Rates Hit All Time Low, Glenn Stearns Back In, Average FICO Reaches Record High, Loan Officer Lists, Insurance Agent Lists, Financial Planner Lists

Mortgage News for 3/6/2020

Mortgage rates hit lowest level in almost 50 years

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 3.29% Thursday – the lowest interest rate Freddie Mac has recorded since 1971.

Freddie's Primary Mortgage Market Survey revealed that the 30-year FRM plunged from last week's 3.45% and was lower than last year's 4.41% average.

"The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29% this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history. Meanwhile, mortgage applications increased 10% last week from one year ago and showed no signs of slowing down," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell from the previous week's 2.95% to 2.79% this week. At this time in 2019, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.83%.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage dropped two basis points from 3.20% to 3.18%. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM was 3.87%.

"Given these strong indicators in rates and sales, as well as recent increases in new construction, it's clear the housing market continues to be a positive force for the broader economy," Khater said.

Source: Mortgage Professional Magazine 3/6/2020 Author: Candyd Mendoza

Glenn Stearns roars back into mortgage space

The founder of Stearns Lending has launched a new company.

Glenn Stearns founded Stearns Lending in 1989 and built it into one of the largest mortgage companies in the nation. However, he has been less active in the mortgage space since Blackstone acquired a majority stake in the company in 2015. Blackstone took ownership of Stearns Holdings, Stearns Lendings’ parent company, after Stearns Holdings entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

Now, however, Glenn Stearns is charging back into the industry with the launch of Kind Lending, a company that said it “aims to break industry standards and introduce a contemporary approach to mortgage banking.”

Kind Lending has tapped Stearns Lending veteran Yvonne Ketchum as president. Ketchum has more than 30 years of industry experience.

“Glenn is the type of person I would have worked for again in a heartbeat,” Ketchum said.
“He is truly kind, inspirational, gutsy and driven. When he called, I jumped at the chance to launch this new venture with him. It will be a game-changer, and we can’t wait to show everyone how different, fresh and real mortgage lending can be.”

Stearns is a serial entrepreneur. In addition to Stearns Lending and Kind Lending, Stearns is the founder of Anivive Life Science, Stearns Wholesale, Stearns Holdings, Stearns Ventures, Artemis Holdings, TriVerify, TriMavin, United Housing Services, and Mortgage Services Providers Holdings. He is the owner of Underdog BBQ in Eerie, Pa. – a company he built while filming Discovery’s Undercover Billionaire, a show that gives contestants 90 days to build a million-dollar business from scratch, starting with only $100.  

Source: Mortgage Professional Magazine 3/6/20 Author: Ryan Smith

Average FICO score reaches record high, Experian says

The average U.S. FICO score hit a record high of 703 in 2019, driven by Americans in their 30s, as a strong labor market helped people to pay their bills on time.

The share of Americans with FICO scores above 700 rose to 59%, the largest ever, Experian said in a report on Thursday.

The improvement was driven by Millennials getting their financial lives in order as the oldest members of the cohort approach the age of 40.

“Millennials, ages 24 to 39 in 2020, now outnumber Baby Boomers and are finally hitting their credit stride,” the Experian report said.
“Their economic emergence is reflected by a 25-point increase in their average FICO score since 2012 – the biggest increase of any generation.”

The average age Americans achieved a FICO Score of 700 was the youngest ever: 54. Nine years ago, the average age was 62, the report said. Scores above 700 “are considered the marker of good credit by many lenders,” the report said.

About 1.2% of Americans had a perfect FICO score of 850, the report said. The number of people with an 850 score has grown 63% in 10 years, Experian said.

“Americans are making better credit decisions,” said Shannon Lois

, Experian’s head of analytics, consulting and operations. “Which is an indication of consumers being more educated about their credit.”

The strongest labor market in decades has also been a factor, the report said. The U.S. unemployment rate touched a 50-year low of 3.5% three times since September. In January, the rate was 3.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While jobs have been plentiful, wage growth has been stagnant. The median household income was $65,666 in December, according to a Feb. 6 report by Sentier Research. Adjusted for inflation, that’s a gain of just 1.1% from a year earlier, the report said.

Source: Housing Wire 2/28/2020 Author: Kathleen Howley

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