This note from Investor's Business Daily reminds me why day-trading stocks never works for me - even if you had the better-than-expected news ahead of time, you would have lost money: "Even generally positive results from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo Friday failed to lift their shares, which fell along with the rest of the market on disappointing Chinese growth numbers." Wells, for example, reported a 42% increase in income from its mortgage-banking business year-over-year, at $2.9 billion, up $506 million from the fourth quarter of 2011, on $129 billion in originations, compared to $120 billion in originations in Q4. Citigroup also came out with its earning this morning - better than expected. (For example, Citi released $1.2 billion in reserves - maybe things really are improving.) Profit spreads are good in mortgage originations - we are seeing hefty numbers.

And mortgage companies are expanding, some in the wholesale investor channel. For example, Real Estate Mortgage Network is looking for wholesale AE's in the Southeast, Southwest and in Texas. (REMN is licensed in 40 states.) The lender has been in mortgage banking since the 1980's and continues to expand throughout the country as its wholesale division has continued to see success through "a mix of quality products, commitment to retail partners and its industry-leading reputation for same day turnaround on new files." If you'd like to learn more about the company visit and interested candidates should send their resumes to

I have been retained by a highly successful, privately owned mortgage bank in Northern California who is seeking a Sr. VP of Mortgage Operations who will be responsible for multiple operations centers. (The company is originating well over $200 million per month.) This position will be responsible for strategic leadership, team development, metrics and the execution of the mortgage operations of the firm, and include designing and implementing processes and procedures with effective standards for  underwriting, closing documents, funding and post-closing teams; managing all the operations employees, maximizing employee productivity, accountability and effectiveness. The ideal candidate should have 10+ years of Senior Mortgage Operations experience. If you know of someone who is a candidate, and is either living in the SF Bay Area or be willing to relocate, they should send their resume to me at

No banks were closed Friday, and the pace of 2012 closures is less than that of 2011. Banks that are closed usually have some forewarning, such as being placed under a written agreement by bank regulators. If you're working at a bank, and you think that it might be under some type of "written agreement" with the Federal Reserve, the place to check is here. (These are the newly announced orders; you can search for existing orders also.)

Turning to lender & investor news, and a quick reminder that it is always better to read the full bulletin from the investor, Franklin American has just implemented new pricing adjustments for Jumbo loans, including increasing the LTV/CLTV adjustment to 0.375.  Further adjustments have been made to Jumbo products in FL, NV, AZ, CA, MI, NH,NJ, CO, DC, IL, MA, MN, MD, MO, both Carolinas, OH, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, WA, and WI.

As of last Thursday, April 12th, US Bank has removed the LTV/TLTV restrictions on using Property Fieldwork Waivers for Fannie DU Refi Plus Programs 3523, 3524, 3525 and 3526.  Should the DU response offer a PFW, it can now be used at all LTV and TLTVs per maximum stated in the guidelines. US Bank will not accept any FHA loans submitted for underwriting that have a DTI ratio greater than 50%, regardless of FICO score.  This goes into effect on Monday but does not apply to delegated correspondents using their own Direct Endorsement (DE) authority.

Provident Funding is no longer accepting loan applications with borrower-paid broker compensation that exceeds 2% at the time of the initial registration and GFE audit.  Existing locks will still go through, but this is immediately effective for all new applications.

Effective for all Flagstar-serviced HARP loans locked on or after April 6, 2012, the three Expanded Approval Risk Class price adjustments will be consolidated into a single price adjustment.  The new adjustment for EA Risk Classes 1-3 is now -0.250. Flagstar also reminds sponsored originators that they are not permitted to close loans in their own name without being approved by the FHA.  These loans must close in Flagstar's name; loans from unconditionally approved lenders that are underwritten by the correspondent must close in the correspondent's name.  Loans from lenders who are still in the FHA test case phase must be closed in the correspondent's name as well.  In addition, non-approved lenders are required to be sponsored by at least one lender with FHA approval whom they have registered as a third party originator in the FHA Connection. 

In light of California Senate Bill 183, which requires all existing homes "intended for human occupancy that have a fossil fuel burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage" to feature a carbon monoxide device, the FHA requires installation of such a device where an appraiser finds it absent.  Flagstar will not clear FHA loans to close until an inspection proves that the installation has been completed.  Fannie Mae Form 1004D competed by an FHA-approved appraiser, HUD Form 92051, or a paid invoice from a licensed carbon monoxide device professional are all acceptable forms of proof.

As mentioned in Friday's commentary, Flagstar has indefinitely suspended the Freddie Mac Open Access program Freddie Mac Open Access II, and any loans in the pipeline currently registered under the program will need to be locked and submitted to Underwriting on or before April 27th.   These should be funded and delivered before June 1.

The Flagstar Conventional Underwriting Guidelines manual now includes revisions to guidance on condos, document expiration dates, and non-permanent resident aliens.

Affiliated Mortgage has added to its Unacceptable Appraiser List. AMC also reminds lenders of the new guidance issued on FHA Fixed Rate and FHA Jumbo Fixed Rate products, the latter for which lenders must receive AMC approval to be eligible.

Another reminder from AMC: images scanned for loan delivery should be sufficiently clear so as not to delay the process.  Scanners should be set to at least 200 dpi, and everything but the appraisal should be scanned in black and white.  Using the original documents is best, and these should be scanned in the vertical orientation.  AMC encourages using BlitzDocs to submit loan files rather than using PDFs.

Mountain West Financial has partnered with Condo Approvals LLC, a service that provides FHA condo complex approvals as well as complimentary pre-screens to gauge probable eligibility. 

Here's a name from the past: American Mortgage Network-formerly and currently known as AmNet. (Its successor company was Vertice.) Certainly, as some lenders and investors have left the industry, others are only too willing to step into the vacancy. In this case, wholesaler AmNet is offering the standard products, with a "goal to meet or exceed our prior monthly funding numbers of $1B in 2-3 years." No, this isn't a paid ad, and if you're a broker with questions contact Mike Lynch at

The bond market seems to be taking care of itself, and mortgage rates are just fine. This has come, however, due to another week of softer U.S. economic data. Wells Fargo's economics team, for example, has forecast that U.S. GDP growth slows to a 2.8% annualized pace in the first quarter and continues slowing to a sub 2% annualized pace in the second. Many economists are not expecting the Fed to start another round of quantitative easing unless there is an adverse change in the economy's direction and the picture painted by last week's Beige Book is somewhat upbeat. Regardless, last Tuesday a flight to quality rally on continued euro zone and global growth worries pushed the 10-year note yield below 2.0% for the first time since early March, and it closed out the week just a shade below 2.00%.

The news last night and over the weekend was hardly earth-shattering. Moody's Investors Service said it will postpone a decision on whether to downgrade the credit ratings of more than 100 European banks. (Moody's is facing pressures from the industry, which is battling challenges from the sovereign-debt crisis - but doesn't a rating agency merely reflect the news that is already priced into the market?)

We have a decent amount of U.S. economic news this week to shift interest rates around. Today we had Retail Sales (+.8%, ex-autos +.8%, a shade better than expected), Empire Manufacturing (a huge drop), and later we'll see one in the long series of housing market numbers (NAHB Housing Market Index). Tomorrow is more housing related news: the Starts & Permits combo, along with the Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization twins.  Thursday is Jobless Claims, the Philly Fed, Leading Economic Indicators, and another housing number: Existing Home Sales. In the early going the 10-yr yield is at 1.98%, nearly unchanged as are agency MBS prices - don't look for big rate sheet changes.

A balding, white haired man from Boca Raton, Florida, walked into a jewelry store this past Friday evening with a beautiful much younger gal at his side.
He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring.
The man said, "No, I'd like to see something more special."
At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over. 'Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000 the jeweler said. The lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man seeing this said, "We'll take it."
The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the man stated, "By check. I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick the ring up Monday afternoon."
On Monday morning, the jeweler angrily phoned the old man and said "There's no money in that account."
"I know," said the old man, "But let me tell you about MY GREAT WEEKEND!"
See? Not All Seniors Are Senile.