August was a great month!

Welcome to all of the new great people that joined our team in August. We are happy you are here! I want to reiterate how positive I am feeling about our company’s newly released 909-828-3135. We hope by promoting these core values (that you all helped come up with) it will allow us to further build a culture and environment where we all look forward coming to work every day.

Sales – Faramarz Moeen-Ziai
August was a great month in CHM Sales! Loan Officers, please SAVE THE DATE November 15th for our annual Sales Rally located in Irvine this year.

Operations – Dione Thompson & Team
Great changes are happening in Processing and Underwriting. Our new Training dept continues to gain momentum…

Secondary Marketing – Ben Leonard
Plenty of notable changes have been announced by the Agencies, and for the Jumbo Express loans, over the last month. Fannie Mae released a number of changes…

Corporate Marketing – Kristie Berg
Marketing has added several awesome features to the Marketing Portal for Sales. We have also launched a new, improved, shortened survey…

Compliance – Alan Lindeke
Welcome to our new General Counsel and head of Compliance – Alan Lindeke. Alan is based in our Irvine, California branch…

Finance – Ravi Correa
Excited to announce our new Controller – David Dumitru…  He is already helping the finance team as we work to revamp/improve our AP processes.

IT – Jeremy Trimm
In the process of migrating our mailboxes to Exchange 2016. Finally took a vacation! 🙂

HR & Front Desk – Lauren Piol
Don’t forget about your “You’ve Earned It” points to award kudos to your colleagues!

CEO’s Desk – Mario De Tomasi

  • Please read through our Core Purpose statement & Core Values! Please take some time to read through and learn them. We will be interested in hearing from all of you in the future as to which ones resonate most with you.
  • Scott & I crossed one off of our bucket list. We traveled together to Edinburgh Scotland to St. Andrews for a golf trip. We are  grateful to have had this experience of a lifetime.

Sales – Faramarz Moeen-Ziai

Loan Officers, SAVE THE DATE! Sales Rally 2017 will take place in Irvine, CA on Wednesday, November 15th.

August was a great month in CHM Sales! Total retail volume was $124,000,000.

Our top 20 loan teams were the following:

Operations – Dione Thompson & Team

Processing – Dennis Gase

Exciting changes in processing:  🙂

  • Day 1 CertaintyDay One certainty – first file was submitted using Day 1 Certainty and it took UW less than 30 minutes to underwrite and approve!
  • LoanBeam This new tool has been deployed and has proved to be very valuable, saving tons of time and getting the income dialed in from the start!
  • Work Number The work Number can now be ordered directly from Encompass!!! Making verifications a simple click of the button…


Training – Nikki Dickens

The training department continues to gain momentum.  Since the departments’ creation a couple of months ago, new hire orientation has been revamped, 22 new team members in varying retail roles have attended and 13 LOs, Loan Coordinators and Processors have been trained using the new platforms that have been created by the team.

Training is a series of smaller, one hour GoToWebinars where participants can ask questions as the materials are being presented.  All materials are emailed to the participants after the training and formatted in a user friendly “module” that can be used as reference when they start touching live loans.  If the participants want to practice on test loans, running credit, running DU and getting used to the processes at CHM, those are provided as well.

Our greatest need at CHM was to provide new hire training as we grow rapidly so that has been the current focus.
As we put the finishing touches on the new hire modules in the largest growth areas, we will start creating and building modules, materials, and some fun exercises for our existing employees.

Upcoming Training Initiatives:

  • Ordering appraisals through Encompass, this will be a huge efficiency pick up
  • CalHFA
  • VA loan
  • AllRegs

We also plan to integrate other departments into training including Underwriting and Closing with the help of their respective departmental leaders.

The training intranet site is currently being built and it’s been a project of passion and fun!!  Right now we’ve created six pages that include topics on Core Values, Professionalism, Motivation, Morsels, Excellence and of course training materials, videos and guides.  Our departmental purpose is “Embracing people and sharing knowledge”.  We are passionate about making every teammate at CHM feel valued, appreciated and more knowledgeable.  Keep your eyes open for the Intranet roll out.

If you have any training ideas or suggestions, please email us at the following new email 8643218456.

Underwriting – Elaine Edginton

Great things came from Underwriting in August!

  • We opened up an Underwriting Scenario Desk – averaging 10-12 new scenario requests per day from LOs. Turn times for UW scenarios has been consistently within 4 hours.
  • We also opened up the TBD desk for LOs for Preapprovals. Underwriter Debbie Baca has been manning this desk and averaging approx 3 preapprovals per day, also with a 4 hour turn time. She is handling every request that comes in. If demand increases, our team is ready to add another Underwriter to maintain this level of service and response time
  • Overall, standard UW turn times have been maintained at 48 hours.

Secondary Marketing – Ben Leonard

Plenty of notable changes have been announced by the Agencies, and for the Jumbo Express loans, over the last month. Fannie Mae released a number of changes (now effective), FHLMC alluded to an upcoming change on Rental Income, and we had some exciting changes kick-in on the Jumbo Express loans. The recent changes are re-capped below:

Fannie Mae:

  • Based on an analysis of recent loan casefiles submitted to DU, the new risk assessment is expected to increase the percentage of Approve/Eligible recommendations lenders receive, specifically those with debt-to-income ratios between 45% and 50%.
  • Updated risk assessment and messaging for loan casefiles for borrowers with disputed trade lines
  • With DU Version 10.1 the maximum allowable LTV, CLTV, and HCLTV ratios (LTV ratios) for adjustable-rate mortgages will be aligned with fixed-rate mortgage LTV ratios for all transaction, occupancy, and property types, up to a maximum of 95%. Previously, ARM loans were subject to a 5% LTV reduction vs. Fixed loans.
  • Self-Employed: The criteria that determines the documentation required to verify a self-employed borrower’s income will be updated. The number of DU loan casefiles eligible for the one year of personal and business tax return documentation requirements will increase.
  • Options for borrowers with Employment Contracts who will start new employment after loan closing
  • Timeshares: Certain timeshare installment loans are reported in the credit report data as mortgage-related. In DU Version 10.0, these agreements would be considered a mortgage and the appropriate mortgage delinquency requirements are applied. DU Version 10.1 will treat all timeshare loans as installment loans.
  • Contingent Liability: Clarified that for non-mortgage debts the party who is making the payment does not have to be a co-obligor; 12 mos of cancelled checks (on-time) are still required from the party making the payment
  • Student Loans: Another clarification that when a current payment is included on the credit report (or other documentation provided by the loan servicer) that payment is used for qualifying. A higher-of (1%) payment would be used when the obligation is in deferment or forbearance, or when a payment cannot be documented.

Freddie Mac:

  • Various changes as it relates to Rental Income were announced. The changes are not slated to become effective until Feb 9th, 2018, however CHM is working to incorporate the changes before that date. Updates will be provided accordingly. A few notable changes are included below, for full guidance refer to Freddie Mac Bulletin 2017-12.
  • Short-term rental income sources (Ex. Air BnB): A two-year history of rental income from a short-term source is required. The income must be documented on Schedule E and the property must have been used for the purposes of producing rental income for this period of time.
  • Accessory units: Specifying rental income may be used for an accessory unit in a 1-unit subject Investment Property and non-subject investment property.

Jumbo Express:

  • Choice Non-QM and Select Non-QM: Departing residence solutions are now available, additional requirements will apply.
  • Use Rental Income from the Departing residence without a lease
  • Omit the PITI payment on the Departing residence without the property under contract/pending sale
  • Choice QM and Non-QM: The Derogatory Credit seasoning periods (Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Short Sale) were reduced from 7 years to 4 years

Corporate Marketing – Kristie Berg

  • We have also launched a new and improved, one page (5 questions) simple Borrower Survey. Check it out & let us know what you think. Our goal is to increase response rate and make it even easier for our clients.  Next month we will be implementing a similar Realtor Survey.
  • Marketing has  also added several NEW awesome features to the Marketing Portal (for Sales). 903-320-6007

They include:

    1. Ability to edit your profile:
      • Bio – you can now add and edit your bio in the marketing portal & it will synch with your LO Page.
      • You can now upload a new photo in the marketing portal for your marketing collateral. *Web site photos will stay the same.
    2. Marketing Options: You can view all of the marketing options that Commerce has available from a corporate standpoint and opt in & out.
    3. Surveys/Reviews: You now have a page where you can view all of your Survey/reviews info. All surveys will be listed there and your scorecard at the top letting you know how you are doing from a client satisfaction standpoint.
    4. Commerce Social Share: We’ve added the ability for you to share your reviews on social media. With 2 clicks, a nice illustration with your review & stars will post immediately.
    5. Team Members: You can now add team members so that anyone on your team can login & help make YOU &/or your PARTNERS create personalized (your info) marketing collateral AND review/update your list of Closing Gifts.
    6. Easy Co-branded Partner Marketing: You can now add partners in the portal (much like List Reports. It will store them for you) and then select their name from the dropdown in the Partner/Co-branded section and all materials will auto-populate with their info.
    7. Closing Gift Info: Closing gift page was updated with a photo of the current gift, schedule info etc.
    8. All Marketing Requests: Need to be made through the Marketing Requests tab that synchs with our project management tool. We receive far too many requests on a daily basis to use email as a reliable tracking tool. Please request help from Marketing using this short & easy form.


  1. Loan Officers, please forward any & all marketing materials to adreview@commercemtg.com that you have put out into the market that did NOT come from Corporate Marketing (CHM Marketing Portal or Jungo etc.). 

Compliance/General Counsel – Alan Lindeke

Alan Lindeke joined Commerce recently as our new head of Compliance and GC. He comes to us with a wealth of mortgage compliance experience, last serving as the Chief Compliance Counsel at Impac Mortgage. Alan has already made a great impact here as he got right to work and help set up new processes and systems for Compliance.


  • As mentioned above, all local marketing that was NOT created by our Corporate Marketing team MUST be sent to (308) 336-8532. We have to document and be able to show at any time ALL marketing materials across all states that represented Commerce and/or employees of Commerce in any way. We are subject to an audit at any time and they will ask for this immediately. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • There is a new Compliance Help Desk – compliancehelpdesk@commercemtg.com so that everyone can ask questions, get clarification and receive quick answers.

Finance – Ravi Correa

David Dumitru joins Commerce Home Mortgage as Controller and brings a wealth of accounting, tax and finance experience to Commerce Home Mortgage.  He has over 22 years of experience in accounting, tax and finance with 12 of those years in the mortgage industry in many senior finance roles. Most recently he was Director of Finance at Summit Funding and previously Controller at Sierra Pacific Mortgage. David was instrumental in helping both Sierra Pacific and Summit Funding build strong accounting processes and controls to help scale the business. He has worked

David has a BS in Finance and Economics as well as a MS in taxation from CSU Sacramento.  He brings with him a process improvement mindset and desire to mentor and teach. David has a passion for helping people.  David has served as an officer with FEI and on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit GAFO which assists children and young adults and volunteers his time to different organization and events to help further the organization’s causes.

David life revolves around his family.  They keep him very active with cheerleading and gymnastics.  Many weekends are spent traveling around the Western United States for competitions.

IT – Jeremy Trimm

IT is in the process of migrating mailboxes to Exchange 2016 to improve efficiency of the mail system. Also, many of you have noticed new, more efficient printers in your office. They are slowly being rolled out across various branches.

HR & Front Desk – Lauren Piol


An email etiquette and best practice doc was emailed out on August 28th. If you didn’t have a chance to read, please do! A nice, short reminder to have at your desks is also below.


  1. Is the subject line relevant to the content in the email?
  2. Is there anything in this email you wouldn’t want forwarded or read in a courtroom?
  3. Is the objective clear?  Are “To Do’s”, questions and/or deadlines clear?
  4. Do you absolutely need to attach a document or image?  If it can be avoided, it should be.  Otherwise, is the correct item actually attached?
  5. Are you sending this to the right participants?  Is there anyone who doesn’t need to read this?  Are the right people in the “To” and “CC” lines?  If sending to a group, are they in the “BCC” line?
  6. If replying to an email, do you need to “Reply –all” or is replying to just the sender sufficient? Is this the 5th email on the same topic? If so, pick up the phone or call a meeting.


Did you know CHM uses 530-859-2015 to send kudos and acknowledgements to employees companywide?!

See below some of the past month’s stats!

TOP SENDERS – AKA Most Grateful Employees!

  1. Marilyne Box
  2. Brandy Perkinson
  3. Lee Lieberman
  4. Sarah Whyte
  5. Liz Rees

TOP RECEIVERS – AKA Bad %$#&’s Employees!

  1. Peter Foo
  2. Stacie Bly
  3. Nancy Andrade
  4. Jennifer Rees
  5. Brandy Perkinson


  • One Team One Goal
  • Going the Extra Mile
  • Service
  • Knowledge

In the coming month we will begin to monitor the stories/thanks given in  You’ve Earned It  and sharing some in the newsletter!
Be sure you’re tagging a value when giving out recognition 😉





9/1 – Alejandra Lopez-Portugal & Bianca Robles

9/2 – Scott Alejo

9/3 – Mae Saini & Sharon Trout

9/6 – Terre Grant

9/8 – Melissa Castaneda

9/10 – Kimberly Escandon & Photimi Kara

9/15 – Erica Grijalva-Ojeda & Rosalinda (Sally) Nuguid

9/16 – Donna Smith

9/18 – Chris Trapani, Brandy McClain & Tony Ortiz

9/20 – Nicole Alcorn, Penny Lorton, Richard Gage, Connie Smith

9/21 – Eric Rotner, Jennifer Perry & Shane Larsen

9/22 – Nicole Davis

9/23 – Travis Vennarucci

9/24 – Deniz Aksoy

9/25 – Vanessa Sot0

9/26 – Jerry Brannon & Lauren Gurley

9/27 – Steven Castillo & Vanessa Parkhurst

9/28 – Marilyne Box

9/29 – Maria Medina



July 2017


Happy Summer!

CEO’s Desk – Mario De Tomasi
We’ve been brainstorming our Core Values & Purpose statement for the company…

Sales – FMZ
Commerce family keeps growing! We are excited about adding 5 new branches…

Operations – Dione Thompson
We have a new Servicing Provider – LoanCare, we rolled out Loan Beam…

Secondary Marketing – Ben Leonard
Fannie Mae has released an enhanced Desktop Underwriter & we have an Expanded…

Corporate Marketing – Kristie Berg
We have new features on our web site and Marketing Portal; company store is back…

Capital Markets – Shain Brooks
We sold our first pools of co-issue servicing to CMC in June…

Finance – Ravi Correa
Current financial outlook is really positive! Please remember to send payment requests…

HR & Front Desk – Lauren Piol
We’ve recently been approved for licensing in the following states: GA, MD & VA.


CEO’s Desk – Mario De Tomasi

  • We have been brainstorming our Core Values and Purpose Statement for the company & have made great strides. We look forward to rolling it out to ALL of you shortly and getting your input & feedback.
  • Other initiatives include making sure our departments are resourced properly & our teams are empowered as we look forward and work on strategy for the remainder of 2017 investigating ways for our company to differentiate itself.

Sales – Faramarz Moeen-Ziai

Commerce family keeps growing!  We are excited about adding 5 new branches and a ton of mortgage talent!

  • Southern California
    8255 Firestone Blvd. #400
    Downey, CA 902418311 Haven Ave. Suite 220
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 9173021804 Cactus Ave
    Riverside, CA 92518
  • Northern California
    2150 Main Street, Suite 12
    Red Bluff, CA 96080
  • The South
    Georgia – Newly licensed!
    110 Evans Mill Drive, Ste 202 & 207
    Dallas, GA 30157

Operations – Dione Thompson

  • We changed our servicing provider. LoanCare has been rolled out and loans are boarding.
  • Loan Beam has also been rolled out to the processing and underwriting staff.
  • Our new training department is working on material for our Intranet and Webinars!

Secondary Marketing – Ben Leonard

Durning the weekend of July 29, 2017, Fannie Mae will implement Desktop Underwriter Version 10.1, which will include some exciting changes.

NEW – CHM Expanded Access Product Suite:

The new Expanded Access Product Suite features relevant, but outside-the-box, guideline opportunities – everything from Agency or Jumbo ‘Just Miss’ to unique solutions (including many Non-QM features) for loans you previously believed never had a chance at qualifying!

Some key product line features include: Bank Statement program for Self Employed, Investment Property qualifying with no DTI. No Seasoning on Major Derogatory Credit, Asset Depletion, Non-Warrantable Condos, and much more!

  • Bank Statement Programs: Two Bank Statement programs are available for Self-Employed Borrower’s whose Tax Returns are not reflective of sufficient earnings when using traditional income qualification.
  • Residential Income Qualifying: Access DTI as high as 59% using traditional income calculations when the borrower passes a residual income test (compare to VA).
  • Fresh Start: Get your borrowers back in the game immediately – No Seasoning needed following Major Derogatory Credit events!
  • Homeowner’s Access: Minimal seasoning on major derogatory credit events and other flexible credit features, with a closer-to-prime rate (vs. the Fresh Start).
  • Investment Debt Service Coverage (DSC): Forget about traditional income qualifying and employment documentation – Qualify solely on subject property Debt Service Cash flow!
  • Investor No Ratio: Income Qualifying is not required what-so-ever! All that is needed to qualify is an LTV of 65%, or less!
  • Expanded Investment: Built to accommodate investor borrowers, with opportunities such as unlimited financed properties, Non-Warrantable Condos, and minimal seasoning following major derogatory credit events.
  • Premier Access: ‘Just Miss’ program that offers a number of niche guideline features, with a prime rate, for loans that do not meet traditional Agency guidelines.

Learn more about the Expanded Access product line and the new features of the Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter 10.1 by visiting the ‘Products’ section on our Intranet.

Corporate Marketing – Kristie Berg

New features on the Web site and Marketing Portal!


  • ‘Write a Review’ – Now, any partner, colleague or business provider, can go directly to loan officer’s page and write a review. Previously, reviews were generated only from our post close survey.
  • New Payment Center page for Servicing located on our web site. We also put a link in the top header that drives borrowers to our CHM branded servicing page.

Marketing Portal:

(870) 944-3150

  • Flyers in the Marketing Portal are now personalized with your contact info.
  • Portal is currently going through an overhaul and a ton of new functionality & materials will be released every two weeks, so check back often!
  • One new feature that is coming soon is Commerce Social Share. Your reviews and surveys will appear in the Portal and you will have the ability to share them to your social sites & tag people that were part of the project, especially your partners!


  • Company Store is back!
  • New closing gifts! Three piece BBQ sets are now going out every 2 weeks.
  • We are growing our Marketing team with a Coordinator or Manager. If you know of strong candidates, please send them our way!


Marketing requests must be made via the Marketing Request button/form on the Marketing Portal. This is now we are going to keep track of projects, time frames etc. www.chmmarketingportal.com

Capital Markets – Shain Brooks

We sold our first pools of co-issue servicing to CMC in June (just over $5mm) and expect this number to increase in the coming months. This is positive for the company because it brings better pricing for our FNMA and FHLMC Direct products.

Finance – Ravi Correa

Straight from our Finance guy…the Current Outlook is very positive!

*This graph illustrates the positive Trajectory for 2017!


  1. Check requests to accounting should come from here.
  2. Please update your email for accounts payable internally and with vendors to ensure you’re using 7324714165.
  3. Only invoices that are sent to this email address will be processed for payment.
  4. Expense reports are due by the 25th each month so Managers can approve and make the expense payroll on the 15th each month.

HR & Front Desk – Lauren Piol

We have a NEW FedEx label request process for offices that don’t have direct accounts.    Please use this link to make Fed Ex label requests from corporate.

We have a NEW calendar feature in HR! If you ever need to speak to HR, using the following link: Schedule your 30 minutes with HR Jeff!

We’ve recently been approved for licensing in the following states: Georgia, Maryland & Virginia! We have other states in process as well & will send details as those become available! Please be sure to reach out to me directly should you have an interest in doing business in these states to ensure you are setup individually as is your branch before talking loans with borrowers!


  1. As part of your benefits, EAP services are available at no extra cost. This includes referrals, seeing in-network clinicians and initial consults with mediators or financial and legal experts. Want to retain a lawyer after your consult? You’ll get a 25% discount. Access to illusive is always free.
  2. Orientations continue to be the 1st & 3rd week of every month. Mon-Wed and typically run 9:30-12pm.
    Please attend more than one should you need a refresher! For more details, email training@commercemtg.com.

Questions? Please see posts under HR on the intranet or contact hr@commercemtg.com.
Thank you for adopting the new timecard schedule & getting them in on time!


Welcome to the following new team members! You are all so impressive and we are HAPPY you joined the Commerce Team!


Denver – Tech Center II

• Melissa Cates, Business Development
• Darrel Cates, Regional Manager



• Rosalinda Paez-Cortes, Processor
• Rosario Lopez-Zamora, Loan Officer
• Yesenia Rodriguez, LO



• Toni Cardoza, Office Admin/Marketing Support


Ft. Lauderdale

• Scott Lushing, Regional Manager
• Todd Hudak, Loan Officer


Dallas, GA

• Allison Bates, LO Asst./Office Manager
• Kristen Morgan, Loan Officer


Huntington Beach

• Nichole Goade, Loan Oficer




Union Choice


We have a new team called Union Choice and they are based in our Irvine Office. Union Choice, a DBA of Commerce specifically focuses on Unions & Associations (Public Safety & Builders/Tradesmen).As of July, their very experienced mortgage team (which is still growing) includes:

• Don Peart, President/Bus Dev of Union Choice
• Lou Miron, Loan Officer
• Jimmy Prehn, Loan Officer
• Stephanie Peart, Administrative Asst.
• Stephen Starkey, Production Manager

Rancho Cucamonga

• Dahlia Ferrero, Loan Coordinator
• Chris Trapani, Loan Officer
• Kurt McCloskey, Branch Manager
• Darlene Romo, Loan Officer
• Lisa Worden, Loan Coordinator
• Sam Vasquez, Loan Coordinator


Red Bluff

• Jody Richards, Loan Officer


Redding, Rancho

• Mae Saini, Loan Coordinator


San Ramon

• Travis Rottini, Recruiter – Remote
• Quanya Moore, CD Specialist
• Joann Hollander, Reverse Processor – Remote
• Ana Horn, Shipper
• Debbie Baca, UW – Remote
• Kendric Ruark, Helpdesk
• Ann Caparas, Suspense Auditor
• Gina Kaminski, UW – Remote
• Samantha Baptista, Funding Asst.
• Flora Downing, Doc Drawer



• Christina Oliver, LO/Team Lead – for UC group