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Viewpoints | December 21, 2020

Goodbye 2020; Hello New Mission Guidelines

David Leopold
Article By
Meg McElgunn, Vice President, Conventional Production & Sales

What a year! 2020 has been unlike anything we’ve ever seen —and hopefully will never see again in our lifetime. Pivoting and adjusting has been the name of the game, from where we are working, to what we were wearing (hello sweatpants), and other roles we’ve taken on (homeschooling, anyone?). I can also attest that managing the SBL business has required its own set of pivots and adjustments too!

We started the year off with a bang, but by late March, the uncertainty in the markets undermined our progress, and we lost over $1 billion from our Under App pipeline in a single week. Given this catastrophic loss, some may have counted us out, but not with the team we have in place. We have a true commitment to this business, and as we started adding new procedures to assess and mitigate risk, borrower demand for the SBL product rebounded, and we made a huge comeback by the fall.

Through a roller coaster of a year, I couldn’t be prouder for not having missed a beat – our Capital Markets team has securitized an SBL pool EVERY single month, and the investor demand for the product has translated into tremendous oversubscription levels with each deal.

Thank you to our entire Optigo® network for pivoting with us and providing feedback and support all the way through. We’ve added staff, and I’m extremely proud of what we ended up accomplishing in this challenging year; the obstacles we navigated together will only make us stronger. We’re not out of this yet, but we’ve shown that SBL can withstand an unforeseen market disruption.

Despite our best hopes, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, we won’t automatically be transported back to “old times.” The first half of next year may look a lot like this: teleworking, video conference calls and no travel. But undoubtedly, there will also be some changes. One thing we already know for 2021 is that we have a new definition for mission-driven business from our regulator.

With these new guidelines on mission business, we’re once again making some tweaks around the edges of our program to ensure we’re bringing liquidity to all markets at all times.

We are rolling out a new pricing calculator today that is better aligned with our new mission guidelines. The new calculator will reflect various discount levels based on how mission-oriented a deal is.

  • 15 bps discount if your deal qualifies as mission (>=50% of units are <=80% AMI) in all markets except for Northeast and West Top Markets (>=40% of units are <=80% AMI)
  • An additional 15 bps if your deal has >=80% of the units operating at <=80% AMI.
  • An additional 10 bps if your deal has >=30% of the units qualifying at <=60% AMI

We anticipate this new calculator will help maintain balanced volume all throughout the country. However, as we did in 2020, we’ll constantly monitor and make additional adjustments as needed. The first quarter of 2021 is looking to be another great one, thanks to the solid pipeline you’ve helped create for our collective teams.

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