BY RICH SWERBINSKY, PRESIDENT & COO OF THE MORTGAGE COLLABORATIVE
NOTE – This piece is satirical in nature and all of the quotes below are fabricated.
If you’ve seen one prediction column or economist projection for the mortgage industry for 2022, you’ve seen them all. And they’re always wrong. Raise your hand if a year ago you were predicting 2021 would be nearly as busy as the record-setting 2020 and that any of this madness would have ensued?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So let’s have some fun and take a shot at some really bold predictions on mortgage industry related headlines we could see in 2022.
Ishbia Issues Another Edict (January 20, 2022)
Tired of not seeing his name in the news, United Wholesale CEO Mat Ishbia once again demanded his customers “bend the knee”, threatening to stop doing business with mortgage brokers that sell loans to competitors Caliber Home Loans, Home Point, Flagstar Bank or loanDepot. Ishbia made headlines in 2021 by issuing a similar edict to his customers that sold loans to fellow competitors Rocket Mortgage or Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.
“The business advantage of being a mortgage broker is having access to many different lenders products and pricing,” said Ishbia. “By eliminating brokers ability to sell to our vastly inferior competitors and to essentially become retail net branches of United Wholesale, everyone wins. Especially United Wholesale.”
UWMC shareholders may disagree. The stock sits at $5.94/share, falling precipitously from its post-IPO $13 price throughout the course of the last year.
Zillow Reveals Shocking Home Valuation Methodology Process (February 4, 2022)
Three months after shuttering it’s iBuying program and laying off 25% of their employees after $1 billion in losses, Zillow Group Inc. provided shocking insight into the home valuation errors that led to the failure of that division of the online real estate marketplace behemoth.
“In hindsight, using the Magic 8 Ball to predict the direction of the value of homes we were iBuying was reckless,” said Zillow CEO Rich Barton. “Our research indicated it was providing better results than the Executive Decision-Making Dart Board we used to use, but the bottom line is it wasn’t good enough and our shareholders deserve better. It’s what we do, we value homes. And we need to re-examine our methods.”
Chopra Attempts Failed Coup of Mortgage Bankers Association at Technology Conference (April 12, 2022)
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra, fresh off his hostile takeover of the FDIC and declarations of war against overdraft fees and “big tech”, attempted to overthrow the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) at their recent Technology Solutions & Expo Conference this week at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
During the opening general session, Chopra unexpectedly charged the stage in a “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” t-shirt as CFPB operatives barred and guarded the exit doors. Chopra started unfurling a plan to overtake and fold the MBA under the umbrella of the CFPB, an independent regulatory agency with no oversight. The mostly Republican and highly confused crowd of attendees almost immediately started to get hostile, causing Bellagio security to quickly leave Ben Affleck’s blackjack table to restore order and to escort Chopra and his operatives off the premises.
Biden Administration Under Heat as Housing Inventory Falls to Lowest Levels in US History (May 23, 2022)
President Biden continued to come under increased criticism this week for his administration’s role in a worsening housing inventory problem in America as the monthly supply of houses in America fell to 0.1 months. A six-month supply is considered healthy. Biden is under heat for a series of actions that has increased an already frenetic demand for housing while doing nothing to help improve a long-standing dearth of housing supply.
“My advisors failed to properly inform me that the laws of supply and demand apply to the housing market,” said Biden. “After a long nap and a glass of warm milk, my team and I met this afternoon and we’re going to learn from and get better from this.”
Homebuilder Group Endorses Styrofoam for New Home Construction Amidst Exploding Lumber Prices (June 3, 2022)
With lumber prices soaring to new all-time highs this past week, National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard endorsed the use of Styrofoam for new home construction at an impromptu press conference outside of his local bar as America’s housing inventory issue continues to worsen with the summer months approaching.
“Despite the facts that Styrofoam is a dangerous air pollutant and poses a great threat to humans, the environment, and animals and takes over 500 years to decompose, leaching harmful chemicals into the environment in the process – I am now formally endorsing Styrofoam as the preferred material for new home construction in America,” said Howard. “It’s cheap, readily available, and most importantly, we don’t have any other options.”
Mark Calabria & Small Throng of Supporters Lead Attempted Raid of Capitol Building (July 6, 2022)
18 months to the day after a throng of Trump supporters did the same, former FHFA Director Mark Calabria led a failed siege of the Capitol Building with seven of his most loyal followers joining him. The group was easily rebuffed by 86-year-old part-time security guard Sal Browning, who was unarmed.
In exile for close to a year after being forced out of office by President Biden in 2021, Calabria’s taken to the popular right-wing social media platform Parler in recent months calling for FHFA to implement a new fee on all loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who purchase 62% of all conforming loans in America. Calabria claims that his purported 0.75 point “Mortgage Bankers Are Evil Market Fee” would generate $930 million annually that would put the government-sponsored enterprises “back on the path to exit conservatorship”.
AIME Set to Host First Ever “Royal Rumble” On Super Bowl Weekend (September 20, 2022)
The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) today announced an exciting new annual event that will debut annually this coming February on the Saturday of Super Bowl weekend. Titled the “Mortgage Broker Royal Rumble”, the event seeks to ease raging hostility in the wholesale/broker mortgage channel through a professional wrestling themed event.
The main event features a tag-team battle between Anthony Casa and The Mean Guy From Better.com vs. The Sucker Punch Guy and The Chair Over The Head Guy from this epic recent brawl. The co-main event will feature United Wholesale CEO Mat Ishbia taking on the entire Rocket Mortgage management team in a steel cage match after calling them out on social media and unexpectedly having them accept. The Rocket Mortgage management team opened as 900-1 favorites in early betting at Las Vegas casinos.
Forty-Two Hospitalized in Nashville as Margin Compression Drinking Game Turns Ugly (October 28, 2022)
Forty-two attendees of the MBA Annual Convention were hospitalized this week due to alcohol poisoning as the tough business climate for mortgage bankers and Nashville’s Broadway music district proved to be a bad match.
Discussions with the hospitalized revealed that the source of the carnage was the resuscitation of what they called “The Margin Compression Drinking Game”. Borne during the winter of 2019 during a similarly tough stretch for the mortgage banking industry, conference attendees took to taking a swig of their favorite adult beverage every time they heard the phrase “margin compression” uttered. With interest rates higher than they’ve been in a long time throughout most of 2022 and refinance business nearly non-existent, lenders pricing purchase business very aggressively to keep deal flow coming in has been driving profits down and also driving mortgage bankers to drink.
FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limits to Over $1.5 Million As Home Values Continue to Skyrocket (December 6, 2022)
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2023. In most of the U.S., the 2023 conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $1,547,200, an increase of $900,000 from $647,200 in 2021.
The move was made in response to exploding home values in America throughout 2022 as a series of moves to increase already ferocious demand were levied with housing inventory already at historically low levels and with many impediments to the new-home build market present.
Voldemort Variant Sets Off Unexpected Refinance Boom to Close Out 2022 (December 28, 2022)
While 2022 was a rough one for the mortgage industry, 2023 is set to get off to a busy start for lenders as the Voldemort variant of the COVID-19 virus spread rampantly through America in early November, causing the Federal Reserve to “untaper” their mortgage bond purchasing, driving 30-year fixed rates to their lowest levels ever.