Welcome to 10/11/12...how many times do us adults get a chance at a date like that here in the U.S.? I guess once a year up until 2014.

On the job front, Dallas' Caliber Funding LLC is looking to hire all operations roles in Wholesale Centers located in Southern and Northern California, Chicago, Fairfax (Virginia), Tampa, and Dallas. Caliber is a national mortgage lender and agency direct seller/servicer whose core business focus includes Retail, Wholesale, Mini-Correspondent, and Consumer Direct channels. It is aggressively growing nationwide. "Caliber Funding's strengths include an innovative culture, proprietary loan origination system H2Online, and entrepreneurial management team," and it has the financial backing of Lone Star Funds, a global private equity fund. Confidential resumes should be sent to recruiting@caliberfunding .com.  Please also visit its "Careers Page" on the company website at caliberfunding.com.

Down in California, in the Northern Bay Area, I have been retained by a well-known organization in its search for a Secondary Marketing Analyst. "This position is responsible for monitoring the Company's conforming mortgage loan pipeline. The ideal candidate should have applicable secondary mortgage market experience, well-versed knowledge of all conforming loan products, have strong analytic and quantitative skills and a background in pricing, pooling and delivering loans to the GSEs. The individual is expected to contribute to the improvement of our hedging and risk management processes. Strong attention to detail and process, clear communication skills, and outstanding client service are key factors." I highly recommend this company - write for the complete description. And/or send a confidential resume to me at rchrisman@robchrisman .com. (I am in Seattle for the day, so expect delays in response.)

Uh oh! Fitch, who along with Moody's and Standard & Poors are blamed for mis-rating thousands of residential mortgage securities, does not like the recent Ocwen/Homeward Residential news. Fitch has publicized a possible Ocwen downgrade.

H&R Block's bank is on the block! (No, I didn't stay up all night coming up with that one.) Pundits were quick to point out that H&R Block doesn't want to be in the banking industry due to current and potentially onerous regulations: unintended consequences. Here you go.

Here's a little potential underwriter alert: Equifax sent out a Compliance Bulletin saying "FHA insurance to require check for IRS tax debts." "The FHA appears ready to institute a policy that would require lenders to identify delinquent tax debtors before endorsing a loan for FHA mortgage insurance. The change is in the works after the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that many first time home buyers with delinquent tax debts had been granted FHA insurance in violation of FHA policy. Federal policy makes delinquent tax debtors ineligible for FHA mortgage insurance unless they repay their debt or are in a valid repayment agreement with the IRS." The bulletin went on to note, "GAO also noted that two of three lenders mistakenly believed they can check for federal tax debts by using the FHA's Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS), a database of delinquent federal debtors. CAIVRS covers debts from six federal agencies, but does not include IRS debts. GAO noted that lenders only need the borrower to provide approval for them to receive this information directly from the IRS. As a best practice, some lenders are checking for federal tax debts at both the time of loan origination and again at closing to ensure that the most accurate account status is known. The most common sources for tax debt information relied on in the past, credit reports and the loan application itself, don't measure up, in the GAO's view. The GAO report noted that the tax liens that appear on credit reports miss tax debtors because the IRS doesn't file liens on all tax debtors. In addition, GAO noted, FHA borrowers are first time home buyers and may not have real property on which IRS can place a lien. Indeed GAO said that of eight selected borrowers it studied in detail who had disqualifying tax debts, only two had tax liens. As a result, GAO made two policy recommendations: (1) require lenders to collect IRS documentation for identifying unpaid federal tax and (2) clarify the requirement that lenders investigate indications of tax debt." Per Equifax, HUD has agreed with the recommendations.

Organizations involved in lending, real estate, title, you name it, are concerned with the vast reach of the CFPB - how much is too much? As an example, the Community Mortgage Lenders of America (CMLA) announced it has reached 100 members strong committed to preserving and strengthening the role of the community mortgage banker and lender.  CMLA also announced the formation of a Legislative Task Force to help streamline the regulatory burden of local lenders in order to improve consumer access to credit while not undermining the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The CMLA will present legislative ideas to Congress to help with economic recovery, create jobs, and prevent additional concentration amongst the largest banks and mortgage lenders in the US. 'The CMLA appreciates the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB to prohibit predatory and abusive lending practices and to improve transparency in the lending markets,' said Mark McDougald of Firstrust Mortgage in Overland Park, KS and Chair of the CMLA. 'While we agree consumers need regulatory protection, we remain deeply concerned about the far-reaching impacts of several of the proposed rules and the heightened pace of regulatory burden applied through the CFPB.  If left unchecked, the overall costs to comply with the additional burden will significantly and disproportionately disadvantage small, community-based lenders that did not create the meltdown, and frankly don't have the resources to hire a large staff, and pay lawyers, to ensure compliance with rules aimed at larger institutions.'" If you'd like more info on the CMLA, contact Kevin Cuff at kmcuff@thecmla.com.

How 'bout some relatively recent news on the M&A front, investors, and vendors? These will give you a sense of recent trends, but for full details read the actual bulletin.

Don't forget that we're approaching the release of DU version 9. There are a lot of changes coming forward that loan pros should be aware of: https://efanniemae.com/sf/guides/duguides/pdf/current/uweligibilityupdate.pdf.

Bank mergers continue unabated as efficiency, and being bigger, trump individuality. In Ohio LCNB ($827mm) will buy Citizens National Bank of Chillicothe ($152mm) for $19.6mm in cash & stock, and down in Missouri First State Community Bank ($1.3B) will buy Bank Star of the Leadbelt ($116mm) for an undisclosed sum. Lastly, in South Dakota, American Bank ($385mm) will buy Mansfield State Bank for an undisclosed sum.

Freedom Mortgage has announced that it will accept appraisals prepared by an appraiser for Wells Fargo when it can determine that the transferred appraisal conforms to its appraisal standards and when provided with written assurances that Wells has met the Appraiser independence Requirements.  In order for such an appraisal transfer to take place, FMC requires the written assurance to be signed by a Wells officer and submitted to a Regional Underwriting Manager, who must run an AVM to ensure that the appraisal complies with FMC guidelines.  These requirements are effective immediately.

MSI has updated guidance to state that Borrower Paid Compensation may not exceed the value of the Lender Paid Compensation plan currently in effect.  This applies to all loans locked on or after September 21st.

Beginning on October 20th, MSI will require all new Fannie loans to be submitted to DU using Version 9.0, regardless of the application or lock date.  Loans originally submitted using Version 8.3 may be resubmitted using the earlier version provided that the DU finding hasn't expired, and loans that fail to close before March 20, 2013 must be resubmitted through Version 9.0 whether the DU findings have expired or not.

MSI will no longer accept Appraisal Forms 2055 or 2075 for LP loans locked or relocked on or after October 15th, regardless of LP AUS. MSI has changed the minimum FICO score for Purchase/Limited Cash-Out Owner transactions at 95% LTV and Occupied Cash-Out Refinance 1-Unit transactions at 85% to 640.  Note that this does not apply in Arizona and Nevada, where a FICO score of 680 is required for LTVs over 80%.

Carrington Mortgage rolled out its HomePath products, which will allow borrowers to purchase Fannie-owned properties with a low down payment and without the need for a lender-requested appraisal or mortgage insurance.  The program also allows flexible mortgage terms and expanded seller contributions for closing costs, and for condo projects, many of the usual product requirements don't apply.  HomePath loans will be available for primary residences, secondary residences, and investment properties. And Pro Teck Valuation Services has been added to the appraisal options available to Carrington clients.

On Wednesday we saw some rate sheet changes in the afternoon. Much of this was attributed to a decent 10-yr auction, and some pointed to the Fed's Beige Book report. The Beige Book was a bit of déjà vu, as the "gradual expansion" noted in the last report was repackaged as modest expansion over the second half of Q3.  Most areas cited general economic expansion, with the exception of The New York and Kansas City Districts, which respectively cited flat and
slowing activity. From the mortgage originator perspective Wednesday saw a little less supply than on Tuesday, and investors, for whatever reason, decided to pick up the buying a little. Jabber on all you want, with the Fed's additional buying of $40 billion per month in Agency MBS, mortgage rates should do just fine.

As Thomson Reuters pointed out, "One sector that was a brighter spot in the Beige Book, however, was housing with the following observed: residential real estate showed widespread improvement since the last report, all twelve districts reported that existing home sales strengthened, in some cases substantially, and selling prices were steady or rising. Most Districts reported an increase in mortgage lending, especially for refinancing purposes."

When the dust had settled, prices on 30-year FNMA MBS gained/improved nearly .250 from Tuesday's close, and the 10-yr saw the same price move and closed at a yield of 1.69%. It is too early to know quite where the market is (I am heading to the airport for a flight to Seattle) but today we'll have Initial Jobless Claims (called slightly higher to 370k from 367k), Import Prices (expected unchanged), International Trade for August, and a $13 billion 30-yr auction at 1PM EST.

It is late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold," the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes," the man at National Weather Service again replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely," the man replied. "It's looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we've ever seen."
"How can you be so sure?" the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Indians are collecting crazy amounts of firewood."