"Rob, do you have any idea how long an originator, broker, whoever, has to keep a copy of the loan file? That is probably a question that has many conditions and answers, but any insight would be helpful." It depends on when you think you'll have to defend yourself against a buyback! Seriously, that is a simple question with a complex answer which is based on the state, whether or not the loan funded or cancelled, who the investor is/was, what the program is, whether or not tribal lands are involved, who the agency is, who is servicing the loan, etc. Fannie and Freddie, for example, have it in their seller/servicer guides. But here, thanks to the folks at DogMagic, uh, I mean DocMagic, is a handy-dandy guide.

As a quick note, it seems that the 2012 STRATMOR compensation survey link I provided yesterday didn't work, and many wanted to participate. Here it is, in all its glory.

In addition, those interested in the job listing for Mason-McDuffie Mortgage (seeking Producing Managers and Loan Officers in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, Indiana and Texas) should write to Danielle Danson at ddanson@mmcdcorp .com.

Here's one take on the Department of Justice settlement with Wells Fargo: http://nlpc.org/.

"Mitt Romney's search for a VP continues. The reason it's taking so long is because Romney has never hired an American before." Humor aside, but speaking of hiring, Spain's unemployment rate is 24%. Given the benefits paid out, and the tax base, how is Spain supposed to pay anyone anything on interest? Global economic growth may be more heavily affected than previously thought due to fallout from the European Financial Crisis and resulting recession in Europe. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) most recent economic forecast showed growth slowing around the globe, with a slightly deeper recession in Europe this year, weaker growth in China and much of the developing world, and slower growth in the United States. The slowdown is clearly evident in recent economic data, which have shown manufacturing activity and consumer spending weakening. There are several areas where the ongoing Eurozone recession is affecting growth prospects for the various states, notably a pullback in exports from these states to Europe. But the impact is not limited to reduced exports to Europe, as Europe's recession is also weighing on growth in China and other parts of emerging world, reducing the demand for U.S.-produced goods there as well.

Besides the direct effect on exports, regional economies may also be affected by a slowdown in international tourism. This continuing uncertainty surrounding the European banking system is contributing to tighter lending standards, increased stock market volatility and widening credit spreads around the world, which raises the hurdle rate for new investment and further restrains economic growth. So be careful what you wish for - slower world economies mean lower rates here in the U.S., but it would be nice to have the economies pick up a little steam.

Brian Coester with Coester Appraisals noticed that the Government Accountability Office released a report in late June that scrutinized real estate valuations in the wake of the recent mortgage crisis. The report revealed that valuations received through broker price opinions and automated valuation models take less time and are less costly than traditional appraisal reports, but traditional appraisal reports are still mandated for almost all first-lien residential loan originations due to their greater reliability. Almost all appraisal reports utilize the sales comparison approach, which bases the property value on recent sales of similar properties. Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration all require the use of comparable properties in appraisals. The report noted that appraisal management companies are becoming more prominent because of regulations that prevent conflicts of interest in the appraiser selection process. However, the expanded use of AMCs has caused doubt about their oversight and impact on appraisal quality - namely that they give higher priority to low cost and speed than quality and competence. Federal regulators and Fannie and Freddie claim that they hold lenders responsible for ensuring that AMCs' policies and practices meet their requirements; however, lenders typically don't directly review the operations of the AMCs they use. The Dodd-Frank Act requires state appraisal licensing boards to supervise AMCs and that federal banking regulators, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau create minimum standards for states to apply in registering AMCs. But the ASC has been restricted in meeting its responsibilities under Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of1989. ASC also lacks specific policies for determining whether activities of the Appraisal Foundation that are funded by ASC grants are Title XI-related. Link (Thank you Brian.)

Here, as is nearly becoming standard, are some relatively recent updates from vendors, agencies, and investors. As I warn folks, these will give you a flavor for current trends but for exact details read the bulletin.

Bank of America has decided to buy Countrywide. (Okay, so not that far behind...but if BofA could turn back time...)

MERSCORP Holdings announced Minnesota-based attorney William B. Butler of the Butler Liberty Law, LLC has been sanctioned for continuing to file and litigate frivolous, "show-me-the-note" lawsuits designed to thwart foreclosure proceedings in Minnesota. Butler has been ordered to personally pay the sum of $75,000, plus an additional undetermined reimbursement of legal costs incurred by counsel for MERS and its co-defendants. The judge found sanctions were warranted because of Butler's repeated attempts to assert the rejected 'show me the note' theory, as well as his baseless quiet title claims and meritless slander of title arguments.   The personal fine was levied due to "his cruel arousal of unrealistic hope in his clients, all of whom face foreclosure and for whom this is an extremely emotional issue." Butler's insistence on re-litigating losing arguments is staggering, and it comes with the cost, of multiplying the expense of litigation and monopolizes scarce judicial resources.

Any time someone mentions HUD, 203(k), and investors, it attracts some attention.

Fannie Mae has announced that it will implement Desktop Underwriter (DU) Version 9.0 during the weekend of Oct. 20. Loan case files created in DU Version 8.3 and resubmitted after the weekend of Oct. 20 will continue to be underwritten through DU Version 8.3. According to Fannie, the new DU version will include an update to the DU credit risk assessment and eligibility requirements that consider the probability of future serious delinquency, rather than default. "Based on an analysis of recent loan case files submitted to DU, the new credit risk assessment is expected to have a minimal impact on the percentage of eligible recommendations that lenders receive today," says Fannie Mae. "DU Version 9.0 will evaluate loan case files using the same risk factors currently evaluated in DU Version 8.3." Furthermore, with DU Version 9.0, the retirement of the Expanded Approval (EA) recommendations will be completed and the EA-I recommendation will no longer be returned.

American home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. seems to be doing just fine after its name change earlier this year. Remember that the change to Homeward Residential, Inc. was to reflect the Company's expansion into the residential lending and other real estate finance related businesses. The Correspondent Lending division is known as Homeward Capital, which includes Warehouse and Residential Lending. All mailing addresses are remaining the same, but all email addresses will change from @AHMSI3.com to @gohomeward.com. Also, any file purchased on or after May 29 was required to reflect the new name of Homeward Residential, Inc. and the Correspondent Lending website address is homewardcapital .com.

Zions Bank reported 2Q earnings of $55.2mm, or double that of 1Q and almost double the same period last year. Loan growth was moderate and charge offs were down. Despite the growth, earnings were below estimates and hurt by greater ALLL provisions and shrinking NIM.

Region's 2Q earnings spiked to $284mm, more than double 1Q and 4x higher than the same period last year. Credit quality was up, provisions down, loan growth flat and NIM improved. In addition, the sale of Morgan Keegan added $4mm to net income this quarter.

In an effort to cut costs, company filings show Bank of America has reduced its ATM network by 9% this year.

Speaking of bank news, a Fed study shows that U.S. banks established more than 10,000 special subsidiaries over the past 22 years using these structures to limit liability, reduce capital, pay lower taxes or avoid regulation. Who can blame them?

Life continues on in the fixed-income markets as the market prices in another Quantitative Easing (QE3) from the Fed. By the time the dust settled on Thursday, traders reported average volumes. So with the Fed averaging about $1.3 billion a day of agency MBS purchases, there seem to be plenty of buyers for whatever volumes are above that. So things drift along with the 10-yr closing around 1.43% and MBS prices starting the day where they began: worse by .125 on no substantive news. Yes, rates are great, but originators report few "slam dunk" loans - they all have a little hair on them.

Today we had our first look at second quarter GDP. The median call at +1.5%, down from Q1 growth of just 1.9%, and it came in at exactly that. In addition, the report included revisions going back to Q1 2009. We'll also have the final July reading for Consumer Sentiment, expected unchanged at "72." Rates had slid slightly higher, and stocks were showing another rally, prior to the GDP news. And there they stayed: in the early going the 10-yr is up to 1.48% and MBS prices are worse .125-.250.

(The retirement series is interrupted for this late-breaking news.)
MENLO PARK, Calif. - After Facebook's shares plummeted in after-hours trading yesterday, Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg issued the following personal letter to all nine hundred million Facebook users.
"Dear Facebook user:
Hey it's Mark.
It seems like just yesterday that Facebook had its historic I.P.O. and, thanks to you, my net worth soared to a staggering $20 billion. What an awesome day that was for both of us.
Today was a different kind of day. Facebook shares are plunging because the geniuses on Wall Street expect us to, and I quote, 'make money.' That's why your Facebook friend Mark needs your help.
Facebook only makes money if people click on its ads. Do you know what Facebook ads are? They're those things on your Facebook page that you have never clicked on even once.
But at Facebook we're looking to change that. After doing extensive market research, we learned that there is one time when people actually do click on Facebook ads: when they're drunk. This is the same business model that iTunes is based on. I'm sure a few of you have had the experience of using Facebook late at night, only to wake up and find that you've gotten seven auto-insurance quotes or enrolled as a criminal-justice major at the University of Phoenix.
Why am I sharing this information with you? Simple. If you want to save Facebook-and I know that you do-I need you to start drinking now.
At Facebook headquarters, we like to have all-night coding parties where we get shitfaced and write algorithms and other computer stuff you wouldn't understand. I want you to do the same thing, except instead of coding, I want you to click on random ads for Ancestry.com and Christian Mingle, over and over and over again. You don't even have to buy anything-just keep clicking. And drinking.
Now, you might be asking yourself, 'Why do I have to help Mark out? Isn't Facebook's stock price his problem?' Well, in a sense, yes. But maybe this is a good time to remind you that I have cached all of those photos you posted of yourself doing Jägerbomb jello shots at that Tri Delt party in 2007. And I'll bet your future employers would love to take a peek at them.