Frequent air travelers know that FAA rules say that, "Arrival delay equals the difference of the actual arrival time minus the scheduled arrival time. A flight is considered on-time when it arrives less than 15 minutes after its published arrival time." A cynic, who in this case probably includes most folks, would say that if a plane arrives 14 minutes after its scheduled arrival time, it's late. Eventually every airline is on time, or is late...just like eventually rates will go up and eventually refi's will go away. But the train continues to roll along, and 2012's $1.75 trillion in residential production is nothing to sneeze about. More

And companies are expanding to take advantage of it. Florida Community Bank, with 41 branches in Florida, is now hiring Regional Sales Managers, Area Managers both coasts, MLO's throughout the state, along with underwriters, closers, and processors. "We offer portfolio and boutique products generally not offered by other banks, such as condominiums with resort Characteristics, Canadian loans, cross collateralization loans, jumbos with high LTV, and non-warrantable condos. Florida Community Bank is a $3.5 billion company which is the 5th largest independent bank in Florida. Contact Jerry McLaughlin at gmclaughlin@fcb1923 .com for information or to send a confidential resume.

And a few states over, Envoy Mortgage, one of the nation's top 30 mortgage bankers, is now taking applications for correspondent operations support and sales in Monroe, Louisiana. Envoy is a nationwide, full-service mortgage bank, and more information on the company can be found at and "If you have experience in residential mortgage lending, such as underwriting, Q/C, funding, shipping, post-purchase, operations, secondary marketing, IT systems, accounting, sales, risk management, or servicing, please email your resume to John Wood at jwood@envoymortgage .com.

Lawsuits and settlements, settlements and lawsuits - they seem to go hand-in-hand. The most recent settlement involved some big-league names: GE, Freddie Mac, FHFA, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse, all mired down over underwriting. (And folks wonder why underwriters are nervous...) Here you go.

As part of the continuing saga of hurricane damage, the Department of Engineering and Community Development in Toms River Township, NJ reminds residents that they're eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program.  In order to qualify for the program, homes that are considered "Substantially Damaged Structures" are required to comply with federal regulation that states the property must be up to current FEMA standards.  The scale of the storm was such that in some areas, substandard homes were "displaced" (a somewhat colorless term in this context) and "drifted into homes that were considered compliant"; as a result, this applies to all homes in the Township, regardless of whether or not they have flood insurance.  Homeowners are eligible for up to $30,000 in ICC grant money if they have current flood insurance policies.

At the other side of the country, eminent domain is back in the news. Geez - I had hoped never to type those two words again. But here we have the CMBA using social media in a 90 second clip on the subject. For a longer look at the current state of eminent domain, here you go.

The argument has mostly involved California communities, but California actually has some good things going for it (besides the 8th largest economy in the world based on GDP). Mortgage assistance program Keep Your Home California now has more than 100 mortgage servicers participating in the program, offering ways for distressed homeowners to stay in their homes. With the increase in servicers, the federally funded program can help more homeowners in the state struggling to pay their mortgages because of financial hardships. Homeowners can be eligible for help through four programs, though not all of the mortgage servicers participate in all four. The programs include help in case of job loss, help catching up on past payments due to hardship, principal reduction and transition assistance (in cases where the homeowner needs help relocating when they can't keep their home). Homeowners have to meet criteria to be eligible, including still living in the home, showing hardship and owing less than $729,750 on a first mortgage, as well as income requirements. Participating institutions range from Bank of America, Chase Home Finance, CitiMortgage and Wells Fargo, along with credit unions.

Adverse developments in the eminent domain situation could directly impact builders (investors become more hesitant to buy pools of mortgages, the demand pushing down demand, and thus rates move higher), but for now builders are doing well. As an example, Lennar's fourth-quarter earnings demonstrated continued homebuilding momentum, which should bode well for future results. Lennar reported Q4 GAAP EPS of $0.56 and operating EPS of $0.47. Reported results included a $0.08 net tax benefit that included $0.20 of additional DTA reversal and $0.12 of tax expense. Net orders of 3,983 units grew 32% from the previous year driven by improved sales pace and high-performing new communities. The core homebuilding gross margin of 23.5% increased 30 basis points from last quarter. Management indicated margins should continue to benefit from new, high-margin communities, price increases, reduced incentives, and increased sales. Given 20% community count growth, delivery growth could reach nearly 40%. Lennar's continued positive operating momentum and the company's ancillary businesses, including Rialto, its multifamily rental initiative, and its joint ventures are also potential value drivers.

Here's some webinar and training news - mostly FREE!

The Collingwood Group and Motivity Solutions will be holding a free webinar today at 2PM EST featuring a demonstration of their recently released business intelligence tool, NW-insight. NW-insight provides FHA lenders, Ginnie Mae issuers, and warehouse lenders with easy-to-use web-based analytics that will improve the way users see and use Neighborhood Watch data. The tool also provides dashboard and scorecards that allow users to slice and dice the Neighborhood Watch data to identify trends and proactively monitor results within their organization, and stay ahead of FHA enforcement activity. Register.

The California Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage Quality and Compliance Committee is hosting its free monthly conference call today at 11AM PST. "The California Homeowner Bill of Rights is now in effect!  Is your company compliant?  Are you prepared to meet the new standards?  Make sure you don't miss this webinar conducted by experts on the new law.  The presentation will cover the following subjects: 1. Prohibition on dual-tracking, 2. Borrower's new private right of action, 3. Single Point of Contact (SPOC), 4. 'Robo-signing' prohibition and how it is defined, 5. Distinguish additional requirements for servicers w/more than 175 foreclosures. To join the teleconference portion, dial 1-800-351-6802 and when prompted by the operator, provide the passcode: 4378. To join the web presentation, 1. Go to 2. Select "Client Corner" from the menu in the upper right corner of the page. 3. From the drop down menu select "WebEcho Participant". 4. Enter 69550192 in the Meeting Number field. 5. Enter 1274 in the Participant Pass code field. 6. Enter your name in the Participant Name field. 7. Click "Join Meeting".

The Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association is hosting a mortgage industry and financial services job fair in Willowbrook, IL on February 6th.  Registration is available to both attendees and exhibitors.  Contact IMBAInfo@att .net for more information and to register. 

For any realtors seeking to better understand the appraisal process, licensed appraiser Laura Hite of Coester VMS is offering realtor training sessions throughout the East Coast.  Sessions cover FHA appraisal standards, preparing the property, how the current market is affecting appraisals, and what to do if a property does not appraise.  To arrange a presentation, contact lhite@coestervms .com.

Moving on to some vendor, MI, and investor news...

Equifax introduced its Credit Risk Insight Servicing software, consumer-level data linked to LPS Applied Analytics' McDash loan-level data for improved risk management. "In an economic environment marked by unprecedented levels of unemployment, delinquency and default, investors need to understand the value of underlying assets and borrower capacity to resolve debts. Equifax is proud to introduce Credit Risk Insight Servicing - the only analytical solution in the market that combines anonymous consumer credit data with LPS McDash loan-level mortgage data for deeper insight into the changing credit health of borrowers, which can impact portfolio value. Create accurate scenarios of future delinquencies, defaults, loss severities and prepayments. Benchmark loans against one another to proactively create risk management strategies and create distinct loan "cohorts" to manage agency risk. Monitor changes in collateral health to determine institutional risk. Gain better insight into borrower behavior regarding prepayment with pre-origination and post-termination data. Review and evaluate the underlying borrower and co-borrower's credit. (For more info contact Chris Kennedy at christopher.kennedy@equifax .com.)

Radian has created a new "app" and the availability of its MI rate finder app, Radian Rates, for Android devices on Google Play.


There isn't much going on with rates, although they've drifted down overnight. Yesterday mortgages, and mortgage-backed securities, did pretty well price-wise, in spite of a slight pick-up in originators selling MBS to the tune of about $3 billion. But the pick-up in selling was met with a pick-up in buying, and not just the usual $4 billion from the Fed. Perhaps news that Invesco, a REIT, announced plans to raise capital with net proceeds being used to purchase MBS and CMBS. Supply and demand!

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, that's it is a new day, and Apple's disappointing earnings are moving markets - certainly moving equities this morning. The 10-yr was down to 1.80% early on, prior to Jobless Claims. Claims came in -5k to 330k, seemingly more evidence that the labor market continues to improve. At 9AM CST we'll have December's Leading Economic Indicators (projected higher to +0.3 percent from -0.2 percent previously) After the Jobless Claims numbers we find the 10-yr, which closed at 1.83%, now at 1.82% and MBS prices pretty close to their Wednesday's close.

King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world.
Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.
Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."
"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the King!"  
Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a star, makes no difference who you are."

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers.
Unfortunately, all the Swiss League records were destroyed in a fire - and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man.    
After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day.
After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling.
The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!"
The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient."