaction, this is somewhat mitigated by recent pictures and/or video tours of the interior of the home which are typically available from websites or the local multiple listing service. Even so, such pictures are not equivalent to a personal inspection since they represent limited and curated views of the interior. Unfortunately, on a refinance or purchase transaction without current online photos, the appraiser is often left to rely on public record data (i.e.


Adam Johnston is director of operations and chief appraiser for Genworth Financial’s U.S. mortgage insurance business and has 25 years of appraisal experience.

county/town assessor) for information about the subject property. Since public record data is typically sparse on details about the interior condition, quality and features, the appraiser may be unaware of significant updating, renovation, and other items important to property value. This limitation may result in a borrower being dissatisfied with the appraisal and feeling that important updates and/or features were left out. Fortunately, there are things a loan officer can do to reduce the risk of borrower dissatisfaction with desktop or drive-by appraisals, particularly on a refinance transaction where the appraiser is unlikely to have photos of the interior from a third party. 1. Be candid with your borrower about the limitations of the drive-by or desktop appraisal. Using the information above, educate the borrower on why the desktop or drive-by is important, while explaining the downside

of an appraiser not having the opportunity to personally observe the interior of the home. This will help avoid surprises as all parties are moving forward with eyes wide open. 2. Ask your borrower to prepare a list of features, updating, renovations, additions and quality items they would like the appraiser to know. Items such as crown moldings, cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, granite countertops, custom cabinets and solid wood doors are some examples of items worthwhile to point out. The list could be provided to the appraiser at the time the appraisal is assigned. Of course, without verification/ validation, the appraiser is generally not going to rely solely on the borrower’s representations. 3. Advise that the appraiser may be willing to accept photos or video supplied by the borrower for consideration. The borrower and appraiser can connect and arrange for the photographs or video. There are many current technology solutions being advertised for this purpose. The appraiser should be able to assist the borrower in identifying the right solution.

“Recently, desktop and drive-by appraisals temporarily replaced many interior inspection appraisals as a necessary response to health risks and quarantine orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” If the borrower believes the property cannot be sufficiently appraised without an interior inspection, it may make sense to delay until one can be performed, or there may be an appraiser that can do the interior inspection without delay.

I’M AN UNDERWRITER - WHAT SHOULD I WATCH FOR ON DRIVE-BY AND DESKTOP APPRAISALS? Underwriting a desktop or drive-by appraisal is fundamentally similar to underwriting a “full” appraisal. As such, there are a couple of additional checks that may be helpful to the underwriting process. • Look up aerial pictures and street view pictures typically available on platforms such as Google Maps, Bing Maps or county geographic information systems. Compare the pictures in the appraisal report to the online pictures. Make sure the photographs appear to be the same

house; look for potentially adverse or beneficial locations or views; look for potentially adverse or beneficial adjacent land uses (e.g. commercial, industrial, park, etc.). • Using a search engine, attempt to find a current or prior listing of the subject property by typing in the address. Often, current or prior listings will include interior and exterior photographs of the subject property, along with details about the size, age, features, upgrades, outbuildings, etc. Compare this to the information in the appraisal report to ensure consistency. If a current listing depicts renovations, updates, above or below average property condition or quality that does not appear consistent with the ratings for the subject in the desktop or drive-by appraisal, you may consider asking the appraiser whether (and how) this information was considered.








Digital Disruption In The Appraisal Industry Agility needed to quickly embrace new technology BY ALEX ELEZAJ | SPECIAL TO NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


he mortgage industry is constantly evolving. Today, we are seeing that more often than ever as we work through COVID-19 and recover from the ripple effects it is having on the world. It has changed how we as a country operate and has specifically brought a large amount of changes to the mortgage industry. Every touch point of the mortgage process has been impacted due to the virus, as well as every person involved. With social distancing orders in place across the nation, lenders, mortgage brokers, borrowers, real estate agents, appraisers and many others have had to change the way loans are processed and closed. Although the industry itself is constantly evolving in terms of the guidelines and products available, it has traditionally been slow to accept new technology, especially when it comes to the process of appraisals. One of the biggest changes that happened in this industry was in 2017 with the launch of Fannie Mae’s Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) and Automated Collateral Evaluation (ACE). This allowed for lenders to offer appraisal waivers on qualifying purchase and refinance transactions, and also helped close roughly 25%-

30% of loans without an appraisal being needed. In order to meet the demand of the other 70%-75% of loans being closed with a traditional appraisal, many companies in the industry began focusing on creating different systems that will help not only speed up the appraisal process, but standardize it as well. This was already happening before we were faced with the global pandemic; however their efforts were accelerated in response to COVID-19.

THE SHIFT TOWARDS DIGITAL The amazing thing about the mortgage industry is how rapidly everyone can work together to be solution-focused during challenging times. One thing that many appraisal management companies have been working towards is creating technology and taking advantages of digital opportunities that would make the appraisal process faster and more standardized across the board. What we are seeing today is that many of the AMCs are taking parts of their future technology and quickly adopting it to meet the needs of the industry during these times. Some of the things they have been able to adapt their software to include allowing for a borrower to click on a secure link from an email

“Right now, it is key to understand that it is not just our industry that has changed and continues to change, it is every industry and every person that has been impacted by COVID-19 and is adapting the new ‘normal.’”


Alex Elezaj is executive vice president and chief strategy officer for United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM).


where they can credential in and provide property details. The system works by guiding borrowers through taking pictures of their home’s entire interior including any upgrades they may have added. All of the photos and data are then packaged up and sent to the appraiser so that they are able to review the information and see the inside of the home without actually having to enter it themselves. To protect the credibility and accuracy of everyone involved in the purchase including the lenders, borrowers and appraisers there are geolocation integrations that ensure the home being photographed is the accurate one. The capability to incorporate various technology tools and geocoding has, and will continue to, revolutionize the appraisal industry and the mortgage industry as a whole. But, the key to the success with these new technologies is the ability to be agile enough to quickly embrace and implement them as smoothly as possible.

Photo by AndreyPopov

EMBRACING NEW TECH For years, technology has continued to embed itself deeper into the mortgage industry. It wasn’t too long ago when everything needed to be wet-signed and done in person. Now in most of the states borrowers are able to do 100% virtual e-closings anywhere with access to Wi-Fi. Borrowers are able to apply fully online, and sign and submit documents. Technology is a huge advantage to the mortgage industry and it makes closing loans a faster, easier and more seamless process. Technology is a tool that can help the appraisal industry not only continue to operate, but become more operationally efficient. By standardizing the appraisal process, it will expedite originations and help real estate agents, borrowers and mortgage brokers to close loans even faster and will be a gamechanger for all involved. These new digital tools will only help to strengthen all aspects of the mortgage, appraisal and real

estate industry. It’s also important to note that it will help drive these industries to play a huge part in the revitalization of the economy in the coming months.

expand on their skill sets and the appraisal options that can be offered through lenders with guidance from the GSEs. This is going to be crucial to all aspects of the mortgage industry in order to stay ahead of the needs of the market and thrive.

CHANGE YOUR MINDSET Change is inevitable in any industry. More importantly, it is how the industry responds to change that determines its success and longevity moving forward. Right now, it is key to understand that it is not just our industry that has changed and continues to change, it is every industry and every person that has been impacted by COVID-19 and is adapting the new “normal.” For the appraisal industry, it is now more important than ever to maintain an agile mindset and to actively invest in solution-driven options for their industry. There is a tremendous need right now to be agile and able to change and adapt at a fast pace. By altering the approach to handling change, it is an opportunity for growth that will help AMCs

MOVEMENT TO MODERNIZE There is a movement happening within the mortgage industry of re-inventing and modernizing every process involved, resulting from economic changes, advancement in technology and consumer preferences. Social distancing has only accelerated this movement by proving a need for digital resources in the homebuying process. As lenders, real estate agents, appraisers, mortgage brokers and the GSEs continue to develop and use new technology, it will create further efficiencies throughout the industry and the ways in which we buy, sell and refinance our homes will only advance to a better and more efficient place.



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heard on National Mortgage Professional hosts a regular Mortgage Leadership Outlook series live on Facebook and YouTube. The industry’s best share their views. Here are some of their observations from the past few weeks. To see these full interviews and more, just go to www.nmptv.com.

“What this health crisis and recession shows now more than ever is that people want to talk to a local originator … to steer them through this mess. There is nothing better for a consumer than a local originator.” —Kevin Peranio, chief lending officer, PRMG

“My perspective is this … if we can be patient, and I am the least patient person you will ever meet, there is a nine-month mortgage run that may be the best run in the history of the mortgage industry and that’s coming.” —Mat Ishbia, president and CEO, United Wholesale Mortgage

“We are about to come into the biggest housing boom of all time in American history. The millennials who have been slow to enter the housing market, they have been in apartments, and have been living in places they have not owned. You lock them up in a place like that for 45 to 60 days, and they come out of that wanting to buy a home as fast and furious as they possibly can.” —David Lykken, founder and management consultant, Transformational Mortgage Solutions

“It has helped a lot of us women in the mortgage industry … we can get up and roll over to our laptop. We don’t have to do our hair, get in the car and go to work. We will see what productivity looks like once the kids are back in school and we have to go to soccer games and things like that.” —Patty Arvielo, president and co-founder, New American Funding

"Our response to an influx of hardship could have looked a bit different if we had invested our time into technology." —Carissa Robb, president and chief operating officer, Constant Energy Capital

“Once real estate comes back, we are going to come back to a market where you have more demand than supply on the residential side.” —Barry Habib, founder and CEO, MBS Highway

“There is only one ‘Corona Constant.’ What we know as fact today, will be wrong either by tomorrow, next week or next month.” —Terry Clemans, executive director, National Consumer Reporting Association

Barry Habib Patty Arvielo David Lykken

Carissa Robb

Mat Ishbia




COVER STORY The Entrepreneurial Spirit


A personal pipeline of $200 million in 2019. Hiring dozens of new originators and processors. Blogging weekly, speaking frequently. Shashank Shekhar isn’t going to let a virus stop his growth plans. BY GEORGE YACIK | CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


nd over end in freefall, 120-mile-an-hour gusts like icy daggers plucking at your clothing, your ears full of rush and roar. Stepping out of an airplane 15,000 feet above Earth isn’t for the weak willed. For Shashank Shekhar, it’s an escape, it’s an adventure, but perhaps most importantly, it’s a metaphor. Because where some see certain doom, he sees the thrill of victory – the same triumph over adversity that’s helped him become one of the most successful loan originators in the mortgage industry. Or maybe Shekhar’s story is even simpler than that. To quote a shared line in the revolutionary Broadway musical “Hamilton” between Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette: “Immigrants. We get the job done.” When you see Shekhar, you see a fit, well-spoken man who looks comfortable in the way that business casual tech execs or Los Angeles entertainment VPs look comfortable: nice suit, open collar dress shirt, well groomed. He portrays the image of a successful, but approachable, pro. For an immigrant from New Delhi, India, it’s the image of the American Dream. And that’s what Shekhar is trying to nail down. From nothing, he built a personal origination portfolio of nearly $200 million a year. Now he’s trying to build something much, much more. As the founder of San Jose, Calif.-based Arcus Lending,






Founder Arcus Lending



Shekhar’s attempting to create a company where he’s the least successful originator. He is recruiting raw talent and teaching them what’s worked for him. He’s looking at national expansion. And he’s on a tear on the speaking circuit to get the word out. Debra Donahue, a regional account executive at Cardinal Financial in San Jose, California, not far from Shekhar’s office, says she has worked with him for several years over a few different companies. “We all know he’s a large producer,” she added. “He has a very good business model and he runs his business very professionally. He’s got a great team of processors that support him. He’s very thorough and his loans are very well put together. He runs a great business.” Regarding the recent seemingly overnight growth in Arcus’s plans, Donahue in unfazed. “Growing the model is just a natural progression in his business,” she shrugs. Of course, Shekhar’s now trying to do all of this in a coronavirus economy – kind of like jumping out of a plane, confident you’ll live even without the safety of the aircraft and reveling in adrenaline-fueled challenge to win. But then, he’s faced odds like this before.



learly, Shekhar must love a challenge. In 2008, he was only two years out from leaving his native India. With less than $2,000 in savings and no contacts, he started as a mortgage broker, just as the U.S. residential real estate market was collapsing. That first year he made only seven loans, but he persevered. Learning how better to connect with clients, how to market better. And each year, his production increased – often in seismic spikes. In 2019, practically single-handedly, he originated nearly $200 million of volume at Arcus Lending. “It was crazy for sure to want to get into mortgages in 2008, but as Warren Buffett said, you buy when everyone is selling and sell when everyone is buying,” says Shekhar, who was 32 at the time. “I saw an industry where 65% of the people left in those years, and I was coming in. But if you believe this is a long-term industry, from that perspective you feel good and that you will end up with a bigger market share. So, looking back, 2008 and part of 2009 were bad for me, but I wouldn’t do anything else different.”



That attitude helps explain his confidence in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, as he stands by his plan to double the number of employees working for him. It’s an expansion that started halfway through 2019, but it got off to a quick start. In just a year, his company now numbers 50, including over 30 brokers and 15 in operations, just about all of them hired since last June. Arcus is currently licensed in 14 states, with a physical footprint in 10.



y first job after business school was with GE Consumer Finance in New Delhi, India. I was fast tracked to a manager position there within two years. I joined a small startup after that and was transferred to Mountain View, California, as director of product management reporting to the president. I barely worked there for two years before they shut down due to the financial crisis in 2008,” Shekhar recalled. His first mortgage job was First Priority Financial, a broker turned banker in California. But he wanted the

“Very early in my career, I figured out that most of the things loan officers traditionally do, like networking and trying to schmooze Realtors, did not work for me.”

freedom to work the market the way he wanted. He took a leap of faith and launched Arcus in April 2008. What he saw then, he sees again now. “When things get difficult, you have a lot of people who leave the industry because they are used to easy business. They’re not used to the unemployment and foreclosure rates rising to record levels and lending guidelines much stricter than they used to be. That leaves the betterquality professionals, which I think is the way it should be. For people like us, I see it as an opportunity to gain an even bigger market share. I’m very confident.” In mid-2019, it was easy to be confident about the economy getting better. The conditions helped fuel the decision it was time to make Arcus Lending beyond a one-man band. While Arcus was doing fine based on his own performance, Shekhar wanted something more. “When you produce on your own, you’re not really creating a legacy or anything that has any value because if you stop originating tomorrow, the company has no value,” says the married father of two daughters who lives in Saratoga, California.

“I wanted to create value for the company itself and not just me as an originator.” He waited more than a decade to expand because “I wanted to get to the point where I could add value to people who join my team in terms of training them and helping them get better and produce more. Until I reached a point where I considered myself one of the top 10 or 15 loan officers in the country or I knew enough to teach them, I should not hire them. I couldn’t add value until I was good enough myself.”



ust over a year ago, Arcus Lending had two loan originators: now there are nearly three dozen. “I simply looked at recruiting loan originators the same way I look at getting borrowers. You need to assess enough value and offer the right solution to their needs,” Shekhar asserts. Take, for example, the ability to build leads via social media. That’s what appealed to Blake Bogese of Blake’s RVA Loans in Richmond, Virginia. He was a retail mortgage originator before he reached out to

Shekhar last year. “I was drawn by his reputation and the way he operates and creates leads for himself through social media and his educational approach. That’s really what you’re signing up for.” How does Shekhar get people to jump ship? “I think when the loan originators are thinking of changing companies, their top three requirements are: competitive rates along with wide product range; processing and technology that can make their life easier and help them grow; and, finally, leadership that is sales focused and can mentor them to take their business to the next level. I made sure Arcus checked off all those boxes.” “I thought last year I was at a point where I felt comfortable to hire people and add value to their business and help them grow, which I have seen in the past 12 months. Most of my loan officers who have come on board have had their best months in years.” Despite such a massive hiring effort in such a short period of time, while originating for himself, Shekhar still has time for young brokers like Bogese, 33. “He’s not just the CEO of the



“I am having more conversations with retail lenders than ever before, and we are recruiting at a much faster pace than I have in the past 12 months.” company, he’s also a personal mentor,” Bogese says. “I wanted to be on the broker side but not be a oneman team. He’s extremely available and he has a great team behind him. Instead of 20 or 30 people [on the processing side], he’s got two or three rock stars who are really good processors and closers. He hires the right people and delegates to them and allows them to take ownership, which allows him to take care of his own production.” While Shekhar’s business philosophy is highly focused, so are the methods he has used to achieve his success. Not for him are the traditional ways mortgage brokers typically get loans. “Very early in my career, I figured out that most of the things loan officers traditionally do, like networking and trying to schmooze Realtors, did not work for me,” he says. “Either I wasn’t cut out for it, or I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. So, I made a promise to myself that I would make sure the business comes to me.”



e started working on his personal branding platform, which he says not many other loan officers were doing at the time, and few are doing even now. He started what he says was one of the mortgage industry’s first blogs in 2009. He followed that with three books, plus countless speaking engagements at webinars, seminars, radio shows, TV shows, and videos, “really every online and offline medium you can think of.” So far, he’s authored hundreds of blog posts, most of which are available on Arcus’s website. “I write all the blogs myself,” he says. “It is very time consuming, but I have averaged one blog post a week for 11


years. I am very proud of the fact that there is consistency there. The good thing about a blog is that the more you write, the more authoritative you are, and the more business you get.” Cardinal Financial’s Donahue agrees. “He has a great reputation, which is well deserved,” she said, adding that his methods continue to bring him visibility. “I am on the board of the local chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals and Shashank has always been extremely giving of his time and industry knowledge to our chapter and speaking at our events.” Most of Shekhar’s message is targeted at first-time homebuyers, mainly high-income professionals in the technology industry. Many are immigrants unfamiliar with buying a home and getting a mortgage. Arcus is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. “They need the most amount of education and are looking to find out how the process works,” he says. “If you are refinancing or buying your second or third home, you probably already know how most of the process works, so you’re just shopping for the best rate. But if you’re buying your first home, there is a lot of education that’s required. The education platform I created has stood the test of time. I still get leads on a daily basis.” By the end of 2019, Shekhar was still doing about 75% of Arcus’s production by himself. But today he only accounts for about 25%, with a goal to eventually get that figure down to 10-15% by next year as he adds more people and increases total production to $1 billion. But that doesn’t mean his personal production will suffer; he still expects to originate about $150 million himself this year. “I want to keep my personal


production consistent and increase my company’s production,” he says. While the coronavirus pandemic has crimped mortgage production, mainly for purchase loans, Shekhar says the current market is ideally suited for mortgage brokers.



t’s been extremely beneficial being on the broker side because we are not just tied to one lender,” he says. “If I were a loan officer at a bank, I would not be able to originate anything except loans with high credit scores. And a lot of non-bank lenders raised their rates and are completely out of the market. But because I am a broker, I deal with more than 60 lenders and have the option of moving from one lender to another. Having that option has been a lifesaver for us.” That has also helped him recruit new loan officers to Arcus. “The fact that there are more options in the broker channel is going to work to our advantage,” he says. “I am having more conversations with retail lenders than ever before, and we are recruiting at a much faster pace than I have in the past 12 months.” Shekhar’s ability to survive the 2008-2009 real estate crash makes him confident that he will survive – and even thrive – this time around, too, even if the mortgage business remains in the doldrums for more than a couple of months. It’s not hard to see the allure of overcoming such challenges for a man who enjoys sky diving from 15,000 feet, confident he’s going to stick the landing. “If you are in this for the long run, 12 months is really not that big a deal,” he says. “Interest rates will continue to remain low, which means there will be enough refinance opportunities. Then, once this passes, whether it takes 12 or 18 months, there will be a lot of pent-up demand, which means the purchase market will come back.” Arcus Lending, he says, will be there. Standing firmly on the ground.



Photo by urbazon

Originators finding reverse market strong for worried seniors, despite concerns about drops in property values BY KEN LIEBESKIND | CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL




hen senior citizens see their retirement funds disappear in economic turmoil, the idea of tapping their home equity in a reverse mortgage suddenly takes on a lot more appeal. The Great Recession of 2008-2009 saw a significant spike in reverse mortgage originations. But for borrowers to access those funds, there has to actually be equity in the property. What, then, will happen this time around, as housing market values are tested not just by economic tremors, but by unemployment numbers not seen for nearly a century? For the nation’s reverse mortgage lending community, those concerns seem to be of no concern. “There hasn’t been enough understanding of where long-term values will be,” says David Peskin, president of Reverse Mortgage Funding. “Some will be bullish and some bearish. It depends on how long until we find some level of cure so we can go back to the way we functioned before the pandemic.” The expansion of reverse mortgages during these times of economic crisis, he added, “provides an alternative to selling off your portfolio to provide alternative financing for everyday costs.” Shelley Giordano, author of “What’s the Deal with Reverse Mortgages,” noted that government regulations have helped those that are retiring, the most recent example being the CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, which imposes some limits on lenders calling a reverse mortgage into default for unpaid taxes and insurance.

VALUES RISING SLOWLY Surprisingly, during the coronavirus, home values have, at least initially, been rising at the lowest level in seven years, according to Realtor.com, which saw new listings up by 5% in March and 1% in April. “Although prices are still rising compared to last year, slower gains are indicative of early market response to economic uncertainty and hurdles to completing a transaction,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. Giordano added, “Home values have not really dropped. Seniors have more than $7 trillion in home equity and

crisis, which depleted their portfolios prematurely. To survive and thrive in retirement in the coming years requires new thinking and a clear understanding of the options open to retirees. One of these options is HECM, or what most people know as reverse mortgages, that provide the opportunity to raise funds from their home equity while continuing to enjoy living in their homes.” Steve Irwin, president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, chimed in that “a lot of retirees who have retirement funds tied up in stock market solutions and 401ks are moving to reverse mortgages…[they’re a] tool being used to smooth out the shock of the event.”

interest rates are low. So, it’s a good time for reverse mortgages.” It might make particular sense for interested borrowers to close on a transaction as soon as possible. That’s because under the unique rules of reverse mortgages, borrowers can access the full amount of equity covered by the loan at closing, even if the value of the home later drops. “In regular mortgages, banks can alter their loans and [some] just did that,” Giordano pointed out. “But with reverse mortgages, the –Ralph Rosynek, senior vice president, money they Moneyhouse borrow can’t be canceled, frozen or reduced even if the value of the Irwin said, “We’ve seen an increase home drops. in the number of potential applicants “Congress recognized for the first seeking mandatory counseling, which time that forcing people to take is an early indicator of an uptick in distribution from their portfolio is a demand for reverse mortgages.” burden,” said Giordano. “You don’t have to sell at a loss in 2020.”

“Seniors [are seeking] to create rainy day funds to shore up financial stability.”


PORTFOLIO ASSIST Giordano, who is also founder and former chair of the Academy for Home Equity in Financial Planning, said, “If you think about a dip in portfolio value as a potential spending shock, it does not take long to see the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage standby line of credit as a solution. Just about anybody can appreciate that you don’t want to sell your Bank of America stocks for a couple of dollars, when you paid $30 for them.” “But this is exactly what happened to some retirees during the financial

Looking at home values, he said, “The simple rules of supply and demand will come into play. There are thousands of individual markets across the nation and we can’t say what will happen to home values, but we will see an impact in property values in every market. The current economic crisis relating to the COVID-19 pandemic provides another opportunity for senior homeowners to see how their home equity can be best utilized as part of their financial plan.” “At this time,” he added, “we



haven’t seen a wide impact to property values, it’s too early to say whether COVID-19 will play a role but if home values go down it doesn’t impact their ability to get reverse mortgages and use them. The CARES Act follows the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 that was created to address the subprime mortgage crisis, which also assists reverse mortgage holders. The act raises the allowable limits of reverse mortgages to $417,000, up from about $362,000. “It makes it easier and less expensive for seniors to access the cash value of their homes on a tax-free basis and expands the amount that can be borrowed,” said Terry Savage, author of “The Savage Truth on Money” and other books on personal finance. “Now there will be a higher borrowing level on Federal Housing Administration reverse mortgages and fees will be capped at 2% of the first $200,000 borrowed and 1% on the balance, with an absolute maximum of $6,000 in fees.

REAL PRICES STRONG “Real estate prices are holding up, with potential buyers unable to see many listings due to the lockdown,” said Ralph Rosynek, senior vice president at Moneyhouse, which makes reverse mortgage loans. “We expect to see increases in reverse mortgage applications in the coming months as seniors seek to create rainy day funds to shore up financial stability,”



“There hasn’t been enough understanding of where long-term values will be.”

–David Peskin, president, Reverse Mortgage Funding

Rosynek said. When asked to assess the increase in reverse mortgage sign ups, Rosynek said, “It’s too early to provide exact figures. The whole world changed in early March and we’re only [a few weeks] in.” Reverse Mortgage Funding’s Peskin said reverse mortgage applications have grown during the coronavirus. “We’re up 47% for March and 35% for April,” he said. “It’s pretty substantial.” He sees home prices deteriorating during the pandemic but hopes it’s temporary. “It depends how long this goes on that we’ll be in a stalemate. But the government is covering people through high unemployment, which protects cash flow to a certain extent.”







The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 42,774 complaints in April, the highest number in the history of the bureau’s complaint system. That April number was 15% higher than the amount received in March. Unfortunately, mortgage concerns and credit cards complaints were the top issues, as folks continue to struggle to understand the details of mortgage forbearance Consumers were typically concerned about their ability to pay a lump sum once their mortgage forbearance ends, according to the report.


Home prices are going to drop less than expected through October. That’s the consensus of new Zillow research that shows more evidence of buyers and sellers returning to the market. Newly pending sales and new listings are up, according to Zillow research. Inventory continues to be incredibly tight—one reason list prices are growing faster than they were in April. Partly on the strength of that rebound, Zillow’s forecast now shows an expected 1.8% drop in home prices through October, better than the 2.7% drop expected just weeks ago. Year-over-year new sales listings are down 23.3%, according to the data.


The COVID-19 pandemic has given over 50% of Americans the opportunity to work from home due to stay-at-home

orders. A new study asserts that this could cause a suburban housing boom, as people may no longer need to work full-time in busier, crowded and more expensive metros.

vice president at Union Savings Bank, a federally chartered lender, according to the report. Rosenal said one institutional investor informed the bank that, until further notice, it will require borrowers to have a minimum 740 FICO score for approval of any cash-out refinance mortgage applications for conventional loans.

‘STAY-IN-PLACE’ BRINGS HOME IMPROVEMENTS RISE Zillow’s survey found that 75% of Americans working from home due to COVID-19 would prefer to continue that at least half the time, if the option was presented when the pandemic subsides. The survey also showed that 66% of employees working from home would somewhat likely consider moving if they had the flexibility to work from home as often as they want. “Many employed Americans are trying to square the desire to work remotely with the functionality and size of their existing homes,” according to the report. “Among employees who would be likely to consider moving, If given the flexibility to work from home when they want, nearly one-third say they would consider moving in order to live in a home with a dedicated office space (31%), to live in a larger home (30%), and to live in a home with more rooms (29%).”


Homeowners spent a lot more time at their residences after stay-at-home orders were enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many looking for ways to keep busy, they sought to make some improvements to their domiciles. A LendingTree report found that folks with the means used home equity loans for improvements during the pandemic period. The report revealed that across 50 metros, 45.9% of home equity loans were used for home improvements. Out of these metros, Milwaukee, Louisville, and Columbus are the locales with the largest share of home equity being used for improvements. San Jose, Hartford and Raleigh are the three on the lowest end of the spectrum. The report does note that since January, home equity loan applications have fallen. However, those who did apply for these loans largely allocated them to home improvement. ________________________________

Chances are that potential homebuyers trying to secure a mortgage are finding things nearly impossible, unless they have a FICO credit score of at least 660, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With unemployment numbers continuing to rise, banks and lending institutions are tightening standards to prevent future mortgage defaults or late payments. “It’s almost impossible to do an FHA [Federal Housing Administration] loan with a credit score of less than 660 right now,” said Justin Rosenal, senior sales

Your turn National Mortgage Professional magazine invites you to submit any information on regulatory changes, legislative updates, human interest stories or any other newsworthy items pertaining to the mortgage industry to the attention of ericp@ambizmedia.com. Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.




REFIS TAKE THE TOP SPOT Purchase business looks iffy for 2020, but refinances keeping pipelines full BY NORM BELL | CONTRIBUTING WRITER, NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL


oan originators aching to see a surge in purchase mortgage business this year may be waiting a while for satisfaction. While some observers claim the second half of the year will unleash a tidal wave of pent-up demand, many others just point to the explosion of unemployment claims and closed businesses and argue demand may very well not be bolstered by willingness or ability. But refis, well … refis are another story entirely. For LOs, 2020 may well be the year that refinance activity not only saves their brokerages, but saves the national consumer economy as well. “My phone is ringing off the hook,” says Marc Summers, president of Advantage Mortgage Company in Clarkston, Michigan. Donald Frommeyer, a mortgage loan officer at CIBM Mortgage in Indianapolis, agrees, but says today’s volume is nothing compared to what’s coming. “Refis are going to explode; we just don’t know when.” These two industry leaders speak from experience traversing the roller coaster ride that the mortgage industry becomes in times of crisis. Summers is the president of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts, which claims 40,000 members. Frommeyer is chairman of the 150,000-strong Originator Connect Network and is the former


president and CEO of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. They differ slightly only on when the next trigger point will come. Frommeyer said he has a thick stack of approved paperwork just waiting for interest rates to slip generally below 3%. He sees 2.75% as a likely target within eight months, as the nation works through the economic effects of the Covid19coronavirus. Summers said he expects rates to dip to the low 3s. He cautions that holding out too long might cause borrowers to miss out in what may well be a volatile lending market. If the deal adds up today, do it, he is telling clients. And if rates fall farther, refi again. Looking ahead, both warn that all the refi activity comes with risks and perhaps surprises. Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to pump trillions into the market, there is a real possibility lender liquidity issues could create disruptions, warns Summers. No-fee loans and cheap rate locks will vanish, he said. In the Michigan region, some lenders have already dropped the 60-day lock in favor of a mandatory 45-day lock. For these mortgage pros, concerns about early payoff penalties and servicer churn associated with refis are overblown. It’s a cost of business and smart operators don’t swim upstream against a tsunami.


CONSUMER DEMAND ALREADY HIGH “Long-term, good results bring return business,” said Chasity Graff, owner and broker at LA Lending LLC in New Orleans. “I work mostly on repeat business and referrals and my email and phones are blowing up. I love it because it means I’ve made a lot of people happy.” While some homeowners are trying to pull money out of their homes to pay bills, other clients are being strategic and eager to run various lending scenarios to see what works best. “Borrowers are looking for ways to liquidate their assets and hold on to more of their income,” observed Graff. At the end of February, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage had declined to 3.373%, an attractive level that opened the refi spigot. Less than three weeks later, however, that rate had surged, cresting at 4.113% on March 20. That put a crimp in the refi pipeline. The driving force in the uptick was upheaval in the bond market as investors fled to cash in the face of the pandemic, but some of it was also that lenders arbitrarily hiked rates to slow a crush of applications they couldn’t keep up with. By the end of April, the bond market had reset and the 30-year mortgage rate dropped to 3.23%, with 0.7 points, the lowest level in the 49

“Borrowers are looking for ways to liquidate their assets and hold on to more of their income.” Chasity Graff broker LA Lending

“My phone is ringing off the hook.”

“There’s a backlog of buyers.”

Marc Summers president Advantage Mortgage

Josh Lewis co-owner Buy Wise Mortgage

years Freddie Mac has been keeping track. Again, the phones were ringing with homeowners eager to talk refinancing but there is plenty of reason to believe the rate could go even lower. Josh Lewis, co-owner and originator at Buy Wise Mortgage in Huntington Beach, California, pointed to the 10-year Treasury as the best gauge of where the 30-year mortgage rate should be. Historically, he explained, mortgages have been 1.72% above the 10-year Treasury rate, which is floating around 0.6%. That is

down sharply from 2.5% a year ago. By that measure, a mortgage rate around 2.5% seems possible, great news for a nation eager to reap savings via a refi to lower rates.

PREPAREDNESS IS KEY Increased refi activity represents an opportunity for the mortgage industry, said Graff. “While I know many large lenders have shut doors and laid off staff with the credit tightening, most mortgage brokers I know are doing the opposite. We’re preparing for what’s to come,” she said.

“Refis are going to explode [even more]; we just don’t know when.” Don Frommeyer originator CIBM Mortgage

That’s savvy, because the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts is already telling its members to prepare for a refinance tsunami starting in the third quarter and extending through the end of 2021. She is ready. “We will help our economy come out of this. We can infuse cash into households quickly to make a local impact on retail sales, restaurant sales, all things local in the community.” In California, Lewis said 80% of his business has become refis. That pays the bills but is not ideal, he said. In a healthy economy, he would like Buy CONTINUED ON PAGE 58

Forecasters at Fannie Mae see home sales declining 15% this year, a sharp reversal from the 1.1% gain the same forecasters had estimated earlier.






Poor Forecasting Can Sabotage Your Business Plan

Wise to have purchase volume outpace refis by a 2-1 margin. That is just not going to happen in 2020. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, put it this way, “Early indications are that the purchasing benefit of lower interest rates are being offset by the downturn in employment.” The result is that fewer buyers are qualifying for mortgages; there are fewer houses on the market and home tours are stalled in many states. A willingness on the part of lenders to waive in-person appraisals is a help but fewer prospective buyers are getting to that step in the process. Overall, forecasters at Fannie Mae see home sales declining 15% this year, a sharp reversal from the 1.1% gain the same forecasters had estimated earlier. None of the mortgage pros are concerned long-term. “There’s a backlog of buyers,” Lewis said, predicting “a strong back end of the year” driven by millennial buyers. Still, a 22.3% decrease in privately-owned housing starts in March is worrying, said Bill Banfield, executive vice president of capital markets at Quicken Loans. He wrote, “We are now seeing the true effects of the coronavirus on the housing industry. Despite the fact that construction can continue during shelterin-place orders, home buying demand has plummeted and builders are seeing materially lower foot traffic. When the country reopens, the lingering effects of massive job losses could weigh on housing for an extended period of time.” And that confluence means refi business is driving the mortgage industry short-term.

• What is the market’s capacity for my product or service? • Who may enter the market after me? • What makes my business valuable and can I clearly communicate the value to customers?

SALES FORECASTING Here’s where things get a bit more challenging. Accurately predicting future sales is perhaps the most difficult part of the revenue forecasting process. You’ll need to factor in what your management team expects and pair that with the estimated demand for your products or services at your proposed price points. Think ahead to all the potential company or market shifts and how those changes may impact sales, such as: • Price changes or promotions • Seasonal or cyclical factors including economic activity • Marketing and branding changes • Erratic events like strikes, fads, or disturbances to the market Consider quantifying your sales forecasts in terms of ranges rather than absolutes. This communicates to your partners and staff that you’re the type of owner who’s realistic and operating under a biased methodology. It also gives you the freedom to evaluate and adjust your sales and overall revenue projections after your business gets started and build even greater trust with key players along the way.

YOU’VE DONE YOUR RESEARCH. NOW WHAT? Now it’s time to consolidate all of your research and newly gained insight and document your startup revenue forecast for your first year of business. Using a financial projections template—available free online at score.org—can help you begin the formal process and documentation of calculating everything from start-up expenses to anticipated cost of goods sold, income statements, and more, as well as run a break-even analysis. Revenue forecasts are one of the most challenging steps within the business planning process. Rather than go it alone, talk to a mentor. A friend who’s been in the business mentor will guide you through each step and help you develop an accurate forecast for your new business. This article was provided by the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). They are available at www.score.org.






Forbearance Curve Flattens, But Dark Clouds Loom Sharp increase in national delinquency rate may be coming


uring the month of May, the focus on forbearance (the dreaded “F-word” in the mortgage servicing industry) was how the demand curve was flattening. The number of Americans in forbearance programs approached 4.75 million as the month ended, well below the 25 million some fearfully predicted at the beginning of April. The number that’s worth tracking, though, is missed payments. “Of the 4.25 million homeowners who were in active forbearance as of the end of April, nearly half–46% – still made their April mortgage payment,” said Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour. That number toward the end of May had dropped to 21%, which could portend dark clouds ahead for the industry. That could lead to another sharp increase in the national delinquency rate. Also, of note, is how consumers felt about forbearance. Lending Tree did a survey among 1,000 who took advantage of the program. The most shocking finding: only 5% of those who were approved for forbearance said they wouldn’t have been able to pay their mortgage without it. Approximately 25% said they could have made their monthly mortgage payment, but it would have come at the expense of other essential bills. However, there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse when it comes to forbearance: 72% of those who received forbearance reported feeling at least a little guilty about it. A key development during May was the implementation of new rules helping those making their payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers in forbearance can


apply for refinancing and new purchase mortgages once their loans are current, thus waiving a previous mandatory wait of 12 months. This move by the GSEs will allow for faster access by the homebuying public to record-low rates. According to the Federal Housing Finance Authority, borrowers are eligible to refi or purchase a new home if they are current on their mortgage—in forbearance but continued to make mortgage payments or reinstated their mortgage. Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home three months after their forbearance ends and they have made three consecutive payments under their repayment plan, or payment deferral option or loan modification. The FHFA also announced the extension of the GSE’s ability to purchase single-family mortgages in forbearance. Fannie Mae and Freddie


Mac are now able to buy forborne loans, as long as they are delivered to the GSEs by Aug. 31, 2020 and have only one mortgage payment has been missed. The previous policy was set to expire on May 31, 2020. There is one twist to forbearance. Some homeowners have been placed in forbearance programs simply by asking about the program. One such instance occurred when a Massachusetts man, according to CNBC, found out Wells Fargo had placed him in forbearance when he wanted to make his regular mortgage payment. He was able to make the payment after a few calls, but things would get a little trickier. When he tried to take advantage of record-low rates and inquire about refinance options, he found out that his mortgage was in forbearance. A Wells Fargo spokesperson blamed it on the bank’s desire to quickly put loans on forbearance when requested.

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She Helped A Broken Family Find A New Normal Name: Kristi France Job Title: Loan Officer Business: Thrive Mortgage, Georgetown, Texas How much was your best deal?

What else?

My best deal was not a big money maker. The loan amount was only $120,000 so the money isn’t what made this my best deal. This was my best deal because it made me feel so good to be a part of a new chapter in my borrowers’ lives.

In our profession, we can get lost in the guides, goals and numbers pretty easily. And if that’s all this business was, I would have left long ago because the stress can be overwhelming at times. Listening to the borrowers’ life stories is what motivates me to be the best I can be. When I’m able to get a borrower a home loan who has been told NO by other lenders, there is no better satisfaction than that! The story about the couple is just one of many that keeps me going. People truly need me to be their advocate sometimes and it gives me great satisfaction to fill that role.

What made it your best deal? I worked to help a couple buy a home in 2018 using down payment assistance. Little did I know that closing day was the one-year anniversary of them getting their then 5-year-old daughter back after Child Protective Services had taken her. They lost custody when she was about 2 and they had gotten her back about six months before I started working with them. The couple had both been drug addicts who eventually became homeless and could not care for their daughter properly. Once she was taken away, they got sober to get her back. Being able to buy a home and just be a normal family meant so much more to them. It was validation that they were no longer broken people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen bigger smiles at the closing table than that day. Oh, and it was also the wife’s birthday! So, there’s the cherry on top. I’ve spoken to the wife once or twice since we closed the loan. Everyone seems to be doing well and still very happy that they own their own home!

Kristi France

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Turnaround Times


THE NATION’S LEADING NON-QM LENDER (949) 900-6630 | sales@citadelservicing.com | www.citadelservicing.com Citadel Servicing Corporation NMLS ID# 144549, Licensed under Division of Business Oversight Under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act license #41DBO-74196, Finance Lenders License # 60DB094450, and CA-DRE #01799059. For mortgage professionals only. This information is intended for the exclusive use of licensed real estate and mortgage lending professionals in accordance with local laws and regulations. Distribution to the general public is prohibited. CSC is an equal opportunity lender. Rates, terms, and programs subject to change without notice. Offer of credit subject to credit approval per applicable underwriting and program guidelines, applicant eligibility, and market conditions. Not all applicants may qualify. Not valid in the following states: AK, HI, IA, MA, MS, MO, NM, NY, ND, OH, RI, SD, and WV.


Troubles Ahead For AAPI Homebuyers

Asian American and Pacific Islanders face specific challenges achieving homeownership


sian American and Pacific Islanders, known by the classification shorthand AAPI, are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States. Yet AAPI homebuyers are facing a challenge as their numbers increase: the time to save for a down payment and housing shortages in desired areas for those borrowers have posed a challenge. That’s the conclusion of the annual "State of Asia America Report," published by the Asian Real Estate Association of America. AAPI homebuyers are moving to metropolitan statistical areas in California, Texas and the Northeast. However, some of these areas, California in particular, have been known to struggle with housing supply. This makes it more difficult to find the desired home. In addition, the cost of homes are higher, which means AAPI buyers will have to fork out more money for a larger down payment. "The unique barriers to homeownership for our community loom large—from language barriers, to antiquated credit scoring models and underwriting standards that do not account for the self-employed, entrepreneurial AAPI buyer as well as dire shortages in major housing markets—as we try to move the needle on the AAPI homeownership rate," said James Huang, 2020 president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Huang added that AAPI borrowers tend to have higher credit scores when they can obtain it. Limited credit history, he said in his intro to the annual report, is one of the top reasons for AAPI application denial,

“The unique barriers to homeownership for our community loom large.” despite having the lowest delinquency rate of any group. Almost a million AAPIs are considered “mortgage weak” due to their “thin, clean credit files,” meaning they do not have bad credit, but rather, insufficient credit histories to generate a credit score. That should be seen as an opportunity for mortgage brokers. Huang said presents a huge opening, not only in financial education, but also in reaching a market of potential homebuyers who are otherwise well James Huang, 2020 president of the Asian Real Estate positioned to buy a Association of America. home.

AFFLUENT MARKET Asian Americans are an affluent market to pursue. According to the AAPI report, the Asian American media household income is $87,243, which is 41% above the national average. Pacific Islanders aren’t as affluent but are within four-tenths of a percent of the national average. Both segments have real estate well above the median house value: Asian Americans at $445,000, 98% above average; and, Pacific Islanders, $319,600, 39% above average. The AAPI also skews younger when

it comes to age. The median age of the population of the United States is 38.2 years compared with 37.3 years for Asian Americans and a much younger 32.5 years for Pacific Islanders. The West has the most AAPI population at 8.5 million, which is 10.9% of the population of Washington, Oregon and California. The Northeast, which encompasses the Middle Atlantic states of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, as well as the six New England states, has an AAPI population of 3.75 million, or 6.7% of the region’s population.



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UWM Announces Conquest Conventional Purchase Program United Wholesale Mortgage unveiled a new program called Conquest a conventional, lowrate-initiative purchase program that CEO Mat Ishbia says is “very competitive” compared to the rest of the industry. Conquest is designed for borrowers who have not closed with UWM within the past 18 months. Conquest’s features include: Rates ranging from 2.5% to 3%, including 30-year fixed, availability for purchases and rate/ term refinances, primary and secondary residences, exact rate and flex term available, lock anywhere from 8-22 days (UWM average is 11 days sub to CTC), and no max comp plan. “Some people said we’d never see interest rates drop below 3% on a 30-year mortgage, but it’s now available when borrowers work with an independent mortgage broker,” said Ishbia. “We believe that the housing market is going to be strong and we want to do our part to help more people get into their dream homes as we get through this pandemic together as a nation.” _____________________________________________________ Bradford Technologies Launches OnSight Inspection App For Social Distancing Bradford Technologies launched OnSight, a web-based application that enables appraisers to adhere to social distancing protocols, while collecting property data remotely with the homeowner’s assistance. During the coronavirus pandemic, housing finance regulators are allowing temporary flexibilities to appraisal inspections and reporting requirements, such as providing appraisers with authorization to use and rely on third-party data-including homeowner supplied data. OnSight facilitates this flexibility and provides time-stamped, geocoded authenticated photos and information to the appraiser. Using a unique link, the homeowner activates OnSight and is led through a series of questions about the property, such as when the home was last upgraded, the age of the roof, and the last time the house was painted. There are certain required photos, but a homeowner can take as many photos as needed to fully show the home’s features. “Our goal is to protect the health of appraisers and homeowners and to keep mortgage transactions moving on pace as our entire industry continues to work remotely,” said Jeff Bradford, CEO at Bradford Technologies. “Additionally, the information collected is sent directly to the appraiser, maintaining privacy.”

NewDay USA Introduces SafeClose Program To Protect Veterans In efforts to help veteran homebuyers feel safer during the COVID-19 pandemic, NewDay USA introduced the SafeClose program, which enables veterans and servicemembers to sign mortgage closing documents without the requirement of a notary agent entering their home. “SafeClose opens up entirely new possibilities for servicemembers and veterans who are seeking to purchase a home as well as those looking to refinance their existing VA mortgages,” said Rob Posner, founder and CEO of NewDay USA. Veterans can use their computers to review and sign loans documents, five documents will be delivered to the veterans front door, and finally, the signature will be made outside the door in view of a notary, who will be observing from a safe distance. “With SafeClose, NewDay USA is taking every possible precaution to take care of our veterans and keep them safe during the current health environment,” said NewDay USA Executive Chairman, Admiral Tom Lynch (USN, Ret.). “With our eSign capabilities, veteran borrowers can also complete almost all of their mortgage documents online, which saves time and further reduces person-to-person contact.” _____________________________________________________ Pavaso Launches Alternative For In-Person Notarization Pavaso announced the launch of Essential Notary, an alternative to in-person notarization that can be used in accordance with state emergency mandates and requirements. Essential Notary is a Remote Ink-Signed Notarization (RIN) solution that allows a signer and notary in different locations to complete the signing and notarization of real estate closing documents on paper. A signer’s identity is validated through third-party identification verification services before the signing. Signers must correctly answer a set of knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions generated from their public and credit records, and use a smartphone to facilitate automated authentication of a government-issued photo ID. Each document is electronically reviewed on the platform so that any questions can be addressed. Additionally, Pavaso’s platform allows for multiple witnesses and observers to join the session as needed or required. Unlike Remote Online Notarization (RON), electronic signatures and notarizations are not used; printed documents are provided to the signer(s) for wet ink signatures to be applied. Documents are signed in view of the webcam, while the notary witnesses the signing of each document requiring a signature. In some cases, the signer may need to hold the paper up to the camera for the notary to see it. When the signing session is complete, the signer(s) follow instructions for sending the documents to the notary for application of the seal. The platform can also capture, via webcam, the assembly and sealed packaging of the wet-signed documents for delivery to the notary, where necessary. NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE |


In today’s mortgage banking industry, you have a choice: you can play “follow the leader” or you can be a leader ...


Lykken on Lending

With a 43-year career in mortgage lending, David Lykken is one of the most respected business leaders in the industry. He created Lykken on Lending in 2009 to offer his mortgage industry professionals an insider’s view of the trends, issues and personalities that impact mortgage banking and the wider economy. Created by a mortgage professional for mortgage professionals, Lykken on veteran Lending is a weekly 60-minute radio program hosted by mortgage veteran, David Lykken. Joining the program each week is Joe Farr with a MARKET UPDATE, Alice Alvey providing a LEGISLATIVE UPDATE and Andy Schell (a/k/a "The Profit Doctor") providing tips on FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT along with other regulars and featured guests. Lykken on Lending brings forth the major players in mortgage banking for provocative and insightful conversation. This is the only mortgage banking indust leaders speak directly without being edited or media outlet where industry filtered by agenda-driven third parties.

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Top Of Mind Enhances Its ‘Client for Life’ CRM Tool Top of Mind Networks enhanced its Client for Life Workflow. Available to users of SurefireCRM, it helps lenders protect market share by creating over 100 distinct opportunities to stay connected with borrowers over a fiveyear period. “Lenders can expect to face fierce competition for a significantly diminished pool of purchase loan applicants in the future. Protecting today’s market share—including holding on to a huge wave of recently acquired refi customers—will be a business imperative,” said Sherwood Lawrence, Top of Mind chief creative officer. For purchase customers, the workflow kicks off with a closing gift delivered to the customer’s new home. Over the next 60 months, customers receive a carefully curated mix of high-impact emails, direct mail marketing, personalized voice recordings powered by Surefire Power Calls, and text messages leveraging Surefire Power Messaging. Top of Mind’s in-house marketing team uses unique, personalized outreach generated for each customer based on individual milestones, from birthdays to loan closing anniversaries to refi opportunities. Lenders can customize the Client for Life Workflow by adding links to their own marketing collateral. ____________________________________________________ Black Knight’s CompassPPE Now Available In The Empower LOS

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Black Knight announced that CompassPPE, the company’s pricing and eligibility engine (PPE), is now available within its Empower loan origination system (LOS). With this integration, Empower clients can access advanced lock and relock workflows directly from the system. CompassPPE helps lenders reduce cost per loan and manual touch points through its automated locks; relocks; extensions; float-downs and concessions workflow; and exception-based processing. Additionally, CompassPPE has several features that set it apart, including a modern user interface and mobileresponsive design. Users can access the PPE’s complete pricing and locking capabilities from any device. Empower users also benefit from CompassPPE’s API library; daily maintenance of pricing, guidelines, and adjusters for all top investors; mortgage insurance quote comparisons; live pricing; and more. ____________________________________________________ Mortgage Research Center Releases New USDA Calculator

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Through its website, USDAloans.com, Mortgage Research Center released a new interactive USDA Income Limit Calculator reflecting the latest increases to the USDA’s maximum income limits. The free calculator allows users to see updated income limits in their area by household size. “The new income limits make the USDA loan an available option for even more homebuyers looking for $0 down payment options,” said Alex Blum, general manager at

Mortgage Research Center. Through a special procedure notice on May 4, 2020, the USDA increased maximum eligible income limits of the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program in most counties. The baseline USDA loan income limit for one- to four-member households is now $90,300 or $119,200 for five to eight member households. Total household income should not exceed these limits to be eligible for a USDA home loan, but income limits vary by location to account for cost of living. The USDA income requirements are set at or below 115% of the median household income in each region and are updated annually. ___________________________________________________


Our fees are less than the big national firms that don’t call you back. Program includes all Manuals including QC, MLO Policies and Comp Plans, AML, GLB, Social Media and Web audits, on-line training sessions, governance documents, and our audit protection plan. Available in all 50 states. We have hands-on experience with regulators and audits. No theories here; we were Bankers.

Plaza Home Mortgage Expands Its Reverse Jumbo Program Plaza Home Mortgage expanded its proprietary reverse jumbo mortgage program to 11 states. Plaza’s reverse jumbo program offers refinance loan amounts of up to $4 million with no FHA mortgage insurance requirement. The program will now be offered in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas and Utah. Plaza’s new program is available through Plaza’s Wholesale channel, and covers a wide range of property types, including single-family, two- to four-units, townhomes and condominiums, and has no minimum or maximum lump sum payout requirement at closing. The program can also be used to refinance seasoned home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs) to jumbos or, conversely, jumbo first mortgages to HECMs. The guidelines are similar to Plaza’s other HECM offerings in terms of credit, income, and age requirements. __________________________________________________


Your turn National Mortgage Professional invites you to submit any information promoting new “niche” loan programs, new products or any other announcement related to the introduction of a new program, to the attention of:

If you find yourself in federal court, we can handle that as well.

Contact Nelson Locke at

(800) 656-4584 Or you may e-mail us at


All inquiries will be kept strictly confidential. This is not an offer for legal services, but rather for his expert review and opinion about your particular compliance situation. All fact patterns are different so the results will vary. No guarantees are expressed or implied. Licensed by California and Federal Bar. NMLS 149450.


Give your customers assurance of your professionalism and integrity. Become a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional

New to Market column E-mail: ericp@ambizmedia.com

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association developed this rigorous certification for industry professionals who want to give customers the confidence to know they are working with thoroughly knowledgeable and devoted individuals.

Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for consideration of submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.

Earning the CRMP* designation requires validating your experience, continuing your education annually, participating in our ethics workshop and passing an exam.

For for more information, visit nrmlaonline.org *The CRMP designation is available to members and non-members of NRMLA.




Feds Launch Consumer Website Amidst Pandemic Unusual to see government act more like a jackrabbit than a sloth


ess than two months after the full onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a consumerfacing website with information about the pandemic. While it was still going on. Most government agencies aren’t known for expediency when it comes to websites. It’s a role usually left to the private and academic institutions. That’s largely because most government agencies have their focuses elsewhere. Yet, homeowners and renters impacted by the coronavirus now have a new resource to access the most up-to-date information on housing assistance. It was launched about six weeks after the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27. The agencies have created the CFPB.gov/Housing page as a guide


to help affected homeowners and renters through the relief process by consolidating CARES Act mortgage relief information, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams into one central location. It also has tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental units are financed by FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In addition to the site, the CFPB and the FHFA have teamed up for the Borrowers Protection Program. In this program, the two agencies are able to share servicing information to protect borrowers during the pandemic. This being primarily a CFPB site, there is good information for consumers on scams related to the coronavirus. It has practical info on avoiding the lure of fake charity pitches, as well as attempts to target personal information and compromise social security details. Unlike the main page, the scam


page is translated into six different languages besides English, which should prove useful to a wide swatch of the population. Also helpful on the main page are links to credit counseling organizations, HUD-approved housing counselors, and local bar associations and legal aid groups. Is all of the information useful? Not necessarily but this is a government project so lots of credit does have to be shared. A sidebar with information on the White House Coronavirus Task Force about the White House Coronavirus Task Force in conjunction with CDC, HHS, and other agency stakeholders two months in to the pandemic isn’t going to be that useful. The page also offers consumers an easy way to file complaints having trouble with a financial product or service. That might come in handy for consumers unintentionally placed into forbearance, for example. CFPB says it will respond in 15 days.

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Master the Markets with Barry Habib

Recap of key economic events that took place over the past week and a look ahead to events that will potentially impact interest rates in the housing market.

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Military Spouse Monday

Military experts answer questions about VA loans from veterans and their spouses.

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The Mortgage Godfather

Ralph LuVuolo Sr., “The Mortgage Godfather,” shares his unique and innovative approach to mortgage origination. You better become a follower or else. It’s an offer you can’t refuse!

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Construction loans made easy.

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Your bi-weekly window into what’s happening at the MBA.

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Calendar of Events


July 23


Aug 5–8


Aug 11


AUG 21–23








JULY 2020 Thursday, July 23 2020 Arizona Mortgage Expo Wild Horse Pass Casino & Resort 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd. Chandler, Arizona. For more information, visit AZMortgageExpo.com. AUGUST 2020 Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 5-8 2020 FAMP State Convention & Trade Show Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane Orlando, Florida For more information, visit OurFAMP.org. Tuesday, Aug. 11 2020 Carolinas Connect Mortgage Expo Embassy Suites Hilton Charlotte 4800 South Tryon Street Charlotte, N.C. For more information, visit CarolinasConnectMortgage.com. Friday–Sunday, Aug. 21-23 Originator Connect 2020 Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, Nevada For more information, visit OriginatorConnect.com. SEPTEMBER 2020 Wednesday, Sept. 2 2020 Great Northwest Mortgage Expo— Washington Edition Hilton Bellevue 300 112th Avenue SE Bellevue, Washington For more information, visit GreatNorthwestExpo.com. Thursday, Sept. 3 MBA’s Document Custody Workshop 2020 Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner Tysons Galleria 1700 Tysons Boulevard McLean, Virginia. For more information, visit MBA.org. Thursday, Sept. 10 2020 Texas Mortgage Roundup—Dallas DoubleTree by Hilton Dallas 4099 Valley View Lane Dallas, Texas For more information, visit TXMortgageRoundup.com.



Sunday-Tuesday, Sept. 13-15 MBA’s Risk Management, QA & Fraud Prevention Forum 2020 Hilton San Diego Bayfront 1 Park Boulevard San Diego, California For more information, visit MBA.org.


Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 16-19 NAMMBA CONNECT 2020 The Westin Buckhead Atlanta 3391 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, Georgia For more information, visit NAMMBACONNECT.org.

SEPT 13–15

SEPT 16–19


Thursday, Sept. 17 2020 California Mortgage Expo—Glendale Hilton Los Angeles North/Glendale 100 West Glenoaks Boulevard Glendale, California For more information, visit CAMortgageExpo.com.


Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 23-25 MBA’s Regulatory Compliance Conference 2020 Grand Hyatt Washington 1000 H Street Washington, D.C. For more information, visit MBA.org.


Thursday, Sept. 24 2020 Chicago Mortgage Originators Expo Holiday Inn Chicago SW 6201 Jollet Road Countryside, Illinois For more information, visit ChicagoOriginators.com.


SEPT 23–25



OCT 01


OCT 04–08

OCTOBER 2020 Thursday, Oct. 1 2020 Colorado Mortgage Summit Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Tech Center North 7525 East Hampden Avenue Denver, Colorado For more information, visit COMortgageSummit.com. Sunday-Thursday, Oct. 4-8 37th Annual Regional Conference of MBAs Hard Rock Casino Hotel 1000 Boardwalk Atlantic City, N.J. For more information, visit MBANJ.com.


Calendar of Events


OCT 13


OCT 17


OCT 18–21


OCT 21


OCT 28–30


NOV 05


NOV 11

Tuesday, Oct. 13 2020 California Mortgage Expo— San Francisco Radisson Hotel Oakland 8400 Edes Avenue Oakland, California For more information, visit CAMortgageExpo.com. Saturday, Oct. 17 mPowering You: MBA’s Summit For Women in Real Estate Finance Hyatt Regency Chicago 151 East Wacker Drive Chicago, Illinois For more information, visit MBA.org. Sunday-Wednesday, Oct. 18-21 MBA’s Annual Convention & Expo 2020 Hyatt Regency Chicago 151 East Wacker Drive Chicago, Illinois For more information, visit MBA.org. Wednesday, Oct. 21 2020 Suncoast Mortgage Expo Embassy Suites Tampa—USF 3705 Spectrum Boulevard Tampa, Florida For more information, visit SuncoastMortgageExpo.com. Wednesday-Friday, October 28-30 Ultimate Mortgage Expo Hotel Monteleone 214 Royal Street New Orleans, Louisiana For more information, visit UltimateMortgageExpo.com. NOVEMBER 2020 Thursday, Nov. 5 2020 Utah Mortgage Expo & Show Park City Marriott 1895 Sidewinder Drive Park City, Utah For more information, visit UtahMortgageShow.com. Wednesday, Nov. 11 2020 New York Mortgage Expo Crowne Plaza Suffern 63 Executive Boulevard Suffern, N.Y. For more information, visit NYMortgageExpo.com.


NOV 11–13


NOV 19


DEC 08


DEC 16


JAN 15

Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 11-13 MBA’s Accounting and Financial Management Conference 2020 Hyatt Regency New Orleans 601 Loyola Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana For more information, visit MBA.org. Thursday, Nov. 19 2020 Texas Mortgage Roundup—Houston Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental 15700 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Houston, Texas For more information, visit TXMortgageRoundup.com. December 2020 Tuesday, Dec. 8 2020 Great Northwest Mortgage Expo— Portland Edition Holiday Inn Portland South 25425 SW 95th Avenue Wilsonville, Oregon For more information, visit GreatNorthwestExpo.com. Wednesday, Dec. 16 2020 California Mortgage Expo—Irvine & OCN Mortgage Holiday Party Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport 18800 MacArthur Boulevard Irvine, California For more information, visit CAMortgageExpo.com. January 2021 Friday, Jan. 15 2021 New England Mortgage Expo Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard Uncasville, Connecticut For more information, visit NEMortgageExpo.com.

To submit your entry for inclusion in the National Mortgage Professional Calendar of Events, please e-mail the details of your event, along with contact information, to ericp@ambizmedia.com. All events are scheduled as of May 27, 2020 and are subject to change.





Quarantine Lessons


& Murder Hornets Nick Roberson is a long-time mortgage industry veteran, a board member of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals, and is vice president of national sales at Act Appraisals. He’s a forthcoming and giving guy, who shares his…unique…perspective on work and life on his Facebook account. Here are some of Nick’s FB thoughts this month:

Quarantine Lesson #34:

It takes 360 licks to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. I also learned no matter how bored you are, it is never a good idea to eat a Tootsie Roll Pop of unknown age and origin found under the seat of your car.

Quarantine Lesson #33:

I have learned that having a massive spider drop in on you in the shower can be an amazing cardio workout. I also now know why they don’t let you stand up on waterslides.

Quarantine Lesson #32:

No matter how much they complain, there is no written rule that says you have to warn your neighbors before engaging them in a giant slingshot water balloon fight.

Quarantine Lesson #31:

Never again will I take for granted the value of a hug. If I had known the last time I hugged some of you would be the last time I would hug you for such a long time, those moments would have been way more awkward.

Quarantine Lesson #25:

It is wise to keep a pair of “Door-Pants” next to the front door, just for those surprise midday Amazon deliveries. Thank you, Steve (my UPS guy) for the suggestion.

Quarantine Lesson #23:

The five-second rule does not apply to PopTarts. If you are walking through your house and come across a Pop-Tart lying on the floor, it is perfectly acceptable to pick it up and eat it. Mmmmmmmm, floor Pop-Tarts.... Words to live by: Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.

Quarantine Lesson #19:

If your neighbors are ever worried about their landscapers because they haven’t shown up on time, just schedule any virtual class or meeting. Trust me they will show up in all of their mowing leaf blowing glory.

So…these murder hornets, do you send them a list of names or what? How’s that work?


To see more by Nick, just go to www.facebook.com/nickroberson.






© 2020 Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc. NMLS ID # 75243; 1265 Corona Pointe Court, Corona, CA 92879; All Rights Reserved. Licensed by the California Department of Business Oversight, Finance Lenders Law License #603D903; the Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License #4131268; California Bureau of Real Estate License #1478294; AZ Mortgage Banker License #910387; Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee #32087; IL Residential Mortgage License # MB.6760962; KS-Licensed Mortgage Company, #MC.0025196; Massachusetts Mortgage Lender License, #ML75243; MS Department of Bank and Consumer Finance; NV Mortgage Broker License #3693; NH Banking Department 17393-MB; Dept. of Banking in the Common Wealth of PA, #37894; RI Licensed Lender, #20112799LL; and is also approved to lend in the following states: AL, AK, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, HI, ID, IA, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI.

Hi there, I’m Norm!

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ACC Mortgage is a US Treasury Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that supports community economic development and provides credit to under-served markets.





© 2020 All Credit Considered Mortgage, Inc. d/b/a ACC Mortgage · NMLS ID 176724 · 1801 Research Blvd., Suite 410, Rockville, MD 20850 · (877) 349-0501. Not all loan programs are available in all areas. Program restrictions may apply. All rights reserved. This is not an offer or extension of credit or a commitment to lend. Licenses are held as follows: Connecticut Mortgage Lender License ML-176724; Delaware Lender License #020786 ; Florida Mortgage Lender Servicer #MLD953; Georgia Mortgage Lender License #46424; Idaho Mortgage Broker/Lender License #MBL-2080176724; Illinois Residential Mortgage License MB.6761111; Indiana-DFI Mortgage Lending License #40794; Maryland Mortgage Lender License #6625; Michigan 1st Mortgage Broker/Lender License #FL0022183; Minnesota Residential Mortgage Originator License # MN-MO-176724; Nevada Mortgage Lender License 4619; New Jersey Residential Mortgage License; North Carolina Mortgage Lender License L-164875; Oklahoma Mortgage Lender License #ML012740; Oregon Mortgage Lending License #ML-5825; Pennsylvania Mortgage Lender License 51566; South Carolina-BFI Mortgage Lender/Servicer License MLS-176724; Tennessee Mortgage License #181409; Texas SML Mortgage Company License; Utah-DFI Residential First Mortgage Notification; Virginia Lender Licensed by the Virginia State Corporate Commission as MC-1856; Washington Consumer Loan Company License #CL-176724; Wisconsin Mortgage Banker License #176724BA; District of Columbia Mortgage Dual Authority License #MLB176724. Revised: April 21, 2020.

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Quarantine Lessons & Murder Hornets

page 74

Feds Launch Consumer Website Amidst Pandemic

page 70

New To Market

pages 67-69

Troubles Ahead For AAPI Homebuyers

page 65

She Helped A Broken Family Find A New Normal

page 63

Forbearance Curve Flattens, But Dark Clouds Loom

page 60


pages 56-58


page 55


pages 50-52

Action Plan

pages 44-48

Digital Disruption In The Appraisal Industry

pages 40-41

NMP National Mortgage Professional June 2020

pages 36-37

The Changing Landscape Of The Real Estate Appraisal Industry

pages 34-35

Appraisals And Social Distancing: A Living Lab

pages 32-33

Elevating The Appraisal Experience In Today’s New Market

pages 30-31


pages 26-29

How Perpetual Change Has Driven Innovations In Valuation Technology

pages 24-25

LEADERSHIP LESSONS Make Decisions That Make A Difference

pages 22-23

Lifestyle Business Mastery

page 21

How To Create A Client Attraction System

pages 20-21

THREE TIPS For Purchasing A New LOS

page 19

Poor Forecasting Can Sabotage Your Business Plan

pages 18-19, 58

Eat Your Frogs First

pages 16-17

Learning How To Make More Money

pages 12-13

Credit Issues From Forbearance Bear Watching

page 11

Managing & Organizing The Notifications In Your Head

pages 8-9

Take A Deep Dive Beyond The Headlines

pages 6-7

More For You

page 4
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