In this Issue        

May 2020 Edition


Presidents Message

State News & Events

Legislative Update

Newly elected Board Members.

Board Installation

Golf Outing

Peer Chat

Online Event Calendar

Chapter News & Events

Milwaukee Chapter Updates 

Madison Chapter Updates

MBA Updates

Upcoming Educational Webinars

Dear WMBA Members,

As I sit down write this final Presidents brief, I'm amazed at how fast this year has passed and I'm humbled and honored to have been part of a great leadership team at WMBA. I will be ending my year as WMBA President and looking forward to one more year on your Executive Committee as Immediate Past President.
The past year has been eventful to say the least. From another great Golf outing at the Grand Geneva, to a packed house for Best in Business, a successful Mortgage Bootcamp, numerous educational events, several new members, and that COVID thing.
I would like to take a moment to thank several people that have put in tremendous effort to keep our organization on track. First, Heather and Gale of Morgan Data have been enormously helpful in running the day to day operations of the WMBA including our special events and keeping our website full of valuable information. Thank you for all you do.  Buddy Julius and Ryan Murray of our lobbyist partner “The Firm” have done an exceptional job keeping the WMBA visible and relevant with both our lawmakers in Madison and our partner industry associations. I have learned firsthand the importance of political involvement and have quickly come to realize the importance of raising money in our PAC and Conduit accounts.  There is never a bad time to consider even a small donation to either of the WMBA political accounts.  These funds make a significant difference in helping the WMBA further our legislative agenda and profile within the Capitol!

I am deeply thankful for our executive committee, board of directors, committee chairs and chapter representatives.  This is where the heavy lifting of our organization takes place.  These people are the ones who make our organization run, help educate our members and create an atmosphere of networking and idea sharing.  Thank you to all of you.  If you are not currently active, please consider getting involved with one of our chapters or committees to get the full benefit of your membership in the WMBA.

Finally, thank you to the WMBA membership for the opportunity to represent our organization. Our association of Mortgage Professionals is a powerful and amazing group of people. Now more than ever we will make a difference in the communities we work in. Keep up the exceptional work and take great pride in what you do!

Best wishes,
Leo Spanuello

Leo Spanuello
WMBA President 2019-2020
Regional Mortgage Sales Manager
North Shore Bank


Legislative Update - Buddy Julius


Update from Buddy Julius, The Firm, LLC
May 29, 2020
Coronavirus new cases and hospitalizations rising though percentage of positive cases stays low.

As of Wednesday, 413 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Wisconsin. Fewer than 300 were hospitalized in early May.  And an additional 335 people are hospitalized while awaiting coronavirus test results, surpassing the previous high of 295, in early April.

DHS Secretary Palm told reporters she can't say with confidence that the rise is the result of the lifting of Safer-at-Home but the Department will continue tracking the data.

The state set new records for the largest single-day increases in coronavirus deaths, cases and tests Wednesday and Thursday. Another 22 deaths were added to the state's count, bringing it to 539. The previous single-day high was 19, on April 4 and April 28.

The state reported a record 10,330 new test results Wednesday, and the percentage of Wednesday's newly reported tests that came back positive for the coronavirus was lower, at 5.8%.

CVS Health opens 7 testing facilities in Wisconsin.

Patients must register in advance at to schedule an appointment at locations in Beloit, Kenosha, Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee, Pewaukee, Sheboygan and Waukesha.

Backlog of Wisconsin's unemployment claims expected to continue for months.

Speaking at a Senate committee meeting, DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said staffing needs and an antiquated unemployment program have been the biggest bottlenecks when it comes to processing the crush of claims arising from the COVID-19 shutdowns.  He said the department may not catch up with the backlog until sometime between mid-August and early October, depending on staffing levels.

Republicans raise concern about UI tax increases.

State legislation passed during the pandemic required DWD to pay benefits out of the shared statewide account, rather than individual business accounts.  Republicans say DWD has done the opposite, which could lead to business owners facing tax increases to replenish their accounts.

Eviction filings on rise with end of state moratorium.

A Legal Action attorney  said that based in part on DWD's failure to get unemployment checks to hundreds of thousands of laid-off workers, there could be some 40,000 households behind on rent in June.  For comparison, online court records show there were 2,455 evictions cases filed in June 2019.

Elections Commission approves sending absentee ballot applications to 2.7 million.

Excluded from the mailing are the 528,000 voters who have already requested an absentee ballot for an upcoming election this year, and 158,000 voters who the state suspects have moved addresses.

Wisconsin State Fair canceled.

State Fair Park Board chairman John Yingling decided to cancel the summer event that typically attracts more than 1 million people over 11 days.  It's the largest single event held in Wisconsin each year.  

It's the first cancellation of the State Fair since 1945, during World War Two, and only the sixth cancellation in the Wisconsin State Fair's 169-year history.

Rhinelander's Hodag festival was also cancelled.

Trump announces $40.9M for Milwaukee County bus rapid transit project

The $54.8 million, nine-mile project will run from downtown Milwaukee through the city's near west side and Wauwatosa before connecting to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.

DNC may test all Milwaukee convention attendees.

Gov. Evers floated the possibility in an interview with the Milwaukee Business Journal, though he noted no final decisions have been made.

State GOP still planning in-person convention for July 10-11.

They are reducing from a 3-day to a 2-day convention but are still planning for hospitality suites and other social functions.

State Democrats, meanwhile, have planned an all-virtual convention for June.

Thank you and stay safe!
Ryan, Buddy & Cynthia
The Firm Consulting

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WMBA 2020-2021 State Board of Directors
Congratulations to newly elected Board Members

We are pleased to announce the newly elected Directors for the WMBA 2020-2021 State Board of Directors. These new Directors will be installed during the June 10, 2020 Board of Directors meeting which will be held virtually this year.

Congratulations to:

Jean Daul, Knight Barry Title Services
Joe  Doyle, Arch Mortgage Insurance Company
Tim Edwards, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.

In addition, we are looking forward to Marey Riemer from WHEDA who was confirmed to start the role of Secretary on the Executive Team. Marey brings years of experience and leadership to this five-year committment and we are looking forward to her installation at the meeting as well.

Congratulations to all of our new board members and thank you to everyone on the Board for your continued support of your WMBA.



Upcoming Statewide Events

WMBA 2020-2021 Board Installation
June 10, 2020

The 2020-2021 Board Installation will now take place as a virtual meeting with the June Board of Directors meeting. We regret we are not able to have this meeting at the Ingleside Hotel this year as a result of the pandemic. It's always great to see our Past Presidents each year at this event.

Please consider attending the Golf Outing in September and the Best in Business event in October!


2020 Statewide Golf Outing

September 10, 2020

WMBA is excited to return to one of the premiere golf destinations in Wisconsin and in all of the Midwest for the 2020 Golf Outing. Please join us at The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa at the Brute course on September 10, 2020 in beautiful Lake Geneva, WI.

Registration is now open for golfers and Sponsorship opportunities! For all of the details, go to the the WMBA Statewide Golf Outing event page.

$150   Individual Golfer
$600   Foursome
$40     Dinner Only

10:30 - 11:45 am ..... Registration
11:00 - 11:45 am ..... Box Lunch
11:45 am ................. Golfers to Carts/Announcements
12:00 pm ................. Shotgun Start
Following Golf ....... Cookout Buffet Dinner / Prize Announcements

Dinner will be served immediately following golf.  The program will begin when the last group begins dinner.Registration

Registration Deadline is September 1, 2020

2020 Sponsorship Opportunities

 $400 Hole Sponsor
Representative may be present at the hole on event day.
Company MUST provide a gender neutral prize valued between $50 and $100 for hole event.
 $400 Pre-Golf Lunch Sponsor
 $400 Post-Golf Dinner Sponsor 
 $750 Cart Sponsor (1 available) - SOLD OUT
Your logo on the golf cart assignment tags 
 $400 Beverage Cart Sponsor 
 $400 Scorecard Sponsor (2 available)
Your logo on each group's scorecard

Thank you to our sponsors so far:
Golf Cart Sponsor
Beverage Cart Sponsor


2020 Statewide Peer Chat

A new feature on the member website page is a discussion forum where you can add your comments to a posted topic or suggest another topic. There are currently three topics posted including: 

- eClosings - Remote Online Notarization
- Closings at your bank or company
- How are you effectively managing your remote staff?


You can find the Peer Chat at:

2020 NEW Online Event Calendar

Check out the new Online Event Calendar on the WMBA website that will include Statewide events, Board Meetings, Chapter Events and Educational Events. If you have an event to add, use the Suggest Event feature to give us the details to add to the calendar.

The calendar can be found at:


Milwaukee Chapter Event Highlights

Voting ends today, May 29th for the three open Board of Directors positions on the Milwaukee Chapter Board. Watch for the listing of new Directors on the Milwaukee Chapter webpage.


Madison Chapter Event Highlights

Voting ends today, May 29th for the five open Board of Directors positions on the Madison Chapter Board. Watch for the listing of new Directors on the Madison Chapter webpage.

MBA Update

 ‘Zombie’ Property Stats Hold Steady Amid Foreclosure Moratorium

May 27, 2020

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., said the percentage of “zombie” properties—vacant properties facing foreclosure—held steady in the second quarter as nationwide moratoria on foreclosures kept activity to a minimum.

The company’s second-quarter Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showed that 1.5 million residential properties in the United States are vacant, representing 1.5 percent of all homes. Nearly 258,000 homes are in the process of foreclosure, with 7,650, or 3 percent, sitting empty as so-called ‘zombie foreclosures’ in the second quarter. The percentage of zombie foreclosure properties is down slightly from 3.1 percent in the first quarter.

ATTOM said the total count of properties in the process of foreclosure (258,024) in the second quarter is down 8.8 percent from the first quarter (282,767). The 7,652 zombie properties represent one of every 13,000 homes in the nation’s stock of 99.2 million residential properties.

Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, said the second-quarter foreclosure and zombie property numbers have dropped since the first quarter amid a federal prohibition against lenders foreclosing on government-backed mortgages until at least June 30,. The ban, which affects about 70 percent of home loans in the United States, was enacted under the CARES Act and extended this month to help borrowers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The foreclosure and zombie-property picture hasn’t changed much in the second quarter of this year as most lenders are barred from taking action against homeowners who are falling behind on their mortgages. We are in a holding pattern across the country as long as the moratorium continues,” Teta said. “At some point, that will have to be lifted, so that banks can make their own decisions about whether to continue delaying foreclosures while the economy recovers. When that will happen is unknown, but that’s the point when we will see if foreclosure activity will remain at very low levels or rise.”

Key report findings:

–7,652 residential properties facing possible foreclosure have been vacated by their owners nationwide in the second quarter. States where the percentage of zombie foreclosures are above the national average of 3 percent include Ohio (6.7 percent), New Mexico (5.5 percent), Indiana (4.8 percent), Illinois (4.7 percent) and Iowa (4.5 percent). The lowest rates – all less than 1.3 percent – are in South Dakota, Idaho, New Hampshire, Utah, New Jersey, Connecticut and Colorado.

–New York continues to have the highest actual number of zombie properties (2,158), followed by Florida (1,136), Ohio (877), Illinois (868) and New Jersey (302).

–Among 158 metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residential properties, Peoria, Ill., continues to have the highest percentage of zombie foreclosures at 12.9 percent, followed by Cleveland (11 percent); Syracuse, N.Y. (8.9 percent); St. Louis (7.8 percent) and Honolulu (7.8 percent).

–Among major metro areas with at least 500,000 residential properties, the lowest zombie foreclosure rates are in San Francisco (0.6 percent); Austin, Texas (0.8 percent); Philadelphia (1.1 percent); Phoenix (1.3 percent) and Boston (1.4 percent).

-The top zombie foreclosure rates in counties with at least 500 properties in foreclosure include Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio (12.8 percent); Broome County (Binghamton), N.Y. (10.1 percent); Saint Clair County, Ill. (outside of St. Louis) (9.5 percent); Onondaga County (Syracuse), N.Y. (9.3 percent) and Madison County, Ill. (outside of St. Louis) (8.9 percent).

–The highest levels of vacant investor-owned homes are in Indiana (8.4 percent), Kansas (6.6 percent), Ohio (6.3 percent), Minnesota (6.1 percent) and Mississippi (5.8 percent).

–The highest overall vacancy rates for all residential properties continue to be in Kansas (2.6 percent), Tennessee (2.6 percent), Mississippi (2.6 percent), Oklahoma (2.6 percent) and Indiana (2.5 percent). The lowest remain in New Hampshire (0.4 percent), Vermont (0.4 percent), Delaware (0.5 percent), Idaho (0.6 percent) and North Dakota (0.7 percent).

MBA: Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Increases to 8.36%

May 26, 2020

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey showed loans now in forbearance increased to 8.36% of mortgage servicer volume as of May 17, up from 8.16% the week before. MBA now estimates 4.2 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

The report said mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae again saw the largest overall share of loans in forbearance by investor type (11.60%) and the largest increase from the previous week (34 basis points). Loans in forbearance for depository servicers rose to 9.13%, while loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank servicers increased to 8.11%. Over the past four weeks, the difference between the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers compared to IMB servicers has narrowed, from 135 basis points as of April 19 to 102 basis points as of May 17.

“Although job losses continue at extremely high rates, mortgage servicers are reporting only modest increases in the share of loans in forbearance as of May 17,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The decline in employment and income is hitting FHA and VA borrowers harder, leading to 11.6 percent of Ginnie Mae loans currently in forbearance.”

Fratantoni noted forbearance requests declined from a week ago. “And while call volume picked up, servicers appear well staffed for this volume, as wait times and abandonment rates dropped,” he said.

Key findings of the MBA Forbearance and Call Volume Survey – May 11 to May 17:

• Total loans in forbearance grew relative to the prior week: from 8.16% to 8.36%. This 20-basis-point weekly increase was the smallest increase reported since the week of March 9.

o By investor type, the share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week: from 11.26% to 11.60%.

o The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance increased relative to the prior week: from 6.25% to 6.36%.

o The share of other loans (e.g., private-label securities and portfolio loans) in forbearance increased relative to the prior week: from 9.26% to 9.54%.

• Forbearance requests as a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#) dropped across all investor types for the sixth consecutive week relative to the prior week: from 0.32% to 0.28%.

• Weekly servicer call center volume:

o As a percent of servicing portfolio volume (#), calls increased from 7.8% to 8.6%.

o Average speed to answer decreased relative to the prior week from 2.0 minutes to 1.6 minutes. o Abandonment rates decreased from 5.3% to 4.6%.

o Average call length increased from 6.7 minutes to 7.0 minutes.

• Loans in forbearance as a share of servicing portfolio volume (#) as of May 17:

o Total: 8.36% (previous week: 8.16%)

o IMBs: 8.11% (previous week: 7.85%) o Depositories: 9.13% (previous week: 8.99%)

The Forbearance and Call Volume Survey covers May 11-17 and represents nearly 77% of the first-mortgage servicing market (38.3 million loans).



Upcoming Educational Webinars

Click here to view the calendar register for the upcoming webinars

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