Fetch your HP 12c - here's some math magic. Take 259, multiply it by your age, and then multiply that by 39. You'll see an interesting result. (Kids, an HP 12c is an iPhone-sized thing that does calculations and is HP's longest and best-selling product - but you had to punch in the numbers yourself rather than say them out loud.) While we're on the topic of numbers, a CNBC survey of CFOs at major companies finds cybersecurity actions they have taken compared to Feb 2015 include: audited or tested existing infrastructure (92%); replaced or upgraded existing hardware or software (85%); initiated new IT protocols (81%); increased size of IT staff (73%); developed or amended corporate response plans (46%); and purchased cyber insurance coverage (42%).

Lenders have four more days to close loans in 2015, most which are TRID loans. So some of them will be closed in January 2016 as lenders, fearing the worst regarding fines, unsaleable loans, and vague UDAAP violations that will appear years from now, do what they can to adhere to the correct procedures at the expense of customer service.

Freddie and Fannie find themselves in the thick of this, of course. As a reminder both have put out notices on the TILA-RESPA changes (Fannie, Freddie), and remember that FHA does as well. (If you have questions about whether or not correspondent investors are also going along with this, ask them.)

But what garnered the most attention in recent weeks was the FHFA's release of its 2016 scorecard for the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises - namely F&F) and Common Securitization Solutions (CSS) - especially since their activities will impact rate sheets.

The new scorecard mandates that the GSEs prepare for the expiration of HARP (end of 2016) by creating a new high-LTV refinance program that will be implemented in January 2017. (Yes, over a year away - but these things take time.) They are also being instructed in implementing "Release 1" of the Single-Security Initiative in 2016. Freddie Mac will start to utilize the Common Securitization Platform (CSP) to perform activities related to its single-class, fixed-rate securities. No Single Securities will be issued under this phase of the program.

(In 2018 we can expect to see "Release 2" of the Single-Security Initiative implemented. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will start to issue Single Securities and commingled re-securitizations.)

F&F are also expected to transfer the credit risk on at least 90% of the UPB of single-family mortgages acquired in 2016 for 30y fixed-rate, non-HARP loans with LTVs greater than 60% (so-called "targeted loans") and explore ways to transfer credit risk on other types of single-family mortgages outside of this "targeted loans" category. Along those lines Freddie & Fannie will explore ways to expand the investor base for credit-risk transfer transactions.

The FHFA is requiring that the GSEs further increase access to credit for borrowers by removing impediments that may be preventing qualified borrowers from obtaining a loan. Supporting this objective, the GSEs are to enhance their rep and warranty frameworks by completing an independent dispute resolution process for lenders who do not believe that their loans have breached the GSEs' rep and warranty policies, as well as provide lenders with feedback on the quality of their loan originations shortly after the loans have been sold to the GSEs.

Capital markets folks are most interested in the single security news. "Release 1" is scheduled for 2016 and "Release 2" (the actual introduction of the Single Security) is scheduled for 2018. The scorecard requires that the market be notified of the precise implementation date of the Single Security at least 12 months in advance so that stakeholders can prepare for the change. The FHFA will also develop a process to evaluate new or updated GSE policies that may affect prepayments and buyouts on TBA mortgages, as well as monitor issuance and prepayments between the two agencies to alleviate concerns by some investors that with the introduction of a Single Security and the ability to deliver either Freddie or Fannie pools into the same TBA deliverable.

In response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)'s 2016 Scorecard for Fannie, Freddie, and Common Securitization Solutions, U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) has said it will continue to be committed to working with FHFA and the GSEs on steps to increase the amount and levels of credit risk transferred and to take greater advantage of the benefits of front-end risk sharing. Lindsey Johnson, President and Executive Director of USMI stated, "After three years of largely back end risk sharing transactions, the time is right to move forward with a more balanced approach."

The American Bankers Association has renewed its endorsement of Freddie Mac's secondary mortgage market solutions. ABA's partnership with Freddie Mac will allow member banks to utilize solutions that provide improved access to credit and enhanced pricing and mortgage products. Bryan Luke, chairman of ABA's Endorsed Solutions Banker Advisory Council stated "for more than decade, our alliance with ABA has helped its members create more opportunities for borrowers and realize new possibilities for their businesses."

Earlier in December Fannie Mae updated its Servicing Management Default Underwriter (SMDU) tool to support a recently announced policy change that helps its servicers provide foreclosure prevention help to additional borrowers. Read the news release to learn more.

What have top lenders and investors been doing in the conforming conventional channel recently?

Flagstar Correspondent has suspended its My Community Mortgage product line(s).

Wells Fargo has suspended its MyCommunity product line(s).

And My Community products are no longer offered in various pricing engines but, for example, in the Optimal Blue system will be available for 90 days for secondary users.

Freedom Mortgage is offering the Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Program (Fannie Mae HomeReady program replaces the MyCommunityMortgage program which is no longer being offered). The Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Program gives qualified Borrowers with low to moderate income more options to obtain an affordable mortgage.

The Fannie Mae trading desk spread the word that HomeReady is available for committing and delivery. Lenders can commingle standard and HomeReady loans into MBS pools and whole loan commitments. HomeReady has no separate whole loan committing product/pricing grids. Refer to the HomeReady product matrix for more information.

Effective Dec. 10, Plaza will accept locks and loan submissions for Fannie Mae's HomeStyle program. Refer to Plaza's HomeStyle Program Guidelines for complete requirements. In the coming weeks Plaza will be providing training for the HomeStyle Program. Plaza has also added Fannie Mae's HomeReady program to its product line. In addition to HomeReady, Plaza's programs have been updated to incorporate the enhancements offered in DU 9.3. These changes are effective immediately for loans approved under DU 9.3 on or after Dec. 14, 2015.

Pacific Union Financial has updated numerous guidelines. For instance, due to Fannie Mae delivery requirements, loans using the higher LTV/(H)CLTV limits may not close prior to December 21, 2015. Adjustments to its Jumbo Series O include cash-out proceeds to be received at closing are not an eligible source of funds. Rate-Term Refinance Guidelines were updated to reflect that the property value for the transaction is based on the current appraised value, regardless of length of ownership. Freddie Mac's announced enhancements effective with submissions or resubmissions to Loan Prospector (LP) on or after December 14, 2015:  the occupying borrower will no longer be required to contribute at least 5% of the down payment from their own funds when the LTV exceeds 80%.  All funds for the transaction, including reserves, may come from the occupying borrower and/or non-occupying co-borrower.

Fannie Mae High Balance 95% LTV is available at HomeBridge Wholesale. Recent updates include 1 year of tax return to qualify.

As of December 12, 2015, Caliber Wholesale has adjusted their LTV/CLTV/HLCTV requirements to 95% for high-balance loans underwritten through DU. This is a result of Fannie Mae's recent decision to revise high-balance overlays and replace them with a new policy that requires all high-balance loans to be underwritten through DU.

And Caliber Home Loans announced its LPMI adjustments for loan amounts over $417,000 have been reduced to 0.000. In addition, beginning Saturday, December 12 will adjust its LTV/CLTV/HLCTV requirements to 95% for high-balance loans underwritten through DU. Click here to view more information on Caliber's products.

NewLeaf conventional matrices have been updated to reflect the changes with the Fannie Mae DU 9.3 release the weekend of December 12, 2015. The changes impact High Balance eligibility requirements, Non-Occupant Co-Borrower policy changes and the new HomeReady product that will replace My Community Mortgage which is being eliminated.

Effective immediately for conforming LP approved loans, PennyMac is aligning with Freddie Mac updates announced in Bulletin 2015-20.  The highlights of the announcement are here.

As of Monday, December 14, Arch MI's EZ Decisioning and Standard programs was updated to reflect its alignment with recent Fannie Mae announcements regarding Fannie Mae's HomeReady affordable program. A summary of the changes is available on its Credit Risk Bulletin #3-15-NR.

Sun West, based on FNMA's announcement to postpone the implementation of the new policies on qualifying income for self-employed borrowers, is postponing the implementation of the corresponding underwriting requirements announced in the lender alert dated March 20, 2015 until further notice. Sun West will continue to monitor and provide further notification regarding the new underwriting requirements.

Based on the 2016 loan limits increase in some counties for both FNMA/FHLMC loans as well as FHA, NewLeaf Wholesale will accept applications at the higher loan limits for FNMA/FHLMC products effective immediately. A manual lock process will be required until January 1, 2016.

Shifting our collective gaze to rates, does anyone remember, or care, what the bond market did last Thursday morning? As expected not much has happened to yields after the well-forecast Fed tweak of short term rates, and we closed the 10-year at 2.24% on Christmas Eve. And frankly there isn't much else to move rates this week in the U.S. There is no scheduled news today; tomorrow will be the Trade Balance numbers, October Case-Shiller 20-City Index, December Consumer Confidence, and a 5-year T-note auction. Wednesday will be November Pending Home Sales & a 7-year Treasury auction. Thursday - New Year's Eve, will have Initial Jobless Claims and the December Chicago PMI.

It has been pretty quiet, market-wise, around the world during the last 72 hours. (Of course here in the U.S. we've seen the terrible toll from the weather in many parts of the nation.) As mentioned we had a 2.24% close on the 10-year Thursday and this morning we're unchanged on it and close to unchanged on agency MBS prices.

With the holidays upon us, I would like to share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and driving.

As you know, some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time, often on the way home after a "social session" with family or friends.

Well, two days ago, this happened to me. I was out for an evening with friends and had more than several whiskies followed by a couple of bottles of rather nice red wine and vodka shots. Although relaxed, I still had the common sense to know I was slightly over the limit.

That's when I did something I've never done before - I took a bus home! Sure enough on the way there was a police roadblock, but since it was a bus they waved it past and I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise to me, because I had never driven a bus before. I don't know where I got it, and now that it's in my garage I don't know what to do with it. So, anyway, if you want to borrow it give me a call.

Jobs and Announcements

Jordan Capital Finance is hiring a Senior Vice President, Business Development. The primary focus will be generating business from third party channels, with an emphasis on mortgage bankers and brokers. "JCF provides private money financing for investors who buy, renovate, sell, and rent residential real estate. We offer lines of credit up to $7.5M and lend in 40 states. We do not lend to home owners. JCF is extremely well funded by Garrison Partners, a premier New York private equity firm, and is on an aggressive growth path. We are a top 5 lender in our industry and we've closed $150 billion in mortgage volume. The SVP must have at least 7 years' experience and must have a proven track record of exceptional sales success and relationships with mortgage bankers. The position requires a very strong work ethic and travel; college degree preferred. The SVP will receive a competitive salary, but a very substantial portion of compensation will be incentive based. Chicago based candidates preferred, but East Coast and Texas will be considered. The candidate reports to the CEO. Questions and resumes can be sent to Magdalena Pyclik."