Happy 420 Day. (Tomorrow, by the way, is Happy Surprise Drug Test Day.) Another day, another layoff story from Better.com. The human tragedy in Ukraine continues, but the world financial markets seem to be concentrated on the mounting inflation numbers. Our Federal Reserve is viewed as playing catch up, and we are reminded of its mandate of “maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” Here in Atlanta, in the MBA and STRATMOR Peer Group Roundtable meetings, much of the conversation revolves around bank and non-bank lending. Banks and credit unions are interested in shifting to HELOCs, construction lending issues, and more portfolio lending due to excess cash and deposits, all the while trying to keep trained staff on board. For independent mortgage bankers, the attention is on reducing costs, adjusting staff levels, and how to work preapprovals and enable cash buyers. Indeed, IMBs need to hunker down to outlast their competitors. The human element of that is clear, and as a reminder, those displaced can always post their resume for free here, and potential employers can view them for a nominal fee. (The audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Candor: AI that puts your underwriting on autopilot. Today’s has an interview with Candor CEO Tom Showalter on how automation is helping borrowers compete with cash buyers.) Lender Broker Software and Services Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new rules are facilitating the use of desktop appraisals for a larger share of mortgage transactions. But their complexity could lead lenders to misunderstand their short-term impact and long-term advantages. Class Valuation’s new whitepaper, “How Appraisal Modernization is Impacting Mortgage Lending,” takes a close look at the new rules, the new desktop appraisal criteria, eligibility, and how the industry will be affected going forward. It also reviews some specific changes lenders can make now to get the most benefit from the new rules with minimal disruption to their businesses. Class Valuation is a top 10 nationwide Appraisal Management Company based in Troy, Michigan. Class recently launched a new Digital Appraisal and has completed more than 10,000 digital appraisals that have resulted in a 70% reduction in underwriter revisions. In addition, turn times have reduced by as much as 50%. You can read the whitepaper here.