We were driving our kids to the doctor earlier this morning and my wife asked our 10 year old twin boys if they wished me on Father’s day. Both of them responded in chorus but with zero sincerity, Happy Father’s Day. I thought I will try my luck and asked - What are you getting me for Father’s day. One of them replied that he will make a card (which he did not) and he will let me have a bigger serving of crab curry when we go back home (which also he did not, but that is okay because he loves sea food).
I am not complaining. Having kids is so much fun. They will make you feel you are a good story teller, very knowledgeable and string. But only till they reach 5 to 6 years age. After that they claim that they know everything that you try to tell them :)
One of the pleasures of having kids at home is that you can start doing things that you lost habit of, along with them. We have lot of books at home and I am now reading Roald Dahl’s Going Solo. It is the autobiography of the famous author in which he writes about his time in the Royal Air Force, flying Gladiator fighter plane in WW II. Now I am quoting something from the book that is really fascinating - “The Gladiator was armed with two fixed machine-guns, and these actually fired bullets through
the revolving propeller.”. Imagine two machine guns firing thousands of bullets a minute synchronised to fire bullets through a propeller revolving at thousands of revs per minutes without hitting the propeller blades. And this was 100 years back. I think that is truly amazing. If you are interested in the engineering behind it, check this video
Now, if you are wondering if there was no mortgage news these last couple of weeks there indeed was.
- According to new research from the consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports, one in three consumers spotted errors in credit reports. The most frequently identified mistakes involved erroneous personal information, such as wrong addresses and misspelled names, but 11% of the participants found accounts that they did not recognize, payments that were falsely flagged as late, or other incorrect information related to their debts. For something as important as a credit report, a 11% critical error rate is terrible to say the least.
- In an announcement that is surely going to help mortgage servicers and thrill fintech companies, Fannie Mae has given mortgage servicers the green light to use third-party digital vendors to verify income and asset information. With many mortgages coming out forbearance, servicers are being closely watched on how they will handle borrower requests. It makes lot of sense for servicers to make use of this flexibility so they can handle the volumes and do it right.
- While it is unlikely that any mortgage company will make more money in 2021 compared to the blockbuster 2020, some of the more enterprising companies have found an interesting way to make money by buying loans that are in forbearance and selling them to investors for profit. Check this WSJ article for how these early buyout trades work.
- Last year we saw mortgage interest rates plunge to historical lows going below 3% here in the US. Check this out. HSBC is offering sub-1% interest rate for its customers in the UK. Now what would something like that mean to your mortgage business? To those friends in the UK who are getting excited about this news, note that the offer from HSBC is for an ARM loan; the rate is locked only for 2 years and after that you pay the prevailing rates.
- One of the fascinating things about mortgage industry is the number of people you will find in this industry who started with almost nothing and built tremendous businesses valued at billions of dollars. You can see them all around - Dan Gilbert of Rocket, Mat Ishiba of United Wholesale Mortgage, Stan Middleman of Freedom Mortgage etc. A less frequently talked about, but an equally impressive story is that of Anthony Hsieh of Loandepot. Forbes spoke to Anthony and he spoke of his plans to beat Rocket and Wells Fargo.
- Business Insider published its latest list of The best USDA loan lenders. Check this list to see what these lenders are doing right.
- ‘Build your own doors to be able to walk through them’ - that is an expression I heard for the first time and I heard it in our latest podcast episode with the very charismatic - Laura Brandao, President of American Financial Resources (AFR). Laura’s life story is nothing short of extra-ordinary. Listen to Laura’s story here for some great life lessons.
- While 2020 was a great year for the mortgage industry, 2021 is shaping into a challenging year with declining refi volumes and dwindling housing supply. So the question is - how do you rise above the rest and become the ‘partner of choice’ for prospective borrowers. Craig Strent, CEO of Apex Home Loans discussed exactly when we spoke to him for Mortgage Vault podcast. Don’t miss it.
Why is Father’s day always on a Sunday? Don’t fathers deserve an extra holiday?