Any time I see "Jodie Foster," "housing scheme," "estranged father "and, "cargo containers" in one sentence, I scramble for the latest edition of People Magazine. Here it is on Yahoo.

Some companies in the industry continue to expand, some larger than others. TMSFunding Wholesale Lending (part of Total Mortgage Services - headquartered in Connecticut) is seeking wholesale AE's in 21 states ranging from California to Maine through North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Vermont, and fourteen others (GA, IL, MA, MD, MS, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, and DC) . The preferred AE candidate has an existing broker base funding traditional, FHA, USDA, and jumbo loans. The company's website can be found at, and all resumes should be sent to

Any company servicing loans in Las Vegas should note that, "Banks that own vacant, dilapidated properties in Las Vegas could face fines or jail time under a city ordinance approved Wednesday. The City Council voted unanimously for an ordinance that requires banks to list empty, foreclosed properties on a registry and contains misdemeanor penalties for allowing a property to fall into disrepair." Is John Stumpf or Jamie Dimon going to do time in the Big House? Probably not, although there is a maximum $1,000, six months in jail penalty.

The "why do borrowers walk away from house loans and not car loans?" conversation continued into the weekend. Ray W. observed, "You can sleep in your car but you can't drive your home." Karin B. writes, "It is more expensive to rent a car than to buy one.  Then, most people tend to lease a car, and never own one.  Or a car loan is 3-5 years, often with no interest or 1% interest.  The house they are walking away from is at 6% for 30 years - it is a simple business decision to cut losses on an under-performing investment. Those that walked in 2007 and kept their credit intact, except for the mortgage, can now get back into the market and buy the same house they left for 50% less (in some markets) at 2% lower interest rate than they had. They money they did not pay on high interest mortgage was saved, and now they have nice down payment."

Keith L. reminds us, "And does anyone ever take into consideration that the mortgage payment is tax deductible whilst rent is not? LO's should help borrowers calculate the net cost vs. renting first before dumping the house."

Joe M. writes, "If I spent $500K on a stock based on say a 10 year outlook, and in year two that stock was now worth $100K, am I expected to cry to the government and/or my neighbors to "help" me out since I can't get my original $500K back? Or, since I invested for the long term, should I wait to see if all or some of it will come back by year 10. I think what most folks forget about is that, at its core, buying a home is an investment.  Investments can go both up and down.  Not only that, but these investments were all paid for basically on "margin" with a bank's money used as the investment capital - in most cases these were 30 year loans.  Because your investment is down in year 2 or 3, you should bail without the penalty of the margin call?  Just because they got caught up with competing with their family/neighbors on buying the biggest house on the block we should not have to bail them out when it turns out that they can't afford it? They take the loss on their investment and move on: it's called renting."

Steve T. wrote, among other things, "Why would borrowers continue to make car loan payments when they know that as soon as they drive it off the lot it is worth less than the loan and not make payments on home loans? Because they are constantly barraged with useful idiots blaming 'greedy bankers' and evil mortgage brokers for making profits and 'causing the housing bubble.' They are not willing to look in the mirror and say, 'I screwed up when I signed for that pay option ARM,' or, 'maybe I should not have done that 100% Stated loan on my rental.' And regarding the comment on the predominance of short sales, I'm calling 'B.S.' here.  This line of reasoning is equivalent to a teenager saying 'everyone else is doing it.'   Just because 'everyone else' is defaulting on their obligation, does not mean we need to condone or encourage it?"

In a blurb from American Banker, it reports, "Perhaps the future for loan brokers isn't so bleak after all. Wholesale lenders table funded almost $33 billion of loans in the third quarter, giving the channel a 9.2% market share, according to new figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report. In the first and second quarters of this year brokers had market shares of 6.8% and 7.9%, respectively. The 6.8% figure marked an all-time low for the industry. Three years ago they had a 19% share."

Many mortgage banks use ViewPoint as a warehouse lender. Late last week ViewPoint Financial Group and Highlands Bancshares announced that they have entered into a "definitive merger agreement whereby ViewPoint will acquire Highlands and its subsidiary bank, the First National Bank of Jacksboro (which operates in the Dallas marketplace as Highlands Bank), in a stock-for-stock transaction.  This strategic acquisition increases ViewPoint's footprint in the Dallas marketplace while maintaining ViewPoint's strong capital position. (The deal) has an aggregate implied value of approximately $71.0 million in ViewPoint common shares. Highlands is a privately owned commercial bank headquartered near Dallas.

Wells Fargo Wholesale Lending told brokers it will implement new Fannie DU Refi Plus and Freddie Mac Relief Refinance Mortgage price adjusters starting today.

Stearns Lending rolled out a new extension policy. "Extensions are available for programs and rates currently posted on our rate sheet only. Requests for extensions on Jumbo loans, ARM loans or Specialty Products will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.  Requests for extensions can be made no earlier than 5 days prior to the lock expiration but must be made before the lock expires. Free Extensions - (1st extension) Available for loans locked with an original term of 21 days will receive a one-time 3 calendar day extension.  For loans locked with an original term of 30 days or greater, a one-time 7 calendar day extension will be given, if requested, at no cost within 5 days of expiration.  A free extension is not applicable if initial lock term was 14 days. Extensions at a Cost - (2nd extension or if initial lock term was a 14 day term) Extensions are available at a cost of 2.5 bps pts. per day (.025%) up to 30 days, without regard to market condition (better or worse).  All extension requests must be made prior to the lock expiring. Relocks (up to two): If the lock has expired and current market pricing is the same or better: you may relock for 10 days for .125 pt. cost or 20 days for .25 pt. cost. If the lock has expired and current market pricing is worse, you will use worse case pricing from the lock term you originally locked with (i.e. 14, 21, 30, 45 or 60 day) plus the relock fee. You can relock for 10 days at .125 pt. cost or 20 days at .25 pt. cost." (See the lock policy for full details by product type).

How about these rates!? No one in the mortgage business is complaining about them - but what trends are developing? Our fixed income markets are "caught between the opposing forces of strengthening U.S. economic data and the must-be-a-crisis-somewhere Eurodebacle." So reports Paul Jacob with Banc of Manhattan. "But several trends have caught our attention that, collectively, suggest a potential range break to higher yields." Mr. Jacob sums up that U.S. data has been on a solid run especially on the consumer side, stocks are "hanging tough," and volatility has decreased on various levels. , the lock-step stock-bond correlation has been weakening. And if the bond market is not quite so crisis-obsessed, yields have to be justified in the context of economic fundamentals and a 2% 10-year isn't compatible with 4% nominal GDP growth.

For economic news this week we have zip today, aside from continued gyrations from Europe (which will be with us for months and years). Tomorrow we can look forward to Retail Sales, if that is the correct term, and Wednesday is some import/export price data. Thursday is Jobless Claims, Personal Income and Consumption, the Producer Price Index (remember in the old days when inflation mattered?) and an Empire State Manufacturing number. Friday is the Consumer Price Index. (Things will be pretty quiet after that with many heading off for holiday vacations.) Rates are a shade better today with the 10-yr down to 2.02% and MBS prices about .125 better. - View MBS Prices

(This tale is meant for entertainment only, and may or may not reflect the views of the editor.)
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.
As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
It could not be any simpler than that.

If you're interested, visit my twice-a-month blog at the STRATMOR Group web site located at The current blog discusses the time frames for borrowers returning to A-paper status after a short sale or foreclosure. If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what's going on out there from the other readers.