Once again we can all listen to the yammering about the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee meeting. But for those who would actually like to learn something about how the U.S. overnight money market works, and how the Federal Reserve's tools to implement monetary policy have evolved with the market, check out this video from the Chicago Federal Reserve. Yes, I know it is 18 minutes, but watch at least some of it if you really want to learn something.

Many view servicing as an asset, others a slow drain on cash reserves, others as a quality control nightmare. Hank Davis with MetaSource sent, "Here is our latest whitepaper on Servicing QC Requirements that your readers might enjoy."

Servicing continues to change hands although at a slightly slower pace than earlier this year. And the top servicers continue to add servicing through their own retail branch networks: Wells Fargo (with about $1.7 trillion it has about a 17% market share), Chase (with less than $1 trillion), followed by Bank of America. Per Inside Mortgage Finance at the #4 spot we see our first non-bank with Nationstar ($400 billion), followed by Citi, US Bank, and then Ocwen with about $300 billion. After that you'll notice the banks almost disappear: Walter Investment, PHH, Quicken Loans, PennyMac, then SunTrust, PNC, and BB&T (with about $120 billion). And then more non-banks: LoanCare, Caliber, Provident Funding, Fifth Third, Flagstar, and at #20 Bayview ($63 billion). Those who follow such trends are quick to point out that, aside from Nationstar, the top five all lost market share during the last year.

A while back Nationstar Mortgage announced its MPF Program will acquire FHA/VA Loans. NSM will be participating in a program with the FHLB to provide servicing-released execution to MPF Government MBS product. The MPF program purchases FHA, VA, and USDA loans and then securitizes them as Ginnie Mae securities. It remains unclear how much volume this program will generate. CLICK HERE FOR FULL KBW REPORT. Click here to view Ginnie Mae's MPF® Program and Ginnie Mae Broader Product Offering press release.

"To simplify doing business with Fannie Mae, we are partnering with DocuSign to provide an easy, fast, and secure way to execute many documents with us. The new process, which is rolling out in early December, enables electronic signatures and supports the tracking and handling of documents. Fannie Mae initially will implement eSignatures for Lender Master Agreements, Master Selling and Servicing Contracts, and certain custodial documents. The software is intuitive and simple to use and automatically walks the user through the process -- no training is required. This infographic explains how using DocuSign® with Fannie Mae simplifies the signing process and improves operational efficiency for all parties."

Yes, document deficiency issues is one of the primary challenges in providing for a streamlined and cost effective manufacturing process, and vendors such as MetaSource can help companies in the mortgage industry attack this problem starting in production (it can help Underwriting efficiency), Servicing, QC and file delivery to investors. With the challenges surrounding document management within the mortgage industry and all of the compliance and regulatory scrutiny, if you are not in line with best practices you are leaving your business at risk and financially exposed. The newest whitepaper from MetaSource will provide you with step-by-step tips for the entire loan life cycle.

Louis P. sent, "I know your newsletter tends to focus more on originations, but here is a pretty interesting an provocative article from the New York Times on the default servicing side of the business." Thanks Louis!

Is the lender responsible for the condition of a property following a foreclosure? The sixth Appellate District court believed so in the Erlach v Sierra Asset Serving, LLC case. The Appellate court overturned the California trial court judgment granting the demurrer. In this case, a leased rental property was red-tagged for lack of utilities deeming the property uninhabitable. Four days later, the property was foreclosed by the defendant, Sierra Asset Servicing. The plaintiff, Joseph Erlach, sued Sierra for violating several habitability statutes. The full article including a YouTube video by Henry Chuang is available here.  Also of interest on the BankRate website is the top 10 for foreclosure in July.

While we're on legal issues, the industry continues to see allegations, fines, and settlements...

A Salt Lake mortgage lender - RANLife Inc. - will pay $1 million as part of a settlement for allegedly violating federal housing regulations on issuing residential loans.

And Franklin American settled a case against it by the Department of Justice for $70 million. The DOJ charged that FAMC knowingly misled the government about the quality of home loans it submitted for Federal Housing Administration insurance. "Wednesday's accord resolves charges that Franklin American violated the federal False Claims Act by misleading the FHA, part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, into believing that many of its loans qualified for insurance."

And legal eagles are following the new, big case where Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO) and other investors have sued Citigroup in NY over the bank's alleged failure to properly monitor toxic securities backed by more than $13.8 billion of mortgage loans, resulting in $2.3 billion of losses. Citigroup is accused of breaching its duties as trustee for the 25 private-label trusts dating from 2004 to 2007 by ignoring "pervasive and systemic deficiencies" in how the underlying loans were underwritten or being serviced. The investors said Citigroup looked askance at the loans' "abysmal performance" out of fear it might "jeopardize its close business relationships" with loan servicers including Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N and JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, or prompt them to retaliate over its own problem loans. Some loans backing the 25 trusts came from issuers including the now-defunct American Home Mortgage and Washington Mutual. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and unspecified damages. TIAA-CREF, and affiliates of Prudential Financial Inc and Aegon NV's Transamerica are among the other plaintiffs. If you'd like to follow along at home the case is Fixed Income Shares: Series M et al v. Citibank NA, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 653891/2015.

And yesterday everyone was talking about the possibility that Quicken would stop originating its $1 billion in FHA loans per month. Nature abhors a vacuum, as they say, and no doubt other lenders would be happy to rush in and take the business as Quicken accounted for almost 6 percent of the FHA's loan volume in the first half of 2015, or about $6 billion of loans, according to IMF.

Turning to interest rates the U.S. Treasury market sold off Wednesday on hawkish remarks from Atlanta Fed President Lockhart, better-than-expected ADP employment data, and a positive surprise for unit labor cost growth. Everyone, and their brother, and Fed governors, is talking about a Fed liftoff on December 16. Fed Chair Yellen's comments began hitting the news around lunch time (EST) and they pretty much confirmed the market view regarding a December short term rate hike.

Today we'll have a bevy of news including the statement from the European Central Bank followed by Draghi's press conference (nothing dramatically new). We've had the Challenger job cuts for November (31k, down 39% from October), weekly initial jobless claims (+9k to 269k), and ahead of us are Markit Services PMI, Factory Orders, more speeches & testimony from the Federal Reserve's Yellen, Mester, and Fischer. For numbers we saw a 2.18% close on the 10-year T-note and this morning we're at 2.22% with agency MBS prices worse .250.

Jobs and Announcements

I'm in Houston today, speaking to the employees of Nations Reliable Lending LLC (known as NRL Mortgage), a rapidly growing mortgage company founded in 2007.  In the past year, NRL Mortgage has doubled their volume, and plans to double it again in 2016.  If you're looking to be a part of a rapidly growing, innovative retail team, contact NRL President, Ron Zach, at rzach@nrlmortgage. com  for a confidential discussion.

In Ops news, Norcom Mortgage is seeking a VP, Loan Servicing Manager to oversee all aspects of Norcom's loan servicing operations. Licensed in 23 States with 36 branches, Norcom is one of the fastest growing lenders on the east coast. Candidates for the position must possess exceptional client service, analytical communication skills, and proven ability to manage all aspects of third party sub-servicing relationships. For more information about this position or to apply, please visit NorcomJobs.

And for those looking for a management role, a lender, continuing its growth across the nation and that has both retail and wholesale channels, is searching for a National Operations Manager. The specialty & non-QM lender is headquartered in Los Angeles, was founded over 20 years ago, and is licensed in over 25 states. It is continuing to expand nationwide and the ideal candidate will be focused on providing a streamlined operational flow with the purpose of providing superior processing, underwriting, and funding timelines that exceed industry standards. The candidate should have experience in operations management, processing, funding, drawing docs, and understand the basic file flow of a loan from cradle to grave. In other words, being able to direct individuals and know how to manage a pipeline. Confidential resumes should be sent to me.

Luther Burbank Mortgage, a division of Luther Burbank Savings, is rapidly expanding and looking to hire experienced retail loan officers in Northern and Southern California. "Join us to be a part of something unique, Luther Burbank Mortgage serves its clients as a direct lender with over $4 billion in assets offering aggressively priced portfolio loan products up to $7.5M including non-QM interest only loans and 40 year amortizing loans. One of the most innovative lending platforms in the industry, Luther Burbank Mortgage also has the ability to broker loans through the wholesale channel as well as the flexibility to serve as mortgage banker with a number of different investors. Loan officers receive competitive compensation and outstanding benefits in addition to robust operational support and access to in-depth marketing campaigns. Please contact Business Development Manager Thao Lim with additional questions.

On the correspondent side Impac Mortgage Corp. Correspondent division is hiring 2 outside Correspondent Account Executive positions within the central US. One would oversee TX, OK and AR and be ideally based in Dallas. The other would oversee LA, MS, AL, TN and KY. The two Account Executive positions will be responsible for establishing new relationships and management of mortgage bankers and community banks who meet IMPAC Mortgage  Corp.'s Correspondent eligibility. Also Impac Mortgage Corp. Correspondent is hiring a Renovation Specialist supporting it's 203(k) and HomeStyle programs. The position is located in Irvine, CA. Responsibilities include the creation and maintenance of all 203(k) and HomeStyle policies and procedures, guidance to Risk Committee members as well as provide online and field training to the Correspondent Lenders team (ops & sales). Interested candidates should email their resume to HR AVP Natasha Gilmore.

For webinars and training, don't forget that in a 60 minute webinar today at 2:00 p.m. EST, hosted by National Mortgage Professional Magazine and presented by American Financial Resources they will dig into Manufactured Housing Lending covering program guidelines, property eligibility, submissions requirements, appraisal requirements and engineer certification helping you discover available lending options. After participating in this webinar, you will be able to identify manufactured housing opportunities and confidently speak with customers who are looking to purchase or refinance a manufactured home. This is a free webinar - please register here.

And next week, Wednesday, December 9, from 2-3:30 PM EST, the MBA is offering up a webinar on Mortgage Servicing Rights. "Get guidance on how to manage the risks associated with owning Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR), learn the pitfalls to avoid by doing so and explore lessons learned over the past several years.