Fannie Site Watches Its Watchdog Group

WASHINGTON - Fannie Mae has started a Web site to monitor and poke fun at FM Watch, a trade group formed in June to keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac confined to a narrow role in the secondary mortgage market.The site, FM Watch-Observer, made its debut last month and shows a Fannie Mae employee holding a pair of binoculars. The site calls itself a forum for "plucky Fannie Mae employees" to speak out about FM Watch.

It was started by young Fannie employees "outraged" about FM Watch, a Fannie spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for FM Watch said it is "not very credible" that a group of young Fannie staff members launched the site, which she characterized as an attack on Fannie's lender customer base.

"We think imitation is the highest form of flattery," FM Watch executive director Mike House said in a prepared statement. "It is amazing to us that Fannie is spending the time, energy, and money to do something like this concerning an organization they consistently claim they're not worried about."

- Joshua Brockman


Calif. Web Broker Buying Software Firm

SAN FRANCISCO - The on-line mortgage banker and broker iOwn Inc. is buying Genesis2000, a provider of mortgage loan origination software.The companies plan to create a service that "could lead to consumers getting better service and pricing of mortgages through their brokers," said Paul Holmes, president of iOwn.

Mr. Holmes said the acquisition would "speed the adoption of consumers using the Internet to get loans."

Genesis2000 would become a subsidiary of iOwn and its management would remain in place. No other details were disclosed. The deal requires the approval of state authorities.

- Joshua Brockman


Mortgage.com, TD Unit in Cobranding Deal

PLANTATION, Fla. - Mortgage.com said it has agreed to license its technology to the discount broker TD Waterhouse Group Inc.Beginning in January, TD Waterhouse's two million customers will be able to apply for mortgages on the New York brokerage's Web site. Mortgage.com said applications received during business hours would be acknowledged with a phone call within one hour and that customers would be able to check the status of their application on-line. Mortgage.com said the deal is its biggest cobranding agreement to date.


Subprime Lender Appoints Credit Executive

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - WMC Mortgage Corp., a subprime home lender, named Mark Walter executive vice president in charge of credit and operations.Mr. Walter, who will also be chief credit officer, will be responsible for front-end operations including processing, underwriting, funding, appraisal, quality control, and loan administration.

He joins WMC from First Union Corp.'s Money Store unit, where he was senior vice president and director of credit, operational, and compliance risk management.


Ads Skewer the Internet's 'Shady Characters'

NEW YORK - The Internet mortgage banker AppOnline Inc. said it has launched a humorous national magazine advertising campaign "highlighting the shady characters that tarnish the booming on-line mortgage industry."The ads take aim at Internet mortgage brokers. "Don't be fooled by brokers in bankers' clothing," one ad warns. Benenson Janson of Los Angeles developed the campaign.

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