Sunday, February 12, 2017

Forecast: Half of your Loan Work will Disappear in 2017

I could be wrong.

I have been wrong before.

But, this isn't MY news.  

It's coming from sources who (like us) would rather see thousands 
and thousands of refinance loans originated daily.

If you feel negatively toward me about it, I regret that, but I feel right with myself for saying it, and almost panicky if I don't.

The other day, I posted that there would be a low number or refi loans in 2017 on a Facebook group.  A long-time notary posted back something about "pessimism" and "remember, all areas aren't the same!"

Pessimism would be me telling you something that was negative and unfounded.  

It's very simple. When rates go up, people don't refinance.

I am NOT pessimistic.  I am honest and I can read the experts' websites.

As far as  "all areas aren't the same..." well, that's an interesting remark and that is all I will say about it.

I've been in this business a long time.  Just because I haven't been hanging out on  Facebook groups has nothing to do with my longevity and understanding of the lending and mortgage business.  My experience goes back to 1984.  I have seen a lot.

I  seem to know when to hold and when to fold.

In the mid-2000s, I folded my little tent that said, "I am my own boss 100% of the time!" and found a job before all the good ones were gone.   I received countless emails and text messages in the next two years that said, "You were so smart to move out and get a job while you could."

I never shut down my business, but I didn't post "Hey y'all!  Why is it so slow?" each day hoping that it would not be.

I acted.

I grabbed a job, hated it, quit, and found another job I loved.  At that job, I learned a thousand new things to help me with my notary business.

There's nothing I would like better than to bring you sunshine and tell you that your signing agent career will be smooth sailing.  I can't. Forget it.  Put it on the back burner for now.

Look for other notary opportunities.

Refinance loans are not a good deal for borrowers when the interest rate is HIGHER.  No one wants to REFINANCE a loan to a HIGHER interest.  Therefore, you will see one-half the work that is available now and that doesn't factor in the thousands of new notaries who came into the business after reading (so I was told) about Dream Catchers / Live Richer's posts about the side hustle of notary work that have driven many sincere newbies into the  business.  They are investing, I fear, into something that won't give them a return on investment. I tried to join this group to try to explain it for myself, but I was rejected and banned after requesting entry.  [UPDATE 2/12/17 7:21 pm:  I have emailed the owner of the business regarding this issue and feel certain it is going to be resolved so we can get the right information where it should be.]

I am not a pessimist!  I believe in miracles.

I believe that a few loaves and fishes can be blessed and turned into enough to feed thousands.  I have been shamed about being negative and not believing that God has the power to fix this.

I believe in Jesus Christ.  I know Him.

I have experienced miracles, but let's don't ask God to do backflips and redefine up/down and high/low.  Let's ask Him to show us where we can go for new opportunities.

Most of the experienced notaries already know that the mortgage refi loans are drying up.  

Even so, I had no idea the predictions were as bad as they are.

Anyone who tells you that this isn't going to hurt the loan signing business either doesn't understand or stands to profit if more notaries stand around waiting for work, willing to take is for peanuts, and buying more stuff or services to find out the secrets.

I'm still shocked at the predictions by FreddieMac.

FreddieMac said we will have 55% less refinance loans in 2017 and less in 2018.

Read what INMAN has to say, as well.

The mortgage arena is still strong in purchases.  The economy is good, but interest rates are up.

There will be continuing equity loans, but maybe not as many.  According to FreddieMac, this is  because our standard IRS deduction will cause the mortgage interest deduction to lose its luster in many cases. Most of us will be getting it across the board in the standard deduction.

I feel like you would do well to focus on your general notary work / mobile notary area of your business now and get that side of your business up and running.

Diversify and focus on other work besides loan signings. 

I didn't say to stop learning about your loan work, but rising interest rates will truly put a slowdown on loan work.

There will still be reverse mortgages and home equity loans, but the burst of refinance mortgages that we saw in 2015-2016 came because interest rates moved DOWN a bit.

In 2016-2017 they will RISE.  Therefore, you will see the number of refinance loan cut in half.  I don't know the ins and outs of WHY...I just know that these sources say they will:

Refis are your bread and butter.

They are drying up.

Start looking into other avenues for income.  


Brenda Stone
Texas Notary Professionals Directory 

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