"Rob, I can't help but notice the enormous TRID frustration among so many of your readers. While we/MBA were successful in getting the letter from the Bureau this past week allowing for TRID errors to be corrected, it would be much more helpful if every frustrated lender got everyone they knew to sign up for the Mortgage Action Alliance MAA. It's the one way we can get more voices engaged when bad things are happening to our industry. It's free, and you don't even have to be an MBA member. But with legislation proposed on the hill that would add governance to the CFPB, or even our transitional licensing legislation which may have a real shot - rather than just complain to you after the fact, they could all help while the sausage is being made by lending their voice. Spread the word and we even get louder." So commented MBA president Dave Stevens.

We do have a lot of upcoming residential mortgage events right out of the gate for 2016.

"Branch managers and originators, with rates on the rise are you concerned about your production in 2016? If you are in the Atlanta area Jan 7th thru the 10th and want to see what the nation's largest group of real-estate investors looks like then email us to register for a free visit and let us show you a new path to production. We are FortuneBuilders Inc., the country's largest real-estate investment education company, you've seen our television show, 'Flip this House.' Paul Esajian and Than Merrill have built a national platform where over 1 million people have registered to attend one of our real-estate events just this year. What would access to a network like this mean to your residential & commercial production goals for 2016? We have limited spots available to show you our network, this is just 1 of 11 events for 2016, email us now to stop by for a short visit and see where real-estate production is happening." For more information contact Jon Mekeal.

On January 12th in Irvine CA, Banc Home Loans is providing a free hands-on session that will focus on the basics of tax return analysis. Gift yourself the knowledge of a top-shelf professional, RSVP now.

We have these upcoming secondary MBA Education offerings: Introduction to Secondary and Pipeline Risk Management January 27. Top 10 Tips for Building Your Brand with Social Media February 10. Ten Things Your Mortgage Company Must Do in 2016 February 17. Understanding the Mystery of Secondary Marketing, Part I, May 10. Understanding the Mystery of Secondary Marketing, Part II May 24.

MBA will host a one-day workshop on January 28th in Fort Worth, Texas focused on the expanding market in whole loan trading. This workshop will feature expert speakers who are involved in the buying and selling of whole loans, as well as those engaged in servicing transactions coupled with these trades.

In light of increased and more sophisticated cyber threats, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has developed an assessment tool to help companies understand, mitigate and manage potential cyber threats. This is a free complimentary event from MBA on January 25th in Washington, D.C.

Plaza Wholesale's line-up of informative January webinars is ready for registration. Remember, if you can't attend a scheduled webinar, sign up and Plaza will email you the recording of the webinar. Blue print for taking a quality application: Monday, January 4th at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. Plaza's Fannie Mae HomeStyle renovation program: Tuesday, January 12th at 11:00 .M. Pacific. Plaza's Fannie Mae HomeReady program: Wednesday, January 13th at 11:00 a.m. Pacific. Will you hit the goal? Selling skills for Loan Officers: Wednesday, January 20th at 12:00 p.m. Pacific

CAMP, Silicon Valley Chapter, is taking registrations for its monthly January 8th Breakfast Meeting.

NewLeaf Wholesale is proving a webinar on its Fannie Mae HomeReady product, Tuesday, January 5th.

The date for WMBA's January 14th IP Luncheon has changed. If you have already registered for the January 7 date and cannot make the January 14 date, please email WMBA@qwestoffice.net for a refund. If you are interesting in registering for the luncheon, click here. In addition, time is winding down to register for one of WMBA's most popular events. Click here to register for its January 19th dinner featuring a CEO Panel.   

Arch MI live sessions: stream directly through your device, no telephone connection required. Click a link to register. Negotiate the Numbers, Understanding Self-Employed Borrowers and Business Tax Returns Tuesday. Mortgage Fraud Everything Old is New Again

Wednesday, January 13th. Loan Processing Using the 1003 as a Roadmap Thursday, January 14th. Analyzing Appraisals for Single-Family ResidencesTuesday, January 19th. Master the Mystery Navigating and Evaluating Personal Tax ReturnsWednesday, January 20th. Seizing Market Share in a Purchase Market Creating Separation Between You and Your Competitors

Wednesday, January 20th. Conquer the Components Understanding the Aspects of a Loan File

Thursday, January 21st.

On January 15th, Mountain West Financial is conducting its Wholesale webinar "Know Before You Owe" TRID Lessons Learned.

Turning to the disastrous weather patterns and their results in the various parts of the nation...

In Idaho due to the severe storms and straight-line winds that occurred in Idaho on November 17 a presidential disaster declaration was issued on December 23. As a result, all properties located in Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, and Kootenai counties require evidence that the subject sustained no damage from the identified disasters. FEMA's website lists in greater detail the assistance available to those affected by the storm.

Yes, as mother-nature unleashes severe storms resulting in tornadoes, blizzards, and flooding throughout several states, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas view the FEMA website for continued updates regarding these states. Brokers should check with their lenders for individual requirements regarding re-inspection and other policy updates for loans in process in the effected counties.

Pacific Union Financial announced that effective with all loans closing on or after January 1, 2016, flood insurance escrows will be required, regardless of the LTV, for properties located in a special flood zone for the life of the loan. Use of the Originating Org ID Exception (1011001) is no longer permitted when registering a loan on the MERS® System. In early January, this Org ID will be disabled, and registration transactions using it will fail.

PennyMac Correspondent Group has posted a new announcement regarding Texas tornadoes and post disaster inspections.

As a reminder, Wells Fargo Funding's non-escrow fees are updated quarterly and can be found on page 4 of the Best Effort and Mandatory rate sheets. Keep in mind that its non-escrow fees are state-specific and differ between fixed rate and ARM products.   Sellers who use a vendor(s) for product eligibility and pricing support are responsible for working directly with their vendor(s) to incorporate the non-escrow fees into impacted systems and processes for best execution. Sellers are reminded that an escrow/impound account must be established for payment of flood insurance premiums for all Loans where the property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) flood zone beginning with A or V, regardless of LTV and/or federal exemptions. The escrow account for flood insurance is required for the life of the loan. This change to flood insurance escrow requirements is in response to the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2015 (HFIAA) final ruling that was issued on June 22, 2015.

ditech announced its newly available ditech HomeReady Mortgage Products designed for creditworthy, low-to moderate-income borrowers, with expanded eligibility for financing homes in designated low-income, minority, and disaster-impacted communities.

Turning to the markets and capital markets news, sometimes it is interesting to see what is happening in other countries. Mizrahi-Tefahot, Israel's fourth-largest bank, said it was selling part of its mortgage portfolio to insurance company Menora Mivtachim as a means to bolster its balance sheet. Mizrahi-Tefahot, which is also Israel's top mortgage lender, will shed 80 percent of one portfolio of mortgages totaling 770 million shekels ($198 million). It has a total mortgage portfolio of some 100 billion shekels. The deal, which was approved by the Bank of Israel and is the first of its kind, comes in the wake of an agreement by Israel's regulators to develop a securitization market to increase the sources of funding in the economy and boost competition in the financial system.

Here in the U.S. the federal government is trying to get taxpayers off the hook for billions of dollars of potential losses if another mortgage crisis arrives - and in the process, it's quietly giving birth to a new asset class. As mentioned in this commentary and in the press, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will ramp up sales of new types of securities (called Connecticut Avenue Securities and Structured Agency Credit Risk, respectively) that in effect transfer potential losses in a housing downturn to private investors. The sales are especially notable because issuances of private-label MBSs, which also give private investors mortgage exposure, are still moribund, or at best slow. The securities are essentially residential mortgage-backed securities - bonds whose performance is tied to that of a pool of mortgages. If the mortgages default, investors in the bonds could lose some or even their entire principal, according to the Wall Street Journal. But proponents of the securities see them becoming a mainstay of the bond and housing markets, and possibly even entering major bond indexes. If this goes well it would actually help primary mortgage rates for borrowers - and who doesn't want that?

We're staring at a Monday morning with no Federal holidays in sight until Monday January 18th. But the global financial markets are in a shambles based on Chinese stock markets falling dramatically. As we know stocks and bonds don't necessarily follow opposite paths, but today bonds are definitely being helped by the world-wide stock market rout.

And we have a heckuva lot of scheduled news this week starting with today's Construction Spending and ISM figures later this morning. Tomorrow we take a break, but resume Wednesday with the MBA's application numbers, the ADP employment change stats, Factory Orders, Durable Goods, and Trade Balance figures. On Wednesday the 6th we'll also have the release of the Fed's Open Market Committee Minutes from the Dec. 15-16 meeting. Thursday we carry on with Challenger job cut numbers & Initial Jobless Claims. Friday we'll have all the employment data for December. We ended the year with the 10-year yield at 2.27% - it began 2015 at 2.17% so not a lot of net movement. This morning we're at 2.23% and agency MBS prices are better nearly .250 based on Asian stock market fears.

Jobs and Announcements

In retail job news "Norcom Mortgage currently has exciting branch opportunities throughout the state of Florida. Norcom is partnering with like-minded individuals who are looking to grow and increase their income within Norcom's family oriented culture. Licensed in 24 states with 36 branches, Norcom is one of the fastest growing lenders on the east coast. Norcom Mortgage is a fun, originator owned, customer focused, direct lender, that is dedicated to growing your business." If you are interested in joining Norcom, please contact Steve Harris, Retail Business Development Manager.

On the flip side word informally spread on New Year's Eve that Finance of America Mortgage is exiting the correspondent lending space. Although I don't have an official press release, I received this note from a senior manager. "If you know of any lenders that are for looking quality staff that can work remotely, please let me know. You can send/forward me interested parties looking for staff I am trying to place as many people as I can. These folks were let go on New Year's Eve."