Most people in the mortgage industry tend to look to the future. But sometimes aging mortgage folks get together and play the "Whatever happened to..." game - often at conferences when they run into people they haven't seen in year. This website, in its May 1 post, may answer several of those questions regarding IndyMac, Mike Perry, OneWest, etc.

Turning to something a little more forward-looking, as Franklin American Mortgage celebrates its 20th anniversary the company is looking for licensed mortgage loan originators and branch managers who exemplify its mission of providing the unparalleled service that has made Franklin American Mortgage an industry-leader. With branches in 23 states and growing, Franklin American Mortgage provides an excellent opportunity for seasoned loan originators to become even more successful. Please visit or e-mail Jennifer Rader at jrader@franklinamerican. com for more information. Franklin American Mortgage is FHA Direct Endorsed (DE), VA Automatic and LAPP Approved, FNMA/FHLMC and GNMA approved seller servicer.

And on the products side, Advantage Credit is excited to announce that it can now offer Advantage's Undisclosed Debt Notification (UDN) service from all three credit bureaus. This service is designed to monitor a borrower's credit profile throughout the entire closing process helping to ensure a smooth closing. Undisclosed Debt Notification is an invaluable tool in complying with the Fannie Mae policy update (announcement SEL-2010-01, Selling Guide Updates for the Loan Quality Initiative) as well as preventing those last minute surprises on a borrower's credit profile.  Now, with the ability to provide these notifications from all three bureaus no credit dings will slip through to hinder the closing process. When turned on, the Undisclosed Debt Notification service will be available for up to 120 days with a 60 day look back period to see if anything has changed in the borrower's credit profile.  This service coupled with Advantage Credit's Comparison Report, which is pulled the day before closing, will help safeguard against any last minute issues.  To learn more, contact sales@advcredit. com.

The wholesale market is alive and well. Steve Samuelson (steve@nrpros. com) from Network Recruiters writes, "We have been surprised by the number of wholesalers in the market and the increased hiring activity on the employer side. Wholesalers offering all three channels are highly sought after by seasoned AEs, and they are telling us what we all assumed: straight wholesale accounts are dwindling, mini-corr and especially delegated correspondent accounts are the future for AEs.  AE volume is down nationwide and $5 million per month seems to be a good number right now." (In response, Network Recruiters has recently expanded its Wholesale Recruiting Platform by adding new wholesale recruiting contracts and offering our clients more career options.  We are proud to work with many of the top Wholesale Mortgage Banks in the country.  Since 1997, Network Recruiters has helped candidates find their first AE positions, upgrade and ultimately reach sales management & executive positions in the industry. Network is hunting for candidates for wholesale positions in Northern California, Northwest Regional Manager, Texas Regional Manager, Area Sales Manager positions available in the Northeast, Midwest and Southwest, and Mini Correspondent, Correspondent and Wholesale Account Executive positions nationwide.)

Radian Group not only reported its net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, of $202.8 million (compared to a net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, of $187.5 million), but threw in a little "bonus treat" for good measure. Radian also announced that it has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire Clayton Holdings, a provider of "outsourced solutions" to the mortgage industry. (I am not smart enough to know exactly what that means, but I bet it sounds catchy talking to someone at the bar.) Radian Group will pay aggregate cash consideration of $305 million, which includes repayment of Clayton's outstanding debt. Seriously, with 700 employees Clayton is no slouch: last year it had revenue of $135 million and net income of $9.1 million. (Darned expenses.) After the transaction is complete, Clayton will become a subsidiary of Radian Group, therefore cash flows from Clayton are expected to provide an unregulated source of funds to Radian Group: http://www.clayton. com/.

What does Mel Watt have to say about the FHFA's core mission? Here you go. It is worth a skim, and perhaps some can read between the lines about his opinion of Freddie & Fannie.

The mission of the Agencies is very important, and impacts the entire nation, but what unfortunately grabbed headlines was that Richard Hornsby - the chief operating officer of the Federal Housing Finance Agency - might face a felony charge after he allegedly threatened Ed DeMarco - the former acting director - last week. Per the WSJ, he "was charged last Wednesday with one felony count of threatening to kidnap or injure a person, according to court records. He was ordered to stay away from the FHFA and from former FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco, who retired from the agency last week, according to court records. Apparently Mr. Hornsby didn't like his job performance ratings. Okay, let's move along - nothing to see here (I hope).

Let's keep on with some investor and agency updates. But first, there sure is a lot of chatter about 3% down payment loans. I guess with housing appreciating, no one worries about 97% down payment loans anymore? TD Ameritrade is out there with its program for low- and moderate-income borrowers via its Right Step program, per the WSJ. (The program is reserved for borrowers who earn up to 80% of the median area income as determined by HUD, doesn't require private mortgage insurance, it is a portfolio product, and the 3% supposedly can come in the form of a gift from family or a non-profit. What the heck?) Arlington Community Federal Credit Union in Virginia is rumored to be next, and let's not forget Wells Fargo's retail program that requires a five percent minimum down payment for primary residential purchases but allows up to two percent of that to come in the form of a gift from relatives. But before every LO out there is calling their Capital Markets folks, remember that the prices are higher, and underwriting tougher, for all of these.

And Vanguard Funding is offering "common sense lending" for commercial loans $500k-$5MM for multifamily, multiple properties, non-owner occupied, small mixed use, and commercial properties nationwide. "Prior foreclosure, bankruptcy, behind in taxes, are all workable, as well as claims of liberal cash out, reasonableness about asset and reserve requirements and options for 30-year amortization to help with debt service ratios." For information on the company visit www.vanguardfunding. net   or contact Stephen Schoffman at sschoffman@vanguardfunding .net.

The recently launched correspondent channel of AmeriHome Mortgage Company, LLC continues to grow and is preparing to roll out two unique loan programs available only through AmeriHome; Core Jumbo ( 5 year ARM with I/O option up $2.5 million) and Expanded Guidelines (maximum LTV 83%, 600 credit scores, loan amounts to $1 million). AmeriHome offers Agency products with minimal overlays, competitive pricing, delegated underwriting, a very experienced, client focused operations team and a streamlined loan acquisition process. Interested correspondent lenders can contact Chris Maturo at chris.maturo@amerihomemortgage. com or John Hill at john.hill@amerihomemortgage. com or visit the AmeriHome website to learn more.

Carrington has expanded its Government guidelines to permit FICOs down to 550 on FHA, VA, and USDA.  On FHA purchases, 90% LTVs will be allowed for FICOs as low as 550 and 96.5% LTVs will be allowed for scores down to 580.  FHA cash-out refis are available for LTVs up to 85% on FICOs down to 550 as well.

New Penn has expanded their eligibility requirements on Fannie and Freddie products. All standard conventional loan programs will now allow LTV/CLTV's up to the agency maximum limit(s) with a minimum 620 FICO and AUS Approval. They have also released Freddie Mac Arms: 5/1 (2-2-5); 7/1 (5-2-5); 10/1 (5-2-5).

New Penn has launched state based pricing for both Wholesale and Mini-Correspondent transactions. 11 zones are currently capable of announcing state specific pricing promotions and regional trends. You can check out rates for California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and all other states. For additional clarification, contact your Account Executive.

United Guaranty is now considering loans with gifts/grants that satisfy the minimum borrower contribution and property flips where the seller has owned the property for less than 180 days to be eligible for RAP submission.  Guidance on ARM interest rate adjustment periods, ARM caps, Balloons, and Bi-weekly mortgages has also been added to allow for Non-Agency products to be submitted as well.  Requirements for condo investor concentration, construction-to-permanent loans, and renovation mortgages have been revised to align with Agency guidelines, and the UG guide now includes a clarification of DU and LP tolerance.

Cole Taylor Mortgage (CTM) announced their position on tax returns and 4506T requirements. For non-self-employed borrower's 2013 tax returns when the 4506T shows no record found, as long as the borrower(s) W-2s and paystub(s), with current year-to-date earnings, and the income is consistent with prior year earnings, no additional information will be needed. CTM will require the most recent two (2) years of tax transcripts available. For all self-employed borrowers, CTM will require either their 2013 tax returns or evidence of their extension.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced last week that HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the state of Arkansas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes following severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. HUD is offering the State of Arkansas the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief; granting immediate foreclosure relief; making mortgage insurance available; making insurance available for home rehabilitation; and offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance.

First Community Mortgage has clarified its credit guidelines for Conventional transactions to consider single or aggregated non-payroll deposits or VOD variances in amounts that exceed 25% of the borrower's gross monthly income to be large non-payroll deposits.  For self-employed borrowers, the monthly qualifying income will be used for gross monthly income.  For FHA and VA transactions, single or multiple aggregated non-payroll deposits or VOD variances that total more than 2% of the purchase price will be considered large non-payroll deposits, while any non-payroll deposits and/or VOD variances above $100 will require documentation and an explanation for all THDA and RD loans.

Tuesday was an exciting day. Okay, maybe not that exciting. But we had a little rally (the 10-yr T-note improved about .125, and agency current coupon MBS improved a shade more) which is fine. It continues to be of great interest to many that the forecasters pretty much agreed that rates were heading higher this year. Rates are down on the year - but that could change in a matter of days. The Fed's tapering off of its asset purchases is already priced into the market; what are not priced in are events overseas and indications here in the States that our economy is merely grinding along.

Today we'll have testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Yellen on "The Economic Outlook" before the Joint Economic Committee beginning at 10AM EST. Maybe we'll learn more about what the Fed might do when it stops buying MBS and Treasuries. And let's all chip together and buy a chunk of the $24 billion 10-year Treasury note auction at 1PM EST. Ahead of that, in the early morning we'll have the MBA's app numbers as well as preliminary Q1 Productivity (-1.0 expected) and Unit Labor Costs (+2.5). Yesterday the 10-yr closed at 2.60% and in the early going we're at 2.58% and agency MBS prices are a hair better.