Here we are at the Ides of March: only two weeks until the end of the 1st quarter! The time is flying by and time is precious. Last night I slept on the couch to cut down on my morning commute. It worked! Rates have moved higher in 2021, as certainly the pressure is on rates to move higher rather than lower given the expected end of the pandemic and the resulting economic benefits. Some MLOs are fretting, some are moving ahead with their business plan regardless of rates. In terms of salesmanship, there are some creative techniques out there. In terms of operations, STRATMOR’s current blog is, “Ops: Reducing Friction for the Borrower”. (Lest I forget, today’s audio version of the commentary, featuring an interview with Bill Shirreffs, Sr. Director of MSR Services & Sales Operations at MCT, is sponsored by MCT MSR Services. Whether you are getting your agency approvals, selling through co-issue, or actively growing your portfolio, MCT® offers a suite of tools along with an experienced team to help you with all your mortgage servicing right’s needs.)

Broker and Lender Products and Services

Computershare Loan Services (CLS), a leading mortgage servicer, is being recognized with two industry awards: Freddie Mac’s 2020 Servicer Honors and Rewards Program (SHARP)SM 

award and Fannie Mae’s 2020 Servicer Total Achievement and RewardsTM (STARTM) award. CLS wins these prestigious awards year over year, and they didn’t skip a beat in 2020. In a year like no other, they were able to maintain their excellent standards in servicing, risk management and sustainable homeownership. “We’ve been at this a long time and it’s simply part of our culture to deliver excellent service as we support hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the lifecycle of their loans. We take that responsibility seriously and are committed to help both clients and customers reach their goals,” says Jeff Johnson, COO of CLS. Learn more about how CLS drives growth and supports clients at every step of the loan lifecycle.

Join National Mortgage Professional Magazine for “How to Help Real Estate Pros in a Post-Refi World” on Thursday, March 18th at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT. Attend this webinar and learn what real estate professionals are looking for from mortgage brokers, and what it takes to get the job done, especially in the current post-refi world. Join Melissa Merriman, REALTOR® with The Melissa Merriman Team at Keller Williams and Plaza Home Mortgage's Regional Vice President, Matt Coles as they discuss what real estate professionals look for in a mortgage broker when referring them to a borrower. They will discuss how mortgage brokers can stay in front of real estate pros with new ideas, and if brokers can use renovation loans to move “hard to sell” properties. Register to attend "How to Help Real Estate Pros in a Post-Refi World” here.

Are you ready to use the new URLA/1003? Join one of Freedom Mortgage’s live URLA webinars throughout the month to learn about the enhanced form and the significant changes to the URLA 3.4 including the relevant changes to its wholesale portal. Webinars offered 3/15, 3/18, 3/22, 3/25, and 3/29. And, with rates on the move, Freedom Mortgage offers a comprehensive purchase and refinance product suite featuring competitive conventional, VA and FHA pricing. To learn more, check out our rate sheet or email Ask Freedom to have an AE contact you. 

U.S. Bank provides customized partnerships for Housing Finance Agency (HFA) lending through our dedicated HFA business. We are pleased to announce we were selected to continue to serve as the Master Servicer for Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. We are honored to partner with Indiana Housing and over 30 HFAs across the country in support of their mission to provide affordable and sustainable housing in economically stable communities. Contact Jim Coreno, SVP, HFA Lending today to discover customized partnerships for Housing Finance Agency (HFA) lending through our dedicated HFA Division and to learn more about how U.S. Bank is helping bring homeownership opportunities to local constituents.”

In Wholesale News…

“Fairway started as a broker in 1996, in fact, personally originated as a broker,” said Steve Jacobson, CEO of Fairway. “We are a mortgage banker now because we grew, nothing more or less. We appreciate the extra attention the last two weeks have provided and thankful for the extra opportunities we’ve been given. We've always believed in doing what is best for the consumer, and that will never change. For that reason, we will always support a broker's decision to work with any lender they choose, and we will continue to work every day to earn the trust and respect of all our origination partners. At the end of the day, we are all working for the borrower.” Fairway invites broker partners to learn more about its wholesale channel which includes government, conventional, and jumbo loan products as well as training programs, including classes on using the new Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA). In addition, Fairway recently raised its jumbo purchase loan and refinance loan limits and is delivering a new Lock & Build Extended Lock Program to extend rate locks with float-down options, adding flexibility for both borrowers and brokers.

Training and Events for March

Freedom Mortgage offers live URLA webinars throughout the month to learn about the enhanced form and the significant changes to the URLA 3.4: 3/15, 3/18, 3/22, 3/25, and 3/29.

Tomorrow The Mortgage Collaborative & ActiveComply offer an informational TMConnect session on social media compliance: the social media lending landscape, outline lender requirements, and review of social media Do’s & Don’ts. Hear about some industry horror stories and how you can learn from them vicariously. Sign-up and download a free Social Media Compliance Cheat Sheet!” 

Register for CoAmp’s Government Affairs Virtual Roundtable Event March 17th at 12:00pm.

It’s been quite a year for Mortgage Servicing Rights. Do you know how forbearance and investors affected the market, or what the trends suggest for the future? Join STRATMOR Principal and MSR expert Seth Sprague, CMB and CWDL Mortgage Banking Partner Dustin Pfluger for a free webinar on Thursday, March 18 as they discuss what happened with MSRs in 2020 and what lenders need to be thinking about for MSRs now and in the future. Register for the webinar today and submit your questions in advance for Seth and Dustin.

Learn How You Can Increase Purchase Conversions! Join the California MBA’s Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee (MTAM) on March 18th at 11 am (PST) for a free webinar designed to help you learn the top trends originators can leverage today to ramp up engagement and provide homebuyers a better experience while driving down costs. Explore optimizing the borrower experience and the pre-approval letter requirements in a highly competitive multi-offer environment, leveraging data to improve buying signals, and improving referral rates and leveraging data to stay top of mind with homebuyers during their journey. Hear from Joe Dahleen (moderator), SVP of Strategy & Sales at FirstClose, Torrey Larsen, EVP at Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, and David Camp, Sales/Marketing/Leadership Executive with HomeScout, Inc.

MMLA is offering March 18th webinar for anyone who wonders at the end of the day, "Where did all the time go?!” It will be a fun and engaging interactive session presented by MGIC. This practical time management presentation identifies 7 sneaky time thieves that rob us of time and prevent us from accomplishing the important things that benefit us personally and professionally.

As mortgage brokers settle into the post-refi world, the question becomes “Where will my next lead come from?” Plaza Home Mortgage® is hosting a free webinar with National Mortgage Professional magazine on March 18th that will help you answer just that.

FHA announced the availability of its pre-recorded webinar that discusses various policies in more details. FHA servicers and other interested stakeholders in FHA transactions can

click here to access this no cost, on demand webinar. The webinar link is also available on the Upcoming Single Family Housing Events and Training page on

Register for the WMBA Meeting with Realtor Panel, on Tuesday, March 16th with Glenda Krull, Managing Broker of Windermere Alderwood, Dahni Malgarini-Logar, Managing Broker of RE/MAX, Scott Bautista, Managing Broker of Compass Real Estate, and Scott Dickinson, J.D., Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Bain.

Don’t miss MGIC’s exclusive webinar, “Evaluating Self-Employed Income During COVID-19!”, offered March 18 for a review interpreting YTD financial statements, questions to consider regarding the pandemic’s impact on your borrower’s business, and share our free P&L Statement analysis tool. MGIC offers complimentary webinars every month to help customers succeed in today’s mortgage insurance industry.

Be part of creating industry standards. Learn how via the MISMO Boot Camp Course on March 22-23, 1-4:30 pm ET. This newly revamped and updated class focuses on how MISMO operates and develops standards and how to effectively leverage MISMO's core components. This course is designed for both business and technical professionals. Course features include: (1) MISMO standards, certifications, and resources and how to leverage them to meet industry challenges, (2) Key updates on MISMO Logical Data Model, Life of Loan Business Process Model and API Toolkit and (3) Tips on how to engage with the MISMO community most effectively.

The 2021 American Mortgage Conference has been rescheduled to take place on March 23rd. “It will take place in an innovative, virtual format filled with live sessions and OnDemand content that includes a panel of industry experts, peer discussion, live networking sessions with exhibitors and general session headline speakers at this year's event. Join leading experts in the financial services industry, policymakers, investors, and mortgage practitioners.”

October Research will be hosting Fannie Mae SVP and Chief Economist Douglas G. Duncan for a quarterly Economic Forecast Series March 23rd: insights on housing inventory, home price appreciation, his expectations for the mortgage market, and much more.

Here is free GSFA DPA online lender training.

Need a speaker for an event? For the entire month of March, XINNIX is offering 50% off its entire XINNIXspeaks Catalog.

Capital Markets

Inflation, both realized and expected, continues to dominate financial headlines as economic conditions improve and another round of stimulus begins to make its way to households and businesses. While currently benign, headline year over year inflation readings will jump over the spring due to the drop in baseline prices observed last year during the onset of the pandemic.  Additionally, the combination of a year of increased savings and additional government payouts could unleash consumers’ pent-up demand for high contact services and other goods which were limited due to social mitigation protocols over the last year, putting upward pressure on prices. Last week we learned that there were 6.9 million job openings in February according to the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which is near pre-pandemic levels, and jobless claims declined during the first week of March and, though still very high by historical standards, are seen as a sign that hiring is beginning to pick up. Given the potential economic rebound, 2021 could be a banner year for GDP growth with some analysts targeting a growth rate not observed since the early 1980s.

Looking specifically at Friday’s market activity, these concerns about inflation moving ahead of the Federal Reserve’s target pushed 10-year and 30-year Treasury yields to their highest levels since early 2020. Much of the concern revolved around the bailout fueling an explosion in growth that ignites price pressures as well as the Producer Price Index supporting the inflation narrative (producer prices in February rose the most since 2018). Despite those fears, Fed Chair Powell is likely to reaffirm a non-tightening policy stance at his après-FOMC meeting press conference this week.



Doorway Home Loans is looking for an experienced AVP of Compliance, based in its headquarters in Santa Ana, CA. This individual must possess a minimum of 5 years of experience in mortgage lending compliance and have a basic knowledge of mortgage laws and regulations, and will be responsible for assisting in licensing, preparing investor and broker approvals, & supporting the company’s preparation for all state and federal examinations and audits. The ideal candidate will have strong communication and relationship building skills to interface both verbally and in written form with all levels of individuals in the company, external partners, various agencies and vendors, and internal departments. This position reports to Doorway’s EVP of Compliance, a seasoned and highly experienced leader who will actively mentor this new hire, expanding the scope and responsibilities of the position over time. Doorway Home Loans is growing at an annual rate 5 times faster than the average independent mortgage bank while maintaining our caring culture. Please send your confidential questions or resume to Denisse Tavizon.

Passion for Non-QM! ACC Mortgage is Expanding. Since 1999, ACC has lived in Rockville, MD and been 100% dedicated to Non-QM. ACC is now opening satellite offices in California, Texas, and Florida. How many Non-QM lenders can claim they never stopped lending during COVID? Stability and growth have defined our 22-year history. “We are looking for passionate and experienced leaders, underwriters, account managers and AEs to build on our already successful foundation. E-mail resume to”

34-year mortgage banking executive Joe McKone crossed the bridge to mortgage brokering with Empire Home Loans, Inc. As Director of Sales. When Joe McKone was asked why he was leaving the mortgage banking world his response was: “I believe we’re at a crossroad in the mortgage industry. It is now more expensive for mortgage banks to maintain their layers of management the average cost to originate was upwards of $8,000 in late 2020 and cost in the broker space was $2,600 my lens began to change. The Broker space has been faster to integrate technology and provide the enterprise tools that LOs demand and allows the LO a competitive advantage by shopping for the best product, price and turn times. EHL, Inc has been strategic at integrating the best of Retail and Brokering to create a hybrid platform which allows our LOs to take their business to the next level. For a confidential conversation feel free to call 408-499-2831.

“March is here, marking the one-year anniversary of the date many Caliber Home Loans team members transitioned to work from home. No one could’ve predicted the scale or longevity when the COVID-19 pandemic began. As the government announced the shutdowns of schools and businesses, Caliber acted swiftly to ensure the safety of our team. We have industry-leading technology capabilities that allowed our employees to adapt quickly and seamlessly and enabled them to go above and beyond to ensure our customers received the same exceptional service. This is a testament to the resilience of our employees. While we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority remains the health and safety of our team. They are what makes us #CalberStrong. To be immediately considered for Operations or Sales positions, email Jonathan Stanley or Brian Miller, respectively.”