What is a huge concern of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? It isn't rates, or credit risk. It is having their business flow, and that of their client's, interrupted due to some type of cyberattack. And I have received plenty of e-mails talking about "ransomware" which is where a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Usually companies just pay it and go on with their business, but it should be reported to authorities, and there is a site to do exactly that run by FS-ISAC.

In upcoming events... is the MBA's IMB conference already next week?!

Capital Markets Cooperative will be attending the MBA's Independent Bankers Conference in Nashville Dec. 2-4th. "We look forward to discussing the value of CMC's roster of products and services to help you reach the next level of profitability. To schedule a meeting, please contact Cassius Cade, Midwest SVP, and Len Patton, CMB, Northeast SVP. See you in Nashville."

Speaking of MBA conferences, the MBA is holdings its M&A workshop on January 21 in Phoenix. There isn't room to list them all, but "Featured speakers include Paul Anastos, President, loanDepot, dba Mortgage Master, Jim Cameron, Senior Partner, STRATMOR Group, Bill Cosgrove, CMB, President/CEO, Union Home Mortgage, Joseph A. Grimes, VP, Customer Account Risk Management, Fannie Mae, Mitch Kider, Chairman and Managing Director, Weiner Brodsky Kider PC, James B. Lockhart, Vice Chairman, WL Ross & Co., Stanley C. Middleman, President and CEO, Freedom Mortgage..." the list goes on and on!

Credit is definitely part of lending. What is going on with trends out there and what are lenders & vendors seeing?

Last week TransUnion released its quarterly debt and delinquency data. "Overall, consumer credit markets have maintained a strong performance in Q3. Mortgage delinquency rates continued the trend of double-digit annual declines, and both auto loans and credit cards showed strength through stable default rates and balance growth. The mortgage delinquency rate declined to 2.40% in Q3 2015, from 3.36% in Q3 2014. Millennials and the 60+ age group are the least risky consumer groups, with delinquency rates at 1.62% and 1.77%, respectively. Super prime and prime consumers continue to have strong appetite for mortgage loans, with a 50% and 40% year-over-year increase in originations, respectively (viewed one quarter in arrears). And every U.S. state experienced yearly declines in mortgage delinquency rates."

TransUnion also reported in on the credit card market, saying that total bankcard balances grew 4.7% to $637 billion in Q3 2015, compared to $608 million in Q3 2014. There were 15.1 million new credit card originations in Q2 2015, up from 13.5 million in Q1 2015. And that the credit card delinquency rate rose to 1.43%, from 1.19% the previous quarter." For more information visit Q3 2015 Industry Insights Report.

And Equifax reported that, "Banks' Mortgage Portfolios Not Matching Hot Pace of Originations." "Equifax today provided new data and insights on a major frustration facing some of the nation's leading mortgage bankers: Why their mortgage loan portfolios have stagnated at the same time originations are soaring."

Nekeidra Taylor from the Wilbert Group shared data from Equifax's National Consumer Credit Trends Report indicating that subprime mortgage originations have risen across the U.S. The amount of first mortgages to borrowers with low credit scores increased 30.5 percent, home equity installment was up 29.5 percent and HELOCS rose 20.4 percent. Subprime loans still only account for a small amount of overall total mortgage originations, mainly due to the low credit score requirement, which is generally below 620. In the first five months of the year, 525,000 HELOCS were originated and only 7,800 were considered subprime and those who obtained a HELOC with low credit saw a 21.5 percent decrease in borrowing power from May 2014 to May 2015. This indicates that those getting HELOCs generally have a credit score above 620, suggesting that more lenders are taking the necessary precautions to limit their risk.

Recently, for all loan types, U.S. Bank Home Mortgage removed the requirement to close the account when paying off revolving debt to qualify. Revolving debt paid off prior to application that continues to be listed on the borrower's credit report must be properly documented as paid in full by the creditor statement dated after the credit report or a credit report supplement. Revolving account(s) paid during the transaction will require a copy of the cancelled check, the paid statement from the creditor or a credit supplement showing the balance has been paid to $0. Evidence the account has been closed will no longer be required. Revolving account(s) paid off at closing must be reflected on the HUD1/Closing Disclosure. All funds used to pay off debt must be sourced and verified.

Reaching back into the summer, Zelman & Associates published their July Mortgage Originator Survey emphasizing that entry-level credit availability was better than anticipated. The credit quality index declined to 64.6 in July from 65.1 the previous month, reaching its lowest level since mid-2012 and the underwriting criteria index dropped to 64.9 to 65.5 as 26 percent of lenders cited easing of standards. The average credit score for purchase loans dropped to 728 in July from 731 in June and 48 percent of lenders expect standards to become more lenient over the next year compared to 5 percent that expect a tightening of standards. For more information about the survey, contact Ivy Zelman .

And even earlier this year BofA Merrill Lynch released a report on mortgage lending trends highlighting that the MBA's mortgage credit availability Index has been increasing the past few months, reaching 125.5 in July, which is the highest level since June 2009. The index is still only a fraction of its pre-crisis level, although credit availability is improving, it's moving at a slow pace. Similarly, the most recent housing affordability reading (May) indicates affordability has dropped to the low end of the post-crisis range, mainly due to the rise in home prices. The share of refinances has also been on the decline, and most lenders have shifted focus towards the purchase market. The housing demand is expected to drop if interest rates inch higher but long term interest rates should remain at current levels.

It is Thanksgiving week already, with most non-banks looking at a four day weekend and plenty of out-of-office replies. Yet the markets are open, and there is no holiday overseas. Things were pretty quiet again last Friday although bond prices were slightly lower and rates slightly higher with the 10-year ending the day at 2.26%. A piece from J.P. Morgan notes, "Mortgages narrowly outperformed Treasuries this past week, but Treasury-based valuations have become increasingly divergent from swap-based metrics. We expect mortgages to be more closely linked to Treasuries through the end of the year, particularly as balance sheet pressures grow. Bank demand has been torrid this past year, with the top 25 institutions adding $123bn in agency MBS."

We certainly have an abundance of economic news this week, even with the holiday. Today we'll have October's Existing Homes Sales (10AM EST) and a $26 billion 2-year note auction. Tomorrow are the second estimates of Q3 GDP and the GDP Deflator, Personal Consumption, September Case-Shiller 20-City Index (9AM EST), November Consumer Confidence (10AM EST), and a $35 billion 5-year note auction.

Hold onto your hats because Wednesday is a duesy - when I was the MBS desk we're really dislike days like Wednesday since 8 hours of trading were crammed into 4 hours with an unusual number of releases. We'll have the usual MBA mortgage application figures. Then we plunge into Initial Jobless Claims & Continuing Jobless Claims, October Personal Income and Personal Spending, October PCE Prices - Core, October Durables Goods Orders, September FHFA Housing Prices Index, November Michigan Sentiment - Final, October New Home Sales, and a $29 billion 7-year note auction. At least we have zip on Friday. This morning rates are slightly higher with the 10-year at 2.29% and agency MBS prices worse about .125.

Jobs and Announcements

In job news Private Mortgage Insurance company Genworth Financial is hiring an Account Manager in its Chicago, IL territory. Candidates should have exceptional customer interaction skills, as well as a proven track record of sales execution and leadership. The person hired will be expected to provide the highest level of internal and external customer service, manage customer relationships, and develop growth strategies for assigned accounts. In addition, the successful candidate will develop calling plans to cover all assigned accounts, monitor branch volume and calling activity, take necessary actions to achieve account volume goals, and execute and lead implementation of Genworth products and initiatives. The ideal candidate will have 4+ years of mortgage experience in a regional or territorial sales role, have a college degree or equivalent of industry/sales experience, great presentation and communication skills, and have the ability to work flexible hours with occasional overnight travel.  Interested candidates should email their resume to Senior Recruitment Client Manager Kristin Miller.

In ops news Minnesota's Alerus Mortgage Division is hiring a Vice President of Mortgage Underwriting.  This position will be located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The individual will have at least 10+ years of underwriting experience and 5 or more years in personnel management & supervision. Responsible for credit decisions, work flow, processes, staffing and managing of underwriting department. "Alerus is a growing financial services company with a focus on banking, mortgage, retirement, and wealth management services. Alerus is a company that will challenge you to be at your best and where your efforts have real, tangible effects. Our culture is one of collaboration, innovation, forward-thinking, and giving back. We take pride in helping our customers wherever they are on life's journey. And we mean it when we say, 'It's our purpose to help you achieve yours.'"  See full job description and apply at AlerusMortgage, or contact President Jan Fitzer (952.417.8494).

In wholesale/broker news, congrats to Endeavor America Loan Services on "its continued commitment to providing best-in-class service to brokers! Endeavor America believes that if you cannot measure, you cannot manage it. It is for this reason that Endeavor America interviews 80% or more of their closed loan transactions on a monthly basis to see how they are doing with their customers and to measure their performance against their peers. In the last 60 days, EA asked their brokers how they would rate our closing process compared to the competition from CTC to Funded. After interviewing 759 of our brokers who closed loans with EA in the months of September and October, 92.3% scored EA a 9 or 10! Endeavor America is proud to announce the results that more than 9 out of 10 brokers said that our closing process was superior to the competition. EA is currently looking for Rock Star Account Executives to spread our gospel of good service to the entire broker community." For more details please email SVP of Production, Natalie Abadir.

In personnel news Stonegate Mortgage Corporation announced that Steve Landes has been named to the new position of Director of National Sales, while continuing in his role as President of NattyMac, Stonegate Mortgage's wholly-owned warehouse lending subsidiary.

As Director of National Sales, Mr. Landes will lead the company's origination efforts within its TPO, Distributed Retail and Stonegate Direct channels, reporting directly to Jim Smith, President and COO of Stonegate Mortgage, effective immediately.  Mr. Smith said, "Steve has played an integral role in the growth of this company, having created its origination platforms.  I'm confident that Steve's knowledge, passion and proven leadership skills will greatly enhance future development of our originations platform."

And at Utah's Academy Mortgage, Aaron Duca will be assuming the role of Academy Mortgage's North Texas District Manager. Aaron has over 16 years of experience as a Mortgage Loan Originator with both branch and sales manager responsibilities. In his nearly 10 years at his previous company, Aaron held the position of branch manager and, was a member of the Loan Officer Advisory Board; he helped implement their plan for local and nationwide growth. "Academy's mission is to be 1st CHOICE in delivering the dream of sustainable homeownership by inspiring hope and building prosperity in the lives of our Employees, Builders, Realtors, and the communities we serve. To accomplish this goal, we continue to do what we do best: we are 100% focused on retail mortgage banking, deliver exceptional mortgage service, are committed to responsible lending practices, provide market-leading mortgage solutions and tools and hire and retain the industry's best mortgage professionals."