From the Editor
BY JENNIFER E. GARRETT, EDITOR
With the start of the ne W year — a time of change and ne W beginnings —
We’re making a fe W changes at scotsman guide, starting With some ne W
features in the magazine.
This month marks the debut of DataDecoded, a new column that takes a look beyond the
numbers and analyzes the trends in residential mortgage markets. The space will rotate
between experts from the Mortgage Bankers association (MBa), realty Trac, and Zillow.com.
On Page 16, David H. Stevens, president and CEO of MBa, starts the column off with an
analysis of the results from MBa’s national Delinquency Survey this past third quarter. Look
for next month’s DataDecoded column to crunch the numbers from Zillow.com, and March to
feature analysis from realty Trac.
This month also marks the launch of our new Correspondent Lending Matrix on Page 29.
Mortgage brokers and bankers looking to develop a correspondent-lending relationship with
a larger lender can now find the lender that best suits their needs in terms of requirements,
programs and products offered.
One feature that’s no longer new, but still much anticipated: our third annual Top Originators list.
This year, we’re adding print listings for top originators in U.S. Department of Veterans affairs
(Va) loans and U.S. Department of agriculture (USDa) loans. Of course, we’ll still be ranking top
producers in terms of Top Dollar Volume, Most Loans Closed, Federal Housing administration
(FHa) Volume, Purchase Volume, and refinance Volume, as well as overall Volume Gain.
Online submissions open on jan. 4 and close on jan. 31. no entries will be accepted after
jan. 31, so be sure to submit your numbers to be a part of the most-comprehensive, verified
rankings of mortgage originators. Visit scotsmanguide.com/TOlist for more information, and
look for the final rankings in the april magazine.
In addition to all our new features, we also have our usual line-up of articles from industry
experts to help guide you into the new year. Southwest Funding’s Stuart Blend offers tips on
how to uncover new revenue streams this year on Page 21. Testa Capital Group’s aphrodite
C. Hill discusses how originators can learn from 2011 to make 2012 more successful on
Page 30. and, despite lingering problems, brighter days are ahead, according to Vince Parlove
of Michigan Mutual Inc. read why on Page 50.
• • •
also: Speaking of new beginnings, you may have noticed a few changes on Scotsman Guide ’s
masthead. after working on both the residential and commercial magazines as an associate
editor, I’m thrilled to be working as the editor, and I’d like to officially welcome our two new
associate editors: raymond fleischmann will be heading up our residential edition, and
rania oteify will be focused on our commercial edition.
FEATURED TOP ORIGINATOR
Craig Miller, Firs Trust Mortgage Inc.
No. 8 Most Loans Closed (2010)
BY JENNIFER E. GARRETT
To be a successful mortgage banker, Craig Miller follows one simple principle:
Do the right thing for the client. “That’s what I commit to every time I meet with
someone,” he says. “I don’t sell people something just because it pays bigger
margins or because it’s an easy sell.”
That commitment to customer service led Miller, a senior vice president at Firs Trust Mortgage,
based in Missouri, to the no. 39 ranking on the Top Dollar Volume list for Scotsman Guide’s Top
Miller also is a certified mortgage planner, and his company emphasizes the education of
customers. “We spend a lot of extra time with clients,” he says. Much of that time is face-to-face
meetings, which clients appreciate, Miller says. “They really love it. They feel empowered, and
they go out and tell other people.” In fact, Miller attributes more than 90 percent of his business
to repeat and referral clients.
after closing 643 loans in 2010, he anticipates similar numbers for 2011 despite the challenges
posed by changing regulations and underwriting. “I’ve got a bigger pipeline [of loans] right
now than I ever have,” he says. “as long as things remain fairly steady, I plan to pick up market
share [in 2012].”
View Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2010 rankings at scotsmanguide.com/ Top2010. For more information on the
upcoming Top Originators 2011 rankings, visit scotsmanguide.com/TOlist.
In the Past Month
Foreclosures at a ‘slow burn’
IrVInE, CaLIF. — Online properties brokers realtyTrac
reported foreclosures this past third quarter affected one
in every 213 U.S. housing units. Foreclosures in the third
quarter increased less than 1 percent from the second
quarter and fell 34 percent from the third quarter of 2010.
realty Trac said foreclosure activity was at a “slow burn.”
Foreclosure activity, which includes homes listed on default
notices, repossessed by banks or with auctions scheduled,
were reported at 214,855 homes this past September, a
6 percent decline from august and a 38 percent decline
from September 2010, realty Trac said.
Builders feel slight confidence boost
WaSHInGTOn, D.C. — Builder confidence in the U.S. market
for newly built, single-family homes increased marginally this
past november, a national housing market index indicated.
The national association of Home Builders (naHB)/Wells
Fargo Housing Market Index for november increased three
points to reach 20. This follows a three-point increase from
September to October, the trade group said.
The break-even point on the index is 50 points. above
50 indicates more builders in the survey indicated they
viewed business conditions as “favorable” rather than
naHB Chairman Bob nielsen said the index remained in a
deep trough, despite two months of improved numbers.
In a statement, nielsen said builders faced “many
challenges,” including a high number of foreclosures, hard-to-find credit and “the restrictive lending environment.”
Pending, existing home sales
WaSHInGTOn, D.C. — Pending U.S. home sales jumped this
past October after three months of declines, while existing U.S. home sales increased slightly in the same month,
according to reports from the national association of
The Pending Home Sales Index increased 10. 4 percent this
past October, pushing the index to 93.3, nar said.
Meanwhile, October sales of single-family homes, town-homes, condominiums and co-ops increased 1.4 percent to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million in the month,
nar reported. Inventories, meanwhile, fell 2.2 percent to
3. 33 million existing homes available for sale.
The supply of homes on the market represented an 8-month
supply at current market conditions.
Existing-home sales: Jan. 20
Pending home sales: Jan. 27
Home price decline slows
in third quarter
nEW yOrK — according to this past September’s S&P/
Case-Shiller Home Price Index report, the rate of decline in
U.S. home prices slowed in third quarter ’ 11.
Overall, the annual rate of decline slowed to a drop of
3. 9 percent in the third quarter compared with 5. 8 percent
in the second. The report noted that national home prices
have returned to levels last seen in the first quarter
The report noted that 14 of 20 monitored cities showed an
improved annual rate of change in September compared
with august. atlanta, Las Vegas, Los angeles, San
Francisco, Seattle and Tampa, Fla., posted lower annual
declines in September compared with august. Detroit
and Washington, D.C., posted positive annual rates of
3. 7 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: Jan. 25