Do you think your small competitor is going to be around at the end of 2017? Perhaps. But I am reminded of some Deloitte research from late 2015 that finds only 12% of Fortune 500 companies around in 1955 are still in business! Inc. reports 25% of new businesses don't make it past the first year and 50% fail within 5 years. Taking a look at start-ups, Russia just set up its equivalent of Freddie and Fannie, and, although not a start-up, Impac Mortgage Holdings sold $56 million of its common stock as part of a plan to securitize non-qualified mortgage loans.

Legal and government news

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an agreement with a group of California mortgage lenders to resolve allegations they discriminated against a mortgage applicant based on his national origin. The complainant alleged that American Financial Network of Brea, California; Benchmark Communities of Fresno; Brigantino Enterprise of Hollister; and an employee of Benchmark Communities failed to prequalify him to purchase a home in Hollister because he is Hispanic. Running afoul of the Fair Housing Act is never a recipe for success. It prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home lending transactions based on a person's national origin, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or disability.

The case came to HUD's attention when the applicant filed a fair housing complaint alleging that he was unfairly denied an opportunity to prequalify for a mortgage loan, precluding him from purchasing a home because he is Hispanic. American Financial Network will pay the man $5,000, Benchmark Communities will provide annual fair housing training for its employees who interact with prospective homebuyers, and American Financial Network will provide annual fair housing training to current and new employees as they are hired.

Pacific Union Financial issued an alert regarding the Michigan Legislature and Governor's recent enactment of three bills which serve to abolish the concept of dower rights in Michigan law. The bills became effective April 6, 2017. As a result, effective on and after April 6, 2017, both spouses will no longer be required to sign documents (mortgage, rescission, Loan Estimate (LE)) unless both signatures are required in accordance with the Michigan Homestead Law.  The Homestead Law requires signatures for both spouses when the transaction covers the refinance of a homestead property (principal residence).

Wells Fargo Funding's 2017 Annual Recertification process for Sellers began the week of April 10, 2017. Annual Recertification helps ensure Wells Fargo Funding has current information for each Seller and remains compliant with various agency and federal guidelines. On or before June 30, 2017, Sellers must: Complete the 2017 Annual Recertification questionnaire. Submit 2016 fiscal year-end audited financial statements (for those Sellers with December 31, 2016, year-end dates) via its secure Wells Fargo Funding website.

Webinars and trainings:

Join panelist Mike Olden, American Reporting Company - VP of Sales & Education today, Thursday, April 20, 1PM ET for a 1-hour MGIC webinar on FICO Score and Credit Reporting Update.

On April 27 Buckley Sandler will host the first of a five-part series of webcasts focused on state regulatory and enforcement issues and trends. The first webcast in this series will be an overview of the current regulatory climate as well as a discussion about the anticipated increase in state oversight and enforcement because of the Trump Administration.

Join experts from DocMagic, BeSmartee, and LendingQB for a FREE webinar on April 26th explaining how to get started the smart way with digital lending, so you can avoid the typical risks under-informed lenders encounter.

Start prepping now for FHA's May 15th implementation date for The Loan Review System (LRS). The newest webinar #3 Loan Review System (LRS): Lender Monitoring, Reporting, and Other Functions, April 26th.  Lenders that have not yet done so are encouraged to view LRS Webinars 1 and 2, accessible from the Single Family Housing Archived Webinars page.

From April 24-28, NRMLA will host a series of online educational sessions to raise awareness about reverse mortgages among professionals who work with older homeowners.

Register now for the upcoming Great River MBA conference May 9th-11th.

Self-employed borrower tax return Woes? MGIC's webinars will take you step by step through the analysis process. Register for MGIC's May 11th webinar - personal tax return analysis and MGIC's Self-Employed Borrower - Business Tax Return Analysis May 17th webinar These webinars will highlight current guidelines and updates for tax year 2016.

There are 3 ways to register for MBA's Small Balance & Portfolio Lending Summit June 28th & 29th in Dallas, TX.

Capital markets

The US Treasury is looking for feedback from primary dealers on potential demand and pricing of 40-, 50- or 100-year government bonds as it explores funding options. Before you roll your eyes and chuckle, remember that several countries, like Japan and Sweden, offer 100+ year mortgages for home buyers.

Rates, sitting here at November levels, have been relatively steady: up a little, down a little: Wednesday they were up a little. There was nothing to blame it on, other than possibly the sharp decline in crude oil futures following the release of the weekly inventory data. But usually a fall in energy prices tends to support Treasury prices. The Fed's Beige Book showed modest to moderate growth in all 12 Fed regions between mid-February and the end of March. This is a bit encouraging, considering that retail sales, the CPI, and manufacturing production all declined last month. For numbers, everything worsened about .125 in price.

A May Fed rate hike is now seen highly unlikely, while June is split roughly 50/50. Today for potentially interest rate-moving new we've had initial jobless claims (+10k to 244k) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (down "10.8" to "22" in April). Ahead of us are the March leading indicators at 10AM ET. Versus last night's close rates are up a shade with the 10-year at 2.23% and MBS prices worse nearly .125.

Jobs and Announcements

In operations job news, a $10 billion plus originator seeks a strong operational leader to oversee loan purchasing process and direct experienced staff in multiple locations (Midwest and South). Proven success in scaling large platforms and expertise with mandatory delivery through AOT is a plus. Respond confidentially to me and specify opportunity.

In correspondent news, First Community Mortgage is pleased to announce that Lisa Lanik has joined the company as Strategic Account Manager for their delegated and non-delegated correspondent channels. "Lisa is an industry veteran with 24 years of mortgage experience working with correspondent and wholesale channels, as well as mortgage insurance, and will be bringing on new accounts for FCM, engaging with industry associations, and working with our business partners on strategic planning as well as business development. FCM recognizes that people are the key to successful partnerships and we are committed to offering unparalleled service and support to our business partners with our Human Mortgage approach. If you are interested in learning more about FCM's Correspondent Lending and Human Mortgage, please contact Lisa.

ResMac continues its national expansion and seeks seasoned Wholesale Account Executives, with an active book of business with at least 3 years' experience to join the TEAM! "If you are a top producer, and ready for success, then it's time for you to shape your future with ResMac. We have positions available in California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Oregon as well as other major markets. The ideal candidate should be familiar with all Agency guidelines and loan programs. In addition to FNMA/FHLMC/FHA/VA/USDA, we offer a suite of Non-QM products, all are available through our proprietary loan portal, 'Marti.' Marti allows our partners real-time control of the transactions. Ad soon as e-disclosures are generated, our partners can order appraisal, flood cert, all income and asset verifications. ResMac offers a competitive compensation and benefits package. To apply, go to, click 'Careers' and submit your resume."

Congrats to Eric Macwan who has accepted the new position of Vice President, Chief Information Officer, with Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. In this new role, Eric will be responsible for strategic planning, oversight and continuous improvement of Plaza's technology efforts, as well as oversee the project management and business continuity areas of the business.

Vendor products

"Want to improve your Appraisal Workflow? Discover Sapphire Appraisal Management Platform by Veros - a powerful, workflow-driven valuation management solution used by Lenders, AMCs, and Bankers to automatically manage and track appraisal orders from start to finish, while maintaining quality controls and regulatory compliance, including built-in appraisal scoring and secondary market portal delivery. Sapphire has scalable functionalities and evolves with business demands, and is seamlessly integrated into Encompass All-in-One Mortgage Management Solution. Gain operational efficiencies, ensure compliance, and reduce expenses with Sapphire. For more information or to request a demo, contact Susan Anderson (860-402-8337). More news about Veros.

"Struggling with launching a robust vendor management program or want to enhance your existing one? See why MQMR dba HQ Vendor Management is the first choice for vendor management solutions. Having recently added loanDepot to its clientele, MQMR is off to a fast start assisting its clients with vendor management in 2017. Said Jim Svinth, EVP of Enterprise Risk Management at loanDepot, "We needed a solution, searched the market, and found that MQMR provided a robust platform, truly understood counterparty risk, and was willing to accommodate our needs.  We are overly satisfied with MQMR and look forward to further refinement to our vendor management program."  For more information about vendor management or MQMR's suite of risk management and compliance services, reach out to Britt Haven or look for the MQMR team at upcoming conferences: MBA National Secondary, Legal Issues and Regulatory, and TMBA Annual."

Worried about the impact the new HMDA rule will have on your company? Looking for ways to ensure Fair Lending at the point of sale, particularly when you're underwriting non-agency loans? Want to learn best practices for implementing processes and technology that will help you comply with HMDA and Fair Lending? Join Ben Wu, Executive Director of LoanScorecard, a leading provider of automated pricing, underwriting and compliance solutions, as he presents Fair Lending in a New HMDA World, a live webinar on April 25th at 11AM CT, with an encore presentation May 4th. To learn more about this webinar or to register, click here.

"Now here's some food for thought. What do BeyoncĂ©, Red Bull, and Virgin Atlantic have in common? They've all used publicity to achieve enviable success. It's well known that publicity can attract the attention of many prospects and help close deals much faster. Just think about it: if you read and hear about a company all over the place, your interest is piqued. When it comes to generating publicity for companies in the mortgage industry, nobody does it better than Strategic Vantage. Its management has been focused on our industry for over 15 years, and have propelled countless companies to greater success. From start-ups to large companies, their client list includes dozens of names you're surely to recognize. I recommend you check them out at And if you'll be at the MBA Secondary Conference in NYC at the end of this month, you can schedule a meeting to see them there. Just reach out to them at"