Christmas Day is only ten days away, and thrill-seeking mortgage bankers and Realtors everywhere are wondering what they'll find under their tree. How about a pogo-stick?

Anyone with a talent for finance should listen up. A mid-sized mortgage bank in Northern California is searching for a Chief of Finance position. The ideal candidate should know how to manage cash flow, be experienced managing staff accountants, understand warehouse lending and hedge accounting, and understand in great depth how a mortgage bank functions. Questions and resumes should be submitted to me at (I am in Kansas for meetings, but will respond later tonight.)

Also out in California (which has San Bernardino County, the largest county in the nation with 3 million acres) a Bay Area 100% retail mortgage banker is seeking growth opportunities. A family owned mortgage banker since 1968, Alameda Mortgage Corp. is looking for Producing Branch Managers and LO's to join its team and help determine future growth. The company ( has recently staffed up its underwriting and sales support staff to handle the production growth, including adding Marty McCormick as its president. "We are looking for professionals who know and love our industry, we believe in the customer and making their experience with AMC a positive one leading to more business. You have to love what you do." Please contact Bruce Barbera for a confidential interview at

FHFA, the Federal agency in charge of Freddie and Fannie, has announced an extension of implementation dates for the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD), a key component of the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP). The voluntary implementation date is now April 23, with mandatory implementation being July 23, 2012 instead of March 2012. The programs are meant to improve consistency, investors want consistency, and investors drive the secondary mortgage markets. So don't dilly-dally.

Barbara Werth from Mortgage Training Today wrote, "I have been getting lots of questions from Primerica MLO's about their licenses. Primerica is pulling out of origination for now, and the MLO's are not sure about their renewals. They need to renew their licenses as inactive, pay the fees and keep up their CE credits if they plan to originate in the future.  They can do this for 5 years.  If they do not follow those procedures, their license will expire and if they decide to originate in the future, they will have to start over and apply for a new license, retest, etc. Maybe post this in your blog to avoid confusion." (Anyone with questions can write to

Bank of Manhattan Correspondent Lending on the board! BOM opened the correspondent division last month and has already issued its inaugural MBS security. Shoot Tad Dahlke and e-mail ( if you're interested in learning more about its programs.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will hold a press conference next week to announce revisions to its data on sales of previously owned U.S. homes from 2007 through October 2011. Five years of reported data may have a mistaken "up drift"?!  Reuters is reporting that the downward revision of the multi-year accumulation of sales information is the result of double counting and will indicate a much weaker housing market than previously thought.  NAR said that a benchmarking exercise had revealed that some properties were listed more than once and some new home sales may have been included in existing home sales figures. It seems that Realtors are aware that home sales have been over-counted for years - heck, one sale results in the seller's agent and the buyer's agent counting the transaction in many cases.

And while we're chatting about statistics, "Rob, we hear about all these stats on underwater homes. Is the data is for all homes, or just homes with mortgages? For example, here in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, 25% of the homes are owned outright. So if Zillow reports that in Marin 16% of homes are underwater, is that for homes with liens or for all?" The answer is that negative equity numbers are only for people with a mortgage. So of those single family homeowners with a mortgage, 16% are underwater. This percentage will then be smaller if the base is all homeowners. I hope that helps.

Can't you hear the folks in Florida chanting, "We're #1, we're #1..."? Unfortunately it is in regard to the latest news about the incidence of mortgage fraud. But wait - HousingWire reports that California is #1: "Mortgage fraud activity slowed overall in the third quarter, but California ranks first in home loan fraud, with the state seeing as much as $204.2 million in losses on deceptive mortgage activity" (according to a new report from MortgageDaily). Per that report, California was followed by New York, then by Florida, South Carolina and Minnesota in terms of fraudulent activity.

The FDIC knows that the real estate appraisal and valuation process are of critical interest to bankers and regulators. Bankers, and appraisers, may want to check out, "Navigating the Real Estate Valuation Process," which appears in its winter Supervisory Insights periodical. It "highlights certain aspects of the 2010 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines. This article also provides information for bankers regarding sound practices for banks' real estate valuation processes in the areas of valuation review, independence, content standards, preparer selection, and monitoring." The journal is available on the FDIC's Web site.

Appraisal issues, and the companies involved in them, are still a big issue in the loan process. Of course anyone who did business with AppraiserLoft knows that. But it is rumored, or true, that other AMC's are trying to pull out or shut down their businesses with names such as CoreLogic and Landsafe near the top.

What are the large brokers thinking out there? Nicholas J DelTorto wrote, "We (Inlanta) have been seeing larger brokers and mini correspondents considering a partner office structure much more than in the past.  One of the biggest considerations is that with the retraction of GMAC and BofA and others 'pulling back' there also seems to be a push to move their customers from non-delegated to delegated underwriting approval status.  This would also make sense where there is an expectation of more 'skin in the game' and the inability to deny any wrongdoing in a repurchase claim."

He continued, "Partnering does allow these owners to take cash of the table, avoid the ongoing liability and focus on selling and other revenue generating work.  We have added some of these larger brokers and mini correspondents lately and the feedback has been very positive. The trend seems to be bigger (but not too big) is better which allows you to spread the burden of compliance, underwriting, and other growing fixed expenses over more production." (So you know, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993 and provides its partner branches with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, jumbo and portfolio programs, and is a delegated FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA lender. For more information email or visit the company's website at

Mortgage rates continue to not be a problem. Yesterday we had continued European worries and a strong 30-yr T-bond auction, with the 30-yr up/better by over 2 points, pulling 10-yr's and MBS's along with it. Technical traders believe that, focusing on the U.S. 10-yr T-note yield, which is now below 1.90%, any protracted stay below 1.95% should/could lead to lower yields. (Now all we need are stable appraisals and more jobs, right?) The U.S. 10-yr improved by .5 in price and moved down to a yield of 1.90%. Thomson Reuters reported that mortgage banker selling totaled over $1 billion, "a level that is easily manageable by the Fed's appetite of around $1.5 billion per day on average." Rate-sheet MBS prices improved by about .250, resulting in intra-day price improvements by many investors.

Today we have an onslaught of economic news: Jobless Claims (5:30AM PST), the Producer Price Index for November (also at 5:30AM PST), the Empire State Manufacturing Survey (Dec), Capacity Utilization and Industrial Production for November, and Philly Fed Survey. Throw in next week's auction data (notes of maturities 2's, 5's and 7's) and we could see some volatility.  MBS Prices

(Parental discretion advised!)

Olaf Swenson, out in his pasture in northern Minnesota, takes a lightning-quick kick from a cow...right in his crotch.
Writhing in agony, he falls to the ground. As soon as he could manage, he took himself to the doctor.
He said "How bad is it Doc? I'm going on my honeymoon next veek and my fiance Lena is still a Virgin-in every vay."
The doctor told him, "Olaf, I'll have to put your 'willy' in a splint to let it heal, and keep it straight. It should be okay next week, but leave it in there as long as you can."
He took four tongue depressors and formed a neat little 4 sided splint, and taped it all together...quite an impressive work of art.
Olaf mentions none of this to Lena, marries her, and they go on their honeymoon to Duluth.
That night in the Motel 6, Lena rips open her blouse to reveal her beautiful, untouched breasts. She said, "Olaf... you are the first vun!  No vun has EVER seen deez."
Olaf immediately drops his pants and replies, "Look at dis Lena, still in DA CRATE!"

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.