Many nations are a hodge-podge of ethnic diversity, and the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that there are at least 350 languages spoken across our nation. The Miami metro area has 51 percent of the population over 5 speaking a language other than English at home. In the New York metro area, there are at least 192 languages spoken at home, with 38 percent of the metro area population age 5 and over speaking a language other than English at home. In the Los Angeles metro area there are 185 languages spoken at home, with 54 percent of those over 5 years old speaking a language other than English in their homes.

Among lenders who participated in the STRATMOR PeerViews Originator and Branch Manager Recruiting and Retention Incentives survey, paying a guaranteed compensation amount over a limited time frame, e.g., 3-6 months, was the most attractive recruitment incentive (54% of respondents rate this option as "highly attractive") among a range of options. Full results of the survey are now available for purchase. To learn more about how your peers view recruitment and retention incentives for these sales positions go to Purchase results or contact STRATMOR. STRATMOR PeerViews is a fast turn-around survey program that focuses on mortgage executives' thoughts on current industry topics.  You can also download, for free, the results of 5 surveys conducted earlier this year at Download PeerViews surveys.

J.D. Power released its 2015 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, and hats off to Quicken Loans which ranked the highest in the Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction survey for the 6th straight year. To view the press release and charts on the J.D. Power website, please click here. The survey noted an increase in the use of new technology and improved efficiency.

Upcoming events?

What's this? An anti-CFPB commercial? Very interesting - but will it air on the Super Bowl?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful that one of my favorite conferences is right around the corner. MBA's Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference is taking place December 2-4 in Nashville and, if you're an IMB, you need to be there. This event is at record attendance thus far and boasts a program designed exclusively for IMBs by IMBs. Highlights of this year's conference include IMBs Unplugged, a lenders-only forum (open only to MBA Members) during which you can meet in person with participants of the monthly IMB Network calls to share best practices, discuss challenges and provide feedback about the conference. Attendees also look forward to Expert Insight on Mergers & Acquisitions, as well as the Regulatory Super Session. But what I'm most excited for is the IMB party of the year: Nashville Nights, taking place Thursday night at Tequila Cowboy Bar & Grill. No better time or place to kick back with your colleagues and mix business with pleasure! If you haven't already registered, you can do so here. If you are not an MBA member, and want to save on your conference registration, as well as gain access to the IMBs Unplugged session, you can contact Tricia Migliazzo at (314)497-6999.

As of today Pinnacle Capital Mortgage has become division of Finance of America Mortgage, LLC, a Blackstone company. It will continue to operate as Pinnacle Capital Mortgage with unchanged staff. More information can be found here.

In Colorado the CMLA's 25th Anniversary Rocky Mountain Lender Expo on April 13th early registration discount is almost expired. Register now to receive the 10% off list price before it ends on December 4th.

And get ready for the MindSet Summit event on December 3rd in Las Vegas. Designed to help loan officers and realtors go to the next level, view the video link for a look at this unique business planning experience and then click the link to register for this inimitable event.

On Wednesday, December 2nd, join The Silicon Valley Chapter of CAMP and AREAA Silicon Valley for a Holiday Charity Fundraiser and Silent Auction at The Glasshouse in downtown San Jose. This casino-styled event is being held to support Rebuilding Together, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income and elderly homeowners residing in Santa Clara County. Come be a part of supporting our elder community.

Cyber threats are becoming more prominent and sophisticated - attend MBA Education's workshop to help your company understand, mitigate and manage potential cyber threats before it's too late. Register for the January 26th FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool workshop.

The Mortgage Collaborative will be holding its Winter Lender Member Conference from February 21-23 at the Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain Resort in Tucson, AZ. The conference will have a central theme focused on the future of the mortgage industry and will feature appearances by top industry leaders, educational panels, and peer to peer networking sessions. For more information on the conference and membership, contact Rich Swerbinsky.

And there are recent changes in condo lending policies.

This week FHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed Golding announced changes to the FHA's condominium policy. Secretary Golding stated that FHA would revise the current complex recertification process and limits on the types of property insurance that is considered acceptable coverage by FHA.  These revisions were released in Mortgagee Letter 2015-27. ML 2015-27 provides a notice expanding the data used to calculate the owner-occupancy percentage, an expansion of eligible condominium project insurance coverage, and revised requirements for obtaining condominium project recertification. The requirements in ML 15-27 are applicable to all Title II programs, including the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) insurance program, unless otherwise stated and are effective immediately for all condominium project approvals, recertification applications, annexations, or reconsideration submissions submitted for review.

Recently Pacific Union Financial, LLC announced the removal of ALL Florida Condo overlays. Florida condo transactions may now follow standard Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac condo policies. In addition, Pacific Union Financial is now allowing FHA and VA Manufactured Homes in the following states: Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Recently Ditech spread the word that mortgages on properties encumbered by private transfer fee covenants prohibited in the Federal Register, are ineligible if those covenants were created on or after February 8, 2011. Fees that do not directly benefit the property are subject to C.F.R. Part 1228 and are therefore ineligible. However, Private transfer fees paid to the following to benefit the property are eligible: Homeowner Associations, Condominium Associations and certain tax-exempt organizations that use private transfer fee proceeds to benefit the property.

A Citi Correspondent credit policy overlay document has been updated based on recent credit policy updates. This update involves project approvals requiring a Project Certification Form (exhibit 24), or a similar form, required on all condo and coop projects.  It is no longer required for PUD projects.

Friday was yet another example that the stock and bond markets don't always move in opposite direction. Stocks saw their largest weekly loss in 3 months while rates continue to be high. In Friday's trading U.S. Treasuries rallied on lower crude oil prices and weak U.S. economic data: retail sales, core retail sales, the PPI, and the core PPI all missed expectations.

But it's a new week, and as the world morns the loss of the shooting victims in Paris we have plenty of economic news for the pundits to yammer about. Today was the November Empire Manufacturing figure (-10.7, its 4th straight contraction). Tomorrow we'll see October CPI and Core CPI (08:30 ET), October's Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization (09:15 EST), and November's NAHB Housing Market Index. Wednesday includes the MBA's application data, October Housing Starts and Building Permits, and the October FOMC Minutes. Thursday we'll have Initial Jobless Claims, November's Philadelphia Fed, and October's Leading Indicators. Friday we have zip on the schedule. We closed the 10-year at 2.28% Friday and we're at 2.26% with agency MBS prices slightly better today.

Jobs and Announcements

In job news Towne Mortgage, a growing independent mortgage banker headquartered in Troy, Michigan, is building its IT team to improve its leverage of production technology. Towne is seeking to fill the role of System Administrator to manage its LOS environment and play a key role in helping the Company improve scalability and increase productivity. "Experience with the MortgageBot Enterprise LOS is a plus, but knowledge of other rules-based, tool-kit oriented LOS platforms is likely to be highly transferable. Ability and experience in translating mortgage banking business needs into system functionality, proactive communication with internal team members, and maintaining effective LOS and other 3rd party vendor relationships are key elements of this role. You will become central to a team which will make all the difference in helping the Company grow." Interested candidates should send their resume to VP Raina Shakdher.

In retail news, "Title companies and lenders alike continue to struggle with TRID related issues. People are sharing similar comments around the country. Problems with technology and communication between lenders and title companies seem to be a common thread wherever you are. In times like these, senior leadership is critical to a company's success.  For those companies who have established and cohesive leadership teams, TRID implementation has been much easier than most. Those companies are nimble enough to change quickly when necessary and they will allow for a faster transition into the new world. Companies who have put in the time to create new origination opportunities through technology and systems are capitalizing on the unpreparedness of others. If you want to originate for a company like this who's culture hasn't forgot about the production staff while still supporting operations, contact Tom Dolan. Your career could change dramatically as result."

In Southern California JMAC Lending continues to expand and is seeking a talented Vice President of Compliance. "Our senior management is risk and compliance focused, most with a credit policy and underwriting background. If you are looking to join a company that values results and integrity, this is a place for you. We are primarily focused on wholesale and are looking to expand into other mortgage channels. The VP will provide clear guidance to staff on compliance matters and manage the compliance management system, including the review and implementation of procedures to ensure compliance with new laws and regulation. The VP will oversee compliance, quality control, and licensing. We offer a very competitive compensation and benefits package to include Health, Dental, Vision, Life and AD&D insurance the 1st of the month following date of hire, and 401k after 90 days!" Please send resumes to Vanna Nguyen.

In personnel news a long overdue congratulations to Tom Neary, Stearns Lending's new Chief Investment Officer. He will oversee capital markets and secondary marketing efforts for the company.

And the Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMB, not AMP?) has named Utah mortgage professional John G. Stevens the Mortgage Professional of the Year. John is Utah Area Manager for the Bank of England. During 2015 Stevens served as the first President of NAMB+, a for profit corporation formed to provide as a benefit to NAMB members discounted products and services. Stevens was also named Vice President of NAMB, putting him on track to be the NAMB President in two years.

In company news Highlands Residential Mortgage selected Alight Mortgage Lending for its cloud-based financial optimization application. "Highlands' CEO, Ken Hickman commented, 'Alight's mortgage lending application will enable the Highlands management team to more accurately predict break-even production levels, forecast profit margins, predict new branch contribution margins and resulting cash flow, all in real-time.' Alight Mortgage Lending changes the way CEOs, CFOs, management teams and boards plan, evaluate opportunities, and navigate changing market conditions. Alight users can leverage the power of real-time scenario analysis to look at the ripple effects that each decision and change in the market may have across the enterprise."