Actuaries, statisticians, the press, and the mortgage industry love acronyms and abbreviations, any list of which would take up this entire commentary. A couple new ones are out there. "Got NIPPLS" t-shirts are making the rounds - turns out it is the acronym for Name, Income, Property value, Property address, Loan amount, Social security number. And let's not leave off HENRY: "High Earner Not Rich Yet." And in other trivia, the Canadian government is warning citizens to stop defacing its $5 bills by making them look like Spock.

Upcoming events? There are ample training opportunities!

FNMA's predicting a 16% drop in residential loans in 2016. Top originators know their continued success will stem from their ability to adapt to change. On Thursday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m. EST the National Mortgage Professional Magazine will host a webinar presented by Silver Hill Funding to reveal how diversifying your business with small balance commercial mortgages can have a big impact on your bottom line in 2016. In less than 60 minutes they'll show you how easy it is for your organization to start originating small-balance commercial loans now. Click here to sign up for this FREE Webinar on small balance commercial!

The Community Mortgage Lenders of America will host a political outlook session in New Orleans at the Lenders One Winter Conference March 6-9. CMLA will present Prospects for Regulatory Relief and the 2016 Campaign and will also host a reception March 8 (Click here to RSVP) at the conference hotel. The CMLA is unique in lender associations, representing only small and mid-sized community based mortgage lenders. Lenders One offers its members an annual $4,000 advocacy credit toward CMLA membership dues and CMLA offers Lenders One members a one-time $2,000 discount on its annual membership fees. CMLA Executive Director Glen Corso said "we appreciate our strong relationship with Lenders One and are pleased to be a part of the conference."

On Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 2pm EST/11am PST, American Mortgage Law Group, P.C. and The Mortgage Collaborative will be co-hosting a complementary webinar entitled, "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going as an Industry? 2016 Hot Topics Webinar." The webinar will include a discussion of CFPB ongoing policy efforts, including the Bureau's intent behind recent policies and how such efforts are affecting the industry and consumers today. The webinar will also focus on how the industry is dealing with hot topics and gray areas in regulatory guidance, and common issues lenders are experiencing across the country regarding topics such as compliance with the Know Before You Owe mortgage loan disclosures/TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), Marketing Services Agreements (MSAs), and Loan Originator Compensation. Featured guest speakers include: Julie Vore from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Gary Acosta, Co-Founder and CEO, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Click Here to Register! If you have questions regarding this webinar, or if you have specific questions or concerns you would like addressed by our guest speakers, please contact Managing Member James Brody by clicking here.

AllRegs by Ellie Mae is offering essential mortgage training this spring, online and on-site, for underwriting, servicing, quality control, mortgage compliance, appraisal review to name a few. The classes fill up quickly so be sure to register soon. Below is a list of April trainings: Mortgage Compliance for Origination - Begins April 4 (in Washington, D.C.), Fundamentals of FHA Underwriting - Begins April 5, Appraisal Review - The Framework - Begins April 5, Intermediate FHA Underwriting - Begins April 6, Underwriting VA Loans - Begins April 7, Quality Control for Servicing -  Begins April 7 (in Washington, D.C.), Quality Control for Origination - Begins April 7 (in Washington, D.C.), Analyzing Alternative Income - Begins April 7, Principles of Conventional Underwriting - Begins April 20; to view additional training available this spring from AllRegs, click here.

February's monthly conference call of the California MBA's Quality and Compliance Committee is accepting registration now for their February 25th interactive forum via WebEx. Free of charge, this months' topic is Regulatory Compliance in Servicing.

ComplianceEase is hosting a live, complimentary webinar titled, "Developing an Integrated Approach to TRID Compliance" on Thursday, February 25, 2016 from 11:00AM to 12:00PM Pacific Time. If you would like to register, click here.

Fannie & Freddie news and changes? You bet - they just don't stop.

The government was happy to hear that Fannie Mae will send $2.9 billion to the Treasury as its profit grows: Fannie posted a profit of $2.47 billion for the fourth quarter.

But those of us in the industry know that both Fannie and Freddie may need future bailouts as their reserves continue to dwindle.  Yes, the FHFA Director Watt spoke before the Bipartisan Policy Center regarding the GSEs. The first part focused on decisions made since he took over about two years ago, while the second part focused on the GSEs' future. Director Watt spoke of the risks associated with a protracted conservatorship and the need for Congress to act - thus, opening the door slightly to an exit from conservatorship, in addition to the declining capital buffers which will no longer exist by statute starting January 1, 2018.

Today Fannie Mae is reminding lenders that trended data goes mainstream in the marketplace with the new tri-merge file that will be delivered by Equifax and TransUnion beginning in March. Following its introduction, CRA resellers will be required to migrate to the new report by April 1, 2016. The rollout will allow lenders and the marketplace to get used to seeing the trended data for several months before Fannie Mae releases DU 10.0 in June.  The format of the tri-merge file has not been changed in over twenty years and these additions are anticipated to be a game-changer when it comes to credit risk assessment.  The new file will provide access to historical monthly data (when available) on several factors, including: balance, scheduled payment, and actual payment amount that a borrower has made on the account. All of this new information, in addition to outstanding balance, utilization and availability of credit, on time or delinquency data on existing credit accounts will allow a smarter, more thorough analysis of the borrower's credit history.

The FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have employed an independent dispute resolution (IDR) program aimed at resolving repurchase disputes. This new process will offer an impartial third party to resolve demands that remain unanswered after the appeal and escalation processes have been exhausted. The IDR process for Fannie Mae will be available to all active lenders and include timelines, standards for case packages that must be prepared, an option to use legal counsel, a hearing with a neutral arbitrator and representative from the lender and Fannie Mae and reimbursement for certain costs and expenses. The IDR process for Freddie Mac will be available to all active Seller/Services and will include the same components as Fannie Mae. In both cases, the arbitrator will make the final decision and the written award will be final and binding.

Rob, regarding the Fannie Mae Home Ready program, if the borrower lives in one MSA and buying in another with a different income limit, which one do you use?" Per Fannie the answer is that the property that is being purchased using the HomeReady loan is what is used to determine the respective income limit.  Check out the HomeReady page for tons of info and Fannie's Q&A references to this on page 2. Folks in the West really like the mapping tool for this program - especially in rural areas since there are so many MSAs that don't follow traditional boundaries.

M&T Bank will comply with updates to the UES for Fannie and Freddie loans, (does not include M&T Treasury Product) effective for all loans applications dated February 24th. The updated guide will be posted to the MEME and Empower Info Systems.

Fannie Mae Connect Release 1.1 added five new reports in Fannie Mae Connect -- Loan Delivery Edit Dashboard, Lender Dashboard, Collateral Underwriter® Submission Metrics, Appraisal Findings and the Market Opportunity and Profiles Tool. These new reports potentially have new users who will require new user access.

Fannie Mae has enhanced the HomeReady Income Eligibility Lookup tool. The new version is mobile friendly for web browsers on Apple®, Samsung®, and AndroidTM devices. The enhanced tool also has clearer messaging, with the HomeReady income limit prominently displayed next to the input box. Visit the HomeReady page to check out the enhanced tool, new dates for lives webinars, and other resources.

As one would expect with no news the bond markets, and thus rates, did very little Monday. Equity markets and oil prices did well, which was nice to see for many. One interesting thing to note was that the British pound took heavy losses after London's mayor backed the U.K.'s departure from the European Union.

But hey, it is a new day with a new set of news. At 8AM CST we have the December Case-Shiller 20-city Index, and later on the February Consumer Confidence figure as well as January's Existing Home Sales. If you have a few shekels in your pocket there's a $26 billion 2-Year Treasury auction. We closed Monday with the 10-year at 1.77% and in the very early going today it is nearly unchanged as are agency MBS prices.

Jobs and Announcements

In wholesale news Irvine-based Motive Lending continues its expansion across the nation - this time with a new fulfillment center in Texas opening in March. With $1.9 billion in fundings in 2015, and projections topping $2.5 billion in 2016, there is no better place for growth. "Simply creating an environment where associates are truly happy has attracted the best talent and best people to work with in the mortgage industry. Starting with three employees in November of 2013, and now just over 150 in just two short years says it all. We understand and relate to every position which has been a key driving force to our success and have outpaced our competition in every phase of the business and we plan on that continuing," said Cory Tona, EVP. Motive Lending has an immediate need for Account Executives looking to break through their current ceiling and help grow their nationwide footprint. Please contact Marketing Manager Tony Phan.             

On the retail side of things Towne Mortgage has a limited number of openings for licensed originators in its Troy, MI location to assist in its servicing portfolio retention efforts. "We are also interested in adding origination groups to refinance servicing portfolio loans in communities where we currently do not have mortgage offices. Our model provides a unique opportunity to maximize your earnings. Towne Mortgage is a national, full-service mortgage banker providing competitive products, pricing and compensation to purchase-driven mortgage professionals since 1982. Our goal is to grow servicing through an aggressive purchased-based origination team. Interested sales professionals should submit their resume to Chelsi Dingman. Top performers should call 248-528-7445; mortgage brokers who want to discuss participating in the retention efforts should call 888-869-6387, option 2. Thank you and best of luck in 2016."

What's the number one reason why loan officers and branch managers want to leave their current lender? It isn't compensation, says Assurance Financial. Its lack of support from the home office, and the most important part of that support is closing loans on time. Assurance Financial is committed to making sure each of its LOs and branch managers succeeds. The company is looking to hire branch managers and MLOs in Colorado,Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina. If you'd like more information, reach out to Paul Peters, CMB at225-239-7948 or visit AssuranceCareers.