My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Along those lines I bet  all the reverse mortgage lenders out there didn't know that President John F. Kennedy designated May 1963 as Senior Citizens Month, encouraging the nation to pay tribute in some way to older people across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate those 65 and older which is around 40 million here in the US (13% of the population). According to the Census Bureau, and the reason why there is so much interest in reverse mortgages (despite their well-publicized issues), in 2050 there will be 89 million people 65 and older, or 20% of the total population at that time. But will they have equity? 

Some companies are contracting, but in Southern California Icon Residential Lenders is expanding and opening up a nationwide correspondent channel. Icon is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grand Bank, a nationally chartered bank licensed to lend in all 50 states, and is in the hunt for an Operations Manager for the team that will handle correspondent loan flow nationwide. The role is obviously critical, and if anyone out there knows of anyone with at least 5 years of correspondent operations management experience and who is interested in building a team they should send their resumes and letters of interest to Chris Weir at  Qualified candidates will be contacted for follow up interviews.


Anyone with a vested interest in probable loan limit changes on 10/1 would be advised to read the latest.

The light bulb reminder yesterday prompted one reader to write, "The real light bulb story is this regulation forced the last light bulb manufacturer in this country to close its doors, yet another 'unintended consequence.' Wait until the full effects of Dodd-Frank and the CPFB hit our industry. 'The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.' Another wrote, "Republicans in Congress are now upset that the government is deciding the fate of the incandescent bulb rather than the free market. How about the unintended consequence on Hasbro's Easy Bake Oven business? WashingtonPostLightbulb.

On a more serious note one reader wrote, "With regard to the comment of Bank sellers of REO requiring cross qualification with a preferred lender, there are reasons beyond building origination business that it may be required. Whether dealing with a foreclosure or a short sale, the bank needs to be assured the buyer is legitimate and will be able to complete the purchase in a timely manner.  Some lenders pre-approving a borrower on an REO may not be able to meet a tight closing deadline. A ruse some of the foreclosure rescue companies use is to provide purchase and sale agreement signed by a fake buyer with a fake approval letter as a strategy to get a foreclosure delayed."

Is Morgan Stanley selling its servicer, Saxon? Check it out at  MorganSaxon. And Ally is going to buy ING Direct?  AllyINGDirect (Maybe I should obtain all my news from The New York Post - it has better photos than the WSJ...)

Sometimes originators and Realtors wonder why the number of companies offering 2nd mortgages has declined. SecondMortgages.

Just as lawsuits seem to be a matter of daily life for mortgage companies, so do settlements. Whether an investor settles with an agency, as BofA did with Fannie last year, or XXX Mortgage does a "global settlement" with an accumulator (such as Citi or Chase or Wells or BofA), settlements are indeed occurring. The same is happening, or trying to happen, on the servicing side of our industry: ServicingSettlement.

 HUD announced a conference call for today. FHA Office of Lender Activities and Program Compliance Conference Call/Live Meeting from 2-3 EST. "Topics of Discussion: Audited Financial Statements, Investing Mortgagee Requirements, Third Party Originations." E-mail your questions both in advance of and during the call to OLAPC@HUD.GOV and to join use the conference dial-in number: (800) 260-0718; Confirmation/Participant Number: 201997.

In Northern California, Walnut Creek to be exact, FHA will conduct a 1-day class on June 7 on "recent changes, highlights of underwriting the FHA appraisal, recap of underwriting & documentation requirements. This training is for Underwriters, Processors, & Loan Officers. It is free but registration required at FHAClass.

HUD also reminded FHA/VA producers that "claim-related payments to HUD must be made through the 'Claim Remittance' feature in the FHA Connection.  This feature can be accessed through the FHA Connection by selecting Single Family Servicing, Claims Processing, and Claim Remittance. Banking information can be entered securely using one of two methods:  (1) the one-time cash flow account setup process, using the Cash Flow Account Setup module in FHA Connection, establishes a banking account that can be used for frequent and recurring remittances, and (2) banking account information can be entered at the time of each remittance. By request to allow a longer transition period, the closing date for the Single Family Claims Lockbox has been extended to May 31, 2011.  There will be no further extensions.  Any checks received after May 31, 2011, will be returned to the sender and mortgagees may incur interest and - or penalty amounts on delinquent debts. Guidance on this can be found at: HUD.  

 AllRegs has released a database showing popular ID cards. "AllRegs ID Card Database, a comprehensive, online resource that contains card images and details of the most actively used driver's licenses from all 50 states across the U.S., military IDs and passports.  For each ID card, you can access what the card looks like with illustrated details of security features, layouts, and other discerning information that confirms the authenticity of the ID card." AllRegs

 I have had the pleasure of sitting in on two large-group discussions about LO compensation in the last three weeks. The only thing that appears to be certain is... nothing appears to be certain. The discussion leaders would ask, "Who here is doing something this way?" and half the group would gamely raise their hands, and then the leader would ask, "Who here is doing something the other way?" and the other half would raise their hands. Of course, the big fear is that their company will be made an example of, either by regulators or by class action attorneys. And still others point to firms, none of whom will be mentioned in this commentary, who not only seem to be ignoring or skirting the generally-accepted regulations but are also using their comp policies as a recruiting tactic.

Lenders continue to adjust their comp plans. In San Francisco, for example, Bay Equity told its brokers of "enhancements to the Lender Paid Compensation Plans...which offer our Broker partners greater flexibility and a competitive edge and are programmed into EDGE, Bay Equity's Decision Generating Engine. Bay Equity offers a new add-on which allows our Broker Partners to include a flat fee on top of their current Tier.  Bay Equity is offering add-ons in the amount of $495, $595, and $695.  The flat fee will be included in the total Lender Paid Compensation for each transaction" assuming certain documentation and procedure guidelines are met. The company also told its brokers that, "Bay Equity will include contract processing fees as an allowable 3rd party fee" assuming other requirements are met.

Wednesday the volatility in our markets continued to pick up slightly. Treasuries and other fixed-income securities opened lower but buyers came into the market and prices gained steadily through the day. Equities sold off sharply on lower commodity prices and increased economic worries. When all was said and done the new 10-year note rallied about .250 in price and down to a yield of 3.16%. Mortgage banker selling was in the mid-to-upper end of its range of $1 to $1.5 billion, and agency MBS prices finished better by .125-.250, resulting in some intra-day price improvements.


Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and asks the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

The man said, "I do, Father."

The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."

Then the priest asked the second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

"Certainly, Father," the man replied.

"Then stand over there against the wall," said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and asked, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father."

The priest said, "I don't believe this.   You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said "Oh - when I die yes. I thought you were getting together a group to go right now."