"People moving" is the lifeblood of Realtors. The Census Bureau just released estimates from the American Community Survey showing how many people migrated from one specific county to another during the course of a year, during the 2005-2009 period. Of the 48 million people who lived in a different residence in the United States one year earlier, about 18 million lived in a different county. Maricopa, AZ (Phoenix), had the largest number of inflows of people for any single county in the nation: people moved there from 993 different counties! Similarly, Maricopa led the nation with the largest number of counties in which it sent outflows of people ─ a total of 1,156 counties. The most common county-to-county moves nationally were from Los Angeles to San Bernardino, CA, Los Angeles to Orange, CA, Los Angeles to Riverside, CA, and Miami-Dade to Broward, FL.

Job-wise, AMX loans/Land Home Financial seeks experienced AE's in Northern and Southern California.  There is also an opportunity for experienced underwriters in its Concord, CA branch.  The company has been in operation since 1988, and is a direct lender with FNMA/FHLMC/GNMA.  AMX offers a full range of Agency, FHA, VA, USDA as well as affordable housing products, CalHFA, and Jumbo programs.  Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter via email to Mr. Walker at rwalker@amxloans.com.

And the news just keeps getting better!  Another major California-based mortgage banking operation is looking for Loan Agents for its expanding markets in Austin and San Antonio, TX.  "The company truly believes in a Loan-Agent-First philosophy."  In business since 1986, the lender is a multi-state Fannie Mae direct lender funding over $4 billion in 2011, and has over $2 billion in servicing. Their 400 agents, some of the top originators in the west, enjoy HVCC Appraisal, full marketing including individual websites, weekly paid commissions, and so on. The ideal candidates should have strong verbal communication skills, and must be fully NMLS licensed. Top agents only should submit their resumes, to be kept confidential, to Carl Hunter at chunter6@cox.net.

Redwood Trust sold bonds tied to about $325 million of new home loans in the fifth offering of non-agency securities (without government backing) since 2008. According to sources, Redwood sold a $163.6 million, top-rated portion to yield 1.8% more than benchmark swap rates, slightly better than the 1.9% spread in January. Fitch, the credit rating agency, stated that the credit enhancement (protection against defaults for investors) on the top-rated portion of the Redwood deal fell to 7.2 percent from 8.3 percent in the January offering. In this recent deal, the underlying 30-year fixed-rate loans have balances that average $895,998, LTV's of 63.5%, and borrower credit scores that average 768. Kroll and Fitch assigned top grades to $305 million of the debt, making it more attractive to investors such as banks, which hold loss less capital against higher-ranked securities, and this recent offering was managed by Barclays.

How about some lender and MI updates, because they just don't seem to be stopping? And of course some of them address the announcement a while back: "During the weekend of March 17, 2012, Fannie Mae DU was updated to implement enhancements to DU Refi Plus.  Please note: Though DU will issue an eligible recommendation on DU Refi Plus fixed-rate mortgages with terms of 15 years or less and an LTV over 105% after March 17, 2012, those loans will not be eligible for committing and delivery to Fannie Mae until June 1, 2012." For more details, see the DU Release Notes Updated March 9th.  

HARP 2.0 has arrived.  Fannie Mae has just rolled out the enhanced program.  To be eligible, the borrower's original mortgage must be Fannie-owned or guaranteed before May 31, 2009. As best I can tell, servicers are reminded that they should not request more documentation from borrowers than that necessary to complete a Borrower Response Package, which consists of a completed Uniform Borrower Assistance Form (710), income documentation, hardship documentation, and either a Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript (IRS Form 4506T-EZ) or a Request for Transcript of Tax Return (IRS Form 4506-T) signed by the borrower.  Procuring extra documents "clogs up" the system.

Fannie produced two job aids called "Implementing the Fannie Mae Home Affordable Modification Program," which is pretty self-explanatory, and "Implementing Fannie Mae Standard Modifications," which can be used as a comprehensive checklist.

Over at Freddie Mac, it has expanded its policy on HASP Open Access such that HVEs are now permitted for one or two-unit properties only and must not be more than 120 days old at the Note date.  HVE values are calculated by the initial LP Feedback Certificate, and subsequent HVE values will have to be determined, if it has expired, by running the property through CoreLogic, or, if it hasn't expired, by pulling an additional HVE using CoreLogic.

HUD announced that it would issue $42 million worth of housing counseling grants to 468 agencies across the country in an effort to reduce the incidence of future foreclosures.

The FHA has updated loan guidance to state that rental income paid by a family member is not an eligible source of funds when taking out a loan on a converted primary residence, that Streamlines do not require CAIVRS, and that Streamlines of investment properties that do not include an appraisal may only include the original principal balance.  Guidance on disputed tradeline and collection, P&L and Balance Sheets for self-employed borrowers, and the HO-6 maximum deductible has also been updated.

Don't forget that according to the FHA's newly revised mortgage insurance premiums, Streamline refinances endorsed before June 1, 2009 with case numbers assigned on or after June 11, will be eligible for reduced up-front and annual insurance premiums.  Title I, Home Equity Conversion, Hawaiian Homeland, Indian Reservation, Declining Neighborhood programs are exempt, however.  For mortgages with case numbers assigned on or after April 9, both up-front and annual mortgage premiums will go up, and those with loan amounts over $625,000 and/or case numbers assigned on or after June 11, 2012 will be subject to additional increases.

The FHA has released the TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard Developer's Guide, revised to reflect recent changes, and it's available at http://www.hud.gov/pub/chums/aus-developers-guide.pdf.

The FHA announced that Streamline refinances that reduce the loan term are eligible for FHA insurance if they meet the appropriate net tangible benefit requirement.  For the FHA's purposes, a "net tangible benefit" is defined as a 5% reduction to the principal and interest plus the annual mortgage insurance premium or refinancing from an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage in compliable with the net tangible benefit matrix qualify.

Wells Fargo's wholesale group reminded brokers that, "Freddie loans need to be WF serviced regardless of the LTV/CLTV, Fannie loans that are under 105LTV and 110CLTV can be serviced by any lender, Fannie loans that are over 105LTV and 110CLTV must be WF serviced, loans that have MI do not qualify for HARP, the loan being paid off must have been originated before May 31, 2009, and borrowers are only eligible for ONE HARP loan."

Wells Fargo issued a friendly reminder to lenders to be aware of the policies and additional risk associated with Cash-out Refinance transactions, which are covered in Section 430 of the Broker Guide.  Lenders should know that borrowers with recently opened new credit, deteriorating credit, declining income, a short period of ownership, recent title changes, or occupancy concerns may be ineligible for a Cash-out Refinance.

US Bank iDoc users have been having trouble accessing the new portal, apparently. USBHM instructs deleting the browser cache, closing all browser windows, opening a fresh browser, logging into the SellUs website, and then proceeding from there. Ah, software...

United Guaranty enhanced its DPI Upload loan submission system to include editable contact fields so that lenders can indicate a specific contact for any given submission as well as updated Broker TPO options that will match Rate Runner and RAPid Link to reduce the chance of registration errors.

Clients at Fifth Third are reminded to follow protocol when sending documentation, which includes using the "imaging fax cover letter," including the loan number in the subject line, and include the loan number in the subject, and making sure that all the necessary documents are included.  Zip files and large files should not be sent, as they cannot be properly processed. 5 3 has expanded its policy on transferred mortgage insurance for DU Refi Plus and HASP Open Access loans and, for non-Fifth Third to Fifth Third loans, will allow transferred MI for Radian, Genworth, and MGIC.

GMAC reminded clients about the impending increase in the premiums for Up-Front Mortgage Insurance (UFMIP) and Annual MIP for FHA loans. And a new underwriting overlay matrix is available on the GMAC website.

MGIC has issued Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and Schedule Analysis Method (SAM) cash flow analysis worksheets for the 2011 tax year, which can be found in the online Loan Center under "Resources."  There are also webinars available that cover basic and advanced AGI and SAM analysis.

Essent Guaranty has been added to Flagstar's list of approved mortgage insurance underwriters and is available to both approved Delegated and non-Delegated clients. And Radian Guaranty's subsidiary Radian Mortgage Assurance (RMAI) was recently approved by Fannie to insure conventional loans and has been added to the relevant list.

Turning to the markets, yesterday was a bit of a choppy day, especially after the 1PM EST (10AM PST) 5-yr Treasury auction disappointed the markets. Yes, something like that can move interest rates. Both stocks and bonds sold off, with the 10-yr T-note closing at 2.20%, and if it's any relief oil, gold, and silver all dropped in price also. This morning's 4th quarter GDP is still at 3% - no big deal. Jobless Claims 359 is actually down 5k from a upwardly revised 364k. After this smattering of news we find the 10-yr at 2.18% and mortgage prices better by about .125.

The buzz word in today's business world is MARKETING.
People often ask for a simple explanation of "Marketing"- so here it is.

You're a woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing.
You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, "She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.
You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing.
You see a guy at a party; you straighten your dress, walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say   "May I?" and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing gently against him and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.
You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition.
You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He fancies you, but you talk him into going home with your friend. That's a Sales Rep.
Your friend can't satisfy him so he calls you. That's Tech Support.
You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb onto the roof of one and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" That's Junk Mail.