Let's just say it: the origination side of the mortgage banking business is starving. Same for many originators that are "riding it out" in terms of the current industry downturn. So it shouldn't be much of a surprise, really, to see that some originators aren't waiting to tout access to new higher loan limits as part of the the recently-passed economic stimulus bill. In fact, we received a press release from Refinance.com today touting that the company is already accepting applications for so-called "jumbo conforming" loans. Yes, really. Color us amused. After all, nobody's exactly sure which areas will be "high-cost" and which ones won't be; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has yet to publish a price index that will be used for just this purpose. (Rumors have it that the prices will be published this week.) For another, nobody's exactly sure what sort of guidelines Fannie and Freddie are going slap onto these newly-conforming -- and higher risk -- loans. Nor is anyone sure yet exactly how these things will price. Not that any of the above has ever stopped a loan officer from taking a loan app in the past. But something tells us there is about to be a mad rush by many originators to try to lock up a pipeline of loans around the new lending limits.