Tiny homes are all the rage and a leading lumber company is capitalizing on this new trend, 84 Lumber has introduced its Tiny Living collection, making it the first major retailer and only large building-materials retailer to build these high in demand, small homes. The company will custom built a house, usually no bigger than 200 square foot and the price begins around $6,884. Those seeking to buy a tiny home will have three options to choose from: Build Your Own, Semi-DIY and Move-in Ready. Most tiny homes are economically and environmentally friendly, consuming less material and energy and these homes come with tandem axle trailers, so homeowners can take their home with them wherever they go. 

"Rob, regarding the comments in the March 12 newsletter concerning 'TRID continuing to roil the industry five months after implementation,' our experience here at Louisiana-based Assurance Financial has been pretty much business as usual, without any substantial number of confused customers or actual delays in closings," said Scott Alexander, Assurance operations manager. "As one of your readers mentioned, the remedy to any change of the magnitude of TRID is to spend the time and money to identify the needed processes to comply in order to implement good procedures. We spent months mapping out procedural changes, technology modifications and internal/external training in order to prepare for TRID and, now we are adequately positioned to comply and continue to provide great service to our borrowers."
Do you wish you could share your TRID training with your settlement agents? Now you can.  Indecomm has created a webinar that is written specifically for settlement agents and will present the free webinar -TRID for Settlement Agents - on April 6th. This webinar is designed to provide additional support and training for those settlement agents you use on a regular basis. Feel free to share this information with settlement agents and join them as we provide best-in-class TRID education. 
Wait... who let women into mortgage banking? Actually the better question is, "Who let men into mortgage banking?" Seriously, who are the 50 Best Companies in the mortgage industry for women to work?  We are about to find out in the March/April issue of Mortgage Women Magazine. Editors are announcing their search for the 50 Best Companies and how your company can participate in that search. "Mortgage Women Magazine is setting the standard for work/life practices in the United States for Mortgage Women. Our 50 Best Companies will highlight companies that do an exemplary job of advancing women and helping employees balance work and family. As the competition for the best employees intensifies among companies, being named one of Mortgage Women Magazine's 50 Best Companies for Mortgage Women to work will be a valuable recruiting and retention tool. Your participation will also help you to see how your company compares to the hundreds of others that apply.
All companies that apply, including those that do not make the Mortgage Women Magazine's 50 Best Companies, will receive feedback showing how they compared to all other applicants. Connect here for more information and to register your company.
It won't be the firsts, and won't be the last. As was alluded to in the commentary yesterday (I couldn't mention it by name) "W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital LLC and certain affiliated companies (collectively, the "Company") have made a strategic decision to wind-down their businesses.  The Company will cease operations and stop funding new loans starting March 13, 2016. The Company is in the process of reaching out to its customers, vendors, employees and other key stakeholders to help them understand what this means to them and the proposed next steps. Concurrently to this message, the Company is issuing directives to its employees, reminding them of the Company's Privacy Policy and of their obligation to preserve and protect customer and Company information. The Company will immediately begin an orderly wind-down and secure data and collateral to the best of its ability in order to maximize value for its creditors and other stakeholders while minimizing liabilities and future claims. 
W.J. Bradley's note continued. "You should not work or come into the office on Monday, March 14, 2016 or on any other day unless you receive written instructions requesting that you work.  Unless otherwise informed, any work time invested on March 14, 2016 or beyond will be unpaid.  Wages earned through March 11, 2016, (and commissions earned through March 13, 2016) are being processed for payment.  For those employees paid by direct deposit, funds should appear in your account via ACH as early as Tuesday.  Employees paid with manual checks should receive those checks by overnight delivery to your home as early as Tuesday. While the Company is ceasing operations and winding down, it remains subject to the licensing laws of each state in which it operates and to the requirements of the agencies that regulate its business, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  This means that you must continue to comply with your obligations to the Company and its customers in the same manner and to the same extent as if the wind down was not occurring.  Your NMLS record will continue to reflect the Company as your employer until changed by you. If our borrowers request that their loan application be transferred another lender, you must obtain the borrower's prior written authorization to do so.
"In an effort to minimize impact to current loan applicants, the attached Transfer Authorization letter can be sent to your customers who wish to request a transfer of their W.J. Bradley Loan Application file to a new lender. The Company must have signed authorization from a borrower prior to transferring data or personal, non-public information. Please inform your customers interested in transferring a loan application to a new lender that a signed copy of the Transfer Authorization letter must be sent to CSI@wjbradley.com. Upon receipt, the customer will receive an approval response from an authorized Company party acknowledging the request for transfer. 
"Effective immediately, you must get approval from an officer of the Company to spend, purchase, create a new purchase order, enter into a contract, agree to a sub-contract, charge a credit card transaction or commit the company to any liability in any amount from today until further notice.  You must also receive approval from an officer to make any commitments from a consumer or receive any deposits from a borrower. This includes both one-time and recurring expenses, as well as travel and entertainment expenses that you would charge in through the expense reporting process.  Please note that if you have received prior budget approval for an expense, you must obtain a new approval before you incur the cost."
Many say that the regulatory confusion and burden put upon lenders will cause many to exit the business. But on a slightly different topic, there has been a bit of a stir recently about the "no action letter" that the CFPB is going to offer as a kind of 'protection' for new technology development. This protection is supposed to provide a limited assurance against enforcement action. However, it seems that the no-action letter may cause new kinds of risks. Jonathan Foxx writes about the possibly dubious benefits of the no-action letter in his article, entitled, "The CFPB Giveth and the CFPB Taketh Away." Give it a read!
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be holding two VA home loans informational sessions in March. These informational sessions will cover the topics of entitlement, eligibility, VA forms, appraisals, funding fees, underwriting, closing costs and post-closing issues, and special circumstances. Click a link to register: March 24th in Cleveland OHMarch 25th in Manchester NH.
If you are looking to develop an edge in real estate lending, American Bankers Association's April Conference in San Antonio is your ticket to getting back to the basics of lending. The three-day event will explore the most pressing issues with dual tracks in commercial and residential real estate lending. Click here to review the details of ABA's April 17th-19th Conference. 
Registration is now open for the NCBA's 2016 American Mortgage Conference, to be held April 25-27 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center in the heart of downtown Raleigh, NC.  It will bring together leading experts in the financial services industry, mortgage practitioners of every kind, policy makers and investors to discuss important issues in the mortgage field and to analyze what progress is being made in Washington. Click here for information, the tentative agenda and registration.
Everybody's favorite mortgage banking blogger, Rob Chrisman, will be joining the OMBA annual Convention May 2-4, 2016. Register for this years' convention to hear what Rob has to say about what the industry is experiencing and where we are headed. Other speakers include Speakers include MBA Chairman & Quicken Loans CEO, Bill Emerson, "Lykken on Lending" radio talk show host and mortgage banking consultant, David Lykken; and many others. 
Oklahoma Association of Realtors is gearing up for the OwnOK Real Estate Industry Conference on April 6th. The OwnOK event is brought to you through a partnership effort including numerous Oklahoma Real Estate providers. This year's speakers include former Oklahoma Congressman and new President and CEO of Feed the Children. Congressman Watts will provide an inspirational perspective from his political and professional career. Register now as this 1-day only event is limited to the first 500 registrants.
May 1st-3rd are the dates to mark for TMBA's 100th Annual Convention in San Antonio. This is the largest gathering of Texas real estate finance industry leaders and top performers. Registering before April 1st will ensure early rate and "Express Check-in" onsite. Click here for more information.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco released the Cost of Funds Index (COFI) for January 2016 as 0.664 percent, up from 0.655 percent in December 2015. The COFI is calculated using the actual monthly interest expense given by the Arizona, California and Nevada savings institutions members of the Bank. For January 2016, 11 institutions reported COFI data, which affects changes in interest rates for adjustable rate mortgages. 
We've been down at these low rates, so many times, sometimes originators want to know what is happening in the capital markets. Certainly lenders are seeing fewer refis every time we pass through these rates. JPMorgan Chase summed things up: "The stickiness of mortgage rates in the 4% range has funneled issuance into 3.5s, and they might soon be the largest single coupon outstanding ever. In addition, historically weak CMO issuance, possibly due to reduced bank sponsorship, is another headwind for the roll. We take an early read on servicer speed dispersion in the latest prepay report. Compared to a year ago period, dispersion has declined, and the overall speed levels are lower. Seasoned 4s and 4.5s offer reasonable call protection vs. TBA without the high nominal payups and longer durations of loan balance."
Not much happened in the bond markets yesterday, so I won't even waste your time. We closed the 10-year about where we closed it on Friday: 1.96%.

Jobs and Announcements

In opportunity and career news, fast growing nationwide wholesale lender Orion Lending is looking to build upon its tremendous accomplishments in the east. Orion Lending is searching for experienced Account Executives and is licensed in 35 states. At the core of Orion's business philosophy is a commitment to extraordinary service, honesty, clear communication and a hands-on organic approach.  We also offer an industry leading compensation package for our team members.   Please send your confidential inquiries and resume to careers@orionlending.com. And Curtis Edwards, EVP with Orion Lending has announced the hiring of 24 year industry veteran Craig Williamson as Divisional Vice President - East Coast. "Craig will continue Orion Lending's expansion in the Eastern United States by promulgating our best in class service, team methodology and spreading our positive growth trajectory. We are thrilled with Craig's arrival and look forward to his positive impact both internally and externally as we advance our business."
AmeriHome, the 5th largest correspondent lender nationally (and fastest growing), has two coveted sales openings to support their continued growth. The opportunities are in the North Central region (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri) and Southeastern region (primarily Florida and Georgia). These positions are responsible for new client acquisition, building long term relationships and bringing quality business to AmeriHome. Applicants require comprehensive mortgage knowledge, B2B sales experience and reside within the sales region. For more information please contact Chase Wixom and submit resume to jobs@amerihome.com.
And congrats to PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending Division on their incredible growth in 2015.  With a 34% increase from 2014!  PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending Division is stepping it up again in 2016 and looking for mortgage bankers that want to work with a professional, relationship driven and entrepreneurial warehouse lender that offers incentive rates and does not charge a non-usage fee with facility amounts up to $50 million dollars.  If you are interested in learning more about PlainsCapital Bank National Warehouse Lending Division please contact Pamela Robinson, SVP National Sales or Deric Barnett, EVP Mortgage Purchase.