Shant Banosian becomes Guaranteed Rate’s first LO to originate $1 billion

Shant Banosian becomes Guaranteed Rate’s first LO to originate billion
Shant Banosian, the nation’s No. 1 loan originator, has become Guaranteed Rate’s first loan officer to fund $1 billion in loan volume in one year. Over the course of his decade-long career, Banosian has generated more than $4 billion in funded loans.

Over the last five years, Shant has been Guaranteed Rate’s No. 1 loan officer nationwide, as well as the top producer in Massachusetts since 2013.

Banosian told HousingWire that the key to his success is his team, and focusing on what consumers need and want.

“It’s one of those cliches: you don’t want to just work in the business, you need to work on the business,” Banosian said. “We’re constantly working on our business and taking feedback from our clients trying to understand what it is that our clients and our partners want, how to constantly be forward-thinking in terms of staying ahead of the competition, and figuring out ways to be more efficient.”

Not only are Banosian and his team having a record-setting year, so is Guaranteed Rate, as it funded double the total loan volume compared to the same time last year. Just in August, the company locked down $12 billion in loan volume, breaking its record for one month.

Last year, Banosian closed $914 million in loans. He said that the goal for 2020 was to hit $1 billion, and will take it even further the remainder of this year into 2021.

And it couldn’t be done without the support of his friends, family and team, he said.

“This is certainly not something that I would have been able to accomplish on my own. It’s impossible to do a billion dollars by yourself, this is definitely a team effort,” Banosian said. “It’s something that shows that all the hard work, dedication, focus, execution, planning [and] preparation coming to fruition, so it’s a really, really good feeling. I’m a big believer in the team model and it’s I think it’s more fun to win as a team.”

With low rates and more people telecommuting, Banosian doesn’t see business slowing anytime soon.

“I think next year, it should shape up to be an even better year than this year,” Banosian said. “I think rates are going to remain low, and I think this market is going to stay very strong. I think next year is going to be a record year.”
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Freddie Mac’s Cindy Waldron to speak at HousingWire Annual

Freddie Mac’s Cindy Waldron to speak at HousingWire Annual
This year has been a numbers game. How long does forbearance last? What are the rates this week? Will the next stimulus bill be enough? The pandemic has created an onslaught of record-breaking figures, but behind all the headlines and statistics are real people trying to keep their homes in a time of uncertainty. Now more than ever, it has become critical that housing professionals understand what that data represents — not just for themselves, but for the borrowers that are turning to them for guidance.

That why we’ve invited Cindy Waldron, vice president of research and analytics in the single-family client and community engagement division at Freddie Mac, to decipher what those numbers mean and how to help homeowners benefit from the fruits of that labor at our HousingWire Annual event on Oct. 8. Waldron will speak on Increasing Homeownership in Underserved Communities.

At Freddie Mac, Waldron is responsible for driving business solutions for the single-family business and its clients by leveraging research, data and analytics to target and overcome barriers to homeownership. Through partnerships with lenders, nonprofit organizations, national intermediaries and industry networks, she addresses homeownership preservation, housing affordability, housing supply and access to credit.

In addition, she provides leadership and coordination of regulatory goals and reporting by monitoring performance and proving insights to expand distribution and access to credit.

A veteran of more than 20 years in the mortgage industry, Waldron joined Freddie Mac in 1999 and has held leadership roles within the Single-Family Model and analytics and Affordable Lending and Access to Credit divisions.

Waldron will be joined by other housing savants at HousingWire Annual, including Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, Ed DeMarco, president of the Housing Policy Council, Laurie Goodman, vice president of the Urban Institute, Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders and many more.

We’re focusing this virtual event on The Great Acceleration — the disruption speeding through the business landscape, upending traditional strategies and agendas for those in housing. We’ve got sessions on the future of regulation, business strategy during times of social upheaval, increasing homeownership in underserved communities, green housing, capital market appetite by channel and much more.

HW+ members can attend for free by registering here. Not an HW+ member yet? You can sign up for free attendance plus get the amazing premium content we publish digitally and in the print magazine. Regular registration can be accessed here.
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Judy Shelton, Trump’s Fed nominee, may lack Senate votes

Judy Shelton, Trump’s Fed nominee, may lack Senate votes
Judy Shelton, the controversial nominee to an empty seat on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, may lack the votes needed to win support from the Senate, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’re not going to bring it up until we have the votes to confirm her,” Thune said.

Shelton was an advisor to the campaign of President Donald Trump in 2016. For decades she advocated for a return to the gold standard, putting her far outside the mainstream of American economists, and last year argued in a Wall Street Journal column for greater coordination between the Fed and the White House when setting monetary policy.

The Fed has been a bright spot in the midst of a muddled government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst public health crisis in more than a century. The bond-buying program the central bank started in March has driven home-loan rates to all-time lows, bolstering the mortgage and housing markets.

Two GOP senators, Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), have said they will vote against Shelton because of her extreme views. Last month, more than two dozen former Federal Reserve officials wrote a letter to the Senate urging members to reject Shelton.

“The Federal Reserve is a vital part of our government and has been particularly important during our current crisis,” the letter said. “The Fed’s quick action to provide the markets with the necessary liquidity was crucial to restoring order to those markets and ensuring that the economic crisis that we are enduring did not become much, much worse. However, like the pandemic, the economic challenges persist.”

Shelton was opposed to monetary easing in the years after the Great Recession, when President Barack Obama was in the White House, then reversed course and called for reductions when Trump began demanding the Fed cut rates to below zero last year.

In July, Shelton’s nomination was approved by the Senate Banking Committee in a party-line vote, and she now needs approval by the full Senate.
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So you want to eClose a mortgage in Texas?

So you want to eClose a mortgage in Texas?

Completing a mortgage via eClose in Texas has come a long way since its hard-fought adoption in 2018.

Two years later, many consider Texas to be the gold standard for eClosings, and it has been on the forefront of remote online notarization adoption “because you can do it in every county in the state,” according to Jeffrey Bode, president of Mid America Mortgage.

Given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had across the industry, we wanted to break down the changes in the digital mortgage space and also detail how RON adoption is going in Texas.

The rest of this content is for HW+ members. Join today with an HW+ Membership! Already a member? log in

The post So you want to eClose a mortgage in Texas? appeared first on HousingWire.

Builder confidence reaches 35-year high in September

Builder confidence reaches 35-year high in September
The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose five points to 83 in September – the highest score the series has seen since its inception 35 years ago, according to a release from NAHB on Wednesday. Based on a scale from zero to 100, the index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the coming six months.

In September, all HMI indices, including current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers, reported their highest readings ever, the release said.

Regionally, the West continued to see the greatest confidence in the three-month moving averages – jumping seven points to 85. Following suit, the South rose eight points to 79, the Northeast gained 11 points up to 76 and the Midwest increased nine to 72. Month-over-month, however, regional confidence gains slowed from the double-digit spikes August saw.

For months now HousingWire has reported evidence that an urban exodus is underway and NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz furthered that narrative on Wednesday, saying a growing number of builders throughout the country reported calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocation.

According to Dietz, a shift toward suburbia coupled with low interest rates is keeping home builders busy. So busy in fact, that residential construction employment rose by 27,700 in August to 2.9 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While construction employment is booming, in a release from Sept. 4, Dietz noted the lumber industry has only gained roughly half of the jobs it originally lost due to the pandemic.

“Historic traffic numbers have builders seeing positive market conditions, but many in the industry are worried about rising costs and delays for building materials, especially lumber,” said NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke. “More domestic lumber production or tariff relief is needed to avoid a slowdown in the market in the coming months.”

With growing demand for lumber, insufficient supply and 20% tariffs put in place on Canadian supply, escalating prices are putting pressure on an already volatile situation. Since mid-April, lumber prices are now up 170% – piling more than $16,000 on top of the price of a typical family home, Dietz said.
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Insuring Native American Land Webinar Series

Insuring Native American Land Webinar Series
ALTA and its Native American Lands Committee is producing a four-part webinar series titled "Insuring Native American Land: Special Issues and Consideration." Below are the recordings from parts one and two of the series.
Part I

This presentation discusses special issues and considerations when searching and insuring property involving Native American land. This presentation focuses on vesting and ownership of land, the Indian Non-Intercourse Act and Section 17 Corporations.
Experts participating in this webinar include:

Cindy Guanell ITP, NTP | Regional Underwriting Director/Pacific Northwest Region | First American Title Insurance Co. 
Sean Holland | Vice President & Underwriting Counsel | Fidelity National Title Group
Paul Cozzi | Senior Underwriting Counsel | Fidelity National Title Group
Branden Allen | Underwriting Counsel | Old Republic National Title Insurance Co.

Moderating the discussion is Cindy Guanell of First American Title Insurance Co. 
Download Presentation
Part II

This part of the series explores the statutory and regulatory authority and processes for leasing restricted Native American lands, including 25 U.S.C. § 415, 29 CFR Part 169, and the HEARTH Act, which created a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to tribes who enact leasing regulations, that permits tribal leasing without having to obtain further approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. You will learn key items to consider when handling transactions involving leases on Native American land.
Experts participating in this webinar include:

Orlando Lucero | Vice President/New Mexico State Underwriting Counsel | FNF Family of Companies
Sam Shiel | Vice President/National Underwriting Counsel| Old Republic National Title Insurance Co.
Cindy Guanell ITP, NTP | Regional Underwriting Director/Pacific Northwest Region | First American Title Insurance Co. 
Rolf Lindberg | Senior Underwriting Counsel | Stewart Title Guaranty Co.

Download Presentation | Download Materials

Part Three: Authority, Recording and Access (Q2 2021)
Part Four: Case Study–Applying What We’ve Learned (Q3 2021)


Fed says expect low rates through 2023

Fed says expect low rates through 2023
The Federal Reserve left its overnight lending rate unchanged on Wednesday at the end of its last meeting before the Nov. 3 presidential election and said it expects to keep it near zero for more than a year.

In a statement released Wednesday, all 17 members of the Federal Open Market Committee said they expect to keep the central bank’s benchmark rate near zero at least through next year, and 13 estimated it would stay there through 2023.

That will be a boost for homebuilders taking out business loans, and will keep rates low for home equity loans tied to prime rates, which are benchmarked to the Fed rate.

The committee also reiterated its commitment to purchase mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries to support the flow of credit. Fed purchases have helped to drive mortgage rates to the lowest level on record by boosting competition for the bonds, which compresses yields.

“Over coming months the Federal Reserve will increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning and help foster accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses,” the FOMC said in its statement.

In the first meeting since last month’s overhaul to its inflation policy that will allow it to average its target 2% inflation rate rather than target it, the committee provided more specifics.

“The committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2% for some time so that inflation averages 2% over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored at 2%,” the statement said. “The committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved.”

In a press conference following the release of the FOMC statement, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said more stimulus is needed from Congress to help an economy struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My sense is that more fiscal support is likely to be needed,” Powell said. “Of course, the details of that are for Congress, not for the Fed. But I would just say there are roughly 11 million people still out of work due to the pandemic and good part of those people were working in industries that are likely to struggle. Those people may need additional support as they try to find their way through what will be a difficult time for them.”
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More young adults live at home now than during the Great Depression

More young adults live at home now than during the Great Depression
While at the beginning of the year it seemed like Millennials and Generation Z were going to take hold of the housing market in 2020, the pandemic drastically changed that prediction.

For the first time since the Great Depression, the majority of young adults are living with their parents, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data.

The analysis found that the share of 18- to 29-year-olds living at home with their parents has become a majority since COVID-19 cases began spreading.

According to the analysis, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents in July, rising from 47% in February.

The number of young adults living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. This surpassed the last record, which was set in 1940 when 48% of young adults lived with their parents. This year marks the first year the percentage exceeded 50%.

The analysis stated that young adults have been particularly hit hard by the pandemic and economic downturn, as about 9% of young adults said they relocated temporarily or permanently and 10% had someone else move in with them.

The biggest reason young adults moved was due to college campuses being closed (23%), followed by job loss or other financial reasons (18%).

The analysis stated this pattern is consistent with unemployment rates. The share of 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither enrolled in school nor employed surged from 11% in February to 28% in June.

The analysis added that there is a higher share of young adults in metro areas living with their parents compared to rural areas. Regardless, both numbers dramatically grew from February to July.

Regionally, the biggest increase in young adults moving in with their parents was in the South, increasing from 46% in February to 52% in July. The Northeast had the largest share of young adults living at home overall, coming in at 57%.

The share of racial and ethnic differences have also narrowed, according to the analysis. As of July, when looking at the percentage of young adults who live with their parents, 58% were Hispanic, 55% were Black, 51% were Asian and 49% were white.
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Help your broker partners with client retention by retaining servicing

Help your broker partners with client retention by retaining servicing
HousingWire spoke to Home Point Financial’s new President of Servicing Perry Hilzendeger about the company’s “We Care” philosophy and how Home Point supports its broker partners.

HW: What was it that initially drew you to Home Point, coming from such a long and rewarding career at such a large, well-known consumer-facing brand?

Perry Hilzendeger: The opportunity to join a company of Home Point’s size was incredibly attractive to me because it’s very much in growth mode. It’s exciting to be part of a company that has experienced such rapid growth over the last few years.

Home Point has only been around for five years and it’s already the fastest-growing top-five wholesale lender in the country. And it’s already on the fringe of being a top-10 correspondent lender. That trajectory is now being put in place for the servicing operation because we’ve seen such great success on the origination side of our business.

Additionally, Home Point aligns with my desire to work for a company that prioritizes customer satisfaction. Home Point’s people and its culture are incredibly strong.

There is a concerted effort to treat our people well throughout the company – whether it’s our associates, brokers or correspondent partners. Home Point has woven its “We Care” mentality into the fabric of how it conducts business daily, and it’s an excellent fit for me.

HW: How is the “We Care” philosophy reflected in Home Point’s approach to servicing?

PH: It’s simple. We make a concerted effort to ensure Home Point creates the best possible loan experience for customers, from start to finish – and that really benefits our mortgage broker and correspondent partners.

We care about our partners’ ability to build long-term sustainable value – and one of the ways we excel is by helping them hold onto their customers. We retain servicing for 99% of the loans we originate, and that’s intentional.

By keeping our partners at the forefront of every discussion with the customer, they have the opportunity to benefit from future transactions that the customer may look to do, whether it’s a refinance or another purchase.

Last quarter, wholesale lenders were only retaining around 20% of their loans. That number is so low because so many lenders get more entities involved in the transaction by selling off servicing. Then you have the customer, whose only real relationship is with the initial loan originator, ultimately being serviced by another company that they don’t know.

We believe in connecting the value chain for the customer. Our responsibility isn’t just to source customers to our partners, but to develop a relationship with the customer inclusive of the independent originator.

We care about the customer having a positive servicing experience for the entire life of the loan just as much as we care about them having a seamless origination experience. In turn, this helps our partners look great.

HW: Home Point retains the majority of its originated loans for servicing – how does this benefit mortgage brokers?

PH: It creates a tremendous value proposition for mortgage brokers because it facilitates customer retention. This is the part of the wholesale mortgage industry that presents great opportunity.

It’s hard to think of another industry where people, like mortgage brokers, work so hard and pay so much money to acquire new customers, but are then ineffective at retaining those customers.

Our mortgage broker partners work very hard and have significant expense associated with acquiring new customers. By retaining the servicing and developing a long-term relationship with the customer, the broker has the opportunity to earn their next loan.

The most significant opportunity, collectively, for the wholesale industry – mortgage brokers, in particular – is to make the servicing experience better for the customer. At Home Point, our goal is to make it a simplified and streamlined experience based on the customer’s preference.

We’re keeping the broker top of mind with the customer every time they log in to make a payment. Each conversation we have with the customer reminds them about their mortgage broker and reinforces the relationship in a meaningful way, instead of brokers having to arbitrarily make cold calls or send emails.

This long-term connectivity with the customer helps brokers retain their customers over the life of the loan, maximizing their earning potential over several years.

HW: That notion of “We Care” applies to your associates as well. How has the pandemic impacted the way business is done at Home Point?

PH: Thankfully, the mortgage industry has been among the few that have generally thrived during the pandemic because of historically low interest rates. Prior to the COVID-19 environment, we had approximately 37% of our associates working remotely. Once we began to experience the impacts of the pandemic, we pivoted quickly to expand the number of associates working remotely.

We have more than 96% of our team working from home, making our accelerated growth even more impressive. For us to grow our broker-oriented wholesale business faster than any other Top 5 wholesale lender with a remote workforce speaks volumes about the technology and processes we have in place, and how dedicated our associates are to helping our broker partners succeed.

We’re finding that our associates are embracing the opportunity to work from home and, in many ways, have been even more productive. It’s changing how we, as a leadership team, will manage work-life balance for our associates even after the pandemic has ended.

We’ve asked our associates for their feedback through surveys and weekly all-associate meetings and found that they appreciate the flexibility and ability to plan their work schedules around their personal lives, instead of the other way around.

Feedback has shown that 80% of our associates like the idea of a hybrid work arrangement, where they can work from home and choose which days they get to work in the office. We’re looking into doing more to accommodate our associates’ appreciation for flexibility because keeping them happy leads to tremendous success for Home Point, our broker partners and everyone.
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Stewart acquires Alaskan title agency

Stewart acquires Alaskan title agency
Stewart Title has acquired an Alaskan title agency with offices in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Wasilla, the company announced. Exact financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.