On the eve of being enacted, in a surprise move, Senator Dodd called on Congress to rescind the Dodd-Frank legislation, saying the rules and regulations not only has ground residential lending to a halt, but has, and will, also cost the consumer billions of dollars. "The other night it just 'clicked' that all of this was doing the borrower absolutely no good whatsoever, and in fact was resulting in higher costs, higher inefficiency, and higher rates. It became evident that Congress knows very little about lending, and compensation levels are probably better off left to the marketplace. My bad!" Dodd exclaimed with a wave of his hand.

Without the Dodd-Frank regulations to rally against, many groups are now left searching for a new objective. In a move that was expected by many, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America is requiring that newspapers and magazines use capitals when describing their members. Brett Benjamin, with the MBA, exclaimed, "Look, if 'Realtors' is capitalized, and even has a little fancy trademark thing after it, then Mortgage Bankers deserve the same treatment. Especially if they have to do all that licensing stuff." Rumors are swirling about making commissions identical to whatever loan agents earn from processing and funding a loan. Teams of expensive attorneys have been brought in by each side in the matter.

With the future of HAMP uncertain, the state of California, in conjunction with the federal program, today is expected to roll out HEMP (Helping Everyone Make Payments), a pilot program that would allow a group of distressed, but very relaxed, homeowners to make mortgage payments through profits from the legalized sale of marijuana. Fortunately the underwriting guidelines includes Foreign Nationals, self-employed borrowers, agricultural and rural land owners, etc. "We feel that this is a neglected segment of our potential borrower population," noted Chrissie Sollay, with HEMP. Teams of expensive attorneys have been brought in by each side in the matter.

"Handshakes for Homeowners" launched its program to reward on-time mortgage payments.  A long-rumored federal Handshakes for Homeowners program is expected to be unveiled today as an incentive for underwater homeowners who avoid mortgage default. The program is expected to extend a hand, quite literally, to as many as 200,000 homeowners within the next 12-18 months. According to insiders, Handshakes for Homeowners will involve the creation of regional centers with a staff of "Handshake Helpers" who will be deployed to area neighborhoods based on need. Staff will reportedly be trained to offer greetings, a certificate, and a sturdy handshake to select homeowners who continue to pay their mortgage on time. Those homeowners who have not missed a payment for the past five years will also allegedly be eligible for an "I pay my mortgage - back off" T-shirt or a name-brand wristwatch etched with the slogan, "I pay on time." Lenders will reportedly be incentivized to participate in the program with free offers of tickets to sporting events and casino concerts, though participation will be entirely voluntary. "For too long we've been hearing from diligent homeowners who've asked, 'Where's my bailout?' Well, now it's time to give them a hand," said Scott Smurthwrite, the newly appointed administrator for the Treasury Department's Division of Economic Recovery and Prevention of Future Downturns.

Representatives from One World Finance, a U.S.-based microcredit provider, confirmed that they had initiated foreclosure proceedings on a goat in southern India following a borrower's repeated failure to make her $2.20 monthly loan payments. "I tried to work with Ms. [Subha] Thangam on this, but once she fell a full $6.10 behind, I had to repossess the goat," said loan officer Tony Russovitch, who stated that he was just doing his job and that it was "not [his] fault" if certain subsistence farmers were living beyond their means. "I'd love to recoup the entire $22 loan at auction, but given the glut of foreclosed and abandoned goats in the area, I'd be lucky to get even half that." Russovitch also acknowledged that the owner had left the goat in "pretty bad shape" and had even stripped it of its hair for potential resale on the paintbrush market.

A few months ago GMAC re-entered the wholesale business in an effort to gain market share from brokers. In an unanticipated move, GMAC has hired 3 "plain" wholesale AE's on a test basis. GMAC SVP John Boles said, "For too long the industry has believed that the success of a wholesale AE was only based on that morning's rate sheet and the length of their skirt - in the case of gals, that is! (Chortle.) We feel that our AE's can succeed by actually knowing the business and supporting their broker clients, rather than just look great on customer calls."

Franklin American announced that it was the #1 lender in the United States. "We have been operating under the radar for far too long," EVP Lisa Melbee Twittered. "We have managed to increase our market share, unnoticed by other lenders - and by Congress. Through all the double counting that takes place in reporting mortgage production, not only do we originate (in our names) almost half of all broker business, but then sell the production to the larger investors, thus accounting for nearly half of their production also. Don't ask me how the numbers work out exactly, but by our calculations we now account for 109% of mortgage production in the United States and its territories."

U.S. Bank Home Mortgage Wholesale Division is contemplating a name change. "The initials USBHMWD are proving cumbersome to our clients to use" said one official. We have decided to change our name to 'Your Favorite Lender', and we have a team of expensive attorneys flying to Southern California to negotiate with the current owner of this name."

Progressive Auto Insurance has recently created an in-car system to monitor the driving habits of its customers. In a similar vein (pun intended), a small credit union in Oklahoma is testing a new system whereby it implants a silicon chip in the necks of its borrowers. Credit information, address changes, marital status, etc., are all updated via a central telecommunications transmission. "It worked real well with the SPCA tracking family pets, so we decided to roll it out to our debtors," announced Chester Gohder, who runs retail lending for the institution. "We can refi these guys with a wave of our wands - process the paperwork and draw docs before the customer leaves the premises. Just the other day I was at Brownie's Burgers, and I lowered the cook's rate by .5% before she could get the fries on the table." It is rumored that Bank of America will soon be implanting chips into everyone in its servicing portfolio. Teams of expensive attorneys have been brought in by each side in the matter.

In a story that broke late last night, the descendants of William Fargo claim that, "We got reamed 150 years ago...We found proof that our great great-great grandfather was taken advantage of by that ne'er-do-well Henry Wells, and that the name of the company was originally Fargo Wells. Heck, with the stock price wallowing around these levels, all we have is our good name!"  Lawyers for Norwest Mortgage, who bought Wells Fargo but kept the name for brand recognition, have refused to comment other than to say that its mortgage rates will be raised to cover the cost of the teams of expensive attorneys who have been brought in by each side in the matter.

Redwood Trust made a sweeping announcement to the hordes of mortgage originators who are trying to sell jumbo loans to them. "Please be advised that Redwood Trust will no longer buy loans in California due to earthquakes, Hawaii due to volcanoes, Florida due to hurricanes, Louisiana due to flooding, Oklahoma, Kansas, or Nebraska due to drought, or in fact the Western Hemisphere due to asteroids." After the press release Blackrock & PennyMac found their e-mail servers overwhelmed with incoming traffic. Teams of expensive attorneys have been brought in by each side in the matter.

The flood of American liberal mortgage bankers sneaking across the border into Canada, in part to protest the comp rules, has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The recent actions of the American Tea Party are prompting an exodus among left-leaning LO's who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, and to agree with Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck. Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists, administration officials, Bayer employees, and Unitarians joining the loan agents crossing their fields at night. "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a top retail producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Greg Spencing, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken, and asked if we had SIVA in Canada. When I said no, he left before I even got a chance to show him my scenario and credit report." 

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo and Mercedes station wagons and drive them across the border where they are simply left to fend for themselves. "A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload in a Mercedes wagon without a single bottle of imported drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley Cabernet, though."  When liberal LO's are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservative underwriters. "I really feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history and English majors does one country need?" Rumors have been circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer, watch NASCAR races and read the Constitution.

Turning to the markets, some sort of tax cut or earnings or money or something was reported in economic news today, and this week in further evidence that a lot of financial- related things have been going on lately. Something about unemployment, maybe. According to numerous articles and economics segments from major media outlets, experts on banks and such have become increasingly concerned over a new extension or rates or a proposal or compromise that could signal fewer home loans, and dollars, and so on. The experts confirmed that the stimulus, or lack of home buyer tax credit, has played a role. "This is a clear sign of a changing cycle," some top guy at one of the big banks in New York said of ARM rate compression or possibly rate of return during a recent interview on CNN. "Which isn't to say that a sustained drop in wages couldn't still occur, even if the interest paid on reserves is lowered. In short, it's possible but not probable that mortgage production could pick up with lower rates - maybe" added the mortgage banking guy, who went on to say other money & mortgage stuff, too. "It depends on borrower sentiment." Greece was also involved with the change in mortgage rates, but no one knows exactly how.

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