To the Editor:

An article about the OpenClose.com Web site and the relationship between Fannie Mae and First Mortgage Network ("Fannie Partnership to Put Underwriting System on Web," Oct. 28, page 15) included quotes from Scott Cooley, president of Contour Software.

We believe Mr. Cooley should have been identified as a partner of our competitor, Freddie Mac, on another underwriting initiative targeted to mortgage brokers.

Further, his comments did not accurately reflect Fannie Mae's relationship with lenders and brokers through OpenClose.com. He said mortgage brokers "will no longer need the wholesaler," but Fannie Mae will only purchase or securitize loans originated by our seller/servicers: lenders.

Because no broker is able to get access to our automated underwriting without having been sponsored by a lender, Fannie Mae's connection to brokers is not direct. Fannie Mae's Desktop Originator technology was introduced in 1995 and is broadly used by wholesale lenders and their broker partners. The Desktop Originator volume for October alone will exceed 45,000 transactions.

John Buckley

Senior vice president,

communications,Fannie MaeWashington

Editor's note: We regret that Mr. Cooley's connection to Freddie Mac was inadvertently deleted during the editing process.

Mr. Cooley, for his part, says the "no longer need" quote was taken out of context by American Banker. What he had meant to convey, he says, is: "The relationship between the broker and wholesaler dwindles since the broker no longer needs the wholesaler to use the automated underwriting systems up to the point of loan submission."

He adds: "I applaud this venture of Fannie Mae and First Mortgage Network and look forward to seeing additional firms offering such capabilities."

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