Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Products for Correspondents, Training in Sales, Reverse, HMDA, Cust. Satisfaction, Appraisal News - Illinois vs. AMCs




                 

How much do the CEOs of builders make? Turns out they make some decent gravy, certainly good news for them. In other good news, this time for WF, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Board announced that Wells Fargo had adequately remediated the deficiencies in its 2015 resolution plan. As a result, Wells will no longer be subject to growth restrictions imposed last year. ("Resolution plans, required by the Dodd-Frank Act and commonly known as living wills, must describe the company's strategy for rapid and orderly resolution under bankruptcy in the event of material financial distress or failure of the company.)

  Products, and personnel changes

 GSF Mortgage's Retained Servicing TPO Platform is now funding loans for new banks and credit unions in Wisconsin. "GSF Mortgage is a direct lender for all agencies and will be servicing your loan production locally. Your loans will not be sold to your big bank competitors. This will ensure that local banks, brokers and credit unions are protected from cross-selling activities that occur when loans are sold to large depositories. GSF ensures that credit union members and bank customers will be returned to you for all mortgage or financial needs. To learn more about how to become a TPO partner, contact our Director of Third Party Origination Leo Spanuello at (262) 901-1425."

 Chris Martin of FormFree writes: "Fannie Mae's Day 1 Certainty initiative not only offers the tantalizing promise of reps and warrants relief for loan components validated through Collateral Underwriter and Desktop Underwriter, it's also been shown to deliver loan production efficiency and savings for participating lenders. As the first vendor partner approved to provide asset verification for Day 1 Certainty, we're now helping dozens of lenders integrate AccountChek into their workflows. Another way we're bringing AccountChek's simple, smart and secure asset verification to the industry is through integrations with leading AUS, LOS and POS providers. Last month, we announced integrations with cloudvirga and Ellie Mae's Encompass Consumer Connect. FormFree CEO Brent Chandler recently spoke at Black Knight's Information Exchange about our latest integration with Black Knight's LoanSphere Empower. AccountChek was built with the borrower in mind, but it delivers tangible benefits to lenders, from shaving days off the loan application process to delivering more accurate and systematic analysis of ability to repay. Drop me a line to learn more."

  Who doesn't need training? No one.

 The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association is hosting a series of online seminars during its second annual Reverse Mortgage Education Week through Friday, April 28.

 Today is the last day to reserve a hotel for Mortgage Builder's 2017 HMDA Boot Camp Conference taking place May 17-18 exclusively for Mortgage Builder customers. There are only 25 spots left so RSVP today to secure a spot. Building on the success of our previous trainings and conferences, this event is designed to prepare you for the impending Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) that goes into effect in 2018. The day-and-a-half training will include expert speakers presenting the ins and outs of the HMDA regulations, working sessions to review best practices when using Mortgage Builder's software, and on-site technical support from the Mortgage Builder staff who will assist you with updating your policies. If you'd like to learn more, please contact Jim Walsh.

 Plaza's May training calendar is available now with multiple webinar topics to choose from.

 The home financing season is beginning to heat up, Essent's training department wants to help you be ready. Go here to check out the list of course options available to you in May through Essentials training.

 The Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia (MBAG) invites you to attend its 46th annual conference May 4th through 7th at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa.  The event boasts over 200 attendees, and this year is partnering with ICLE for its Thursday night event. See and hear Kris "Tanto" Paronto, hero survivor of the infamous Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012.  Also, Tim Davis, National Sales Coach Movement Mortgage and Kristin Messerli, Founder and Managing Director Cultural Outreach Solutions.  We will hear from National MBA's William Kooper, FNMA, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA, USDA and Non -QM.

 Did you know the new HMDA Plus rule more than doubles the number of required data fields reported on the HMDA loan application register (LAR) from 23 to 48? On May 22nd, TMBA is providing an intensive training on how to build a compliant HMDA Plus Program with Moderator Troy W. Garris in San Antonio TX.

 Register for the MBA webinar on May 24th for an overview of GSE risk-sharing activities to-date, discuss recent structures and evaluate the performance of these transactions from a lender's perspective.

 Want a good place to learn about how mortgage finance systems operate in other countries, and to compare strengths and weaknesses in ours and other systems? The MBA to the rescue (in DC in June) with the "International Union for Housing Finance World Congress."

 On May 11, American Banker offers up a fintech webinar which includes an overview of customer satisfaction and NPS benchmarks for national, regional, and community banks and credit unions, as well as insight into customer trends that pose imminent threats and opportunities for banks and credit unions. Ideas for engaging Millennial and Gen Z customers, based on the unique preferences of each segment." "Why Fintechs aren't your problem."

 Appraisal and collateral news

 Never easy being an appraiser. Recently there was a "shortage" of appraisers, and in many parts of the nation it would take weeks, if not months, for an appraisal to come back. Now some appraisal firms report that they are busier than ever, although critics are saying that the appreciating market is causing appraisers to under-value the true value of homes. And since the valuation data used for comps might lag the current market, since the sales price was negotiated a month or two earlier, lenders fear the more transactions could fail. But many say don't blame the appraiser since they, like many, had their knuckles rapped during the credit crisis - at that time for over-valuing properties.

 Remember that last November House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on "Modernizing Appraisals: A Regulatory Review and the Future of the Industry." Since then a new administration and Congress have convened, adding several new Senate and House members on committees focused on housing.

In Illinois there is proposed legislation (Senate Bill 1817) that would repeal the existing AMC regulation/registration act. If it passes, an AMC cannot perform valuation services in Illinois for Federally Regulated Transactions (FRT) per the Dodd/Frank Act after August 2018. "The State of Illinois is attempting to get rid of this regulation because some feel that because the AMC statue only covers FRTs (Federally Regulated Transactions), and FRTs only account for 8-10% of all loans being done in Illinois, that the cost to regulate AMCs to cover such a small percentage of loans is not a value add."

 Going back through my notes, in February a group visited Capitol Hill including Mark Schiffman, Exec Director of REVAA, and Thomas Tilton of Troutman Sanders Strategies to meet some of those new members. The meetings he attended were held to introduce REVAA and AMC's to existing and new members of both legislative bodies overseeing housing policy. Politicians & aides said that there are several legislative issues that were more of a priority than Appraisal Reform. Jeff Dickstein, Pro Teck's Chief Compliance Officer, made observations in the February edition of "Notes from Regulatory Road".

 And what is an appraiser supposed to do when they receive a state complaint? Here you go. And non-appraisers involved in compliance may find it worth a skim as well.

 "We are drafting a new policy and procedures for providing a copy of an appraisal to the consumer. Would you please outline the most important requirements that we should include in it?" Jonathan Foxx replies, "Under Regulation B, the implementing regulation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), there are specific requirements for providing a copy of an appraisal and other written valuations developed in connection with certain mortgage transactions. There are four requirements that should be outlined in a policy sections with respect to providing a copy of an appraisal to the consumer...

 Allterra Group, publisher of the Appraisal Buzz, has recently released its new 2017 AMC Directory. Before you begin working with a new AMC, be sure to ask some important questions such as how long they have been in business, and find out more about their current and past clients. Joan Trice, CEO and Founder, put together some answers on this new AMC directory and what makes it unique.

 ditech will be updating appraisal fees on appraisals ordered through Mercury effective for appraisals ordered on or after April 18th. The complete fee schedule is available.

 Effective April 9th, Flagstar's fee for 1004D_05 Appraisal Updates and 1004D_05 Certification of Completion changed to $150. The fee will be noted in the Nationwide Flat Fees section of Appraisal Pricing Matrix, Doc. and will no longer be separated by state/county.

 United States Appraisals announced the addition of industry veterans David Wegmann (Chicago) and John Powell (North Carolina) as business development managers.

 Capital markets

 In the bond markets, demand (for securities) sets the supply. Primary dealers showed lukewarm interest in the Treasury Department's proposed ultralong bonds, with 100-year bonds receiving a yawn. In a research note released Friday, primary dealer Nomura Securities International recommended a maximum maturity of 50 years for US bonds and a $50 billion cap on ultralong bond issuance. Anyone want 100-year Swedish or Japanese mortgages?

 Yesterday bond prices went down, and thus rates up, as the French election results pushed traders to unwind much of the risk aversion seen in markets over the past few weeks. While Treasuries opened lower, they did claw back significant ground over the course of the session. (As a reminder, the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday gave 24% of the vote to pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron while National Front-backed Marine Le Pen came in second with 21.3%. The two will advance to a run-off vote, scheduled for May 7.) The 10-year note closed nearly .375 worse to yield 2.27% while 5-year notes and agency MBS prices worsened .125-.250.

 For thrills and chills today, if you care about housing stats from two months ago we'll have the February Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index and February FHFA Housing Price Index at 8AM CT, and March New Home Sales and April Consumer Confidence - all at 10AM ET, 9AM CT. We start the day with rates a shade worse than last night, with the 10-year at 2.30% and agency MBS prices worse .125-.250.

Monday, April 24, 2017




"Viagra shipment stolen! Police searching for gang of hardened criminals!"
Nature always bats last. Just ask singer Paul Simon who is moving his New York cottage away from the eroding ocean. Thinking about things like "oceans" and "cottages" reminds me...The National Association of Realtors reports sales of vacation homes dropped 22% last year to the lowest level in 3 years: higher prices and a shift in consumer behavior toward renting vs. buying led to the decline.
 Personnel & correspondent news
 Products & services
Nationstar Correspondent recently announced expanded credit offerings, including overlay removals. "Sellers can now take advantage of unlimited cash-out, no letter of explanation for cash-out transactions required, delayed financing for owner occupied properties, mortgage credit certificate allowances (MCCs), and FHA streamline eligibility for investment properties; just another example of our continued focus on enhancing the ease of doing business with us. Sellers also benefit from expedited delivery experiences with initial doc bulk uploads via SFTP, as well as the regional alignment of our sales and operations teams. Looking to partner with Nationstar Correspondent? Contact your region's AE by clicking on the 'Contact Us' tab of our website, or come say hi to our team at the National Secondary Market Conference & Expo in New Yorkthis month! We always value an opportunity to speak with you directly about how to better serve your business needs. Contact your region's Account Executive to set up a meeting."
 For those companies utilizing a subservicer, Richey May & Co. has completed its oversight review over Dovenmuehle and will now be going on-site to Cenlar on May 11th and 12th to conduct an annual review. Based on requests from clients, Richey May has expanded its loan-level testing options in numerous servicing areas to assist clients in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities. Richey May & Co., an accounting and advisory firm heavily specialized in the mortgage industry, has developed an oversight review program that includes testing of subservicers' policies and procedures and internal controls on behalf of multiple clients at the same time, thereby sharing expenses and creating cost savings that are passed on to participating clients. If you are interested in learning more about Richey May's subservicer oversight review program, the expanded loan-level testing available, or how to participate in the Dovenmuehle or upcoming Cenlar reviews, please contact Kurt Blohm.
 Optimal Blue announced today that the company has partnered with Total Expert Inc. to further increase productivity and drive revenue with robust contact and database management tools through integrating Optimal Blue via advanced API technology into Total Expert's enterprise sales and marketing platform. This integration provides enterprise lenders that utilize Total Expert's CRM and Co-Marketing platforms to increase efficiency and time savings by eliminating the need to navigate between multiple systems. In addition, users can further enhance marketing campaigns with dynamic, real-time product eligibility and pricing data down to the loan officer level. Loan officers will also have access to their specific pricing across the country and be able to run various unique scenarios. The seamless connection between Total Expert and­­ Optimal Blue's new API also empowers lenders to deliver dynamic marketing content that is easily created, deployed, and tracked within Total Expert's central system of record. Click here for more information on Total Expert.
 Today, SocialSurvey released its annual Top 25 U.S. Loan Officers for Customer Satisfaction. Congratulations to the winners. The list includes results from over 10,000 loan officers and nearly 50,000 verified customers. To qualify for the list, the loan officer must be in the top 1% in customer satisfaction, have a minimum average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5, and have received a minimum of 25 verified customer reviews in 2016. To say the least, making this list was nearly impossible.
 CFPB news
 New Residential Investment Corp. investors are watching its share price sink due to Ocwen Concerns. NRZ shares fell as much as 13.4% intraday and ended the day down 7.7% on concerns related to Ocwen. Remember that last week the N.C. banking commissioner, along with 20 state regulators, filed a cease-and-desist order against Ocwen. The CFPB also filed a lawsuit. While these actions will likely prevent Ocwen from growing and keep operating expenses high, most do not think there is a near term risk of Ocwen filing for bankruptcy.
 On April 19, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced that the Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the Financial CHOICE Act Wednesday, April 26. Touted as a potential replacement for the Dodd-Frank Act, the proposed new law ("Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs") was unveiled last June and eventually approved by the Committee last September. If enacted, among many other things, it would repeal the Volcker Rule, strip the CFPB of its examination powers and "UDAAP" enforcement authority, and discontinue small business loan data collection.  And, finally, the Act would bring the CFPB, FDIC, OCC, FHFA, NCUA, and the Fed's supervisory functions under the congressional appropriations process, thereby mandating a cost-benefit analysis and, in some cases, congressional approval prior to the release of any new regulations.
 Although not exactly mortgage-related, the CFPB's unlucky streak continues: A Washington federal appeals court on Friday rejected the agency's attempt to investigate an embattled accreditor of for-profit colleges, upholding a trial judge's ruling that faulted the Obama-era agency for straying outside its jurisdiction. In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said the CFPB's subpoena (targeting the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools) was overly vague. The appeals court did not take a position on whether a more narrowly tailored subpoena would be enforced.
 The CFPB had asked the accrediting council to identify the schools it had accredited since January 2010 and name a representative to testify on the accreditations of seven specific colleges. The CFPB said it wanted "to determine whether any entity or person has engaged or is engaging in unlawful acts and practices in connection with accrediting for-profit colleges." Writing for the D.C. Circuit panel, Judge David Sentelle said the CFPB's subpoena "never explains what the broad and non-specific term 'unlawful acts and practices' means in this investigation. Tellingly, in attempting to explain the scope of its investigation, the bureau merely repeats the broad language used in the notification of purpose."
 Capital Markets 
Despite the lack of the purchase market taking off, BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research announced it has revised its 2017 net supply higher by $118 billion. The group has revise its 2017 MBS net supply estimate to $331 billion net from $213 billion based on strong housing and low bank loan retention.
 The securitization mechanism is still working, the latest of which involves Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigning preliminary ratings to six classes of mortgage pass-through certificates from LSRMF Acquisitions I, LLC's first non-prime securitization of 2017, COLT Mortgage Loan Trust 2017-1 (COLT 2017-1).
 Caliber Home Loans, Inc. is the originator and servicer for 78.3% of the portfolio. COLT 2017-1 is the sixth non-prime securitization from LSRMF Acquisitions I, LLC since its first post-crisis non-prime securitization in 2015. "COLT 2017-1 is also the largest securitization of non-prime assets to-date; with over $400 million in collateral, it is nearly double the size of the next largest issuance, COLT 2016-3."
 "The COLT 2017-1 mortgage pool comprises 853 first-lien mortgage loans with an aggregate scheduled principal balance of $402.6 million...KBRA considers the underlying mortgage loans to have certain non-prime characteristics including borrowers with prior credit events (23.4%), loans using alternative income documentation sources such as bank statements (21.7%), investor/business-purpose loans (1.1%), and/or loans to foreign nationals (0.4%). A large portion of the pool is designated as either Non-QM (69.3%) or QM-Rebuttable Presumption (26.1%).
 "The underlying collateral consists of 74.1% hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), with initial fixed-rate payment periods of one (9.9%), three (7.8%), five (54.7%), seven (1.5%) or ten (0.2%) years, of which 2.8% of these loans possess a 10-year interest-only (IO) period. The remainder of the collateral pool consists of 25.9% fully-amortizing 30-year fixed rate mortgages (FRMs). Loans in the pool exhibit substantial borrower equity in each mortgaged property, as evidenced by the WA original LTV of 76.1% and WA original CLTV of 76.1%, which are comparable to CLTVs in KBRA-rated prime jumbo deals in 2016. The weighted average non-zero original credit score is 713."
 Interest rates are all relative, right? Experienced LOs will tell you that they started when home loans were in the teens. And that business was fine. Bloomberg's Matt Scully reports from Colorado is taking two internet lenders to court over high interest rates, the latest legal battle in a growing national debate over online banking. "Consumer loans arranged by Marlette Funding LLC, an online lender registered in Delaware, and Chicago-based Avant Inc. exceed maximum finance charges under state law, Colorado said in two lawsuits scheduled for hearings in May. The issue boils down to whether the companies can arrange loans online between Colorado residents and non-state banks while charging interest rates as high as 36 percent, exceeding the state's 12 percent cap. The cases are part of a larger debate over regulation of so-called marketplace lenders...
 Looking at the good ol' generic bond market, on Friday fixed-income securities made some small gains on some securities and was unchanged on others - depending on security, coupon, maturity, etc. MBS volumes, interestingly, were 50% of recent averages, per Tradeweb. (Tradeweb doesn't see every MBS traded, but bases its numbers on its activity.) Friday MBS prices were about unchanged from Thursday night, and the 10-year's closing yield was 2.24%.
 We start the week with the first-round results of Sunday's presidential elections in France which have driven U.S. rates higher. With the future of Europe in French hands, the continent's leaders have cast aside their tradition of staying out of each other's elections and weighed in by basically saying they'll root for the candidate who wants to make the European Union stronger, not the one who wants to blow it up. They mostly endorsed independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, and are not fans of the far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, as France heads toward the actual election. The European Central Bank may accelerate its timetable for easing bond-buying efforts as concerns over French election results appear to be easing. Several market participants say an announcement might be made as soon as June.
 The French election outcome was largely consistent with expectations as Macron and Le Pen made it to the second round. Macron making it to the run-off removes a downside risk from the table, and that is moving stocks and bonds this morning - especially stocks. If Macron wins on May 7th, continental leaders are cautiously optimistic that he can steer France back into an historically central role in European affairs. If Le Pen wins on 5/7, modern Europe - defined by integration and growing cooperation across national boundaries - could fall apart after already being jolted by Britain's planned E.U. exit. Knowing what happens overseas impacts our bond markets, this week we'll hear rate decision news from the Riksbank on Wednesday, and the European Central and Bank of Japan on Thursday.
 This morning we've had the only U.S. news for the day with the Chicago Fed NAI for March (dropping to +.08 from +.27, whatever that means). Tomorrow, if you care about news from two months ago, we'll hear the February Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index and February FHFA Housing Price Index, along with March New Home Sales and April Consumer Confidence. Wednesday the only thing out is the non-market moving MBA Mortgage Index. Thursday are March Durable Goods, Initial Jobless Claims, March Advance International Trade in Goods, and March Pending Home Sales. Friday, we can look forward to Q1 GDP, Q1 Employment Cost Index, April Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, and April University of Michigan Sentiment figures - something for those grad school students to do. After the French election, we begin the week with U.S. rates higher versus late last week, and this morning the 10-year is hovering around 2.30% and agency MBS prices are worse about .250.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Operations Management Job, New Products Incl. Vendor Mgt., HUD Settlement in CA, Webinars on Reverse Mortgages, Digital Mortgages, Etc.




(Thanks to Penn P. for this one; warning: rated PG.)
A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket.
He opened his newspaper and began reading.
After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, "Say Father, what causes arthritis?"
The priest replies, "My Son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath!"
The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be damned," then returned to his paper.
The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"
The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."

Happy "420 Day," often followed by "Happy Surprise Drug Test Day" tomorrow. Do you think your small competitor is going to be around at the end of 2017? Perhaps. But I am reminded of some Deloitte research from late 2015 that finds only 12% of Fortune 500 companies around in 1955 are still in business! Inc. reports 25% of new businesses don't make it past the first year and 50% fail within 5 years. Taking a look at start-ups, Russia just set up its equivalent of Freddie and Fannie, and, although not a start-up, Impac Mortgage Holdings sold $56 million of its common stock as part of a plan to securitize non-qualified mortgage loans.
 Vendor products
 "Want to improve your Appraisal Workflow? Discover Sapphire Appraisal Management Platform by Veros - a powerful, workflow-driven valuation management solution used by Lenders, AMCs, and Bankers to automatically manage and track appraisal orders from start to finish, while maintaining quality controls and regulatory compliance, including built-in appraisal scoring and secondary market portal delivery. Sapphire has scalable functionalities and evolves with business demands, and is seamlessly integrated into Encompass All-in-One Mortgage Management Solution. Gain operational efficiencies, ensure compliance, and reduce expenses with Sapphire. For more information or to request a demo, contact Susan Anderson (860-402-8337). More news about Veros.
 "Struggling with launching a robust vendor management program or want to enhance your existing one? See why MQMR dba HQ Vendor Managementis the first choice for vendor management solutions. Having recently added loanDepot to its clientele, MQMR is off to a fast start assisting its clients with vendor management in 2017. Said Jim Svinth, EVP of Enterprise Risk Management at loanDepot, "We needed a solution, searched the market, and found that MQMR provided a robust platform, truly understood counterparty risk, and was willing to accommodate our needs.  We are overly satisfied with MQMR and look forward to further refinement to our vendor management program."  For more information about vendor management or MQMR's suite of risk management and compliance services, reach out to Britt Haven or look for the MQMR team at upcoming conferences: MBA National Secondary, Legal Issues and Regulatory, and TMBA Annual."
 Worried about the impact the new HMDA rule will have on your company? Looking for ways to ensure Fair Lending at the point of sale, particularly when you're underwriting non-agency loans? Want to learn best practices for implementing processes and technology that will help you comply with HMDA and Fair Lending? Join Ben Wu, Executive Director of LoanScorecard, a leading provider of automated pricing, underwriting and compliance solutions, as he presents Fair Lending in a New HMDA World, a live webinar on April 25th at 11AM CT, with an encore presentation May 4th. To learn more about this webinar or to register, click here.
 "Now here's some food for thought. What do BeyoncĂ©, Red Bull, and Virgin Atlantic have in common? They've all used publicity to achieve enviable success. It's well known that publicity can attract the attention of many prospects and help close deals much faster. Just think about it: if you read and hear about a company all over the place, your interest is piqued. When it comes to generating publicity for companies in the mortgage industry, nobody does it better than Strategic Vantage. Its management has been focused on our industry for over 15 years, and have propelled countless companies to greater success. From start-ups to large companies, their client list includes dozens of names you're surely to recognize. I recommend you check them out at www.StrategicVantage.com. And if you'll be at the MBA Secondary Conference in NYC at the end of this month, you can schedule a meeting to see them there. Just reach out to them at Info@StrategicVantage.com."

Legal and government news
 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an agreement with a group of California mortgage lenders to resolve allegations they discriminated against a mortgage applicant based on his national origin. The complainant alleged that American Financial Network of Brea, California; Benchmark Communities of Fresno; Brigantino Enterprise of Hollister; and an employee of Benchmark Communities failed to prequalify him to purchase a home in Hollister because he is Hispanic. Running afoul of the Fair Housing Act is never a recipe for success. It prohibits discrimination in rental, sales or home lending transactions based on a person's national origin, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
 The case came to HUD's attention when the applicant filed a fair housing complaint alleging that he was unfairly denied an opportunity to prequalify for a mortgage loan, precluding him from purchasing a home because he is Hispanic. American Financial Network will pay the man $5,000, Benchmark Communities will provide annual fair housing training for its employees who interact with prospective homebuyers, and American Financial Network will provide annual fair housing training to current and new employees as they are hired.
 Pacific Union Financial issued an alert regarding the Michigan Legislature and Governor's recent enactment of three bills which serve to abolish the concept of dower rights in Michigan law. The bills became effective April 6, 2017. As a result, effective on and after April 6, 2017, both spouses will no longer be required to sign documents (mortgage, rescission, Loan Estimate (LE)) unless both signatures are required in accordance with the Michigan Homestead Law.  The Homestead Law requires signatures for both spouses when the transaction covers the refinance of a homestead property (principal residence).
 Wells Fargo Funding's 2017 Annual Recertification process for Sellers began the week of April 10, 2017. Annual Recertification helps ensure Wells Fargo Funding has current information for each Seller and remains compliant with various agency and federal guidelines. On or before June 30, 2017, Sellers must: Complete the 2017 Annual Recertification questionnaire. Submit 2016 fiscal year-end audited financial statements (for those Sellers with December 31, 2016, year-end dates) via its secure Wells Fargo Funding website.
 Webinars and trainings:
 Join panelist Mike Olden, American Reporting Company - VP of Sales & Education today, Thursday, April 20, 1PM ET for a 1-hour MGIC webinar on FICO Score and Credit Reporting Update.
 On April 27 Buckley Sandler will host the first of a five-part series of webcasts focused on state regulatory and enforcement issues and trends. The first webcast in this series will be an overview of the current regulatory climate as well as a discussion about the anticipated increase in state oversight and enforcement because of the Trump Administration.
 Join experts from DocMagic, BeSmartee, and LendingQB for a FREE webinar on April 26th explaining how to get started the smart way with digital lending, so you can avoid the typical risks under-informed lenders encounter.
 Start prepping now for FHA's May 15th implementation date for The Loan Review System (LRS). The newest webinar #3 Loan Review System (LRS): Lender Monitoring, Reporting, and Other Functions, April 26th.  Lenders that have not yet done so are encouraged to view LRS Webinars 1 and 2, accessible from the Single Family Housing Archived Webinarspage.
 From April 24-28, NRMLA will host a series of online educational sessions to raise awareness about reverse mortgages among professionals who work with older homeowners.
 Register now for the upcoming Great River MBA conference May 9th-11th.
 Self-employed borrower tax return Woes? MGIC's webinars will take you step by step through the analysis process. Register for MGIC's May 11th webinar - personal tax return analysis.MGIC's Self-Employed Borrower - Business Tax Return Analysis May 17th webinar These webinars will highlight current guidelines and updates for tax year 2016.
 There are 3 ways to register for MBA's Small Balance & Portfolio Lending Summit June 28th & 29th inDallas, TX.
 Capital markets
 The US Treasury is looking for feedback from primary dealers on potential demand and pricing of 40-, 50- or 100-year government bonds as it explores funding options. Before you roll your eyes and chuckle, remember that several countries, like Japan and Sweden, offer 100+ year mortgages for home buyers.
 Rates, sitting here at November levels, have been relatively steady: up a little, down a little: Wednesday they were up a little. There was nothing to blame it on, other than possibly the sharp decline in crude oil futures following the release of the weekly inventory data. But usually a fall in energy prices tends to support Treasury prices. The Fed's Beige Book showed modest to moderate growth in all 12 Fed regions between mid-February and the end of March. This is a bit encouraging, considering that retail sales, the CPI, and manufacturing production all declined last month. For numbers, everything worsened about .125 in price.
 A May Fed rate hike is now seen highly unlikely, while June is split roughly 50/50. Today for potentially interest rate-moving new we've had initial jobless claims (+10k to 244k) and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (down "10.8" to "22" in April). Ahead of us are the March leading indicators at 10AM ET. Versus last night's close rates are up a shade with the 10-year at 2.23% and MBS prices worse nearly .125.