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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013






Your source for the latest on originations, settlement, and servicing

Connecticut Mortgage Association 80 Mountain Terrace Road v West Hartford, CT 06107 Phone #: (860) 922-3441 Web site: v E-mail: CMA OFFICERS & DIRECTORS Phone # Christopher Aniskovich


(860) 227-9257

Cara Britton

Vice President

(860) 606-0099, ext. 706

Kenneth Campbell


(203) 221-8242


Gilbert Ginsburg


203-679-0732, ext. 11

Melissa M. Hayes


(860) 606-0099, ext. 705

Kelly L. McGuinness


(800) 242-1032

Don Romanski


(203) 558-5550

John Sauro


(203) 329-8430

Wendy Bernard Esq.

Association Counsel

(203) 790-4529


CT 1

For more information on all CMA events, call (860) 922-3441 or visit


Social Media Networks The Connecticut Mortgage Association (CMA) is increasing its social media presence! If you want to stay connected with CMA: n Follow CMA on Twitter at @ctmortgageassoc n Like “Connecticut Mortgage Association” on Facebook n Connect with us on LinkedIn ( Follow today to make sure you don’t miss important updates from the association and the mortgage industry. For more information, call (860) 922-3441 or visit

Headlines and blogs from around the web.

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Headlines and breaking news from

OCTOBER 2013 Friday, October 11 2013 New England Women in Banking Conference The Hyatt Regency Newport 1 Goat Island Newport, R.I.

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table o N A T I O N A L

10 But What Do Mortgage Executives Really Think? By Tom LaMalfa


2 0 1 3






Policy, Procedures and Examinations Part II: Mortgage Bankers

The Applicant Has What on Social Media? By Susan McCullah .................................................................46

By Jonathan Foxx

Social Media for the Loan Officer of Today By Scott Gordon ....................................................................49

The Growing Trend of Video Marketing By Ryan Kelly .......48

The Power of Video Marketing for Mortgage Professionals By Joy Gendusa .............................................51 The Four “Cs” of Building a Better Facebook Business Page By Theresa Santoro & Anna Bryan ....................53

28 NMP’s Insider Look: Titan List & Mailing Inc.

Facebook “Likes” Turn to Profit By Jason Wroble ...............54 Seven Sure-Fire Ways to Get More Clients With LinkedIn By Jeff Krantz .................................................56 Getting Started on Facebook By Steven Xavier Muldrow .......58

FEATURES When Rates Rise, Pull the Trigger! By K. Justin Restaino .......8 The Elite Performer: Let’s Make a Change By Andy W. Harris, CRMS ..........................................................8 ValueNation: Creating Policy is Only Half the Battle

By David Rasmussen .............................................................................16

Check Your Business Alignment By Sharon Bitz .................18

34 NMP’s Mortgage Professional of the Month: Brian Simon, Chief Operating Officer of New Penn Financial By David J. Coster

60 The 25 Most Connected Mortgage Professionals

Yes Virginia, Technology Can Deter Fraud and Predict Possible Bad Acts Before They Happen! By Andrew Liput.....................................................................22 Lykken on Leadership By David Lykken ...............................24

V I S I T Company

Web Site


A Page

AllRegs.............................................................. ..........................................................46 American Financial Resources Inc. ...................... ............................Inside Back Cover Appraisal Nation, LLC ........................................ ..............................................3 Brokers Compliance Group.................................. ....................................5 Calyx Software .................................................. ................................................39 CBC National Bank ............................................ ......................................................17 Clix Inc. ............................................................ ..........................................................51 Data Facts ........................................................ ........................................................50 Document Systems, Inc./DocMagic ...................... ......................................................31 FAMP ................................................................ ..........................................................59 ...................................... ..........................................52 First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. ............................ ..............................................29 Florida Capital Bank Mortgage ............................ ..........................................................1 Global DMS........................................................ ......................................................15 GSF Mortgage Corp. ............................................ ..........................................................7 Hometown Lenders ............................................ ..........................................13 HomeBridge ...................................................... ....................................63 Maverick Funding Corp....................................... ........................................27

f contents








For Managers Only (Part II) By Dave Hershman ...................30 NAMB Sales & Marketing Tips for Today’s Mortgage Professional By Fred Arnold ............................................................32 Regulatory Compliance Review … Anti-Money Laundering Program: Mandatory Testing By Jonathan Foxx ...................................................................36 The Keys to Success: Basic Marketing Initiatives By Allen Friedman...................................................................37 UDAAP and YOU: Are You in Compliance? By Joy K. Gilpin ......................................................................40 Get Ready for Dodd-Frank … Round Two! By Laurie Spira ......................................................................44 Lenders, AMCs and Technology: What’s the Ideal Approach? By Vladimir Bien-Aime ...............62 Compliance: More Than Just a Department … a Way of Doing Business By Melissa Koupal ........................64 Bonded With NAMB: Consider the Source By Mason Grashot, CPA ..........................................................66 Growing Your Real Estate Agent Relationships, Grow Your Mortgage Business (Part I) By Jean LeBlanc ....67


USA Cares Mortgage Heroes: Al Taft By Joann Muncey .....67

NMP News Flash: July 2013 ..........................................12 New to Market................................................................14 Heard on the Street ......................................................26 NMP Resource Registry ................................................68 NMP Calendar of Events ................................................72


Web Site


Maximum Acceleration Coaching ........................ ..................................................11 Menlo Park Funding .......................................... ....................................................57 Mortgage Mapp, Inc. .......................................... ........................................41 NAPMW ............................................................ ..........................................................38 New Penn Financial, LLC .................................... ....................................................47 PB Financial Group Corp..................................... ..............................................43 Quality Mortgage Services .................................. ....................................................43 REMN (Real Estate Mortgage Network) ................ ..............................................23 Rushmore Loan Management Services LLC............ ......................................................9 Salomon James Capital Group, ULP...................... ....................................25 Secure Settlements Inc. ...................................... ..........................................53 Streetlinks LLC .................................................. ..............................Inside Front Cover TagQuest .......................................................... ........................................................33 The Bond Exchange............................................ ..........................................48 Titan List & Mailing Services, Inc. ........................ ........................................................19 United Wholesale Mortgage ................................ ................................................Back Cover Veros ................................................................ ............................................................55 WCS Lending...................................................... ................................................65

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013



JULY 2013 Volume 5 • Number 7

FROM THE 1220 Wantagh Avenue • Wantagh, NY 11793-2202 Phone: (516) 409-5555 • Fax: (516) 409-4600 Web site: STAFF Eric C. Peck Editor-in-Chief (516) 409-5555, ext. 312 Joel M. Berman Publisher - CEO (516) 409-5555, ext. 310 David J. Coster Senior Editor Robert Peter Ottone Assistant Editor (516) 409-5555, ext. 314 Joey Arendt Art Director Jon Blake Advertising Coordinator (516) 409-5555, ext. 301 Beverly Koondel National Account Executive (516) 409-5555, ext. 316

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Scott Koondel Operations Manager (516) 409-5555, ext. 324 ADVERTISING To receive any information regarding advertising rates, deadlines and requirements, please contact National Account Executive Beverly Koondel at (516) 409-5555, ext. 316 or e-mail ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS/PRESS RELEASES To submit any material, including articles and press releases, please contact Editor-in-Chief Eric C. Peck at (516) 409-5555, ext. 312 or email The deadline for submissions is the first of the month prior to the target issue. SUBSCRIPTIONS To receive subscription information, please call (516) 409-5555, ext. 301; e-mail or visit Any subscription changes may be made to the attention of “Circulation” via fax to (516) 409-4600. Statements, articles and opinions in National Mortgage Professional Magazine are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply the opinion or endorsement of NMP Media Corp., or the officers or members of National Association of Mortgage Brokers and its State Affiliates (NAMB), National Association of Professional Mortgage Women (NAPMW), National Consumer Reporting Association (NCRA) and/or other state mortgage trade associations. Participation in NAMB, NAPMW, NCRA, and/or other state mortgage trade associations events, activities and/or publications is available on a non-discriminatory basis and does not reflect the endorsement of the product and/or services by NMP Media Corp., NAMB, NAPMW, NCRA, and other state mortgage trade associations. National Mortgage Professional Magazine, NAMB, NAPMW, NCRA, and/or other state mortgage trade associations do not make any misrepresentations or warranties concerning the regulatory and/or compliance aspects of advertisers, products or services and/or the editorial content contained in NMP Media Corp. publications. National Mortgage Professional Magazine and NMP Media Corp. reserve the right to edit, reject and/or postpone the publication of any articles, information or data.

National Mortgage Professional Magazine is published monthly by NMP Media Corp. Copyright © 2013 NMP Media Corp.

publisher’s desk

Social media … Big brother? We cannot escape it … the specter of social media has worked its way into every aspect of today’s society. Want breaking news as it happens? Turn to social media. Want to experience a live event as its happening? Turn to social media. Want to connect with your industry peers? Turn to social media. Want to know what your neighbors did this weekend? Turn to social media. The story goes on and on … Social media today has become quite a dominant force in society. Newspaper articles and news reports have been supplanted by hashtag-laden Tweets and URLs to stories online as news breaks. I, for one, still enjoy walking to the end of the driveway in the morning to pick up and read through the local paper. But, am I a dying breed? What I am reading every morning might as well be ancient history as it hits print nearly 24 hours after it has hit tablets, laptops, PCs and smartphones just seconds after these events initially broke. Call me a purist, but I still enjoy picking up a newspaper and magazine and thumbing through the physical pages, while others have taken to swiping the screens of their electronic devices in the palm of their hand for their news fix. Much like the advent of the Internet in the late 1990s-early 2000s, we as individuals and as an industry, have come to accept electronic communication as an accompaniment to sitting across from and speaking with our clients. We have learned to embrace electronic media as a tool used by our consumers and ourselves on a daily basis to make our lives easier. No matter how many posts we have on Facebook, how many LinkedIn connections we make, and how many Tweets we Tweet and Re-Tweet, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are in a people-service business, one that requires us to provide a very human interaction to a very complex financial transaction. While our social media efforts enhance our lead generation, marketing, etc., in the end, we are the ones who must sit across from our clients at the closing table as we make their dreams of homeownership a reality. Amidst all of the forms of social media and online interaction we partake in, we must never ever lose sight of the fact that we do not exist solely in the cyber world. In the end, social media should never replace the purest form of interaction and conducting business, the one-on-one, face-to-face conversation. This month, we have deemed July “Social Media Month” and have dedicated this issue to focusing on the social media strategies and tactics used by today’s mortgage professionals. From the use of video marketing to starting a Facebook page for your company, the articles presented this month (beginning on page 46) cover the spectrum of social media and how it can be used to boost your business plan. Our special focus wraps this month with a closer look at the “25 Most Connected Mortgage Professionals” on page 60. These individuals were voted upon by their peers (via our own social media outlets of course!) as the most active mortgage professionals who have been successfully utilizing social media and generating leads and profit via social networks. Follow, Friend, Connect, and read the blogs and watch the videos of these 25 individuals as they continue to take advantage of this new method of reaching out into today’s marketplace.

Mortgage Professional of the Month This month, we had the opportunity to chat with Brian Simon, chief operating officer of New Penn Financial. Brian shares his views on the current mortgage environment, as well as New Penn’s various non-agency product offerings, and how New Penn has grown since its inception. As Brian states, “We have a platform that is built to survive. We are fishing in all ponds at all times.” It is with that strategy that Brian has helped grow the firm and keep it as a viable source of financing in today’s marketplace. See David J. Coster’s chat with Brian Simon beginning on page 34.

Another NMP first … This month, we introduce our newest feature, “NMP’s Inside Look,” a closer examination of the people who are making waves in the industry and who have blazed new trails in this shifting marketplace. This month on page 28, we had a chance to speak with Justin Restaino, vice president of Titan List & Mailing Inc. in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Titan specializes in helping mortgage companies reach their marketing goals. Justin details his firm’s record growth in 2012 and the many benefits that direct mail marketing can have on your bottom line.

Also this month… Noted industry analyst Tom LaMalfa does some number crunching for us this issue in his article, “But What Do Mortgage Executives Really Think?” Twice annually, Tom conducts a survey in conjunction with Capital Markets Cooperative (CMC) where he polls mortgage bankers on an array of key issues and topics relevant to the industry. His findings beginning on page 10 may surprise you. Jonathan Foxx brings us two very detailed looks into compliance beginning on page 17 where he takes a closer look at the policies, procedures and examinations faced today by mortgage bankers. This piece serves as a follow up to Jonathan’s similar piece focused on mortgage brokers and the policies, procedures and examinations they face (see page 8 of the March 2013 issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine). Then on page 36, Jonathan brings us his “Regulatory Compliance Review,” a closer look at mandatory testing of mortgage loan originators for the anti-money laundering program. According to Jonathan, his firm is the only risk management firm in the nation that conducts AML testing. All of this and much more is contained within the pages of this July 2013 issue. I would be remiss not to mention our own social media contacts. Like National Mortgage Professional Magazine on Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @NatlMortgagePro or check out our staff to the left and connect with them and our many contributors on LinkedIn. Sincerely,

Joel M. Berman, Publisher-CEO NMP Media Corp.


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals

National Association of Professional Mortgage Women

2701 West 15th Street, Suite 536 l Plano, TX 75075 Phone: (972) 758-1151 l Fax: (530) 484-2906 Web site:

P.O. Box 451718 l Garland, TX 75042 Phone: (800) 827-3034 l Fax: (469) 524-5121 Web site:

NAMB 2012-2013 Board of Directors

2013-2014 NAPMW National Board of Directors and Administration

OFFICERS Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS—President Amtrust Mortgage Funding Inc. 200 Medical Drive, Suite D l Carmel, IN 46032 (317) 575-4355 l

President Jill Kinsman (206) 344-7827

John Councilman, CMC, CRMS—Vice President AMC Mortgage Corporation 11920 Fairway Lakes Drive, Suite 2 l Fort Myers, FL 33913 (239) 267-2400 l

President-Elect Christine Pollard (607) 226-1046

Fred Arnold, CMC—Treasurer American Family Funding 28368 Constellation Road, Suite 398 l Santa Clarita, CA 91355 (661) 505-4300 l Kay A. Cleland, CMC, CRMS—Secretary KC Mortgage LLC 200 South Wilcox Street #224 l Castle Rock, CO 80104 (720) 810-4917 l Jim Pair, CMC—Immediate Past President Mortgage America Corpus Christi Inc. 22800 Bulverde Road, Apt. 1402 l San Antonio, TX 78261 (361) 774-7314 l E-mail:


JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


Rocke Andrews, CMC, CRMS—Director Lending Arizona LLC 1996 North Kolb l Tucson, AZ 85715 (520) 886-7283 l Rick Bettencourt, CRMS—Director Mortgage Network 300 Rosewood Drive l Danvers, MA 01923 (978) 777-7500 l Donald E. Fader, CRMS—Director SMC Home Finance PO Box 1376 l Kinston, NC 28503-1376 (252) 523-5800 l Andy W. Harris, CRMS—Director Vantage Mortgage Group Inc 15962 SW Boones Ferry Road, Ste. 100 l Lake Oswego, OR 97035 (503) 496-0431, ext. 302 l Olga Kucerak, CRMS—Director Crown Lending 328 West Mistletoe l San Antonio, TX 78212 (210) 828-3384 l Linda McCoy, CRMS—Director Mortgage Team 1 Inc. 6336 Piccadilly Square Drive l Mobile, AL 36609 (251) 650-0805 l Dick Morin—Director Consumers First Mortgage P.O. Box 918 l Kennebunk, ME 04043 (207) 985-2895 l Valerie Saunders—Director RE Financial Services 13033 West Lindburgh Avenue l Tampa, FL 33626 (866) 992-0785 l John Stevens, CRMS—Director Bank of England d/b/a ENG Lending 11650 South State Street, Ste. 350 l Draper UT 84020 (801) 427-7111 l

Vice President (Western Region) Anna Mackovska (323) 331-2222 Secretary Cynthia Nutter (360) 449-6408

Vice President (Central Region) Kelly Hendricks Treasurer (314) 398-6840 Jeanne Evans, CME (918) 431-0155 Vice President (Eastern Region) Parliamentarian Kimberly Rozell, CME Dawn Adams, GML, CMI (607) 229-5008 (607) 737-2584 Vice President (Northwestern Administrator Region) Ken Perry, CMI, CME Hulene Works (800) 827-3034 (360) 936-3010

National Consumer Reporting Association 701 East Irving Park Road, Suite 306 l Roselle, IL 60172 Phone: (630) 539-1525 l Fax: (630) 539-1526 Web site:

2013 Board of Directors & Staff Daphne Large President (901) 259-5105 Maureen Devine Vice President (413) 736-4511 Donald J. Unger Ex-Officio (303) 670-7993, ext. 222 Mike Brown Treasurer (800) 925-6691, ext. 4350 Nancy Fedich Director–Chair Legal Committee (908) 813-8555, ext. 3010 William Bower Director–Chair Tenant Screening Committee (800) 288-4757 Tom Conwell Director–Liaison Legislative Committee (800) 445-4922, ext. 1010

Judy Ryan Director–Chair Strategic Alliance Partnership Committee (800) 929-3400, ext. 201 Renee Erickson Director–Chair New Membership Committee (866) 932-2715 Sharon Bieszk Director (262) 542-1700 Mary Campbell Director (701) 239-9977 Terry Clemans Executive Director (630) 539-1525 Jan Gerber Office Manager/Member Services (630) 539-1525

It’s All We Do!



n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

When Rates Rise, Pull the Trigger! By K. Justin Restaino With interest rates currently in a volatile state, one direct marketing campaign continues to deliver results: Mortgage Triggers. Mortgage Triggers are generated when a consumer makes an application for mortgage refinancing or purchasing, and an inquiry is made on the consumer's credit profile. This is an alert that the consumer is actively in the process of seeking a new mortgage. With rates currently where they are, the lender pulling the credit is essentially broadcasting that, assuming they pass credit, the consumer can refinance. Mortgage Trigger data has many benefits, such as you can filter the data to match underwriting guidelines. Filters include, but are not limited to: FICO, loan-to-value (LTV), loan balances, current mortgage type, subordinate financing and many more. Having the ability to drill down to prime prospective clients will allow the company to spend advertising dollars wisely in order to generate the best application and lowest cost per closed loan. The benefit of being a Mortgage Trigger to consumers is quite simple; it gives the consumer choices. With multiple companies advertising to the consumer, they can selectively shop mortgage institutions that appeal to them and actively compare costs, rates and overall help grow the relationship the mortgage company cultivates with the potential consumer.

Mortgage Trigger leads and opportunity costs

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Contact rates are extremely important on any lead source. Trigger leads have one thing that is very different over conventional Web site inquiry leads that are often sold multiple times. When the consumer receives a mail piece and calls the advertising lender, 100 percent of the leads that call will be put in touch with a qualified mortgage loan originator to help them with their questions to turn that contact into an application and closed loan. In contrast, Internet leads are highly used and vary greatly compared to Mortgage Trigger direct mail. At the start when the consumer inquires on a Web site, the loan originator picks up the phone and dials the prospective contact. At this point, there are only two options. The client will either pick up the phone or not. The older the lead is, the exclusivity and the quality of the lead will greatly impact your ability to actually contact the client. The opportunity cost that is calculated by contacts can be greatly influenced by the number of consumers that either pick up the phone or call in directly from your marketing material. Your opportunity cost will decrease greatly with Trigger Mail Marketing as the consumers are calling you directly to inquire about the mortgage you can offer them. Internet lead contact rates will completely depend on the persistence of the mortgage loan originator to call the client until they pick up the phone, often resulting in a less convertible lead because they have been contacted by so many other lenders.

Stay competitive; continue closings By leveraging Mortgage Triggers, you can take advantage of your competitor’s broad scale efforts. While Triggers are the best approach you can take now, you must have a strong sales force to handle these leads. These consumers are calling you because they haven’t been sold on their current lender (otherwise they wouldn’t call in). A strong sales-oriented staff will take these leads and convert them to closed loans more efficiently than a more laidback approach. Stay competitive, keep selling the strengths and benefits of your company and stay closing! K. Justin Restaino is vice president of Titan List & Mailing Services Inc. For more than 13 years, he has led Titan’s Mortgage Division, helping lenders of all capacities grow their businesses utilizing targeted direct mail. With a specialized focus in refinance and purchase markets, Restaino has the insight for proper data and mail application for success. He may be reached by phone at (800) 544-8060, ext. 204 or e-mail

Sponsored Editorial


elite performer

Let’s Make a Change By Andy W. Harris, CRMS


his month, I’m doing something a little different … please visit Over the last several years, I have been heavily involved with the new regulations our industry is facing and understanding the impact of these new regulations on consumers and our business channels. During this time, I have noticed that some of the information shared or ways in which proposed rules were interpreted have been inaccurate regarding implementation. This led many to assumptions and the fear-based communication we’ve seen. Now, I believe there have been favorable regulatory changes. I also believe that the right operation and informed originator can prosper in any origination channel chosen with proposed and final rules. Until recently, I believe and I want to still believe that special interests and lobbying have been unable to influence the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) when drafting final rules. My concern is that this may no longer be the case due to the fact they’ve opted to provide unequal treatment to the way wholesale originations are regulated opposed to other channels. Let’s be clear, the three percent cap on points and fees rule under the Qualified Mortgage (QM) was to prohibit excessive or predatory loan fees … period. This was not meant to include fees in which the borrower does not pay, primarily when it can also result in negatively impacting the consumer unintentionally. My hope is that the CFPB does not yet understand fully consumer rate sheets as it pertains to YSPs (yield spread premiums) and SRPs (service release premiums) and they have just not yet had enough information to make informed decisions for final implementation.

“I am asking us all to join together with no affiliations, special interests or agendas … and simply do what we know is right and fair for equal lending and consumer choice.”

Because I hold onto this hope, I have developed an informative Web site for all mortgage loan originators who see the importance of a competitive primary mortgage market and who participate in brokering for the benefit of their clients (from mortgage brokers to bankers, credit unions, depositories, etc.). I have great confidence in wholesale lending, and I believe in making sure the truth and facts are disclosed to the general public as well as our federal regulators and legislators. These real-life samples and factual data need to be shared and added to so that a fair and level playing field is established. Please visit and share any comments. I am asking us all to join together with no affiliations, special interests or agendas … and simply do what we know is right and fair for equal lending and consumer choice. We have the ability to create all channels and disclosures equally, benefiting our employer, the consumer. Please send your company or individual name and URL in support and you will be added to the “We Support Change” section of the site. I thank you in advance. Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431 or e-mail or visit


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

But What Do Mortgage Executives Really Think? BY TOM LAMALFA or the past several years, the Capital Markets Cooperative (CMC) has been sponsoring a “What do You Think About Some Key Industry Issues and Topics” Survey I conduct twice a year, at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Annual Convention and the MBA National Secondary Market Conference. The two events are an ideal platform because they attract large groups of senior mortgage banking executives and are almost exactly six months apart. CMC sponsors the survey because its president and CEO, like the author/surveyor, is interested in what the industry, as represented by this group, thinks about the key issues and topics in their business and industry. The survey questionnaire was designed to accomplish that goal, probing on a wide array of often-controversial issues and topics. We, CMC and I, are ever curious about this group’s ideas, expectations, attitudes and factoids, and know it is a reliable source for good data. What follows is the report written and distributed after the conference. It goes to those surveyed and a few dozen other clients. The report provides some background on who, what, where, when and why, then walks through the questions and the group’s responses to the questions. It’s a once over with limited explanation or discussion. Those surveyed generally share the results internally. CMC posts the report to its Web site (, encouraging its patrons to complete the questionnaire, and then compare their answers to those of our representative group of senior executives. You may wish to do the same. For this year’s conference, I arranged 25 meetings and completed 25 surveys of senior mortgage banking executives from across the country. Of the 25 executives surveyed, 19 are with top 50 firms (by size), 12 are with firms in the top 20, nine are with firms in the top 15, and three and with firms ranked in the big five. The remaining six executives are with companies ranging from $550 million (2012 originations) to $3 billion in production. The group consists of 12 banks, nine independent firms, one each thrift and credit union and two homebuilder-owned mortgage companies. One of the firms is Internet-based and another serves several homebuilders through joint ventures. Seven of the firms originate only through the retail channel, while the balance produces in at least two channels. Five of the 25 originate in retail, correspondent and


JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


broker wholesale. The questionnaire was drafted two weeks before the conference and run past several editors for clarity and comprehensiveness. The survey is designed to capture and measure the opinions, attitudes, values and expectations of senior mortgage bankers on many of the key issues, topics and concerns being discussed throughout the industry. The independent survey is conducted twice a year, in May at the Secondary Conference and again in October at the MBA’s Annual Convention. The surveys have been conducted and distributed since October 2008, so this is the 10th in the series. The surveyed group consisted of six mortgage company presidents, seven EVPs, eight SVPs and four VPs. Excepting the presidents, all of those surveyed work either on the production or secondary marketing sides of the business. All questionnaires are completed face to face during meetings with those surveyed. About 45 minutes is reserved for each survey. The objective is to gather the responses to the questions, compile them, examine the findings, prepare a report of the results, and distribute it to those surveyed and other interested parties. Given those polled, no thought was given to even suggesting that the survey findings reflect the responses of a wider range of the U.S. population. There was nothing scientific about the survey or those sampled. It was hardly random. The findings only convey what senior mortgage banking executives think about the various issues and topics addressed in the 42-question questionnaire. Many questions contained multiple parts. Further, be it acknowledged that all but two of the surveys were conducted with individuals well-known to the surveyor. In fact, most of the survey group is polled annually. The group consists exclusively of industry veterans, professionals who are knowledgeable about housing and mortgage-related issues. Individuals in the survey group are regular contacts of mine and help keep me apprised of events, developments and issues throughout the year. Most have been doing so for several decades. Although some of the questions are time-specific and appear on these surveys only once or twice, many others are included in each and every survey. This provides a set of responses over time. An

analysis of the longitudinal findings shows changes and patterns in the thinking of senior industry managers. The author believes the data presented is interesting, and perhaps offers good insights into the business and industry for policymakers at an especially challenging time for Congress, lenders and regulators. With that introduction, let’s start from the top. Q1 wanted to know how much origination activity folks think 2013 will yield. The average expectation for total volume this year is $1.48 trillion. Individual forecasts ranged from $1.1 trillion to $1.8 trillion. Q2 wondered how long the executives felt that heavy (50 percent or more of application volume) refi volume would continue. The group average was another 10.7 months, with a range of from three to 24 months. Fifteen executives said the heavy refi volume would continue well into 2014. Since refis have been the main course on the menu for several years now, Q3 asked, what portion of this firm’s volume was purchase-money business? The group arithmetic average (unweighted by volume) was 46 percent, set in a range of eight percent to 99 percent. Of that amount, Q3 also asked what percent was government-insured or guaranteed? The

able concern. Q12 wondered about house prices, whether they would rise in 2013 and if so, by how much? Twelve of the 25 folks surveyed expect prices to increase this year and by an average of 6.6 percent. The range of house price gains spanned from three percent to 15 percent. Four of the execs surveyed expect double-digit increases. Interestingly, no one expected falling prices or even flat prices. Q13 queried whether the execs saw liquidity in the jumbo market continuing to improve, and whether they would characterize the jumbo market as “healthy,” (however they might define that term). Twenty-three of the 25 answering the question agreed the jumbo market’s liquidity was improving, but only seven of 24 executives viewed the sector as healthy.

Q14 asked about mortgage brokers, specifically whether they expected an increase in the number of broker wholesalers and in broker market share. Seventeen said they didn’t expect growth in outlets or share versus seven who did. Q15 sought to ascertain if mortgage production or mortgage servicing would be profitable in 2013. Scaled from one through 10, the averages were 7.2 for production profitability and 6.8 for profits from servicing. There were 11 responses ranked at eight or above, and only one response of five or below, a three. Q15 also inquired if their firms were ahead or behind in their 2013 goals for originations and profits. Fourteen of the executives’ firms were ahead, eight were behind and three were flat to their budgeted goals.

Q16 asked if the surveyed firms were selling or retaining their servicing. Sixteen firms are retaining servicing, seven are selling it, and two others do both. Eighteen of 23 respondents aren’t buying MSRs, so seven are. A vast majority of executives now think that non-banks have an advantage over banks in buying and selling servicing, 23 of 24. Q17 inquired about whether the financial crisis changed consumers’ attitudes toward homeownership. Yes, the executives responded by a margin of two to one, it has altered consumer attitudes. Q18 wondered if the companies entered 2013 with more committed capital than a year earlier. Yes, said 13, but another 11 said continued on page 43

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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013



group average was 36 percent, with a range of responses from five percent to 80 percent. Q4 questioned whether folks expected purchase activity to strengthen significantly this year. Yes, said 19 executives, compared to six who begged to differ. The latter saw some improvement but wouldn’t characterize it as “significant.” Q5 asked what percentage of their conventional production was over 80 percent LTV. The group average was 23 percent, but 15 of 25 respondents rated it below the group average. Meanwhile, also in Q5, the mean was 87 percent, with 15 of 24 respondents indicating that 90 percent or more of their FHA, VA and USDA originations were 95 percent LTV or greater. Q6 asked executives if the GSEs would be privatized or eliminated in the next five years. No, said 18 of the 22 respondents. Q7 wondered whether the executives thought that FHA market share would increase, decrease or stay the same in 2013. Fifteen expect a decrease in FHA share compared to nine who expect no change and one who expects an increase. Q8 inquired if the administration’s push to expand FHA’s credit box was a good idea? Not really, said 19 of 24 surveyed. Q8 also asked if the executives felt firms would go along with any such loosening. No, said 13, compared to 10 who felt the pressure to ease would force participants to go along with the guidelines (as most did in the mid-aught years) even if it wasn’t in their best interests. Q9 sought to learn if the executives’ firms had changed their servicing strategies in recent years. Twelve said they had versus nine who admitted no change in servicing strategy. Q9 also wanted to learn if Basel III was affecting their firm’s mortgage banking strategies. No, said 14 executives, compared to eight who felt Basel III proposals were likely to affect their corporate strategies. Q10 wondered if Basel III’s proposed mortgage servicing right (MSR) treatment would affect their companies over the next decade were it to be implemented as currently proposed. Scaled one through 10, the average response was a 5.8, with a very wide range of from zero to nine. Fourteen of the 24 executives surveyed ranked the impact at six or higher. Asked if they felt the regulators would loosen the proposed treatment before adopting the new capital rules, 16 indicated they would likely do so versus eight who felt a loosening was unlikely. Q11 asked if appraised values, especially in the jumbo market, were still a concern. Indeed they are, responded 16 executives, compared to six who felt appraisals were not a size-

EWSFLASH l JULY 2013 l NMP NEWSFLASH l JULY 2013 l NMP NEWSFLASH l J As Volume Slips, Mortgage Banker Profits Dip in Q1

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Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $1,772 on each loan they originated in the first quarter of 2013, down from $2,256 per loan in the fourth quarter of 2012, as production volume declined, said a recent study by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The average firm’s production volume dropped about 10 percent in the first quarter. On a per-loan basis, the combination of lower revenues and rising costs resulted in lower profits compared to the previous three quarters,” said MBA Associate VP of Industry Analysis Marina Walsh. “Nonetheless, the margins remain strong in comparison to other quarters since 2008.” Among the other key findings of MBA’s Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report are: l In basis points, the average production profit (net production income) was 86 basis points in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 107 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2012. l Average production volume was $442 million per company in the first quarter of 2013, down from $488 million per company in the fourth quarter of 2012. The average volume by count per company declined to 1,954 loans in the first quarter, from 2,132 in the fourth quarter. l The refinancing share of total originations, by dollar volume, was relatively unchanged at 60 percent in the first quarter, down from 61 percent in the fourth quarter. For the mortgage industry as whole, MBA estimates the refinancing share at 74 percent in the first quarter of 2013, down from 75 percent in the fourth quarter. l Secondary marketing income declined to 274 basis points in the first quarter, compared to 279 basis points in the fourth quarter. l Total loan production expenses,





including commissions, compensation, occupancy and equipment, and other production expenses and corporate allocations, increased to $5,779 per loan in the first quarter, from $5,603 in the fourth quarter. Personnel expenses averaged $3,785 per loan in the first quarter, up from $3,570 per loan in the fourth quarter. The “net cost to originate” was $4,182 in the first quarter, up from $3,813 per loan in the fourth quarter. The “net cost to originate” includes all production operating expenses and commissions minus all fee income, but excludes secondary marketing gains, capitalized servicing, servicing released premiums and warehouse interest spread. Productivity was 3.1 loans originated per production employee per month in the first quarter, down from 3.8 in the fourth quarter. Fulfillment productivity was 8.6 loans originated per fulfillment employee per month in the first quarter, down from 10.2 in the fourth quarter. Ninety-four percent of the firms in the study posted pre-tax net financial profits in the first quarter of 2013, which was unchanged from the fourth quarter.

NAMB Names Brokers Compliance Group Exclusive Compliance Provider

Brokers Compliance Group (BCG) has been selected as an Exclusive Compliance Provider by NAMB+ of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. BCG is a pioneer in providing comprehensive, outsourced, risk management services to independent mortgage professionals. Compliance support includes regulatory guidance, all policies and procedures, training, and an array of compliance services.

All services are customized for mortgage brokerage firms through three cost-effective plans, Ultimate, Platinum and Evergreen. Noteworthy is the Ultimate Plan, which offers a Broker Essentials package of policy manuals and compliance support. BCG is an affiliate of the Lenders Compliance Group (LCG) of companies, a national risk management firm that offers a team of compliance professionals with unrivaled experience in the mortgage banking. Founded by Jonathan Foxx, LCG president and managing director, the mission of the firm is to provide a comprehensive, outsourced, risk management solution for mortgage firms, regardless of size, complexity, or risk profile. “Independent mortgage professionals want and need resources to navigate the complex world of mortgage compliance,” said Donald J. Frommeyer, president of NAMB. “We believe that the comprehensive services available through Brokers Compliance Group and their affordable pricing model enable entrepreneurial firms to maintain the highest possible standards.” Established in 1973, NAMB is the only national trade association representing the mortgage brokerage industry. With thousands of members in all 50 states, NAMB promotes the industry through programs and services such as education, professional certification and government affairs representation. NAMB members subscribe to a code of ethics and best lending practices that foster integrity, professionalism and confidentiality when working with consumers. “We are thrilled to be the exclusive compliance provider for the NAMB. Independent mortgage professionals face a playing field that is not level,” said Alan J. Cicchetti, executive director of Brokers Compliance Group. “As the first and only risk management firm devoted fully to independent mortgage professionals, we have developed a comprehensive suite of

services that offers firms of all sizes an affordable and wide array of compliance solutions, provided by subject matter experts.”

National Settlement Monitor: Servicers Still Non-Compliant Joseph A. Smith Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, has released “Summary of Compliance: A Report From the Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement,” a summary of the five compliance reports he submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. This summary includes information about the banks’ (Bank of America, Chase, Citi, ResCap Parties and Wells Fargo) compliance with the Settlement’s servicing rules. “Over the past six months, my team and I have tested the banks’ compliance,” said Smith. “My testing through the end of last year resulted in three testing fails, and I can disclose five additional fails in 2013. These results demonstrate that the Settlement is allowing us to uncover areas in which more work needs to be done. The banks are now working to correct these errors and will be tested again to determine their level of improvement.” According to the report, findings against several of the servicers, including finding that Wells Fargo failed to comply with the Servicing Standard governing the timeline for notifying borrowers of deficiencies in applications for mortgage modifications. “These findings, combined with the complaints I have heard from attorneys general, counselors and distressed borrowers, tell me there is still work to be done,” said Smith. “While I believe distressed servicing is better this year than it was last, it is not yet where it needs to be. My team and I will continue our efforts to improve it.” Last year, 48 states, the U.S. Department of Justice and the five

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REMN Wholesale Launches Scorecard to Monitor Broker Performance

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R E M N Wholesale has launched a new self-improvement tool to help mortgage brokers monitor their performance and measure it against their competitors. The new REMN Broker Scorecard repurposes REMN Wholesale’s internal tracking software to generate reports that give brokers an in-depth view of their work and suggest areas in which they can improve their personal production. REMN Wholesale’s Broker Scorecard is another example of the company’s dedication to quality and customer service in all facets of the mortgage industry. “The development of the Broker Scorecard was a natural evolution of REMN Wholesale’s dedication to quality both inside and outside the company’s walls,” said Joe Amoroso, national director of sales for REMN. “Very often brokers are asking our account executives how they’re performing. Instead of supplying them with anecdotal information, the REMN Wholesale Broker Scorecard gives our partners concise, easy to read reports that show how they’re performing both overall and compared to anonymous competitors in the same region.” All comparative data in the Broker Scorecard is kept anonymous and gathered from the internal tracking systems REMN Wholesale already has in place to evaluate their own account executives’ performance. In addition to showing the status of loans submitted and a broker’s pipeline, the Broker Scorecard shows brokers the their product breakdown, loanto-value ratios, purchases vs. refinances, the quality of the loans being submitting, as well as other data important to brokers looking to succeed in today’s challenging mortgage climate.

Credit Plus Expands Its e-Signature Offerings Credit Plus Inc. is now offering an electronic signature service and accepting e-signatures for Requests for Transcripts of Tax Returns, 4506-T Forms. “At Credit Plus we’re all about streamlining the mortgage process. By offering a service

for lenders to obtain electronic signatures, it allows them to more efficiently close loans and prevent mortgage fraud,” said Mike Hall, vice president of Credit Plus. A loan officer uploads a hand-signed or digitally signed authorization or requests that the borrower receives an e-mail with a link to electronically sign and authorize access to his or her IRS tax transcript. The mortgage professional tracks the order’s status online and receives an email when the order is complete or if additional information is necessary to process the request. Credit Plus’ Tax Return Verification reports help mitigate mortgage fraud by verifying a borrower’s income with the Internal Revenue Service. It provides its reports typically within 24 to 48 hours. Mortgage professionals order reports through Credit Plus’ online technology or most LOS interfaces. Batch processing is also available.

EMALLC Launches New Smartphone App for Mortgage Professionals

Easy Mortgage Apps LLC (EMALLC) has developed a smartphone app known as MAMA (Mobile Administrative and Marketing Assistant) which allows lenders, mortgage brokers, and banks to greatly enhance the overall customer experience by engaging their consumers, real estate agents and relevant entities with real-time loan information and updates. MAMA was created to improve efficiency and productivity, reduce latency, and increase time to revenue. EMALLC works with companies that understand we are in the midst of a behavioral shift. For the first time, more people are accessing the Web via their mobile device than pc and 80 percent of mobile usage is spent in an app. There are approximately 160,000,000 smart phones users in the United States alone and 56 percent have used an app with local content. “We speak to clients daily who understand the need to implement a mobile strategy,” said EMALLC Co-founder Michael Kelleher. “Our market research indicated most companies are experienc-

ing paralysis by analysis and there is a significant disconnect regarding the actionable steps required for a lending organization to develop a functional app to complement their current business strategy. For a monthly service fee companies can offer their app to clients in as little as 15 business days. This app represents the future of the lending environment and serves as the EZ Pass of the mortgage industry. Easy Mortgage Apps LLC is the only viable and cost effective solution to stay ahead of the competition.”

Bay Equity Announces Expansion of Its Product Offerings

Bay Equity has announced the launch of the “Bay Direct” program, which gives borrowers additional loan options and flexibility on loans that meet Fannie Mae criteria but aren’t eligible according to other standard conforming and high balance guidelines. Under the Bay Direct program, Bay Equity offers financed mortgage insurance, investment properties up to 85 percent loan-to-value, condo projects with litigation, geodesic homes, approved leaseholds, and delayed financing options. “Bay Direct offers the broadest guidelines possible,” said Bay Equity Director of Corporate Operations Julie Taylor. “With the introduction of this product we are continuing to leverage our direct agency approvals.” Bay Equity is a direct seller with full agency approval by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. Other Bay Equity agency-direct products include DU Refi Plus, Open Access and LP.

ServiceLink Launches Several New Programs ServiceLink has announced the availability of its MERS Reconciliation and Resolution program. Offered through LoanCare, ServiceLink’s servicing division, the program monitors and manages MERS data

in order to ensure accuracy on behalf of its lender and servicer clients, ensuring that this information remains compliant with the latest industry standards by: l Reviewing daily activity based reports for exceptions, confirming Mortgage Identification Number (MIN) status updates and taking corrective action when necessary; l Managing all monthly portfolio analyses and reconciliation, comparing data and MIN status provided in MERS to the data and loan status in the system of record to identify variances and resolve any discrepancies; l Providing a three-way review on newly registered loans, reviewing registration data, loan documentation and the data in the system of record to ensure data integrity across all platforms; and l Conducting root-cause analyses to help prevent future discrepancies and providing audit support, including documentation preparation, execution and recordation. “Many providers tout reconciliation solutions, however the services they provide don’t fully meet the definition of ‘reconciliation,’” said Virginia Earley, director of client solutions with ServiceLink’s LoanCare servicing division. “While these offerings are great at comparing datasets and providing convenient lists of discrepancies, lenders and servicers still have to research and correct all of the resulting discrepancies in order to be in, and remain in, compliance with MERS regulations.”

QuestSoft Launches New Compliance Control Software QuestSoft, a provider of automated mortgage compliance software, has announced a new all-in-one product, Compliance RELIEF, that assists banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders in processing the majority of their compliance requirements in one convenient system that’s integrated with all popular Loan Origination Systems (LOS). Compliance RELIEF combines QuestSoft’s best-selling HMDA RELIEF software (for submissions of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act), CRA RELIEF (for the Community Reinvestment Act) and other supported regulations including NMLS

Call Reporting. Together, these products have been used in more than 10,000 audits over the past 17 years. “Compliance RELIEF has been designed to provide a wealth of compliance information with stunning graphics that allow each user to focus on specific regulations with data sharing from each module,” said QuestSoft President Leonard Ryan. “No company has put together tools to manage both the federal and state regulations in such a cohesive manner.” Compliance RELIEF features a single interface that accesses the subscribed modules. This approach lessens the training burden and establishes uniform data integrity standards. It also allows the program to easily accommodate future compliance regulations at the federal and state level. The enhanced report graphics and integrated mapping make it extremely easy for compliance professionals to explain the successes and concerns of compliance operations to management. “Many companies use multiple software vendors to solve different problems within the compliance workflow,” said Carey Aimone, vice president of training and support at QuestSoft. “Compliance RELIEF combines all of the required business intelligence to establish an auditstrong system of record.”

“Our new 21-day loan closing program will put our brokers in a position of competitive advantage in today’s hyper-competitive mortgage market,” said Ray Brousseau, executive vice president of Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC’s Mortgage Lending Division. “This program will allow mortgage brokers to provide loans to more borrowers, more quickly than any competitive program we’re aware of – another example of our commitment to the wholesale channel.”

Stonegate Announces New Jumbo Loan Product Stonegate Mortgage Corporation has announced that it is launching its nonagency (jumbo) loan prod-

uct through its own network of retail offices as well as through its more than 700 approved third party originators in more than 32 states across the country. Stonegate’s non-agency jumbo loans will be 15-and 30-year fixed rate residential loans between $417,001 and up to $2,000,000. With this new offering, homeowners will have the ability to purchase or refinance single family and two-unit owner occupied properties, one unit second homes, planned unit developments and rural properties of 10 acres or less. “Stonegate is committed to providing a superior customer experience with an unparalleled level of service to all of our partners whether that is direct to homeowners through our own retail branches or through approved third-party originators,”

said Eric Scholtz, executive vice president of structured finance for Stonegate. “It is clear that there is growing demand for jumbo fixed rate loans and that Stonegate has an opportunity, as a highly-focused, non-bank provider of capital and liquidity, to provide the right kind of housing finance products to this segment of the market.” Stonegate recently announced that it has raised $115 million in a private offering of its common stock. FBR Capital Markets & Co acted as the sole initial purchaser and placement agent. In the transaction, Stonegate Mortgage sold a total of 6.4 million shares of its common stock for an offering price of $18 per share. The total net proceeds to Stonegate Mortgage continued on page 18

Carrington’s Wholesale Division Offering 21-Day Closings


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The Wholesale Lending Division of Carrington Mortgage Services LLC has announced it is expanding its successful 30-day Purchase Promise Program to include a 21-day loan closing program for borrowers looking to purchase properties. The program, designed to significantly reduce closing times compared to industry averages, applies to FHA and conventional purchase loans. The new 21-day program also offers expanded guidelines for eligibility, including wider qualifications and fewer restrictions. The 21-day program requires a complete credit file, including the appraisal, made possible through Carrington’s exclusive “Compliance Only Registration” process. For loans that do not meet the 21 day program guidelines, Carrington’s 30day Purchase Promise Program will remain in effect. Carrington commits to process any qualifying loan from the time that a complete file is submitted to underwriting to the time that it funds within 21 or 30 calendar days, depending on eligibility, or the company will apply a $995 closing credit to the loan at the time of closing. Expanded guidelines for loans eligible for both programs include: an FHA FICO restriction of 600 or greater (reduced from the previous restriction of 640); additional eligibility for conventional loans with a FICO of 620 or greater (reduced from 700); an LTV less than or equal to 95 percent (previously 80 percent) with a FICO of 680 (reduced from 700); and conventional loans now allowing for NOO and second home purchases.

nmp newsflash

Creating Policy is Only Half the Battle By David Rasmussen

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It’s starting to happen: The audits, compliance reviews and vendor assessments. From top to bottom, the industry is seeing regulators and investors make good on the promise of investigating lender compliance with the advisories published over the last five years. It’s a day lenders knew would be coming, so there shouldn’t be much of a surprise here, but that doesn't mean lenders are fully prepared. The Dodd-Frank Act introduced a number of regulations, which were quickly followed by an update to the Interagency Appraisal & Evaluation Guidelines, and since then, requirements have continued to flow from various stakeholders. Many of the directives have required lenders to implement policies and procedures around various activities. As lenders navigated the course from 2009 to present, they have spent countless hours examining and documenting the safest and most prudent protocols for their business. Are there policies and procedures for valuation ordering? What about oversight and management of vendors? These are just two of a myriad of questions lenders need to have documented. Whether they are bound in fancy notebooks or saved in secure company intranets, there is one important message that all lenders need to hear before their audit takes place: Documenting policy alone is not enough. It’s well and good to have thorough documentation of a business operations plan, but it’s just the first step. What is equally if not more important is an audit trail of how protocols are being carried out. Be advised that regulators will not only be asking whether policies exist, they will be asking for validation that policies are being executed in day-to-day operations. This is where the issue of preparedness truly comes into question. Lenders who are leveraging the appropriate technology and automated tools have some of the greatest advantages when it comes to this issue of preparedness as their technology is most likely documenting daily execution effortlessly behind the scenes. As the natural implementation point for many policies, the utilization of technology can provide validation to examiners that policies and procedures are in motion and working effectively. A valuation management platform should have the established rules for valuation ordering incorporated into the workflow, developing audit trails as each order flows through the system. Additionally, strong software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms allow lenders to automatically generate data such as vendor turnaround times, product quality, etc. These data points become tangible pieces of evidence on a vendor’s service(s) making vendor management a more objective, measurable and compliant process. To assist with compliance documentation, systems should also be able to provide scheduled reports that automatically deploy to users at set intervals, evidencing key information and metrics for management review. Two parting thoughts as you consider the role of valuation technology in your compliance documentation strategy. First, make sure the technology is flexible enough to allow you to modify as internal or external forces require shifts. Regulations will change and technology needs to be able to stay in step with adjustments to policies and procedures. Second, if you have not already approached your technology provider(s) to have a candid discussion on how the systems you are utilizing can be leveraged to evidence compliance, do so before you are caught unprepared. David Rasmussen is senior vice president of operations at Veros Real Estate Solutions. For more information, call (714) 415-6300 or visit


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largest mortgage servicers negotiated the Settlement. The Agreement includes $25 billion for 49 states and mandated forms of consumer relief, such as mortgage modifications for at-risk homeowners, which could include lowerinterest rates, forbearance agreements, and principal reductions. “Specifically, I have heard regularly in the last year about issues with the loan modification process, single points of contact and billing and statement inaccuracies. The Settlement anticipated that there may be a need for additional tests, and, as such, allows me to create more. Accordingly, I am negotiating more stringent testing with the banks now to better address these issues. The Settlement also includes 304 Servicing Standards that participating servicers are required to adhere to, and which are intended to smooth the process for homeowners to seek loan modifications.

Guardian Mortgage Raising Funds for Tornado-Stricken Oklahomans Guardian Mortgage Company of Plano, Texas and its employees are seeking help in raising relief funds for those affected by the tornados that recently devastated the Oklahoma town of Moore. Guardian Mortgage employees already took the initiative to help their Oklahoma neighbors and are now reaching out to their mortgage customers, mortgage associations and lending partners in an effort to raise additional funds to help further support those who were affected by the devastation of the tornado. During an internal effort held on May 24, Guardian and its employees, through employee donations and a company matching program, raised over $1,500 during a 20minute drive period to support the cause. To further help those in need, Guardian Mortgage invites its customers and lending partners to participate in this effort by texting the phrase REDCROSS to 90999. Each text will send a $10 donation to the Red Cross in an effort to better support those hit by this tragic event.

Q1 Commercial/ Multifamily Mortgage Debt Drops Nearly $5 Billion The level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding decreased by $4.9 billion, or 0.2 percent, in the first quarter of 2013, the first quarterly decrease since the

third quarter of 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The $2.41 trillion in outstanding commercial/multifamily mortgage debt was $4.9 billion lower than the fourth quarter 2012 figure. Multifamily mortgage debt outstanding rose to $842 billion, an increase of $4.1 billion, or 0.5 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2012. “After five quarterly increases, the amount of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding fell slightly in the first quarter,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of Commercial Real Estate Research. “Banks and thrifts, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA increased their commercial and multifamily holdings, but the balance of loans in commercial mortgage-backed securities resumed its decline.” The analysis summarizes the holdings of loans or, if the loans are securitized, the form of the security. For example, many life insurance companies invest both in whole loans for which they hold the mortgage note (and which appear in this data under Life Insurance Companies) and in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other asset backed securities (ABS) for which the security issuers and trustees hold the note (and which appear here under CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues). Commercial banks continue to hold the largest share of commercial/multifamily mortgages, $839 billion, or 35 percent of the total. CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues are the second largest holders of commercial/multifamily mortgages, holding $562 billion, or 23 percent of the total. Agency/GSE portfolios and MBS hold $383 billion, or 16 percent of the total, and life insurance companies hold $322 billion, or 13 percent of the total. Many life insurance companies, banks and the GSEs purchase and hold CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues. These loans appear in the “CMBS, CDO and other ABS” category. Looking solely at multifamily mortgages, agency and GSE portfolios and MBS hold the largest share, with $383 billion, or 45 percent of the total multifamily debt outstanding. They are followed by banks and thrifts with $237 billion, or 28 percent of the total. CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues hold $69 billion, or eight percent of the total; state and local governments hold $63 billion, or eight percent of the total; life insurance companies hold $51 billion, or six percent of the total; and nonfarm noncorporate business holds $15 billion, or two percent of the total. In the first quarter of 2013, CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues saw the largest decrease in dollar terms in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt—a decrease of $4.8 billion, or 0.9 percent. Private pension funds decreased their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgages by $3.2 billion, or 17 percent. Agency and GSE portfolios and MBS saw continued on page 18

Policy, Procedures and Examinations PART II: MORTGAGE BANKERS By Jonathan Foxx he most common question my colleagues and I are asked by prospective clients is whether we provide the “full set” of policies and procedures for all of the mortgage acts and practices. Of course we do! But policies and procedures are only one aspect of the many risk management services my firm offers. Nevertheless, policy statements seem to be “first and foremost” when it comes to a client’s compliance needs. Yet we do not often get questions such as the following:


Impressing the regulators All policy statements are not equal—not by a long shot! If a parsimonious lender scrapes a policy off a Web site, or picks one up from a “manual mill,” or uses a

one-size-fits-all policy, it is not unusual for the Regulator to quickly notice these documents as typically representative of an utter lack of concern for compliance. This is like what gamblers call a “tell,” which is a player’s behavior or demeanor in a game like poker, that gives a clue to the opposing player about the first player’s assessment of the poker hand being held. A ripped off policy statement, a policy from a manual mill, and a one-sizefits-all policy are a “tell,” letting the Examiner know that the company is not serious about compliance. Once Regulators get that impression, their deep dive into evaluating the policies’ implementation can be a pretty daunting exercise to endure. continued on page 22


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These are but a few of the many questions that a lender should be resolving. In my view, we ought to get away from the thinking that considers policies and procedures to be a panacea for the effects of improper management, regulatory deficiencies, and trending defects. Policies are a continually changing, dynamic means to an end, but not the end itself. And they are only as good as the accuracy of their content and the efficacy of their implementation. Just one employee who does not know, or contravenes, the requirements of a policy statement becomes the weakest link in an otherwise strong chain of compliance enforcement. When it comes to acting in compliance with, and according to, a policy and procedure, the financial institution is only and always as strong as its weakest link! Most mortgage bankers want to be proactive, not reactive, though, often, that is not always achievable, especially when new policies, guidelines, rules, procedures, and actionable implementations seem to arise all the time. This reminds me of Say’s Law in economics, which, when referring to aggregate expenditure in an economy, states that spending rises to the level of income. In the case of policy statements, it seems that policies and procedures rise to the level of demands for them by the spate of regulations requiring them. If this seems like a circular kind of way to get things done, it is! Still, we must make our way through the thicket of policy statements, hopefully coming one day to a clearing where, if even for a brief moment, there is some equilibrium between the policies needed and the regulatory demand for them. Some proactive lenders make it their business to always be ready for a regulatory examination; others drag out the process interminably, waiting to receive an examination letter before they get ready—which, by the way, is usually too late. And, yes, in mortgage compliance, it is certainly possible to be too late to do anything about a violation of law.

Compliance leaves traces; it is impossible to obliterate its trail. I have said many times, preparation is protection! Indeed, I have written extensively on this theme.1 The U.S. Coast Guard has a famous Latin motto: “Semper Paratus,” which means “Always Ready.” Let’s use an admonishment, also in Latin! I offer this cautionary advice to mortgage bankers: always stay vigilant; always make sure your policy statements meet regulatory scrutiny; and, to now use my own Latin phrase, never be put in the position of being Ex Abrupto, which means “Without Preparation.”

l How can we effectuate policies and procedures? l What policies are the most important for us to adopt? l Although we have policy statements, how often should we update them? l Who would be in charge of maintaining and enforcing policies? l How do we build policy statements into a Compliance Management System (CMS)? l Which policy statements are important to our warehouse lenders? l Which policy statements are important to investors and Regulators? l Which policy statements are important to our servicing affiliate and subservicers? l How can we prove that our policies are being adequately implemented? l What are the key components of policies and procedures? l What vendor offers the most professionally safe policy statements? l How do we go about building our own policies and procedures? l How often should we train our employees on our policies? l Is there a self-assessment checklist that we can put into our policy statements? l What is the best way to document our implementation of procedures? l Is there a core set of policies that we absolutely must have at all times? l Which policies require testing and auditing, either internally or externally? l How do we stay up to date on regulatory changes that affect our policies? l What method is preferred to review, adopt, and update policy statements? l Do we have a sufficient budget for maintaining policies and procedures?

l What resources should we use to draft comprehensive policy statements? l What is the best method to retire a policy that is no longer a regulatory requisite? l Where should we go for guidance in those areas that are not yet fully regulated?

Check Your Business Alignment By Sharon Bitz I’m sure you, just like me, have had the experience where the wheels on our car have become unaligned. You can feel it as you drive. Your car will begin to pull to one side or the other. You find yourself having to constantly adjust your steering to avoid running off the road, or across the center-line of the road. Quite a bit more energy is expended just staying where you need to be. As you might imagine, this is not good for your car, and it is not safe. If you let it go without getting it fixed, you risk it getting worse and create an even bigger safety hazard. Alignment in business is similar. If we are not properly aligned with our company, our team, our clients and our vendors, we are likely to experience a “pull” away from our goals, and may even put the survival of our business at unnecessary risk. In challenging business conditions, much like challenging driving conditions, improper alignment can lead to disaster, or at the very least, energy leakage, while proper alignment can create a smooth path to your desired destination. Here is a format for a quick business alignment check-up:

1. Make sure that you are clear on your personal goals and values You cannot hope to align with others unless you know what is most important to you. Do you seek a particular lifestyle, wealth, the ability to balance work with other life priorities? Do you prefer certain types of clients or referral partners? Do you prefer a certain style of communication or personality type?

2. Review the mission, vision and values of your company and your team Are they aligned with your personal goals and values? Does your company or team effectively reflect what’s most important to you? Do you reflect what is most important to your company?

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3. Communicate what is important to you with every client and vendor Proper alignment takes effort and the more upfront you are about what you desire, the more likely others will respect you and your passion. Misalignment takes effort as well, but it is effort that is unproductive and wasted.

4. Respond quickly to any signs of misalignment It’s your business and your life, don’t let it get off track and take you somewhere other than you want to go. We are all headed somewhere. Are you on the proper path?

5. How do you feel? This is not just a head check, but a body-check as well.

6. Encourage others to align their business Being surrounded by a community of folks who are all committed to the importance of proper alignment creates an environment of mutual accountability and positive energy. You simply cannot be “all things to all people.” The process of business alignment is essential to ensuring that you are working alongside the “right” people for you. These are the people that make you better. They motivate, inspire and encourage you to deliver the very best service possible and achieve the results that you seek. There are serious challenges ahead that not all will be prepared for in our industry. Make sure you are prepared to meet them by performing a comprehensive alignment check. Sharon Bitz is the national head of wholesale lending for WCS Lending, one of the largest privately-held mortgage banks in the U.S. that has been recognized as an Inc. 5000 honoree for the fourth consecutive year. WCS, which is licensed in 49 states, has offices in Florida, New York, California, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio and Hawaii and generates $2 billionplus in loans annually. She may be reached by phone at (916) 996-1620.

NMLS #4260


nmp newsflash

continued from page 16

the largest increase at $3.7 billion, or one percent. In percentage terms, the household sector saw the largest decrease in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgages, a decrease of 29 percent. Other insurance companies saw their holdings increase 3.6 percent. The $4.1 billion increase in multifamily mortgage debt outstanding between the fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013 represents a 0.5 percent increase. In dollar terms, agency and GSE portfolios and MBS saw the largest increase in their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt, an increase of $3.7 billion, or one percent. Commercial banks increased their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt by $2.7 billion, or 1.2 percent. State and local government increased by $577 million, or 0.9 percent. CMBS, CDO, and other ABS issues saw the biggest decline in their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt, by $3.5 billion, or 4.8 percent. In percentage terms, REITs recorded the largest increase in holdings of multifamily mortgages, at 16 percent. State and local government retirement funds saw the biggest decrease, at 10 percent.

HUD Reaches REO Resolution With Wells Fargo The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has announced that Wells Fargo Bank, the National Fair Housing Alliance, 13 private fair housing organizations and HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene have reached an agreement through which Wells Fargo will invest in efforts designed to help improve housing in minority neighborhoods that have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. As part of the agreement, Wells Fargo has committed to invest a total of $39 million in 45 communities across the country through var-

new to market

ious programs to support homeownership, neighborhood stabilization, property rehabilitation and housing development. Wells Fargo also has committed to ongoing enhancements in its best practices regarding the maintenance and marketing of real estate-owned (REO) properties after foreclosure. This includes use of a revised Real Estate Broker Procedure Manual and property inspection checklist, and an enhanced training program for real estate brokers and agents who list REO properties. Further, Wells Fargo staffers who are responsible for managing REO will also take the training. Wells Fargo will extend the amount of time that individual REO properties will be exclusively available for purchase by an owner-occupant or a non-profit organization to increase the chance that the house will be acquired by an owner-occupant. “HUD, NFHA and Wells Fargo are committed to revitalizing and creating homeownership opportunities in minority communities devastated by foreclosures,” said Greene, HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Wells Fargo’s investment demonstrates an ongoing commitment to stabilizing African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods in a way that advances equal housing opportunities and HUD is committed to working collaboratively with Wells Fargo to support the effort.”

Your turn National Mortgage Professional Magazine invites you to submit any information on regulatory changes, legislative updates, human interest stories or any other newsworthy items pertaining to the mortgage industry to the attention of: NMP News Flash column Phone #: (516) 409-5555 E-mail: Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.

continued from page 15

were approximately $106.8 million. “Non-agency fixed rate loans are a really underserved market. Our experience has been that traditional banks are more focused on their ARM offerings since they are a better fit with their balance sheets from an asset and liability standpoint,” said Scholtz. “We are hearing from borrowers that they want fixed rate alternatives to lock-in the historically low mortgage rates. As we focus on this market, we see a broader opportunity to help rebuild a high-quality, non-agency market which will continue to grow as the GSE’s footprint shrinks.”

Your turn National Mortgage Professional Magazine invites you to submit any information promoting new “niche” loan programs, new products or any other announcement related to the introduction of a new program, to the attention of: New to Market column Phone #: (516) 409-5555 E-mail: Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.



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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013




The President’s Corner: July 2013


JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


hat is going on in the mortgage world of today? I am totally confused as to what the point is with all of these rules that are continually changing. It seems that everything you are reading in all of the publications is about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is making good changes in the mortgage business that will make it easier for all consumers to understand the mortgage process and make it so there is no taking advantage of consumer by the mortgage brokers. NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals and many other groups are working together to make changes and it is becoming a vicious circle of who is right and who is wrong. America was founded on the principle of the entrepreneurial system, and keeping the consumer in mind, that principle makes being self-employed and the county’s network of small businesses the strength of this great nation. So, why are all of the changes the CFPB is making to the mortgage business reflected at these small businesses and hurting the consumer? One of the things happening is that these changes are coming from people who have never taken a loan application, never processed a loan and never closed a loan. The have never dealt with the consumer on collecting documents, putting information together to help the underwriter understand what they have and have never had to explain the entire mortgage process to a customer so they understand it. Why do they surround themselves with so-called “consumer groups” that are there for the benefit of the consumer without regard for reality? You can tweak this situation

all you want, you can limit the compensation levels for the mortgage brokers only, and try to get everything into a small box—the Qualified Mortgage (QM)—and tell everyone that you are doing it for the consumer, but in reality, you are just putting restrictions on one group of originators. The CFPB, along with all of the representatives and senators, need to start all over. They need to revamp the whole system and make a mortgage loan the same mortgage loan for all phases of the mortgage operation. They need to have apples be apples, not some apples, some oranges and some plums. Why? Because the consumer is the one being hurt in the end whether they are buying a home for $60,000 or for $600,000. There is no easy way to say it, but the best recourse is to start over. Of course I know the Dodd-Frank Act was an attempt to do this, but even the legislators who were putting this together could not understand what they were doing because they don’t fully know the business. Mortgage lending is complicated. There are brokers, bankers, correspondents, wholesale lenders, retail lenders, large federal banks, small and medium community banks and credit unions. And then there are finance companies and private lenders as well. And everyone is operating with a different set of rules and regulations. As a consumer, they have to be so confused when they go to one of these intuitions that even with all of these rules and regulations, they cannot really tell if they got a good deal or not. Case in point … I had a customer come to me to get a quote. I am a mortgage broker and have been one for 24 years. My average loan amount is $119,000. We do FHA, VA, USDA and con-

ventional lending. He wanted a loan for $299,000 to refinance his home. He said that he wanted to get a quote to compare what he had already gotten from another lender. I put a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) together along with a Fee Worksheet and a Truth-in-Lending (TIL). We went over several options that he could look at and we talked about if the house would appraise to eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI). He felt that he would be at 78 percent loan-tovalue (LTV). So I gave him our loan at four percent with about $2,400 in closing costs and escrows. All of the closing costs were third-party fees and no points or discount points for the rate. It included an appraisal, credit report, title insurance and escrows. He liked the payment, but he said that the other company told him they had no closing costs and their rate was 4.25 percent. Our payment was $43 less than theirs, but he said they had no closing costs and the numbers on their forms showed no closing costs. I explained to him that our loan was also giving him back almost $2,600 cover his closing costs from the lender. He said that the person told him to go out and get another quote, but that he need to understand the “tactics” that brokers would undertake to get his business. When I explained to him that, in reality, our loan was a better deal for him, he said that the other originator told him, “That is what we [the mortgage broker] would say.” I also told him that his payment was $43 more (equating to $15,480 more over the life of the loan) and again, he said that this is what we would tell him, but he was still getting a better deal because they had no closing costs. I told him that the other company was making a lot of money on his loan. We discussed this all for almost 45 minutes, and I finally told him that he needs to talk with his wife so that she understood the difference and asked him to call me so I could answer any additional questions. He said that he would. After a few days, I called him and he said that they decided to go with the other company because they had no closing costs! However, he was upset because he had to increase the loan amount to cover the setup of his escrow account which he wasn’t told until closing. He said he wished that they had taken a little more time to think about it, but he appreciated my time. Ladies and gentlemen … this goes on every day. Mortgage brokers disclose everything to the customer every time we do a loan. We disclose what we are making and how we are making it.

Why? Because we have an agreement with every lender that the company can only make so much. This amount is anywhere from 1.5 percent to three percent. The “other” companies do not have this. They do not have to disclose this fee to the customer, and in some instances, they can make six or seven points on every loan. We also disclose all of the fees on the loan and how much the lender is helping them with money for their closing costs. But you really do not have any lender credit from those other companies. Come on … now is the time to make this right. These are the changes that need to happen. Everyone should be on a level playing field. And by the way, it was not a broker that was giving this information to with my customer … it was a bank! Is this what we have come down to? Restrict the lending from a company that services the consumer, watches over their loan to make sure that it goes through easily, and does not charge the consumer an arm and a leg to close the loan. I am all for making loans easier. I have never done a statedincome loan (except for an FHA Streamline), so I have, for the most part, always made sure that the customer has the ability to repay. Streamlines are good for the consumer. They get to take advantage of good rates, it is a customer that has been making their payments were on time and was not increasing their loan amount to close the loan. But someone in Washington, D.C. needs to wake up and see the real problem with mortgage lending. It is time that you begin to ask the questions and understand the business. We have numerous people who can come and talk to you. I am available anytime you want to call me. Call me at my office at (317) 575-4355 or e-mail me at I return all of my calls and e-mails. And to all of you originators out there … I know that this has happened to you. The best way to make sure you are part of the solution is to join your association. We are working hard every day to put this in front of those who make the decisions, and I am asking that you join us at NAMB and become part of a committee. When you sign up, let us know that you want to help and we will get you involved. We have six months to make this happen and you are the key. Sincerely,

Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS, President NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Yes Virginia, Technology Can Deter Fraud and Predict Possible Bad Acts Before They Happen! By Andrew Liput

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


Using data mining and intelligence for predictive behavior analysis can stop potential losses from mortgage fraud. Today, technology, analytics and processes exist to deter bad acts and uncover the bad actors BEFORE they commit a crime that can cost you and your customers tens of thousands of dollars in actual fraud losses. Although you've probably heard many times that predictive analytics (like those employed by Google and other high tech marketing firms) will optimize your marketing campaigns, it's hard to envision, in more concrete terms, what it will do with risk management. How can you get a handle on the functional value of data mining, analysis and reporting as a tool for originating and selling higher-quality loans less likely to default, or even worse, less likely to be a loan file rife with mortgage fraud? The answer lies in knowing what to look for. Predictive analytics rely upon certain key factors, the central building block being the predictors, which are values ascribed to the type of behavior you wish to predict. In the case of settlement agent fraud, the predictors can include: Years of experience; existence of a license and insurance; business and professional history (i.e. litigation and regulatory discipline); liens and judgments. These and other factors can give a comprehensive picture of the potential for a professional to cut corners, make mistakes, engage in self-dealing, and be open to participating in conspiracies to commit fraud in return for financial rewards. There are several companies in the mortgage space selling tools implying predictive behavior analytics; however, not all of them engage in the complex analytical analysis and reporting that provides true value for deterring and detecting fraud. This may be why a decade after so much loan origination fraud tool technology entered the marketplace, fraud is increasing, not decreasing. It is not enough to simply gather such data and spit it out for general consumption. The real value to the data mining that results in collecting predictors is the risk analysis that takes place, some of which may be accomplished through automation, but still requires human evaluation. The trick is to find the best predictive model. At Secure Settlements Inc. (SSI), we built a system that uses fraud statistics from the past decade to build a predictive model specialized for the mortgage industry. The process learns from the data’s collective values. It also involves not just automation, but trained vetting specialists who review key data points to discount false positives, provide more insight into derogatory public data, and thereby provide more reliable risk ratings for the agents. At the same time, it offers a fair and reasonable process for the agents themselves, who may appeal negative findings and work with SSI staff to clear misleading data that emanates from sometimes unreliable public data sources. The most immediate value to subscribing to a risk analytics tool for your business is the deterrent factor. Before SSI launched, it conducted two years of beta testing with large and small lenders nationwide. During that time, we found a 23 percent high risk knock-out rate among approved and active agents on lender lists. Since SSI began vetting, the high risk rate is two percent. Quite frankly, when bad actors know they are being subjected to a comprehensive data mining and intelligence process, they stay away, far away … and that is good news for the mortgage industry.

policy, procedures & examinations Examiners are past the point where they’re seriously willing to accept as viable a standardized policy from a manual mill or existing policies that have not been updated recently to reflect regulatory changes. Some Examiners actually keep a list of the one-size-fits-all policies from manual mills, and they are keenly aware of the stratagem of using an offthe-shelf policy to satisfy a regulatory mandate, obviously in anticipation of a banking examination.

A word of caution This is the second part of a two-part series. It concerns policies and procedures for mortgage bankers. The first article in this series dealt with the policy and procedure needs of mortgage brokers.2 I am going to provide an expanded chart of certain core policies and procedures that a mortgage banker should obtain and continually update, as regulations change. I will also provide some useful policy implementation guidance relating to preparing for a state banking examination.3 Before getting started, though, I feel constrained to offer the same cautionary note that I offered in Part I of this series, using yet another well-known Latin phrase, “Caveat Emptor!” or “Let the Buyer Beware!” I would be remiss if I did not emphasize that obtaining a boilerplate document, with or without your company’s name on it, is funda-

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mentally regressive, and it is a tactic that Examiners are now regularly criticizing in adverse findings. Indeed, in some cases, template-driven policy and procedures may cause Examiners to escalate their regulatory review. Drafting and implementing a policy statement that conforms to the way an institution does business is a critical responsibility of management, where the purchase price of a policy and procedure should not be an operative consideration. This is not an area to take a pecuniary short cut to compliance, especially when an insufficient policy statement may cause adverse examination findings. Put it this way: if you are not allocating sufficient funds toward reliable policies and procedures, then maybe you should consider some other line of work, because an inept policy infers an inept management, one with economically deplorable priorities—for the cost in penalties, administrative actions, and challenges to licensure, may far exceed your company’s ability to survive.

Policies and procedures: Mortgage bankers The table below4 provides a comparative overview of certain policies and procedures needed by mortgage bankers versus mortgage brokers and table-funding mortgage brokers.5 continued on page 44

Andrew Liput is president and CEO of Secure Settlements Inc., a company he founded after nearly 10 years studying the problem of escrow and closing fraud and the uninsured risks associated with mortgage closing professionals. He may be reached by e-mail at

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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

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Be the First: Leadership and Social Media By David Lykken


JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


o be an effective leader, you must certainly demonstrate the highest level of integrity and strength of character. You must inspire your people to be courageous and assured in their work. You must instill a sense of purpose in them. All of these things are important qualities of a great leader who wishes to motivate his or her people toward greater achievement. However, being a great leaders also means doing something that isn’t often associated with the term “leadership” … embracing new technologies. On a fundamental level, being a leader in any context means being first. Leadership means showing up when everyone else is shying away. It means being the one who goes out on a limb and takes the first step. It is following the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there

is no path and leave a trail.” Social media is not new. Many industries have embraced it as a means of connection with customers and building brands. However, a few industries have still not taken the leap onto the social Web. The mortgage banking industry, sadly, is one of those few industries which has fallen behind. As a leader in the industry, it is your responsibility to step up and lead your people into this new way of doing business. It is your responsibility to pave the way. It is your responsibility to be the first. Be the first to blog The term “blog” has been met with much confusion over the years. Many have misconstrued the term as being something akin to a journal or diary published on the Web. Blogging has nothing to do with the content and everything to do with the technology. A blog is simply a Web site (or a page on your site) that consists of an ongoing stream of content. Yes, it can be an

individual’s diary, but it can also be an informative Web site about politics, sports or even mortgage banking. The key to blogging for the mortgage banking industry is being “informative.” It means answering questions. You know the “FAQ” page that you’ve had on your Web site since the Internet was invented? That can and should be turned into your blog. Take those questions and make them the titles of your blog posts. Take those answers and put them into the body of your blog posts. Once you get 20-30 of them published, you will start to see a huge surge in search engine traffic to your site. Why is this so? First, because you are answering prospects’ questions that they are asking in search engines, and second, because there aren’t many people in the mortgage business blogging right now, so you don’t have much competition. Be the first to blog. The rewards you’ll reap will blow you away. Be the first to start a podcast A “podcast” is another one of those terms that are met with trepidation. I don’t call it a podcast. Instead, I call it a radio show. Essentially, podcasting is simply creating a stream of audio files that people can listen to online. I have experienced tremendous success with my Lykken on Lending show on Blog Talk Radio. Again, there are people looking for content on the Web about the housing market, but there aren’t a many folks in the mortgage industry creating that content. You have the unique opportunity, then, to be the first to put mortgage banking content into your prospects’ ears. Like blogging, the important thing about podcasting is providing useful information. It isn’t a sales pitch. It’s a conversation around the issues. If

you can, bring on guests from the mortgage or housing industries to discuss issues that homeowners care about. You don’t have to stick to mortgages, but discuss issues on the fringes as well. Talk about property values, renovations, real estate, saving for college, retirement, and so on. I can tell you firsthand that this works wonderfully. You can become the goto business in the industry for prospects asking questions about mortgages. You can be the first. Be the first to Tweet Twitter has been around since 2006, and despite early skepticism that it would not catch on as a social network, the Web site has grown to the number two social network with more than 500 million users posting 300 million-plus tweets each day with one billion-plus daily search queries being conducted. Nevertheless, professionals in the mortgage banking industry continue to scoff at Twitter because they “don’t get it.” Compared to Facebook, though, Twitter skews toward a wealthier user-base. Typically, that means “homeowners.” If you are one of those mortgage professionals that “doesn’t get Twitter,” the payoff will be tremendous if you are willing to be the first to learn. Twitter is about two things: Conversation and information. Just as you will find with any social network, and just because you join Twitter and set up an account, that doesn’t mean that you are “on Twitter.” If you want to get any use out of the network, you’re going to have to play by its rules. First, that means starting conversations with people. It means reading what they tweet and thoughtfully replying. That’s how you build your

initial following. Start conversations with the right people and you’ll be off to a good start. Next, you will want to be sure that you are sharing valuable content. By valuable, I mean links to informative or insightful articles. That’s how to cross the tipping point from a few followers to a few thousand followers. Most people use Twitter as a newsfeed to get information. Make sure you are sharing information worthy of their following—not just promotional jargon about your company.

Being a leader in today’s marketplace is all about being first. It’s about exploring the fringes and uncovering new paradigms. Social media provides a unique opportunity for leaders in the mortgage banking industry to raise the bar and set new standards. The Web has revolutionized the way businesses engage with prospects and convert them into customers. The mortgage banking industry is ripe for being a significant part of this revolution. Will you be the first to take the initiative of bringing the industry into the 21st Century? Your prospects are waiting. Your people

are waiting. The world is waiting. Make your move. David Lykken is president of mortgage strategies and managing partner with Mortgage Banking Solutions. He has more than 35 years of industry experience and has garnered a national reputation, and has become a frequent guest on FOX Business News with Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney, Liz Claman and Dave Asman with additional guest appearances on the CBS Evening News, Bloomberg TV and radio. He may be reached by phone at (512) 977-9900, ext. 10, or e-mail or


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Be the first to embrace inbound marketing Inbound marketing is a concept that has really taken off in a number of industries within the past few years. Also known as “content marketing,” the concept involves creating content that compels prospects to come to you instead of you going to them without their solicitation. Inbound marketing weaves social

the first to reap the rewards.

Be the first to build a Facebook community Chances are, I don’t really need to go into what Facebook is. You are probably using it yourself for your own personal networking. Facebook for business, though, is a whole other animal. Like Twitter, just setting up a page isn’t going to cut it. Unlike Twitter, though, you cannot just start talking to people. Facebook is more private than Twitter, so you cannot just initiate conversations uninvited. Instead, you have to get people to start conversations with you. You have to build a community. You can drive traffic to and get “Likes” on your Facebook page in a few ways. First, you can do targeted advertising to find people in your area who will be shown ads of your page. Secondly, you can advertise that you are on Facebook on your own marketing materials with a callto-action such as “Like Us on Facebook.” Put the slogan on your door, on your counter, on your bulletin board, in your newsletter, on your brochures, in your commercials, and anywhere else you can think of. When you actually get people to Facebook, though, you’ve got to keep them there. If you don’t get them to interact with you, your posts will stop showing up in their feeds. Therefore, the content you post most incite a response of either “Like,” “Comment” or “Share.” You can post funny photos (memes) related to mortgages or housing with calls-toaction such as “‘Like’ if you agree!” You can post fill-in-the-blank questions to get people to comment such as, “If I could make one addition to my home, it would be ________.” Share anything that will get people talking to you. If you do, you’ll be constantly on your prospects’ radar— making you the first to tap into the power of Facebook to change your industry.

media, blogging, podcasting, and all other forms of Web content together to drive traffic to landing pages— pages on your site where prospects can submit forms requesting information about your services. Periodically place links on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. with calls-to-action prompting people to visit these pages. When they are there, offer something of value to them like a free eBook about home design trends to incentivize them to join your e-mail list. Once you get their information, you can follow up and nurture the prospect into the sales funnel. That’s inbound marketing. Be the first in the industry to embrace it and you’ll be

heard street ON THE

Our Heard on the Street column is a chronicle of events, changes and passages in the lives of the people and companies shaping the mortgage industry.

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


DocMagic Approved for Fifth Third’s Correspondent eServices and IRS 4506-T Provider by Equifax

DocMagic’s customers can place their orders for IRS 4506-T with Equifax and use DocMagic’s eSign technology to sign them electronically.”

DocMagic Inc. has announced that it has been approved by Fifth Third Mortgage Company, a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, as an eDelivery and eSignature vendor for correspondent lenders who sell their production to the bank. “We’re delighted by this approval and expect this to open up potential relationships between our existing clients and Fifth Third’s correspondent division,” said Tim Anderson, director of eServices for DocMagic. “This will also create opportunities for existing Fifth Third correspondents to take advantage of DocMagic’s free eSign technology and our industry-leading compliance services.” According to the bank, Fifth Third will now permit electronic delivery and electronic signature of eligible initial disclosure documents from approved correspondent sellers, as published in Section 1.08 Electronic Transaction in its Correspondent Seller Processing Guide, that utilize DocMagic as an eServices vendor. As set forth in its Correspondent Seller Processing Guide, the Bank must approve the use of any eServices vendors in advance. DocMagic Inc. has also announced that Equifax has approved the company as an eSign provider for electronic IRS 4506-T requests from its clients. Equifax, an Income Verification Express Services (IVES) participant, provides this service to its clients nationwide and began accepting orders electronically signed with DocMagic eSign in January. “The IRS has very strict requirements for accepting these orders electronically,” said Melanie Feliciano, chief legal officer for DocMagic. “Our eSign product meets these requirements and the team at Equifax has reviewed our product and confirmed that. Now, all

Equity Loans Expands Into the Wholesale Market

Equity Loans LLC announced it has expanded into the wholesale market and to support its growth, has appointed Kingsley Kodan as senior vice president of sales. Equity Loans has entered the wholesale market to build its servicing portfolio and further enhance the lender’s diverse product offering. With wholesale licensing in more than 25 states, entry into the wholesale market enables the lender to leverage alternate channels and build a stronger foundation for future operations. Additionally, Equity Loans will establish a dedicated wholesale team to eliminate internal bandwidth issues and maintain its commitment to providing excellent customer service and quick closing times. “Since no situation is the same, Equity Loans is committed to expanding into other channels to enable our branch managers to offer borrowers an abundance of flexible options, as well as open up new market opportunities for the future,” said Kunjan “KP” Patel, CEO of Equity Loans. “Kingsley is instrumental in supporting our wholesale operations and we are confident his knowledge and expertise will be an excellent addition to Equity Loans.” Kodan will support the lender’s growth as its new senior vice president of Sales. During his 18 years in the mortgage industry, Kodan has proven success in driving multi-million dollar revenue growth and significantly improving sales team performance. Prior to joining Equity Loans, Kodan

was the director of branch development for National Fidelity Mortgage (NFM) Inc. Kodan also previously held business development and sales positions with Franklin American Mortgage Company, First Residential Mortgage Services Corp. and Carteret Mortgage Corp.

loans,” said FGMC CEO Andrew Peters. “These programs require experts in the field and FGMC is proud of the extensive and growing resources we have available in that regard.”

Former Flagstar CEO Mark Hammond Joins USFS as Co-Chairman

First Guaranty Adds Third-Party Origination Group

First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (FGMC) has added a division in its Third-Party Originator (TPO) group which will focus on USDA Rural Housing Program loans, as well as manufactured housing loans under the FHA, VA and conventional loan programs. The TPO group already includes the wholesale, correspondent and bulk lending divisions. FGMC is a national, full-service mortgage lending firm offering retail, correspondent and wholesale mortgage solutions to clients of varying income and credit types. FGMC is a GNMA and FNMA direct issuer and has long been known for its work in FHA and VA manufactured housing loans. The lender will now offer manufactured housing loans for FNMA as well as the full suite of USDA products in this new division. In addition to opening a new division, FGMC has also opened a fulfillment center Boca Raton, Fla. The region has long been recognized as the operational hotbed for USDA operations and expertise. FGMC has added a number of employees with USDA experience as underwriters and senior processors in the new center. “Boca Raton is home to the best and brightest of those specializing in USDA

United Shore Financial Services (USFS) has announced that Mark Hammond will be joining the company as co-chairman. Hammond will work closely with Jeff Ishbia, current chairman and founder of USFS, in leading the 27-yearold company. USFS operates three brands: United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the fourth largest wholesale mortgage lender in the country; Shore Mortgage; and Capital Mortgage Funding. Hammond is best known for being a member of the founding management team at Flagstar Bank, where he served in multiple roles including chief executive officer, president and vice chairman. At Flagstar, he was instrumental in growing the company from being a de novo bank to a major financial institution with a highly influential national presence, more than $16.8 billion in assets, and a well-respected brand name within the mortgage industry. He has also served on the advisory board for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Real Estate One. Currently, Hammond is a managing partner of Alidade Capital, a Michigan-based private equity firm. “Mark brings many years of mortgage banking experience to USFS and a proven track record of successfully growing organizations and increasing revenue,” said Jeff Ishbia, chairman and founder of USFS. “He will unequivocally play a pivotal role in taking USFS

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NMP’s Inside Look T I T A N




I N C .

The One-Stop-Shop for Customizable Mortgage Marketing and Data Solutions An Interview with Justin Restaino Vice President of Titan List & Mailing Inc.

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


ustin Restaino is vice president of Titan List & Mailing Inc. based in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Titan specializes in helping mortgage companies reach their target market through the utilization of database and content to drive business growth and grow market share. Titan is also setting a new standard for securing client’s data as it pursues its SSAE 16 Type 1 SOC Type 2 certification. This certification will fully outline the details and document its security practices regarding protection of customer information while ensuring industry regulatory compliance. National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently sat down with Justin to get an update on Titan.


Can you give our readers some background on how Titan List & Mailing was founded? Titan List & Mailing was founded in 1998, primarily as a list broker, servicing many of the nation’s largest mortgage, security, water conditioning, home improvement and home service companies. At that time, we were the main supplier of telemarketing and direct mail data, while also offering consultation to our clients relative to targeting the ideal customer. In 2000, we saw the opportunities that the mortgage market presented and began to focus more on it since we were one of the few firms that developed extensive targeted databases specifically for mortgage lenders and brokers. What is the breadth of Titian’s product offerings? Titan is a “one-stop-shop” for customiz-

able direct mail and data solutions. We offer complete fullcolor, variableprint which allows us to personalize every mail piece with variable data so it communicates directly to the consumer with relevant information. Everything from trifold letters, snap packs and postcard pieces are printed in-house. In addition, we are a national list broker, with extensive access to county, pre-screened and consumer reported demographic data. What is Titan’s current client focus? While we do offer and continue to serve our home service industries, our primary focus is on our mortgage clients, from emerging to well-established mortgage companies. We have significant experience working with our mortgage companies through the various lending cycles from the refi boom of the early 2000s, to the subsequent market crash and market rebound are currently experiencing. What type of growth is Titan Lists & Mailing experiencing? The year 2012 was a record year for Titan. We recently moved into a new, larger facility and have expanded our equipment. We have also further diversified our product offering and

are adding new sales team members. Titan is projecting significant growth in 2013 as mail volume on any given week has increased 70 percent, compared to the same week in 2012. In 2013, we are continuing to expand our equipment line so that we can further leverage our growth, while adding print and mail staff to keep up with the increased workload and maintain our best-in-class service levels. Due to these improvements, we are able to offer same-day turnaround on almost all of our programs. Very impressive growth. Is there anything in particular you can attribute to your increased growth? Many factors are driving Titan’s growth. First, we continue to offer consistent direct mail results to customers, so they can continue to expand their business. In addition our brand reputation and commitment to integrity has driven a 30 percent increase in referral-based business since 2011. We strive to go above and beyond to serve our customers outside of what a normal company in our position would do, which, in turn, resonates within our networks. We have also increased our SEO and advertising efforts, lowered prices due to our increased buying power and offer databases that many of our competitors cannot obtain.

Can you give some additional detail on the SSAE 16 Type 1 SOC Type 2 certification? We are in the process of obtaining our SSAE 16 Type 1 SOC Type 2 certification. This certification will outline the details and will document our security practices relating to our customers’ information. Most importantly, it will demonstrate how we protect prescreened data. Titan is one of the few companies within our niche that will have this certification. Since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has passed a ruling that requires lenders to properly vet their vendors, this certification gives our customers the assurance that we abide by compliant and secure practices. Clients cannot only be confident that Titan protects their information, but also that we can be held accountable. Companies without this certification cannot offer the same assurance. How does a mortgage lender implement your service? It’s very simple to implement our services. Since we handle all aspects of direct marketing in-house, it starts with a phone call. Our experienced sales staff has a short conversation to learn the previous and current efforts of marketing, take into account the specialty of the given lender, and offer suggestions on the proper campaigns to target. After the on-boarding process to receive prescreened data is complete, we build a database set by the lender’s underwriting guidelines, apply the creative mail piece and move it into production. We are always on the cutting-edge when it comes to marketing approaches and work with our clients to modify their approaches as the market evolves.

We’re more than just our niches.


Brokers work with borrowers of all credit types. First Guaranty offers mortgage products of all types, too. We have the mortgage that best fits your customer, and we support it with superior underwriting, an easy-to-use origination platform and an experienced team focused on working with brokers and independent L.O.s. Your borrowers deserve the best. We can help.

(888) 295-7899

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Your most qualified borrowers deserve a standout lender.

for managers only Managing for the Future Coaching … Is It Call Reluctance? Part II: Fixing the Issues By Dave Hershman


JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


ast month in Part One of this series, we discussed the importance of identifying call reluctance within your team and the fact that every salesperson has some form of call reluctance that can hurt their income—or even worse, cause failure in sales and business. Don’t think some of your team members are immune just because they are experienced in sales. Experience causes prejudices as they experience failures, and reluctance can actually get worse as careers progress. For example, if they had a bad experience with a relative? Then don’t call on family! Now, we must address the all-important question: What can you do about call reluctance?

Step one is admission They cannot correct something unless they admit there is something wrong. As in the famous training program at Alcohol Anonymous, the first step is to admit that they are an alcoholic. Without this admission, you cannot go any further. This is where coaching comes in— to get at the root of the problem and

come to a consensus as to what needs to be improved.

Step two is to change the mindset of sales We are beset by prejudices as we get older. Even if they are a salesperson they may be influenced by the “classic” picture of a used car salesman twisting someone’s arm. But what is sales? It is really helping fill someone’s needs. It is not pushing them to do something they don’t want to do. It is all about helping. You need to remove the “classic” picture from their mind.

Step three is to change the way they think about what they sell In the real estate industry today, there may be a dark clouds overhead … for example, challenges in getting qualified with tighter lending standards. However, that cannot stop them from being 110 percent behind the concept of homeownership. If they are not positively charged, then you will have trouble selling.

Step four is to change their view What you need to do is open their eyes

wider and see the bigger picture. They may be looking for a deal/paycheck today, but what about the people they can help who may not pan out for months or even years? Are they willing to help them too? The more people they help, the more referrals they will get and the less they will have to ask. Again, as a leader, you need to get your team to look at the bigger picture.

Step five is to change the way they think about the call Going back to the “classic” definition, many of us see a call as a way to ask for business. We see the call as intrusive and perhaps even badgering. However, as they open your eyes wider, they will see many other objectives to the call which are not as intrusive. How about an introduction to a financial planner or other potential referral source? Their contacts will not say no to that. And if they are interested in purchasing, they will let you know that as well. They just keep the door open during the conversation. There will be a second benefit to this “introduction” objective. The next call will be a warm call instead of a cold call. And warm calls are much easier to make than cold calls.

Step six is to change what they do Pure logic here … you want to change their results, you have to first change their actions. That means, among other things, you need to help them … l Get rid of enablers. The ones who enable them not to call. Perhaps they give them administrative tasks or empathize with them. l Get rid of lower priority tasks. There is no more important objective than increasing business. Make a list of things they do which are not related and can be eliminated or at least diminished. l Help them delegate where they can. Assistant or no assistant, there are always some who should be doing the

tasks they are now doing. l Measure the results. If their goal was to make a particular amount of calls per day, how many did they make? If they did not meet your goals, what do they need to adjust their time management to make that happen?

Step seven is to set goals Make sure these goals are specific and reasonable. Try to have them reach their goals one at a time, taking just one step at a time. If their goal is to make 100 calls this month—then that is simply four to five calls per day. Make sure they prioritize as well as some calls are more important than others. Don’t make the easy ones first—make the important ones first.

Step eight is to buddy up Make sure they find a buddy who will help them keep going towards their goals on a day-to-day basis. If you have more than one salesperson who has call reluctance, this may be a perfect buddy partnership. One call a day to a buddy can make all the difference (and vice-versa). And make it fun. Make sure they reward themselves when either of the buddies does something well!

Step nine is to add more value to the lives of their targets The more value they add, the more emboldened they will be to ask. It is easy when you invoke the law of reciprocity. Many of us are bashful because we don’t feel deserving. The more value we deliver, the bolder we will become. How can you help them either add value-added tools or develop them as part of their marketing plan? Dave Hershman is a top author in the mortgage industry with seven books published, including The Complete Mortgage Management Kit. Dave is also director of branch support for McLean Mortgage. He may be reached by e-mail at or visit


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

NAMB Sales Marketing Tips for Today’s Mortgage Professional

JUNE 2013 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n


Do You Have a Winning Game Plan? The difference between being good and being a champion lies in your game plan By Fred Arnold, CMC took my son to a championship high school baseball game a few weeks ago, as the coach, Matt, was a friend of mine. Actually, he was the son of a real estate agent I have worked with for years, and consequently, I helped Matt and Patti buy their homes. I have also had the honor of watching his career blossom as a high school baseball coach. From making mediocre teams good, to turning good teams into championship teams, I couldn’t help but be impressed with his leadership as a teacher of young men. Matt has spent his career refusing to be idle, preferring instead to constantly strive towards greatness with the boys he coaches. In an effort to do so, he has had to change his lineup, change his game plan, and roll with challenges that have arisen, such as in injured players, yet he never seemed comfortable merely surviving as a coach. He has always been determined to succeed. The parallel to the career of a mortgage professional was immediately clear to me. With massive changes to the industry in late June, there is no bet-


ter time to discuss the fact that no matter how good we feel we are doing; we are not immune from an unexpected curveball. In this case, I’m talking about the interest rate rising. It’s obvious that the need to change up our game plan to focus on purchase transactions as refinance business slows down is vital to our continuing success. No curveball should keep you from striving to improve, even in a rate-changing environment. To illustrate, consider yourself the coach of your team. As the leader of your team, are you reaching out to your real estate partners, reviewing your strategic partnerships and looking for ways to help them improve their business? I have found that seasoned mortgage professionals tend to communicate regularly and very effectively to help clients buy and refinance their homes to reach their financial goals. Consider reaching out to your real estate agent partners and offer to help them with co-marketing or co-branding efforts using your database to generate more business. Or, show them how to effectively market to their databases to drive their referrals. That is, help them to become better at reaching out to others. This will elevate you from being a good loan officer to being a great strategic partner.

On the other hand, if you are the coach of a team who relies heavily on refinances, you are going to have to change your lineup significantly. It is time to re-tool your efforts to capture more purchase business. Even if you’re a mortgage professional who rarely works with real estate agents, you are likely going to find that this needs to change. In short, you need a new game plan. That does not mean that you have to immediately bombard every real estate office in a 50-mile radius with your fliers. Instead, start by going deep with your existing clients, CPA partners and financial advisor partners. At least 20 percent of them know someone who is looking to buy a home. When you’ve gotten leads and prequalified them, select five real estate agents in your markets and contact them. Offer to send your purchasing clients their way, as long as they agree not to actively send them to another mortgage professional for their loan. There is nothing wrong with saying something to the effect of: “If I send you these buyers, will you be loyal to me, and not refer them to someone else unless they ask for additional referrals?” Most real estate agents will be happy to honor that request. Naturally, it will be up to you to pro-

vide spectacular service, thereby ensuring that they will refer you others as well. Determining whether you want to merely survive or succeed, no matter what the market brings will mandate that you take some time to re-tool your game plan. If you’re doing great, look to help your real estate agent partners and become a true champion in their eyes. If you’re not doing as well as you could be, switch up some of your efforts, try out a new strategy and practice, practice, practice. The only way any of us become winners is through nurturing our talents, and a sheer dedication to strengthening our skills. Fred Arnold, CMC is past president of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals, current Treasurer of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, and a mortgage professional at American Family Funding, a division of American Pacific Mortgage. Fred hosts the radio show SCV Chamber and Business Spotlight on AM 1220 KHTS, as well as the televised program “Out of the Rough” on, channel 20. He may be reached by phone at (661) 284-1150, ext. 109 or e-mail


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mortgageprofessional N M P




Brian Simon Chief Operating Officer

New Penn Financial BY DAVID J. COSTER Fishing Where the Fish Are and Swallowing Whales


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rian Simon, chief operating officer of New Penn Financial, is still a young man. Yet, he has risen to the top of the industry quickly by choosing his employers carefully and running businesses that are very intentional about serving viable markets. We recently had the chance to sit down with Brian, National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s Mortgage Professional of the Month for July 2013, and discuss what he sees impacting the marketplace both now and in the future. How did you become chief operating officer at New Penn Financial? The CEO of New Penn and I have been professional friends for a long time. He tried to hire me many years ago at one of his previous companies. I’ve known him for a long time, and have a lot of respect for him. Just as important, New Penn is really a very interesting company. Not only are we dynamic in growing like so many others in this environment, but we also have some very unique things going on. We have our own portfolio, nonagency products and the ability to issue our own non-agency securities. We have a lot of interesting people on our board and a very strong growth plan that fits in with the things I wanted to do with my career. What does the future hold for thirdparty lending? Third-party lending has been on the ropes and off the ropes quite a bit over the past five or six years. There are many really sharp individuals who are brokers and small correspondents. I do think that if the Qualified Mortgage (QM) and some of the regulatory changes that have been proposed actually take shape in their present form, they will be a significant impact on the broker—on the wholesale segment. You will see a large migration to become what we would call mini-correspondent. We are on the cusp of launching our mini-correspondent program at new Penn. If the QM rule moves forward as proposed, it’s going

“At some point, you can only HARP, re-HARP and streamline people so many times. A great deal of business will begin to evaporate if the market continues to sell off the way that it has been.”

to be very challenging for a lot of brokers to make a good living. Tell us about New Penn’s non-agency products. The primary non-agency product that we are offering today is a non-agency, prime quality, type of jumbo loan. We are really the only true independent mortgage banker that is also an originator—that has its own shelf and is issuing their own securities. The other guys

who have done that are all publiclytraded financial institutions. At New Penn, we are in a pretty unique spot, and it makes us a bit special. It’s very attractive to salespeople also, because that’s a big product, especially if you are in markets like California or places where the jumbo product comprises such a large percentage of the market. The ability for us to have our own product like that is a big deal. It’s very important for us, and a significant market advantage as well, to

have the ability to offer non-agency loan programs. So, we start with the jumbo product and we’ll see how it all evolves. What are you most proud of in your career? Every place where I have worked, I feel like I have left in a much better place than when I first started in terms of helping grow volume, in terms of helping grow profitability, and in terms of institutionalizing the company’s processes and proce-

dures. I’ve made many strategic decisions in my career about what is best for me, but I have never had to do that at the expense of one of my employers. I have always been able to add a great deal of value everywhere I have been. I will say one of the very unique things that I did, which remains a highlight in my career, was while I was at Freedom Mortgage. We were a mid-sized, regional lender and were able to acquire Irwin Mortgage, which, at the time, was one of the largest lenders in the country in terms of volume. They originated something like $30 billion in the year previous to us acquiring them and we were originating something like $2 billion a year. It was like swallowing a whale. Have you had any particular mentor who has assisted and guided you along in your career? I have learned really great things, if not many things, from everyone I’ve worked for. As much as I wanted to move or change jobs to make more money or advance my position, I also always try very hard to find myself in a position where I’m working for a person, or a group of people, who I can learn something from or who has had great success in the past. At New Penn, a firm where I’ve known and respected the CEO for a very long time, I made a conscious decision to take this opportunity, to be able to learn from him and grow.

nominated coming in december 2013

How would you characterize your management style? I like to lead from the front, and I’m very engaged with what people are doing. I’ve spent a lot of my time out in the field, in regional offices, participating in meetings with the leaders of the various channels. It’s important to have a good solid foundation and understanding of the roles of everyone else in the company. I want to find smart people, empower them and help them grow their careers. Would you recommend the mortgage business to a young person today? If you were a smart and aggressive young man or woman, and you’re out of college any time in the last five to seven years, do you want to go in the financial services industry? That said, most mortgage companies probably made more money last year than they ever made in the entire existence. There is a disconnect there. I think the industry, as a whole, has not done a very good job sort of recruiting young blood into the business. The mortgage industry has always been sort of like a red-headed stepchild to other financial services companies or industries. I think that we need to do a better job, in general, of showing people just how good this particular industry can be. Any final thoughts? As an independent originator, New Penn has to play out the hand we are given. We try to pay close attention to what’s going on in Washington, D.C. and try to set our corporate strategy to give us every advantage. We have a multichannel approach, but New Penn can quickly react to changes in the marketplace and can move resources around on the board. As I like to say, “Fish where the fish are.” David J. Coster is senior editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (919) 559-2171 or email


We are seeking nominations from our readers for National Mortgage Professional Magazine's "40 Under 40" feature, slated to appear in our December 2013 edition. Anyone who is under the age of 40 and has had a major impact on the industry can qualify for this feature. This could be through innovation, association participation, sales force automation, community activism, management techniques, technology or any other significant method that has influenced our industry. We would need a short, three-line bio on the nominee, along with a color photo and company contact info to complete the profile. To nominate yourself or someone else, visit

NMP Media Corp. 1220 Wantagh Avenue Wantagh, New York 11793-2202 p 516.409.5555 f 516.409.4600 e w

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

What will distinguish one mortgage company from another in the future? What is going to make some companies better than others is the platform … that’s what is most important. We have

What do you enjoy away from work? I just got married about five weeks ago, so that’s been keeping me pretty busy. I’m an avid traveler. I love to play tennis and just sort of enjoy my time, lay in the sun in the summer and try not to think too much about mortgages when I can help it.


are you

What issues keep you up at night regarding the mortgage industry? The concern about rates is particularly strong. Everyone has been thinking for a long time, “Wow, how much lower can they go,” and “When does this end.” At some point, you can only HARP, re-HARP and streamline people so many times. A great deal of business will begin to evaporate if the market continues to sell off the way that it has been. But, I wouldn’t say it’s an overwhelming concern because rates fluctuate. That’s the business we are in, and anyone who has been around this business long enough knows that this business operates in cycles. Hopefully, we’ll have some opportunity for growing into new markets, potentially making some acquisitions and other things as the market sells off. I also worry more about the regulatory environment because that’s something that we really cannot control. Whatever regulators think they need to do in order to better protect consumers generally has an adverse impact on originators. That makes the issue more expensive and more complicated to deal with. But again, there’s a silver lining. We are very nimble and take a very proactive approach to what we think that the regulatory environment’s going to be.

a platform that is built to survive. We are fishing in all ponds at all times. We operate all four channels, wholesale, correspondent, consumer direct and traditional retail. New Penn is an agency seller-servicer, and we have aggregation relationships in the event we need them. We have the ability to do portfolio loans and issue nonagency securities. If you have a platform where you have the ability to compete in all channels, and you have got smart people who work hard and care, then you can overcome pretty much any challenge.

regulatory compliance review Anti-Money Laundering Program: Mandatory Testing By Jonathan Foxx learned recently some rather extraordinary news: My firm is currently the only mortgage risk management firm in the country offering testing of the Anti-Money Laundering Program (AML) of Residential Mortgage Lenders and Originators (RMLOs). This situation struck me as exceedingly odd, inasmuch as testing is a statutory requirement. Testing annually is recommended, but not later than every eighteen months. In this first year, most companies are testing prior to the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN’s) statute’s anniversary date of Aug. 13, 2013. An audit of the procedures detailed in a RMLO’s policy and procedures must be conducted either by an internal auditor, in accordance with FinCEN guidelines, or, in accordance with FinCEN guidelines, by an independent external auditor. So how is it that my firm is the first mortgage risk management firm to offer the independent testing requirement? Maybe, even at this late date, the industry itself is still trying to absorb the AML compliance implementation, while struggling to integrate a multitude of other new regulations. Many residential mortgage industry participants have run the Elizabeth Kübler Ross spectrum of denial to acceptance at a pace that leaves in its wake the sentiments of high dudgeon, middling dudgeon, intermediate dudgeon, towering dudgeon, lofty dudgeon—and, finally, recognition that the tide of change is actually upon us and we must act! I have tried to make it clear in previous articles, that the AML program is quite different than other policy statements and procedures. And it is mandatory! For but two of my many analyses on this matter, read my articles entitled “Anti-Money Laundering Debuts for Non-Banks” in the March 2012 issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine on page 40 and “Anti-Money Laundering Program: Preparation is Protection” in the August 2012 issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine on page 22. Over the years, we have conducted AML audits for banks. Now, we conduct them for non-banks and their Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filing compliance. Soon enough, I expect another cottage industry to arise, chock full of firms that will promote such external auditing, bringing about yet another feeding frenzy! In this article, I will offer some of the basics to AML testing for RMLOs, so that you have a high-level set of considera-


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tions that may offer some insight into the testing process. There are many moving features to such an audit. In constructing your own procedures, be aware that the time to learn about how to properly test and report audit results is most certainly not during an examination.

Elements of testing Let’s consider what my firm does when we conduct an AML test.

Entrance interview We require an entrance interview for all AML program audits. The meeting is held with company officials, compliance personnel, and support staff to (1) discuss the company’s profile, (2) specify procedures to be followed by the company in the course of the engagement, and (3) answer any questions regarding the auditor’s evaluation process.

Audit responses to prior year consulting and regulatory examination reports We are in the first year of the AML program. However, each year afterward, the reviewer will ask for the prior year’s reports, including any regulatory reports. This part of the review cannot be sidestepped, because it acts as a baseline, further enhanced by an evaluation of corrective action responses. The reviewer’s first actions may include back-testing to see if corrective actions were implemented. Any continuation of a compliance failure that previously was subject to corrective action should cause the reviewer to mark down the results.

Issue and review document request Every audit must contain a document request. The extent that a company can comply with the document request is in itself a sign of the company’s ability to implement the AML program’s requirements. It is expected that a company will provide the documents needed promptly, in legible condition, and in their entirety. Failure to provide certain documents causes an adverse finding.

Conduct anti-money laundering risk assessment The reviewer must go through a series of risk assessment analytics in order to determine that the company is fulfilling its AML program requirements. These series can be quite extensive, depending on the company’s size, complexity, and risk profile.

Review There are several areas subject to a com-

prehensive review which include, but are not limited to the following: l AML Compliance Program Oversight l Customer Identification Program Oversight l Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Policies and Procedures l Suspicious Activity Monitoring Systems l Transaction Testing, consisting of a sample of filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in order to determine completeness. l Information Sharing Practices under Section 314(a) and 314(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act l Reporting of Cash Payments Over $10,000 (FinCEN Form 8300) (if applicable) l Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (IRS Form TD F 90-22.1) (if applicable) l Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments (FinCEN Form 105) (if applicable) In audits for RMLOs, the top six review categories are the key components.

Exit interview We require an exit interview for all AML program audits. Like the entrance interview, this meeting is held with company officials, compliance personnel, and support staff. In this setting, we review and discuss initial results and learn about the RMLO’s responses to some of the findings.

Issue an audit report containing findings and recommendations The Audit Report serves as a basis for the company to assess the adequacy of policies, procedures, and processes associated with RMLO lending relationships. The findings or defects determine whether the company’s process for monitoring loan accounts for suspicious activities, and for reporting of suspicious

activities, are adequate given the company’s size, complexity, location, and types of customer relationships. The Audit Report should also contain recommendations and also set forth proposals for corrective actions to comply with FinCEN regulations.

Internal or external auditing Most financial firms conduct an independent test annually. A significant management responsibility is to determine who will conduct the test, whether using internal resources or an external auditor. If a company is large enough to have an internal audit department or an internal auditor who is entirely separate from the BSA Officer and the compliance function itself, that may be a good choice. The company will likely have to provide training to the internal auditors to make sure they have a working knowledge of BSA, with respect to FinCEN’s RMLO filing requirements. In addition, the auditor should have a working knowledge of FinCEN’s audit requirements and a familiarity with the company’s risk profile. The internal test must meet all the testing criteria and be able to render a comprehensive report to management. If a company does not have an internal audit department or internal audit resources—or chooses not to use them for the AML test—it will need to engage an independent external auditor to conduct the test and provide the spectrum of auditing methodologies, rules and results. Jonathan Foxx is president and managing director of Lenders Compliance Group and Brokers Compliance Group, mortgage risk management firms devoted to providing regulatory compliance advice and counsel to the mortgage industry. He may be contacted at (516) 442-3456, by e-mail at, or visit or

The Keys to Success:

Basic Marketing Initiatives Examples:

By Allen Friedman

The Better Business Bureau (BBB), Chamber of Commerce, community center, etc., support community events, some of which can be held at, or sponsored by your branch. Some organizations will sponsor a grand opening of a local business, including your branch, if new or recently opened. Many members are well-connected within the community and are individually, prospective leads. They will absolutely be a source of leads in the future. Some events will result in free press coverage and community access.

Be with your real estate agents everyday Important activities would include open houses, tour day, weekly meetings, office visits, board meetings, community events, e-mail and phone follow-up. Real estate agent tour day and Sunday open house visits are productive time and time again. Purchase a

Settlement and service providers should be contributing a proportionate share of the expenses, and a review by your compliance officer is highly recommended.

Participate in community events

case of red licorice at Costco, about 100 vines per jar. Then get the lists of open homes for real estate agent tour day and Sunday’s opens, set a route, distribute the licorice and introduce yourself. Follow-up with office visits during the week. Consider sponsoring a party bus to take your real estate agents to open houses on tour day. They key in this market is to strengthen, initiate and renew real estate agent contacts. Of course, for events such as a party bus, the agents should pay a proportionate share of the expense to be deemed compliant.

Every business in your market should have business cards or flyers on its front counter Local businesses are thrilled to display your business cards in exchange for a commitment to send them referrals. No business is off limits: Restaurants, cleaners, beauty salons, bookstores, gyms—anyplace, anywhere. Settlement and service providers should not be included in this activity without checking with your compliance officer.

Every morning, read the newspaper twice Read the newspaper daily, once for the news and once for your business. When

you read it for your business, look at births, obituaries, marriages, local news, announcements of new business, new physicians in town, etc. Send out congratulatory notes, emails or mail acknowledgement cards. Send out a minimum of five cards a day. Clip the article and send it with the card. Individuals are always looking for another copy for friends, family and associates–and glow in the recognition. Perhaps someone’s child has won an award. The parents love the personal recognition and you leave a memorable, warm, caring feeling by sending the acknowledgement. Check the Real Estate Section, especially in the Sunday edition. Who are the real estate agents advertising? Go and visit them. They may be the ones who are doing a majority of transactions. Who are the loan originators advertising? Hire them.

Homebuyer seminars Organize a “Sunday Brunch With Your Branch” and prep buyers for the day’s open houses. It can be just incidental food items, such as pastries and coffee. Invite a real estate agent, title officer, CPA or real estate attorney. There is an opportunity here to obtain free PR if listed in community events section of paper.

Community involvement is just a good thing to do and also helps to promote your services and your branch name, such as serving food to the needy, charity walks, volunteering ay your local PBS TV phone bank, community clean-ups, schools, senior centers, etc.

Hire interns from local schools and colleges You might be training a potential employee, but it also gets your name and services out there to the community, including the student’s parents.

Give seminars at schools and community organizations Come with personalized pens and handouts. If you talk to a local high school or junior college on how to sell or buy a home, the students may be bored to death, but they will bring your pen or flyer home to mom and dad. Allen Friedman has 20-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry. He has maintained key positions in operations and sales management, serving more than 10 years as vice president with Great Western Bank and Washington Mutual Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) and joined iServe Residential Lending in 2009 as western regional sales manager. He may be reached by phone at (415) 298-2500 or email


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Join local community service organizations

l Be our guest at the Embassy Suites Hotel this Sunday for a free brunch, and join in on an informative discussion of the home loan process with industry experts. l Learn from our panel of experts on how the purchase or refinance of your home can be a fast and hasslefree experience. Discover from the insiders what you need to know to take advantage of this thriving real estate market. l Have brunch and learn from the experts, and visit Sunday’s open houses armed with the tools necessary to purchase or refinance your dream home … RSVP today!

Basic marketing initiatives are never too old to review. They are worth repeating, especially in such a volatile rate environment. Business planning, understanding your market and taking steps to engrain your services within the community, both real estate agent-based and consumer-based, are important keys to success. Those relationships are all critical to our production and on-going referrals. Best rates and lead generation services will not necessarily lead the way in the coming months. We review a variety of marketing initiatives periodically with our branches. What is important is to establish a pattern of activities visible within the community. The activities must distinguish yourself from the inundation of e-mail, advertising and junk mail received daily by many of those same prospects. Time to get back to basics. The following are just a few examples. Be active, grow the list, and think outside the box. Important to remember that any marketing or promotional endeavors should always be reviewed and approved by your compliance officer. Interpretations can vary depending upon the specific event and circumstance. The following practices are examples only and should be viewed as prospective activities, and formally reviewed prior to rollout.

heard on the street NMLS

Why W hy NAPMW? NAPMW? Three Three Simple Reasons Education E duc d cation or the pur pose of providing providing education education to Organized purpose to professionproffession e Or ganized ffor als in all phases of the mor tgage industr y, N NAP MW off ers educa mortgage industry, NAPMW offers educa-orkshops held ar ound the manyy vvenues workshops around tion via man enues – seminars and w tional EEducation ducation C onference held country, on-line,, and at National Conference country, on-line at its Na May. each M ay. NAPMW access to to timely educaeducaNAP MW membership gives gives you you exclusive exclusive access affecting career our car eer such as a tion regarding regarding the regulations regulations aff ecting yyour webinar ebinar on industry industry updates updates AND FREE TO TO MEMBERS monthly monthly w education offering ss off ffe ering (NMLS our 8 hour NMLS continuing continuing educa tion class Provider P rovider # 1400309)

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


LLeadership eadership IIff you you believe believe in helping to to elevate elevate the educational educational standards standards of this industry, industry, or assisting in developing developing the most competent competent industryy w work industr ork force, force, then you you believe believe in NAPMW. NAPMW. NAPMW since women NAP MW is not a women’s women’s organization. organization. But sinc ew omen make majority profesmortgage/banking pr ofesup the major ity of professionals professionals in the mortgage/banking purpose business,, personal personal,, sion, our pur pose is to to help them advance advance in business and leadership development. development.

Net wo ork kiing Networking ommunity of near ly 2,000 professionals professionals acr oss the NAPMW nearly across NAP MW is a ccommunity tgage / bank ing industr y. Men Men Country mortgage banking industry. C ountry who engage in the mor om all backg rounds ha ve joined NAP MW because women from backgrounds have NAPMW and w omen fr yers who w ant eexcelxcelthey want whatt they do do.. Emplo Employers want want tto o eexcel xcel aatt wha NAP for up-to-date up-to-date lence with NAPMW lenc e from from their employees e employees engage eng N MW for ve ffound ound ther e is education. educa tion. B Both oth p professionals professionals and emplo emp employers have there yers ha place NAPMW. a plac e ffor or them in NAP MW W.

National Education Na tional E ducation National Training Na tional T raining National Networking Na tional N etworking

To T o Join NAPMW NAPMW W visit: w ww.napmw.o org or ccall: all: 1-800-827-3034 1 800 827-3034 1-800-8 827 8 3034 Have Ha ve Q Questions? uestion ns? Please ffeel eel free free to to e e-mail -m mail us a at: t: napm w1@aol.c . om

Coast C oast to oas to C Coast oas A oast Associations ssociations Discounted D iscoun un nted Services Serrvic v es Industry Industry Updates Up U datess

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to new heights. We are very excited to add an executive of Mark’s caliber who possesses extensive strategic growth knowledge and capability.” Earlier this year, USFS brought its more than 1,200 employees together under one roof at its new state-of-theart corporate headquarters located at 1414 Maple Road in Troy, Michigan. The move consolidated all of USFS’ team members from four locations in Birmingham, MI and Troy, MI into a single location on three floors with more than 140,000 square feet of new space. To officially unveil the new facility, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited USFS in a ribbon cutting ceremony to laud the company’s contributions to the community and its plans to hire 600 new employees by the end of 2013. “We have already been growing USFS at a very rapid rate and Mark shares our unwavering mission to establish us as one of the most wildly successful and respected mortgage lenders in the industry,” said Mat Ishbia, CEO of USFS and president of UWM. “I look forward to working with him and the positive impact he will have on USFS.”

New AllRegs and MBA Collaboration to Gauge Trends in Mortgage Market AllRegs has announced a partnership with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to deliver the monthly Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a sampling of all current mortgage underwriting data from AllRegs and the MBA’s currentlyexisting databases to better provide a roundabout index number to determine whether or not mortgage credit is available. By using various factors related to borrower eligibility (including credit score, loan type, loan-to-value ratio and others), the MCAI is tabulated with metrics and underwriting criteria from over 85 lenders and investors. “In order to create the Index, we grouped lenders and investors together,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s VP of research and economics. “Loan size has seen almost a 60 percent growth in jumbo loans, but at the other end of spectrum, we’ve seen a decline.” Jeff Hoerster, president and COO of AllRegs said threat the MCAI had been evolving since 2004. “We amassed a library of loan products, we narrowed down 45 points into a database and distilled them further into various other data,” said Hoerster. “From there, we’ve gotten a ton of data points that allow us to assess the regulatory impact.” While the MCAI is subject to change, there is only one base index as it exists currently. The Index differs from the Federal Reserve’s Loan Officer Survey in

that it utilizes currently-existing material and metrics as opposed to soliciting the answers to questions posed to junior loan officers. The MCAI measures current trends in the mortgage market, all of which lean towards lower mortgage credit availability. Levels are currently trending closer to those found back in 2011, which is around the time the MBA and AllRegs began tracking the index. The index has shown an upward trend for the months of April and May and both are approaching a benchmark level last seen in March of 2012. “We expect the MCAI will be a valuable new source of information for market participants, policymakers and researchers,” Fratantoni said.

Global DMS Helps Boost Appraisal Nation’s Valuation Process Global DMS has reported that since implementing its eTrac platform, Appraisal Nation has increased the number of appraisals it was able to process by more than tenfold. Global DMS’ solution streamlined Appraisal Nation’s entire valuation process, created newfound efficiencies, established ease of doing business and ensures the company is in compliance at all times. Appraisal Nation relies on Global DMS’ eTrac platform as a singlesource solution for assigning, tracking, reviewing and delivering appraisals to the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) in full compliance, and without errors or missing information for both the residential and commercial aspects of its business. Global DMS’ Web-based eTrac system allows AMCs to manage appraisal vendors, order, assign, monitor status, fulfill, review, sell, report on and handle accounting practices for appraisal transactions. The solution keeps organizations apace of constantly changing appraisal rules, thus allowing them to avoid potential fines. “The tremendous success that Appraisal Nation is having using our valuation management platform is a testament to the efficiencies our solution brings to the table,” says Vladimir Bien-Aime, president and CEO of Global DMS. “Appraisal Nation is one of many client success stories we have that showcase the positive impact our solution delivers.”

Total Mortgage Services Opens New Connecticut Location

Total Mortgage Services LLC has announced the opening of its newest retail branch office in Fairfield, Conn.,

that expands its mortgage lending services into Fairfield and the surrounding Connecticut communities. Joe Bartolomeo and Thomas Bepko, both long-time residents of Fairfield will comanage the new branch office and focus on providing the right mortgage solutions to local borrowers, as well as strengthen relationships with realtors, accountants, lawyers and other referral partners throughout the community. “Total Mortgage is excited to be opening our newest branch office in Fairfield as part of our hyper-local growth strategy,” said John Walsh, president of Total Mortgage. “For the last 16 years, Total Mortgage has become one of the country’s leading mortgage lenders by providing borrowers with the right mortgage solution, competitive interest rates, and the highest quality personalized service. Both Thomas and Joe, who are active members of the community, know the Fairfield market extremely well, and can help meet local borrowers’ needs when making a decision to either purchase a new house or refinance an existing one.” Bartolomeo is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage industry, as well as cofounder of Total Mortgage Services. In 2013, he was named a Top Mortgage Professional by Connecticut Magazine. Joe is a resident of Fairfield, Conn. After leaving the Army, Bepko entered into the mortgage industry. He has over a decade of mortgage experience. Thomas was raised in and lives in Fairfield, Conn.

Mortgage Master Opens Seventh Connecticut Location Mortgage Master has announced that it has opened a new retail branch location in Simsbury, Conn. to cover the communities of the Greater Hartford

Easy Mortgage Apps LLC (EMA) has announced it has entered into a joint marketing agreement with the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). EMA will offer FAMP members a discount on their private label software. The software allows lenders to greatly enhance the overall customer experience by engaging their realtors, consumers and relevant entities with real time communication, loan information and updates. Carl A. Noriega, president, Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals states: “The FAMP is always looking to partner with companies who offer technology as a way to augment the lending process resulting in an enhanced experience for consumers. EMA LLC truly understands the lending industry and this mobile app offers solutions to many of the issues within the ecosystem.” Built in business logic utilizes push notification technology to update parties regarding loan status changes, loan commitment requirements and important milestone dates. All pertinent loan data, contact information and a secure messaging portal are available with a single touch. In addition, the software offers clients a user friendly interface which allows for mobile capture technology, data sharing and storage continued on page 40


n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Ellie Mae has announced that Veterans United of Columbia, Mo., has selected Encompass360 as its mortgage management solution. Veterans United evaluated loan origination systems for more than a year before ultimately selecting Encompass360. “Being selected by a discerning lender like Veterans United speaks volumes about the confidence they have in Ellie Mae and the advantages that our SaaS model combined with Success-Based Pricing bring to a business,” said Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. “We’re always happy to be selected, but it is particularly gratifying when your software is being used to help veterans, who have given so much for their country.”

Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals Partners With EMA on Marketing Initiative

Encompass 360 Selected by Veterans United to Handle Mortgage Management

area. Mortgage Master is committed to expanding its successful model in Connecticut. Mortgage Master now has seven retail branch offices in Connecticut, including Fairfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Southington, Glastonbury and West Hartford. Dan Rosenfeld was named branch manager of the new Simsbury office, where he will work alongside all Mortgage Master partners with real estate agents, accountants, lawyers and other referral partners to provide borrowers some of the lowest rates available and highest quality service. In addition, Rosenfeld will work to grow Mortgage Master’s newest branch by hiring experienced loan officers to help borrowers purchase or refinance a home. “Simsbury is the perfect location to open our newest location in Central Connecticut,” said Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master. “Dan Rosenfeld, who is a well-respected leader, and the Simsbury branch will increase our already significant presence in Hartford and the surrounding communities. Our branch in West Harford, which is led by Patricia Vautour and Eric Bogdan, and our Southington branch, which is led by Jim Earl and Linda Stuckman, have been offering borrowers the best possible pricing and service in the area since 1992 and 2006, respectively.”

UDAAP and YOU: Are You in Compliance? By Joy K. Gilpin The Dodd-Frank Act not only mandates “fair, equitable and non-discriminatory access to credit” for consumers, but also makes it illegal for mortgage brokers/lenders to engage in any unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices as it relates to the consumer. Rulemaking granted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the Dodd-Frank Act, in conjunction with revisions to the Truth-in-Lending ACT (TILA), ensures that lenders and brokers are prohibited from engaging in what is considered to be abusive or unfair lending practices. This has resulted in multiple federal statutes compelling mortgage lenders and brokers to establish and adopt an Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP) policy in order to comply with regulatory requirements and demonstrate a commitment to the CFPB’s expectation of consumer transparency. Looking for a resource to outline your company’s approach to UDAAP? Look no further. The UDAAP Policy Manual provides an overview of the UDAAP requirements and the reasons mortgage brokers, lenders, and originators need a policy on this trending topic. Additionally, it outlines a comprehensive policy that meets the standards and expectations called for by the CFPB through Dodd-Frank. Finally, it provides support for compliance of existing federal regulations like TILA (which was amended by Dodd-Frank to address Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending requirements within TILA). The UDAAP Policy Manual is a complete 34-page plan, ready for personalization with your company or organization’s name. There are seven sections in the MS Word document:

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


1. Introduction 2. Accountability and Monitoring 3. Staff and Training 4. UDAPP Policy Process and Implementation 5. Mortgage Lenders/Brokers Needed for UDAPP Guidance 6. Best Practices for Lenders/Brokers 7. Relation to Other Laws Let’s take a further look at why you need this policy manual implemented in your organization. The UDAAP Policy Manual: l Clearly defines Unfair Acts/Practices  Provides examples of unfair acts/practices as well l Clearly defines Deceptive Acts/Practices  Provides examples of deceptive acts/practices as well l Outlines consequences of non-compliance with UDAAP policies  Violations  Educates your teams on what UDAAP is, UDAAP oversight, and how UDAAP is addressed in the Bureau’s Examination process l Gains guidance and insight on the implementation of a proper UDAAP policy  Identifies UDAAP risk areas like:  Marketing materials  Consumer interactions  Advertising requirements  Etc. l Establishes a UDAAP policy that can be adjusted or tailored to the needs of your organization  And it is easily scalable based on the size of the organization! The Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices Policy Manual is a prewritten AllRegs Policy Manual. It is a complete plan, ready for personalization with your company or organization’s name. Manuals with the Make it MINE Maintenance Plan are updated for any changes within your company. The AllRegs Professional Services Group does the work for you to keep your manual looking top-notch. For a personal consultation on your UDAAP and other policy needs, call your dedicated account executive at (800) 848-4904. Or, get more information about AllRegs and the full suite of products and services by visiting today. Joy K. Gilpin is professional services manager with AllRegs. She may be reached by phone at (800) 848-4904.

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heard on the street

continued from page 39

through a secure portal. This program was written and created to improve efficiency and productivity, reduce latency, and increase time to revenue. “We are truly excited to work with a forward thinking association who recognizes we are in the midst of a behavioral shift,” said EMA co-founder Michael Kelleher. “This is an additional opportunity for their national constituency to directly benefit from membership. EMA feels associations, such as the FAMP, are essential in the development and advancement of the mortgage lending industry.”

LPS Integrates With Global DMS on Compliant Appraisal Transactions Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) announced that it has integrated its Loan Quality Gateway, Powered by RealEC with the Global DMS eTrac Enterprise platform. LPS and Global DMS clients that utilize the Loan Quality Gateway’s Exchange network are now able to seamlessly access the eTrac Enterprise platform for efficient, compliant appraisal transaction processing. RealEC Technologies is the leading provider of collaborative network solutions for the mortgage industry and is a wholly owned subsidiary of LPS. A part of LPS’ comprehensive origination technology offering, Loan Quality Gateway’s Exchange is an electronic partner network that enables thousands of service providers to connect securely and electronically to their lending clients through a standardsbased data exchange. eTrac Enterprise is Global DMS’ Web-based, all-in-one collateral process management solution that streamlines workflows, eliminates errors and speeds up the valuation process. Global DMS’ valuation management solution allows lenders to effortlessly manage the entire appraisal management process from vendor management to appraisal ordering, assignment, tracking, appraisal reviews, delivery and reporting. The eTrac Enterprise system also has options designed to handle all aspects of managing appraisal management companies (AMCs) and independent real estate appraisers. “The extensive network of partners that RealEC has connected to the Exchange has attracted some of the largest lenders in the country that want to complete various settlement services transactions from a centralized location, which the Exchange has proven to efficiently handle,” said Vladimir BienAime, president and CEO of Global DMS. “Now any mutual customer that utilizes the Exchange can easily access our services to complete fully compliant appraisals in the same way they could

directly using our platform. It’s simply another effective option to utilize our valuation management solution.”

Guild Mortgage Selects Vantage Marketing From Vantage Production Vantage Production LLC has announced that Guild Mortgage Company has purchased multiple modules of the company’s recently launched Vantage Integrated Production (VIP) service, including Vantage Marketing, Vantage Content Library and Mortgage Market Guide. Guild Mortgage’s loan volume exceeded $6 billion last year. “Vantage Marketing is the only solution that can provide Guild with complete control over the development and distribution of its marketing collateral, while at the same time enabling us to manage our corporate brand and regulatory compliance risk,” said Barry Horn, national sales manager of Guild Mortgage Company. “Vantage Production is unique to the mortgage industry as it accomplishes both of these goals.” Vantage Marketing is just one solution within Vantage Production’s new VIP service. Developed exclusively for the mortgage industry, the VIP service allows lenders to meet the twin challenges of driving revenue while minimizing the risks of non-compliance and brand mismanagement. Built on a common database that integrates data from across the lender’s internal systems, VIP provides an unrivaled customer relationship management platform coupled with industry-leading services for proposal development, presentation and marketing. “While Vantage Marketing allows us to develop our own marketing collateral, there are areas where it just makes sense for Guild to take advantage of what Vantage Production has already created,” said Horn. “The Vantage Content Library gives us literally hundreds of marketing pieces to use, edit and republish. Plus, there is a stream of continuously produced, fresh content to pull from when we need it.”

McLean Mortgage Enters Maryland Market McLean Mortgage Corporation has announced that the company is opening its first Maryland branch office which will be located in Bethesda, Md. The Bethesda branch will be headed by managers Alex Peters and Dennis Elliott– having a combined experience of 50-plus years in the mortgage industry. Peters has served the mortgage industry for three decades and has lived

in the Montgomery County Area for over 40 years. Alex is a former attorney who worked for the U.S. Department of Justice. He has originated thousands of transactions within the industry and has hired and trained scores of loan officers over his career. Elliott is a Maryland native with 16-year old triplets who has been in the mortgage industry for 25 years. He is active in coaching youth sports and also owned and operated his own mortgage company locally for 12 years.

Affiliated Mortgage Enters Wholesale Marketplace

Quandis Inc. has announced that PennyMac Financial Services Inc. is using its short sale technology to assist in effectively and efficiently managing the short sale process. Quandis’ Webbased solution automates PennyMac’s back-office workflow for short sales and provides a centralized portal that allows servicers, lenders, borrowers, real estate agents and other pertinent parties to successfully complete transactions. “Before short sales became a preferred and acceptable alternative to that of foreclosures in this fast-moving market, PennyMac took measures early on to manage the proliferation of impending short sale transactions,” said Scott Stoddard, CEO of Quandis.

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Taylor Capital Group Partners With Cole Taylor Bank to Establish Residential Mortgage Platform

Taylor Capital Group Inc. has announced that Cole Taylor Bank, through its Cole Taylor Mortgage division, will be establishing its own residential mortgage servicing platform which will be located in Wilmington, Ohio. As part of this initiative, the bank completed the purchase of mortgage servicing rights relating to approximately 4,600 loans, as well as certain office space, furniture and equipment from Liberty Savings Bank FSB of Wilmington. In addition, Cole Taylor Mortgage has recruited and hired an experienced platform manager and expects to hire substantially all of the approximately 50 Liberty Savings Bank loan servicing employees during the third quarter of 2013. Cole Taylor Mortgage currently services its own mortgage loans and mortgage loans held by various investors through a third-party mortgage servicer, and expects to continue that relationship through at least early 2014. The mortgage loans related to the servicing rights purchased from Liberty are expected to continue to be serviced by Liberty’s employees until Cole Taylor Mortgage’s assimilation of those employees is complete. “This initiative allows us to quickly build our mortgage loan servicing operation and is a key component of our strategy to become a full service mortgage banking operation with diverse revenue sources,” said Willie Newman, president of Cole Taylor Mortgage. “An


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©2013 Front Pocket Marketing

continued on page 42

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Quandis Partners With PennyMac to Streamline Short Sales

Put your face on the one thing people use most.

Affiliated Mortgage Company has announced its entry into the wholesale origination sector. The company’s new Wholesale/Mini-Correspondent Division will be led by Jerry Alred. “The addition of the Wholesale/MiniCorrespondent Division will provide Affiliated Mortgage Company’s clients with the entire suite of mortgage services,” said Mike Barnett, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Bank. “Our relationship with Jerry Alred and his team goes back many years and we know that we share a common business philosophy. We are thrilled to have them as part of our family.” Alred joins Affiliated Mortgage from Houston-based Classic Home Financial Inc. In addition to Alred, his management, underwriting, closing and customer service personnel also will join Affiliated’s new third party origination (TPO) organization. The team has worked with Alred for more than 15 years. The Wholesale/Mini Correspondent operations team will be located in Houston, Texas with the objective of expanding its client base throughout the state of Texas and beyond. Potential TPO clients will have access to proven mortgage lending acumen and in good standing with all agencies.

“PennyMac was very forward-thinking and immediately engaged with us to help automate a process that inherently has many moving parts and tasks to complete in a timely fashion. Many mortgage companies, on the other hand, didn’t have the foresight that PennyMac did to implement technology to help prepare for the influx of short sales.” The Quandis solution allows organizations to receive short sale packages directly from the borrower or its listing agent, which includes complete financials, property valuation data, lien verification and all supporting qualification documentation needed from the borrower. Alerts, event triggers and email updates ensure tasks are completed on time and up-to-date status is provided to borrowers and listing agents. Borrowers can visit the Web portal to apply for a short sale and submit all required documentation. Multiple offers can easily be received and negotiated electronically. Quandis’ short sale portal brings transparency to the process and establishes much needed collaboration between the parties that must communicate and complete tasks.

in-house mortgage servicing platform will also provide us with more flexibility and control of our customers’ experience. We intend to continue growing our portfolio as well as expanding and enhancing the relationship with Cole Taylor Mortgage customers.”

President’s Letter July 2013

Hello Fellow Mortgage Professional:

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


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The Association has enjoyed sustained growth throughout the year and thanks those of you who have come on board as new members and thank you to those that have stayed with us as members. We appreciate the fact that you understand the value of being a part of our Association and that you care about your Profession. The Association has a 53 year old history of providing service to our industry and industry partners. I encourage those of you who have not become members to take full advantage of all that the State Association and your local chapter can offer you. The educational programs and networking opportunities alone are well worth the price of admission. If you are not yet a member, this is a great time to join. It is a nominal fee of $127 a year. Come Grow with Us. Our Annual Convention and Tradeshow is fast approaching, and members get a considerable discount on the cost of attending. The convention runs from July 31st through August 3rd, 2013 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. Members pay only $195 for a full admission, which includes 8-hours of continuing education, the information-packed industry luncheons on Thursday and Friday, admission to our break-out sessions and the Tradeshow. Those members wanting only education pay just $75 for an education pass that includes the 8hours of continuing education, break-out sessions and the Tradeshow. Also, back by popular demand is the FAMP Golf Outing on Shingle Creek's beautiful course, available at a great price for our attendees. Come join me on the Golf Course and network with great Industry Professionals. This will be on Wednesday, July 31st. If you are a vendor, this is a great opportunity for you to grow your business by meeting the Mortgage Professionals you want to engage for business at our Tradeshow. As of today, we have less than 10 booth spaces available and they will not last, so please do not delay in registering for your space. For all of those that have become part of our Tradeshow, we will be calling you to discuss our Sponsorship opportunities to get you in front of more Professionals. The market is turning and we are growing and want to assist our Vendors and Industry Partners with great exposure opportunities. I look forward to seeing you at the Convention and Tradeshow. For information, please visit our website HYPERLINK "" or call us at (850) 942-6411.

Freedom Mortgage Launches Commercial Division Freedom Mortgage Corporation has announced the launch of its new commercial real estate lending division. This new division will be based in New York and managed by industry veterans, Mary Davenport, Nichole Kim and Shawn Townsend. Initially, they will focus on first mortgage originations from $2-10 million in size for CMBS execution. “I am thrilled to join Freedom Mortgage and build this new division along with two such talented colleagues. Nichole and Shawn add tremendous value to our team,” said Davenport. Mary Davenport joins Freedom Mortgage after a three-year affiliation with RBS Securities, and her role as a partner and portfolio Manager for Vertical Capital. Nichole Kim comes to Freedom after three years at Rialto Capital. Her background includes working as an originator for Nomura and CSFB. In addition, Nichole purchased CMBS and REIT securities for TIAA-CREF. Shawn Townsend was most recently managing partner at Velocity Advisors, and prior to that, head of capital markets at Gramercy Capital and earlier at Nomura, JP Morgan and Oasis Real Estate Partners.

Leads360 Rebrands as Velocify


Carl A. Noriega, President Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals

1292 Cedar Center Drive Tallahassee, Florida 32301 (850) 942-6411 FAX (8500 942-4654 E-mail

Sponsored Editorial

Leads360 has announced that the company has changed its name to Velocify, a rebranding that more accurately reflects the company’s mission to help organizations across industries dramatically increase revenue by enabling sales professionals to sell at the “speed of opportunity.” This announcement also reflects the company’s rapid, triple-digit growth over the past three years, with product adoption of its innovative intelligent sales automation solutions by companies such as Allstate, Royal Bank of Scotland, USAA, Nationstar Mortgage and State Farm. “Our new name is intended to reflect what our solutions bring to the table for sales teams–the ability to increase the velocity of selling, in a very directed and deliberate manner,” said Nick Hedges, Velocify CEO. According to studies conducted by

Velocify, one-in-three sales leads are never responded to by sales representatives, mainly due to challenges in keeping up with the pace of incoming leads and inconsistent practices. This underscores the need for an improved approach by businesses. “Our solutions put the science of selling to work so that sales teams can automate processes at a much more granular level and then continuously refine their approach using performance insights,” said Hedges. “It’s not uncommon for our clients to see double- and triple-digit revenue gains within the first year of deployment.”

Vericrest Financial Changes Name to Caliber Home Loans Vericrest Financial Inc. has announced that it has changed its corporate name to Caliber Home Loans, Inc., effective immediately. Caliber Funding LLC and Vericrest Financial previously announced, on Jan. 17, 2013, plans to combine organizations to create a full-service, residential mortgage banking organization offering both loan origination and loan servicing solutions. The combined organization will continue to be owned by and have the capital backing of Lone Star Funds. The new name was selected to be descriptive of the company’s consumer-friendly focus and broad range of mortgage banking services. “Vericrest Financial and Caliber Funding have continued to grow and evolve since the merger was announced and our teams have been hard at work bringing our two companies together,” said Joe Anderson, chairman and CEO of Caliber Home Loans. “Changing Vericrest Financial’s corporate name to Caliber Home Loans marks a significant milestone in this process and brings us one step closer to combining these two companies.” The legal close of the merger is expected in the coming months, subject to customary closing conditions.

Mortgage Professionals to Watch l Bill King has joined Platinum Data Solutions as the company’s new senior vice president.


heard on the street

l Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc. (REMN) has announced the addition of nine new mortgage loan originacontinued on page 62

what mortgage executives think?

continued on page 65


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Disclosures: per FDIC Regulations Section 6500 Part 226, Subpart C, 226.24. The amount of each payment that will apply over the term of the loan is based on simple annual interest applied to the unpaid balance. Loans range from 1 day to 60 months, are interest only and include a balloon payment due at term. Finance charges apply. Payments do not include amounts per property taxes or insurance premiums. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates and points are subject to change without notice. NMLS #357614

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

panies dealt with one or more of the mortgage cooperatives. Yes, said 17, compared to eight who weren’t connected to a co-op. Will the issuance of PLSs continue in 2013, inquired Q27? Issuance will continue unabated, suggested 24 of 25 executives. Q28 wondered whether executives felt an expansion (not an extension) of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) would provide economic and social benefits. It would, agree 16, but another nine thought not. Q29 asked executives if discriminatory lending practices were common and widespread across the industry today. They aren’t, said 23 of 24 respondents. Are all the regulations and compliance getting more difficult and confusing, Q30 sought to answer. All 25 said yes the ground rules had gotten more difficult and confusing. The unanimous response made this the only question in this year’s survey to generate complete and thorough uniformity. Q31 wanted to know how much of their firms’ total expense dollar compliance and regulatory matters consumed. The group average was 21 percent. The response range ran from 10 percent through 40 percent. Eight of the 20 respondents said compliance and regulations account for more than 20 percent of their total cost to originate and service a mortgage loan. Q32 asked if the court’s interpretation of the disparate impact rules presents a material risk to lenders, and if so, whether it was actually possible to comply with the rules and not end up with too many weak and risky loans? Concerning risk to lenders from disparate impact/treatment, 23 of 25 felt such risk existed, while 20 felt that complete compliance with the legal theory would result in too many risky loans being originated. Q33 wondered if after years of working to produce a final rule governing loan originator (LO) compensation, the target has been hit. No, said 23 of the 25 surveyed. LO compensation isn’t yet resolved or final. Has the CFPB’s proposed RESPA/TILA rule simplified the disclosure process, queried Q34? Apparently it has not, with 22 of 23 executives responding that the disclosure process hadn’t been simplified thus far. Q35 asked if their firms had undergone a CFPB audit. Yes, said 11, compared to 12 who have yet to be audited. Q35 questioned how much compliance cost has risen since the financial crisis, and by about how much has it increased origination and servicing expenses? The group indicated that since the financial crisis, the cost of compliance has increased on average 250 percent. As for its spillover effects, it has increased average origination expenses by 21 percent and average servicing expenses by 22 percent. Wondering if executives viewed certain provisions within the final Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule as undercutting the final Rules’ integrity in order to promote affordable housing initiatives, Q37 inquired whether the seven-year DU/LP exemption undercut QM’s credibility. Executives

no additional capital had been added. Q19 asked if the underwriting standards at the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) were too tight. Eighteen executives said agency standards weren’t too tight, while seven others thought they were. As for FHA’s underwriting standards, 23 of 24 said not too tight. Q 20 inquired whether Fannie Mae had placed dollar caps on the amount of business their firms could conduct with the GSE. Only two of 23 had such constraints placed on them. Q21 questioned how many basis points (in yield) the private sector was away from pricing parity with the conforming agency market. The average estimate was that the private sector was 26 basis points away from parity. The range was from “we’re there” to “we’re still 5/8ths away.” Nine of the executives provided estimates that exceeded the group average. Four others estimated the market was at or within 10 basis points of pricing parity on conforming loans. Q22 asked about the firms’ current operating capacities. The average firm in the group was operating at 88 percent of capacity. The range of responses was from 40 percent to 100 percent. Fifteen firms estimated their current operating capacity at 90 percent or greater. Q23 sought to learn if the executives think industry productivity is declining, if so by how much, and were their firms still hiring? Concerning productivity, no doubt about it, it has been waning–by a count of 21 to four. As for how much, the group average was a 5.7 within a range bounded by one and 10. Ten of the execs scored it a six or above, while five ranked the decline a four or less. Q24 inquired if buyback demands from Fannie and Freddie had improved over the past year, worsened or remained the same (as the prior year). The respondents were also asked to scale the extent of the buyback problem and how often their firms were successful in combating repurchase requests. Nine executives indicated that the buyback situation improved in the past 12 months, while five experienced a worsening and 10 saw no change. As for how large a problem, the group collectively ranked it a 7.1 on the 10-point scale. The average firm had an average success rate of 55 percent in defending against agency buyback demands. Twelve executives scored it an eight or higher, including one 10. Q25 was another first-time question. It asked if the executives felt their dealings with Fannie Mae were skewed, one-sided (all but two or three respondents immediately understood the question). The group mean was a 7.4 on the one through 10 scale. The range of answers was from two to 10, and included six 10s and three nines. As for whether Fannie’s customer interactions got more one-sided in the past year, yes said 12, no said seven, and two others replied, “No Change.” Q26 asked those surveyed if their com-

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Get Ready for Dodd-Frank ... Round Two! By Laurie Spira June 1, 2013 was the effective date for two provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act: Revised requirements for mandatory escrow accounts for Higher-Priced Mortgage Loans and a prohibition on mandatory arbitration agreements. Completing the implementation of these two requirements allows the industry to turn its attention to compliance with the next group of final rules, which are effective in January 2014. With less than 200 days left to prepare, the industry is working quickly to execute the operational changes needed to comply. In addition to the rules published in January, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) continues to publish new materials: proposed rules, final rules and implementation tools. We summarize some of the most recent developments below:

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l On May 29, 2013, the CFPB finalized amendments to the Ability-toRepay rule. The amendments create specific exemptions and modifications to the Ability-to-Repay rule for small creditors, community development lenders and housing stabilization programs, and revise rules on how to calculate loan originator compensation into the loan’s total points and fees. l On June 4, 2013, the CFPB published the first update to its examination procedures for the new mortgage regulations issued in January 2013. The new examination procedures will help financial institutions and mortgage companies understand how they will be examined for compliance with a number of rules, including those that set qualification and screening standards for loan originators, prohibit steering incentives and dual compensation, protect borrowers of higher-priced mortgage loans, and require lenders to provide appraisal reports and valuations. l On June 7, the CFPB published Small Entity Compliance Guides for the Loan Originator Compensation Rule and the Mortgage Servicing Rules. The CFPB’s goal is to provide an overview of the rules in a plain language and FAQ format, making the content more accessible and useful for a broad array of industry constituents, especially smaller businesses with limited legal and compliance staff. l Last but not least, on June 13, the CFPB launched a new Regulatory Implementation Web page, which consolidates all the 2013 mortgage rules and related implementation materials in one easy-to-access location. Expect the CFPB to finalize more proposed rules and publish additional implementation tools in the coming months. Laurie Spira is chief compliance officer with Torrance, Calif.-based DocMagic Inc. She may be reached by phone at (800) 649-1362, ext. 6446 or e-mail

policy, procedures & examinations Preparing for an examination Most state banking departments prioritize their administering of their licensees by the extent to which these institutions implement their own policies and procedures. On the list of such priorities are compliance with licensure regulations and specific mortgage acts and practices, such as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA, Regulation X), Truth in Lending Act (TILA, Regulation Z), Loan Originator Compensation (TILA, Regulation Z), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA, Regulation B), and the other alphabet soup of federal and state guidelines. Generally, banking departments consider themselves to be consumer advocacy agencies and, as such, they approach examinations in a threefold process, which includes: (1) Examining the licensee’s implementation of its own policies and procedures, and ensuring that all relevant policies and procedures are safe and sound and lawful; (2) Investigating consumer complaint allegations relating to the licensee; and (3) Conducting on-site or off-site visitations to audit a licensee’s operations, and determining a company’s implementation of previously identified corrective actions from prior examinations. The primary means of monitoring the licensee is through examinations. Therefore, banking departments seek to evaluate the following elements: l Conduct a compliance review to determine implementation of relevant laws and regulations; l Audit and assess the integrity of the Compliance Management System, especially with respect to implementing state and federal consumer protection statutes and regulations; and, l Issue examination reports, outlining where compliance is sufficient; or, in the case of an adverse examination report, issue supervisory and administrative actions resulting from defective and deficient operations of banking law or administrative rules.

Mortgage risk management

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years ago to broaden the reach of compliance administration and provide a more focused approach toward assessing the kinds of risk associated with the business models of residential mortgage lenders and originators: (1) Identify Risk (2) Mitigate Risk (3) Reduce Risk (4) Eliminate Risk Not all of these goals are achievable, most especially the goal of eliminating risk. But going to the goal is the goal! When you move in the right direction, Regulators are more receptive to the circumstances. Here’s a rule of thumb: l Things in your control that require, or should require, corrective action, but you fail to implement such corrective action, usually cause Examiners to be unyielding in their reporting evaluations and administrative actions. l Things that are not in your control, or not expected to be in your control, even when they produce adverse findings, usually cause Examiners to be a little more flexible in their examination reports. Management’s lack of such focus on risk inevitably leads, among other things, to consumer complaints, licensing violations, defective advertising, disclosure deficiencies, repurchases, loan indemnifications, poor loan performance, loss mitigation challenges, incomplete or defective policies and procedures, plaintiffs seeking to reopen rescission, warehouse lender score-downs, investor attrition, and so forth. Compliance and loan production are now cemented together! Success in mortgage banking is dependent on the extent to which production and compliance are protagonists for each other— each within its own bounds of responsibilities and authorities, working for the common good of the consumer.

Who has the edge … the Examiner or the lender? The Examiner always has the edge, because the state banking department is able to reconcile the audit examination findings with mandated regulatory activity, which, by comparing the two, may inevitably uncover violations of regulatory compliance. Furthermore, many state Examiners are now credentialed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to evaluate areas subject to examination review. Picture, if you will, the capital letter “H”–only turn it on its side. The lower axis is the state banking examination level, the vertical axis is the information that flows from the state to the CFPB at the federal level,6

and the higher axis is the federal level where information obtained from both state and federal examinations may be shared with various governmental agencies. The streaming of regulatory information is becoming seamless. In May of this year, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 2011 between the CFPB, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), and various state financial regulatory authorities (i.e., state Regulators) was reaffirmed, establishing the agreement for coordination and information sharing in supervision and enforcement work. Specifically, that MOU promulgated a framework intended to establish a process for coordinated federal and state consumer protection supervision and enforcement of entities providing consumer products or services that are subject to concurrent jurisdiction of the CFPB and one or more state Regulators.7 So, whatever axis of that side-bound, capital “H” is the rightful place of a particular financial institution, the information derived from its regulatory examination has become transparent to the federal and state regulatory authorities.

Competent management

Where weaknesses exist, it is not unusual for an Examiner to use the exit interview as a means to highlight these defects and underscore the need for management to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws, regulations, or policy statements. Policies pertaining to both federal and state regulatory compliance guidelines that are not appropriate or sufficiently comprehensive may lead to adverse findings in the examination report.

Examination findings It should be evident that a lender should never wait for a notice from a banking

l Scope of Examination l Compliance Rating or Similar Description l Loan Sample Outline used for the Examination l Summary and Detail of Significant Violations (where applicable) l Evaluation of the Compliance Management System l Assessment of Policies and Procedures l Summary of the Exit Interview l Management Response to Findings and Corrective Actions (where applicable)

Policies and procedures The list of policies and procedures that I have outlined in this article are, or ought to be, a part of an overall culture of compliance that lenders must adopt in order to run a safe and sound firm. Here’s another analogy: Policies and procedures are like an automobile’s chassis; implementation of policies is the car’s superstructure; and, the employee is the driver who takes (and passes) the road test. All three must be intact and reliable for the car to be considered safe to be driven, and all of these components depend on one another to effectuate the vehicle’s purpose. All three deserve equal emphasis! Policy statements must address the financial institution’s business philosophy, goals, objectives, procedures, required actions, remedies, and, of course, the metrics with which to judge them. They do not have to be extensive in length, but they certainly do have to be comprehensive in detail, and based on the size, complexity, and risk profile of the company. Further, I believe certain policy statements should be converted into Employee Manuals, such as an Advertising Manual or a Social Media Manual, with attestation of receipt thereof by, and distributed to, all affected employee. Each policy statement should be reinforced with training–not generic, out-of-the-can training, but training on the company’s actual policy itself. Additionally, a policy and procedure must be updated immediately when regulations change or the company changes its way of doing business with respect to legal and regulatory compliance requirements. This means that not only should citations and definitions be included, where needed, but also procedures should highlight forms, disclosures, ‘chain of command’ guidelines, and any other areas inherent in carrying out management’s expectations and directives.


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l What is the knowledge level and commitment of the company and its personnel? l How does the mortgage banker respond to deficiencies and potential violations? l Do the information and loan origination systems provide reliable and secure data? l Does management maintain and follow its own policies and procedures? l To what extent and how often are training programs offered to affected employees?

A “quick and dirty” on the USDA Program

Gone are the days when policies and procedures, by themselves, suffice to provide a solid demonstration of a mortgage banker’s commitment to mortgage compliance. Be aware, also that examinations now include an evaluation of the management’s competency to implement policies, because it is management that is accountable for administering the institution’s risk. Questions that Examiners consider in determining management’s effectiveness include:

examination before ratifying a comprehensive set of policies and procedures. Trust me: the exit interview is simply not the place to find out that a commitment to corrective action is going to be required! The examination report consists of several parts, more or less varying state to state, with each part contributing to a general outline of a licensee’s qualifications to continue being licensed. Generally, the examination report includes:

“While it is not illegal to look at a candidate’s social media footprint, it’s advisable to consider several matters before you hop on the Internet to check out a potential employee.”

The Applicant Has What on Social Media? By Susan McCullah s more and more people sign on to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the many other social media sites available, hiring professionals are becoming more tempted to take a peek at their personal information before hiring an applicant. Who can blame them? There is virtual goldmine of valuable information to be gleaned from a person’s profile, blog, photograph or collection of tweets. Lending institutions could


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benefit greatly by knowing about a mortgage professional’s online presence upfront. However, this type of investigation is not without its risks. There is a sea of controversy swirling around about utilizing social media to screen job candidates, and whether or not a company should do it. According to a recent survey by Careerbuilder, 37 percent of companies

Whether required by current legislation, agency guidelines or your corporate infrastructure, the creation of detailed mortgage policy and procedure manuals is a labor intensive process. Save time with AllRegs Policy Manuals, pre-written by industry experts and customizable by you with your company’s name, policies and procedures. With over 20 titles from Advertising and Marketing to UDAAP, we have you covered! Get your turnkey Policy Manual today from AllRegs!

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use social media to screen their applicants, and 11 percent of companies plan to use it in the near future. Social media allows hiring managers to gain unprecedented access to information about the applicant. They can discover negative aspects (vulgar language, bad grammar, illegal activities) and also positive information (charity work, good communication skills, awards received) with just a few clicks of a mouse. Banks and mortgage companies could benefit from this type of information. Someone who will not represent the lending institution in a professional manner online could be detrimental to the business’s reputation and public persona. Just one faux pas by an employee can sometimes take a company years to recover! However, there are drawbacks. A profile also may show information about a person’s race, age, religion or disability; all of which are illegal to use in the hiring process. Once an employer sees this information, they cannot “unring the bell.” Once you have it, there is no way to prove it had no bearing on the hiring process. Employers that use social media sites to make employment-related decisions without taking the time to implement them into their current hiring policy processes could be violating employment and privacy laws. While it is not illegal to look at a candidate’s social media footprint, it’s advisable to consider several matters before you hop on the Internet to check out a potential employee. Here are seven steps to follow if your company decides to utilize social media in its pre-employment screening process:

1. Develop a clear-cut policy When planning to utilize social media in the hiring process, one of the most important steps to take is to create a policy. Set the sites in place that will be screened, as well as the information you will be trying to find. While positive and negative information may be uncovered about the candidate, the best practice is to look for relevant information related to their work. While you don’t really need to be privy to someone’s partying habits or the fact that they kissed a boy in the

streets of New Orleans, you would need to know about unsavory behaviors like racial slurs, threats of violence or misleading information about their work history or educational background.

2. Get the applicant’s consent It’s considered best practice to follow the same notice and disclosure policies as you normally would with any preemployment screen. Advise the applicant that part of your company’s screening process entails checking their social media footprint, and gain their consent to do so.

3. Remember that consistency is the key One of an employer’s most important defenses in a lawsuit is consistency within company policies. Social media screening policies should be written in black and white, and should specifically outline the sites screened and the information being sought. This policy needs to be applied to EVERY candidate. You can get yourself into trouble by using a “go with your gut” strategy and screening only those whom you feel look suspicious. If the policy states you do not screen Twitter tweets because you feel they have no relevant information about job performance, don’t suddenly look at it if the candidate looks sneaky or has too many piercings.

4. Use a third-party to perform the search If the person conducting the hiring performs the social media search themselves, it is a given that they will eventually see information they should not use in the hiring process. Examples of this are a person’s age, race, religion, health condition, etc. Using a third-party, independent researcher to perform the search will greatly reduce this risk. The researcher (which can be someone from outside the hiring department but still within the company or a third-party background screening company) should work from a list the hiring manager has pre-defined that they want to discover about the candidate. Upon completion, the researcher can return their findings,

while omitting any information that is illegal to use in a hiring decision. This practice will ensure that the person or people making the hiring decision do not have access to protected information.

gone so far as to already pass legislation banning companies from asking for individual’s passwords. This needs to be viewed as a big invasion of privacy and avoided at all costs.

5. Do not “Friend Request” the applicant or ask them for their passwords!

6. Have a concrete reason if you deny employment to the applicant

Both actions are big no no’s and can bring on all kinds of trouble. When screening job applicants by utilizing social media, view only public information. Do not “Friend,” “Follow,” or “Connect” with the applicant so you can see additional private information. And never ask the applicant for the passwords to their social media accounts. Most social media sites have privacy sections in their agreements that ban a user from sharing their login information. Additionally, several states have even

the applicant’s chances of being hired, do not write them off immediately. Showing the applicant what was found on social media, telling them why it’s a concern, and giving them a chance to explain is an important part of the screening policy. Perhaps the negative information was inaccurate or misleading. There is also a chance it was a different person of the same name. The applicant deserves the chance to refute the information.

order to make a sound hiring decision, social media screening should be used thoughtfully along with the more traditional methods of screening. Using social media sites to screen job candidates is not risk-free. However, when implemented into an employer’s current policy and with guidelines intelligently drawn, social media screening can supply a better, all-round understanding of the job candidate.

It is highly recommended and advisable for any lending institution to implement these steps into their pre-employment screening policy before they begin utilizing social media to screen applicants. Remember, while social media sites can offer lots of valuable informa7. Give the applicant tion on a potential job candidate and their fit within a company, this should a chance to explain If a piece of information is found on not be the only background screening social media that would weigh against tool utilized in the hiring decision. In

Susan McCullah has worked in the consumer reporting industry with Data Facts since 2003 in sales, product development, and is currently the company’s marketing project manager. She served on the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Board from 2004-2006. Susan is NCRA/FCRA certified, and is responsible for Data Facts’ social media campaigns. She may be reached by phone at (800) 2644110 or e-mail

If a social media search returns information that causes you to reject an applicant, an employer needs to be able to point to specific hiring requirements as a reason to not hire a person (such as evidence the person has badmouthed their current employer, participated in illegal activities, used bad judgment, lied about their background, etc).


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“The amount of information that can be displayed through just one minute of video vastly outnumbers the amount of information that can be read.”

The Growing Trend of Video Marketing By Ryan Kelly

ideo is a different method of engaging audiences than with images or text. The amount of information that can be displayed through just one minute of video vastly outnumbers the amount of information that can be read. Video allows you to generate an instant emotional connection with your audience. It enables you to build rapport with potential customers, which is huge in terms of using video as a relationship-building tool. For branding, this is extremely useful, as it allows companies to display a “human” side more efficiently. Especially for service-based businesses, like a mortgage company, videos allow the service provider to build a rapport with their visitors. Every business is different, and finding your niche and target audience might take some time. But it is necessary to find your target audience prior to diving into video marketing. To build a solid foundation for your business, you need to identify your


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typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly. No one can afford to target everyone. Targeted marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you. This makes it easier to figure out which types of media you should use to reach them. YouTube is now the second largest search engine, just behind its parent company, Google. YouTube may be the most popular video sharing site, but it isn’t the only one out there. Other popular video sharing sites like Vimeo, Vevo and Daily Motion are also to be considered. I would recommend using YouTube, primarily because it is free, but also because it is owned by Google, which cannot hurt in terms of helping your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at the same time. Statistics provided by, show that only 20 percent of Web visitors will read the text on a Web site, while 80 per-

cent will watch the same content in the form of a video. According to a study done by Solutions8, the average Internet user watches 186 videos per month in the USA. Statistics also show that viewers are 64 to 85 percent more likely to buy after watching a video on a product or service. Adding video content to your Web site increases the chance of a front page Google result by 53 times. Most visitors prefer watching video to reading plain text on a Web site. Video is much more interactive and revealing. Companies are now noticing the effects and power of viral video marketing and are beginning to set aside ad budgets for videos on YouTube. Dove released a three-minute ad on YouTube that teaches a lesson about how we view ourselves compared to how others see us. This advertisement was not released on TV, and it was only displayed as a YouTube ad. But Dove really hit it out of the park with this one, receiving 55 million views and counting. The video went viral and received a ton of shares and publicity. Does the length of your videos matter? When it comes to video, shorter is usually better. Wistia conducted a study on the engagement and retention of video watchers and found some interesting data.

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Shorter videos are more engaging than longer videos. The average 30-sceond video was viewed 85 percent of the way through, while the average two-minute video was viewed on average 50 percent of the way through. Understanding the relationship between video length and viewer engagement can help you ensure that your audience is getting the most out of your videos. Online video is the perfect medium for capturing attention of users on mobile devices. All of the major video hosts have support to automatically convert videos to mobile-friendly formats. The opportunity to appear in front of the customer, no matter where they are, is a great benefit of video marketing. Online video offers major SEO advantages to brands who take the time to make their videos as unique and descriptive as possible. Having videos tied to your brand is a potential way to get more attention from organic searches. After you’ve produced a video for your business, the next step is to upload it to your branded YouTube Channel. Make sure to provide accompanying text to both describe the content and enable users to find the video. The title should be concise and catchy like an advertising headline. Lastly, enter one or more tags for the video, separating each tag by a space. A tag, which can be a single word or phrase, should be keywords that your customers might use in searching for a product or service like yours. This is when it’s important to think like a consumer, and this all goes back to having a target demographic. The goal for this process is to get your video noticed and viewed by the greatest number of potential customers. If you’re considering getting started with video marketing, the most important thing to focus on is your content and end goal. Basic editing, graphics and effects can be outsourced for a small cost. Online video has the potential to call viewers to actions like making a purchase, sharing a message or even looking into your company a bit deeper. Don’t forget to include a call to action in your videos. A call to action is an essential part of inbound marketing that strives to convert a viewer into a lead. That is the main goal of any and all marketing efforts. Ryan Kelly is marketing manager with Norcom Mortgage & Insurance. He may be reached by phone at (860) 899-2734 or e-mail

“Like any successful exercise program, you will want to start your foray into social media small, make little changes and build up habits.”

Social Media for the Loan Officer of Today By Scott Gordon


LinkedIn The first step is setting up your LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn is your online resume. It’s where people go to be found professionally. You may not be looking to change companies, but you should still be there. For one thing, more and more clients are hip to LinkedIn, and when they meet you, they will look you up. If you have a great profile, they feel like they “discovered” a great guy or gal. But if you aren’t on LinkedIn, or worse, you have a weak profile, they are going to be asking themselves why they want to work with you. There are a handful of things that make your profile look great, and LinkedIn even gives you tips on what to do. Start with a great photo. It should be a headshot, where your eyes are direct to the camera, you’re smiling and you look happy. Pay a photographer if you need to because photos matter. Next, fill in your profile as completely as possible. Highlight your experience. Join relevant groups. You will want to show that you are experienced, connected and are pleasant to work with. The last step with LinkedIn is spending a little time each week making connections to people in your community who you want in your network.

Webpage or blog?

A blog (short for Web-log) is a Web page, but it’s one where you regularly post updates. An update might be a story you write, a video you record, or a link to someone else’s story or video. If you want to be relevant (and you do), you must have a blog, and you must post regularly. If Google gets that you are local and thinks you are relevant, you win. Sound scary? It’s really not. I record a few videos each week (and you can too), but you don’t have to. It turns out that it’s just as effective to “curate” or post links to other people’s articles and videos. It’s easy to watch the Web and find good stuff if you put a little time into it. This is an area where your company should be helping you by providing you stories and videos, and often posting to your blog for you. Make sure they are working for your success! One last note about blogging. The Step two more you watch the Web for articles Are you ready for more? The best next and videos, the more you will learn. step is creating your own blog. The easy Before long, you will have more knowl-


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high. Grandma is on Facebook! Reverse mortgages are also interesting because they are a refinance with very little rate sensitivity, so they will probably be growing in popularity, not waning. Successful loan officers have always used the “Grow and Nurture” strategy, working every day to grow their network, or nurture the people in it. But today they do it through social media. Their network is not a list of people in a spreadsheet, but a network of connections on social media platforms. The most common are e-mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, Google+ and Twitter. The beauty of a social media strategy is that you can start very small. Almost everyone reading this article already uses social media personally. You e-mail friends and family, and you probably have a Facebook account, so you are almost an old pro already. Creating a professional social media strategy can start very small in a very similar way. The hardest part is usually making the commitment and taking action. Once you start, it’s very easy to work daily tasks into your schedule and grow your practice over time. An important thing to remember is that you don’t need to be alone in this project. You can always get help. Any employer worth their weight in salt should be providing you social media support. They can create blogs for you, provide content, do your postings, etc. At a minimum, they should help you learn what to do. There are also many social media marketing companies who can help you for a fee. You may also have family members who can help with tasks. Ask your employer what they do, if you don’t know, and assess your existing network to see who can help you. Use every resource you have available. Whatever you do, it’s crucial to start now. Your social media efforts are like a garden. They take a little work up

next step is Facebook. If you are scared to blog, at least set up a professional Facebook Page. Why is blogging the next step? Your personal Web site or blog is your “Home Base.” It’s the place on the Web where YOU control what is written about you and how you look. If your social media work is a solar system, your blog should be the sun and LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms are the orbiting planets. When people find your blog, it should be like a profile. They should get a quick look at who you are at the very first glance. You should have a great photo, contact information, and you must have your local address. Here is why. Everything about your social media strategy is about getting found and getting trusted. A local address tells Google and others that you are local. When people in your community search, you want to show up high on the first page of search results. That happens when Google knows you are local, trusts you, and thinks you are relevant.

oan originators who have a trust relationship with prospects have an easier sale. When a client knows you and trusts you, their decision becomes about which loan to select, not whether to have you do the loan. When you know your clients, you face less rate shopping and less comparison to other lenders. An alternative is to buy leads, but that means you call as a stranger and will always fight a battle over rates. With refinances all but going away, working leads will not be a viable strategy for most originators. Advertising is a way to get known, but in the last decade, the world has changed. Most consumers know that an ad is a stranger asking you to trust them. Ads carry almost no value, and sometimes negative value in getting trusted. People trust word of mouth, especially from friends. People also trust the advice of others who offer free help and ask for nothing in exchange. That is what is happening online. Networking is about being known and trusted. Successful loan originators have always built networks of clients. In the past, that was about meeting in person. Loan officers would go on property tours to meet real estate agents. They would visit open houses or offer seminars to meet borrowers. But today, everyone is busier. People cannot meet the old way or do not want to. Many prospects want to do as much of their shopping online as they can. In fact, a recent survey showed that over 90 percent of homebuyers started their search for a home online. So, if you aren’t growing your network online, you probably aren’t growing your network. If you originate reverse mortgages, you may believe you don’t need to be online because seniors do not go online, but you would be wrong. A Pew Research Group study showed that rates of seniors online are at an all-time

front, and things don’t seem to go anywhere early on. You will want people to find you online, and that means having search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! trust you. Trust takes time because they look at how long you have been around. You need to start now, to start their clock ticking. Then, much like a garden, everything starts to grow, and it gets exciting. So, now that I have convinced you to tackle social media, how much should you do, and what should you do first? Like any successful exercise program, you will want to start your foray into social media small, make little changes and build up habits. Below are the steps that I think make sense, in the order most people should tackle them.

edge and will want to write your own posts or at least post comments about the articles and videos you curate. You will become the expert you need to be.

Back to the world of Facebook It’s up to you if you want to have a presence on Facebook. You probably have an account already, but if you are posting pictures of you at the family picnic, you really need to create a new, professional account. If you have a Facebook account, make sure your profile is attractive, professional and informative, just like your LinkedIn account. Post updates to Facebook regularly. You can curate to Facebook just like you do on your blog. Time for a quick note about the blogosphere and social media in general.

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You always want to be helpful, and contribute useful content and advice. You never want to be advertising (blatantly) or be asking for anything. I wrote a whole book, and I give it away. That’s how social media is and why it’s so powerful. When creating content or curating, always give value and always offer help.


cles by what they have in common, and you can post to limited Circles. So you can have friends, family and professional, and keep them all straight. Picnic photos to family, professional articles to your professional network. The reason Google+ should be ahead of Facebook is “authority.” When you have a Google+ page, Google considers you the “author” of that page. You can then make your Google+ identity the “author” of your blog and other social media platforms. All of this tells Google that you have “authority,” and that makes your Google+ account and your blog rank higher in Google searches. That gets you found when people search for “Mortgage,” which is what this is all about.

If you are already taking these steps … then what’s next? Google+. In fact, I should have said Google+, and then Facebook. Google+ is Google’s social networking platform … its answer to Facebook, and then some. On Google+, you have a profile, you connect with people, and you post and follow content, much like Facebook. However, on Google you put your connections in Twitter “Circles” or groups. You name the cir- I would tackle Twitter next, but I have to

admit that I’m not that hot on Twitter personally. I’m sure it works great for some, but I don’t quite get it. I think your message is likely to get lost, so I put Twitter after the social media other platforms. So, is this all doable? Absolutely. Start small. Create a LinkedIn account, and make sure your profile is great. Look to your company for support; they should be helping you. Understand the reasons you are doing it. This is the modern version of “Grow and Nurture,” and it works! Scott Gordon is president and chief executive officer of Open Mortgage LLC. He may be reached by phone at (512) 4223642, e-mail or visit Scott’s blog at

“Video allows you to communicate every aspect of your marketing message in one effort.”

The Power of Video Marketing for Mortgage Professionals By Joy Gendusa arketers have several options when it comes to which medium to choose for their marketing. You basically have three main choices: Words, Pictures and Videos. Let’s analyze these options, so we can understand the marketing power that lies in video communication. I think small businesses don’t use nearly enough video on their websites and social media outlets. It’s understandable considering making a great video is a little more involved than the other forms, but the marketing benefits far outweigh the effort it takes to put one together.


Pictures, on the other hand, they’re worth 1,000 words. I mean, even now, reading this—aren’t you kind of craving a little visual stimulation? Pictures take the “burden” of visualization off the prospect, and put it right in front of them. You want the prospect to make the conclusion that your company is the best choice with as little effort on their part as possible. People are busy. If you are marketing to them, you need to do all the legwork yourself. They need to take one look at your postcard, or one skim through your Web site, and think, “This company is better than my other options.” In marketing, pictures help you show in addition to tell–an important distinction. For mortgage professionals, this could be a graph showing prospects how much they would pay in interest over the course of the loan another broker would get them. Then, another one showing how much they will pay with the better loan that you can get them. This type of image sticks in prospects minds and convinces them to take action–the very definitions of marketing success. To truly understand this difference, look at the political campaigns we see every few years. A candidate can say he’s “a man of the people” and “looking out for the little guy,” but it doesn’t mean all that much until you start seeing pictures of him visiting the downtrodden and impoverished in your community, doing real-life work. It adds some reality to those slogans. Building trust is pivotal in marketing, so by using pictures you’re giving your company a head start in the process of converting your prospects into customers.

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Clix Mg

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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Advertising copy is the most common medium through which companies choose to communicate. They send out letters. They write descriptions on their Web sites for their products and services. The power of words is immense. That’s why it’s so popular. You can spell out exactly how your company’s mortgage services benefit your prospects. You can carefully choose words that grab prospects’ attention, and show them why your services are a “must-have.” However, there is one drawback when using advertising copy. People are not as educated as they once were and won’t read all that copy. Plus, you have to rely on the prospects’ imagination. You can only describe something so well. You can only explain benefits to a certain level of thoroughness. When it comes down to it, you still need the prospect to take those descriptions and translate them to a visual in their head to see its full benefit to their lives. For example, you can describe the benefits of choosing you as their mortgage broker. You can explain how you will get them a mortgage that puts them in the best financial position allowing them to accomplish their real estate goals while setting themselves up wisely for their financial future. You can describe all of this with words, but the prospects still need to visualize how that plays out in

2. Communicating with pictures and visuals

Video allows you to make connections that static mediums simply cannot make. You can talk directly to the viewer. You can set your video to music and create an ambience behind your video that evokes certain feelings from prospects. Background music alone can go a long way toward presenting your company as exciting, safe, progressive, refined, etc. It has a lot of marketing utility and shouldn’t be neglected when putting your videos together. So if pictures are worth 1,000 words, the worth of video looks like this: Video = 1000 Words x 1,000 Pictures X infinity. Okay, that may be an exaggeration; but in

reality, video is exponentially better than words and pictures, because video brings images and words to life in a way that graphic design just cannot. Think about those funny pictures that get passed around the Internet. They combine words and pictures, and a lot of them are hilarious! But, have you ever laughed as hard or as long at one as you have at a viral video (a video passed around and seen millions of times from person to person– like a virus)? Have you ever spent as much time engaging a funny picture as you have with a video? This is the difference between static imagery and video.

1. Communicating with words (advertising copy)

their own mind. They have to picture how happy they will be in the future because the loan allowed them more financial freedom. Although good copy is absolutely essential for any business, it does have limitations.

3. Communicating with video

the power of video marketing

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Video allows you to communicate every aspect of your marketing message in one effort. Prospects can hear about your services, and the benefits they offer, from your own mouth. All the while, you can show them graphs of your track record of getting great mortgage rates. You can do profile videos of your employees, so prospects can get to know who they would be working with. You can have video testimonials from your most loyal customers, which is an incredible way to build trust with prospects. Using videos for marketing takes all the effort away from the prospects. You tell them everything they need to know. You show it to them with visuals. They make a human connection from seeing you and hearing you speak yourself. And it gives you the ability to use extras like

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music to give prospects an emotional response to your marketing. Of the main three marketing mediums (Words, Pictures and Video), video l is king when it comes to engaging your prospects and giving your company the best chance of turning them into a customer. It uses both words and visuals to engage the prospect’s interest, inform l them of the benefits of your services and connect with them on a personal level. But don’t my word for it. The l proof is in the numbers: l The average user spends 88 percent more time on a Web site with video l (Source: Mist Media) l Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53 percent more like-

ly to show up on page one of Google (Source: Mist Media) Approximately 46 percent of people say they would be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video (Source: Eloqua) Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines (Source: MarketingSherpa) Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90 percent (Source: Mist Media) Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video (Source: SEOmoz) Nearly 60 percent of customers said viewing a product video made them more confident in their purchase and less likely to return it (Source: Vocus)

Now that you know how valuable videos are for marketing purposes, it’s time to get to work. Use some of the ideas I listed, and put together your own. Use the best equipment you can, because you don’t want to create a shoddy video that talks about how great and professional your company is! It won’t resonate with prospects, because the video quality isn’t consistent with its message. Trust me when I tell you the results will be worth the effort! Joy Gendusa is chief executive officer and founder of PostcardMania. She began PostcardMania in 1998 with nothing but a phone and a computer and zero investment capital. By 2008, revenues reached nearly $19 million and the company now employs more than 150 people, prints four million and mails two million postcards each week representing more than 40,000 customers in over 350 industries. For more information, call (800) 628-1804, ext. 342.

“The Company Cover Photo is the first photo people will see when they visit your page. This is an important detail not to be overlooked, as it is free advertising of your logo and brand.�

The Four “Cs� of Building a Better Facebook Business Page By Theresa Santoro & Anna Bryan


keep them engaged in your firm’s content and activity. Building a Facebook Fan Page is similar in nature to following a roadmap. This article will discuss the basic steps to follow to get you to your destination and touch on the Four Cs: Cohesive, Consistent and Coordinated Communication

create a thumbnail logo or a simple version of your logo that is recognizable in a small size. The Company Cover Photo is the first photo people will see when they visit your page. This is an important detail not to be overlooked, as it is free advertising of your logo and brand.

3. Administer your page Create a company policy regarding the look, feel and tone of your Facebook Page and ensure all administrators embody that policy. The message should be coordinated across departments and administrators. Do you want colleagues to assist in managing the

page? You can give authorization to colleagues to be administrators and help you post to Facebook, as well as respond to comments or messages. Choose your administrators wisely. A young new hire or intern may be tech savvy, but are they capable of making discriminating decisions regarding content. If you have more than two administrators, assign responsibilities for content areas each will cover. Become acquainted with your Admin Panel as it will serve as your main source for managing your firm’s page. You will continued on page 54

1. Getting started


"! ! ! ! ! ! !

2. Provide your firm’s essential information The “About� section serves as the main description for your company and is an opportunity to convey the core message of your firm, including the products and services provided. The best way to approach this is to pull content from your company Web site so that your company message remains streamlined and cohesive. You can also include a link to your company’s site. Your profile photo will be your firm’s logo. Using your logo creates brand recognition as followers will see the image in their newsfeed when you post. Non-followers will see the image when you comment on others pages or visit your page for the first time. If your logo is large or intricate, it is recommended to





  !! !   

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Creating a page is straightforward and easy to do using the guides provided by Facebook ( business/build). Do a little leg work so you know what core information will be needed before you begin to create your Facebook Page. In the planning stage, you must determine the Cohesive and Consistent message, tone and visual elements you wish to convey. In smaller firms, this process may be undertaken by an individual. In larger firms, a workgroup or informal discussion with colleagues across departments may be helpful. The Facebook Page of your firm is a marketing tool and should represent your firm as a cohesive entity, not a segment or department of the firm.

ost firms have an active Facebook Business Page as part of their integrated marketing strategy. If your firm doesn’t yet, why should you? Because Facebook is where the people are looking for information. As of March 2013, Facebook had 655 million daily users. Although LinkedIn has made strides in becoming more dimensional and more engaging, when was the last time you stayed up too late scrolling through LinkedIn? The old adage “don’t mix business with pleasure� no longer applies. The paradigm has shifted towards convenience and integration. Most professionals use their tablets, laptops and smartphones for business and pleasure. Facebook is a legitimate avenue for communication. A Business Facebook Page is an opportunity to inform your audience of your product or services, dates for upcoming conferences or training seminars, news about your firm such as press releases, articles published or blog posts. It is also an appropriate place to convey some of the less technical aspects of your firm, such as community service projects, “getting to know you� segments or interviews with employees, and various aspects of your corporate culture. The news items and the softer items all communicate the intention, style and culture of your firm, all of which of enhance your brand. A core decision will be the formality of your page. Will you only use professional headshots of executives on Facebook or will you allow snapshots? Highly personal information is rarely conveyed. “Congratulations to our CEO on the birth of his son� is not a common post, but it may be fit for the culture of your firm. As an added bonus, Facebook is a great way to communicate with potential new hires. Many users “Follow� firms they would like to work at. In this article, you will learn a few easy steps to create a great fan page that will not only attract the players in your industry, but

“In the planning stage, you must determine the Cohesive and Consistent message, tone and visual elements you wish to convey.�

“Facebook ‘Fan Pages’ haven’t always been around, but once they were announced, groups, companies and advertisers jumped for joy.”

building a better facebook business page

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Facebook “Likes” Turn to Profit The “why’s” and “how’s” of a good Facebook page

need to learn how to navigate between your own personal Facebook page and the one or more Facebook Pages which you administer. Again, Facebook provides detailed guides to help you with the nuts and bolts of page administration.

4. Build an audience

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Internally discuss a coordinated strategy to grow your audience and implement internal policies that will help you page grow. Some firms sponsor ads to increase visibility and gain fans. One strategy is to “Like” other pages in your industry and begin commenting on other’s posts to engage in conversation and increase the exposure of your page. You can import your contacts from your e-mail accounts to grow your company’s network. This will ensure you continue to grow your company’s network through additional channels. Importing contacts on a monthly basis is a good frequency to start with. Once your network sees the buzz generated by the contacts and content within your page, they will be more inclined to engage.

5. Provide content It is important to use a variety of content. What is new in your niche of the mortgage industry? What pictures and/or statistics are your clients or followers interested in? Plan ahead and brainstorm content with your colleagues for a coordinated approach. If you are not familiar with graphic design software, you can recruit creative colleagues to create infographics of relevant data. Content should be original and engaging. It is okay to promote the posts of industry leaders and strategic partners by “sharing” their status on occasion, but most content should be original. Status Updates allow you to convey your message to your fan base. You can update your firm’s status with press mentions, blog entries from executives, your company job postings, or start to gauge audience receptivity to a new project you’re working on. Facebook is

a great way to draw industry players and potential clients to your Web site. Use Facebook to highlight new content on your site by providing a link directly to the information. Daily engagement is required. While your ultimate goal is to have the best looking Facebook Page out there, you also want to be sure you are closely monitoring how your fans are utilizing it. The Admin Panel allows you to track this information with the ability to see all the private messages users are sending to your page, all the posts users “Like,” and each one that is commented on. By ensuring a quick response to each post and message received, you are expressing appreciation to your network of fans and building loyalty.

6. Evaluate the effort Facebook provides the infrastructure to measure the success of your page. The “Insights” tool allows you to see overviews of your page’s Total Likes, Facebook Friends of Fans, People Talking This and Weekly Total Reach. You must also consider the intangibles. Is your page authentic? Is it an accurate reflection of your firm? Does your page provide content that is valuable to the industry? Is your page meeting your goals? If not, reevaluate your efforts and look for ways to improve. Your Facebook Page is part of a cohesive marketing strategy consistent throughout your online presence and social media. Just remember the Four Cs: Cohesive, Consistent and Coordinated Communication.

By Jason Wroble

acebook is known as the apex of all social media sites. Facebook overcame it’s predecessor, MySpace, and even it’s close adversary Twitter cannot boast as many registrations and daily participants. Every second of the day, people are posting statuses, sharing pictures, and “Liking” things that catch their interest. It’s the fastest, most versatile form of communication and form of sharing that our society has had to date. Facebook “Fan Pages” haven’t always been around, but once they were announced, groups, companies and advertisers jumped for joy. There is no faster way to garner interest in a subject than to make a solid Fan Page. Once you have enough people following your page, everything you post or share can be instantly seen by thousands of eyes across the world. Is there any downside to that? The downside is that, sadly, many are not sure how to utilize this power tool effectively. A Facebook Fan Page may have only 10 or 20 followers … and many are simply close friends of the creator. Content is seen but quickly forgotten about, and the page then languishes in obscurity. What is the true power of Facebook Fan Pages, and how can you harness it to further the reach of your group, company, product or idea?


The five why’s Theresa Santoro is manager of human resources/operations at Actualize Consulting where she oversees the recruiting and social media areas for the firm. She may be reached by e-mail at Anna Bryan is senior consultant of human resources at Actualize Consulting where she assists with marketing and social media efforts for the firm. She may be reached by e-mail at

Getting the attention you deserve can be a challenge. If you have a business, event or idea, it can be hard to get others to notice it–you know there are people who are out there and are interested in what you have to offer, but you cannot seem to connect with them. Along came Facebook, bringing with it the content of “Fan Pages.” Facebook Fan Pages can help gather

interest in any subject. So …why have a Fan Page for your topic? 1. Facebook lets you customize your Fan Page in almost any way you can imagine. If you have resources such as pictures, video or audio, it’s easy to post or link it on a Fan Page. Share thoughts, take polls and interact directly with others concerning your material. Lastly, if you have an outside Web site, it’s easy to include a link to it on your Fan Page. 2. When others “Like” and follow a page, they are directly connected to any material you post. Once someone does follow this page, they will be given updates on their News Feed whenever the Fan Page posts new material, such as a photo or status. 3. Those who are followers also have the ability to comment or “Like” the material that is posted, further engaging them in that Fan Page. There are few truer forms of feedback than that of Facebook comments, and due to the ease of use, users will feel free to post any of there thoughts on a subject, product, or company. 4. Fans of a page can ultimately draw others to said page, becoming selfgenerating traffic. Not only will your Fan Page be posted on their profile, but the person’s friends will see many of the interactions that that person has on your Fan Page. This can attract further interest from those parties and eventually lead them to also follow your page. 5. If you don’t yet have a personal Web site, this can be a great way to

gather ideas, content and followers to lead up to an eventual site launch. Fan Pages cost nothing to set up, so there’s no net loss to owning one. Fan Pages make for a perfect first introduction. Imagine being able to meet a future employer, employee or customer, and forward them directly to your Facebook Fan Page. These Fan Pages can be used to drive traffic to almost any type of resource as businesses and companies will undoubtedly see more interest (and sales). Groups and organizations can also boost awareness and interaction by creating a well-designed, effective Fan Page for themselves. Even individuals who want to keep fans updated on their current whereabouts, projects or events will find a great deal of usefulness in owning their own Facebook Fan Page.

People will answer questions in which they feel personally engaged in, and this will help generate traffic to your page. 4. Look into perfecting your design and layout: Do you think all Fan Pages are the same? Think again! Big names like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and even Red Bull have beautifully designed Fan Pages. How can you make your Fan Page stand out? There have been some companies helping people take their Fan Pages to the next level. 5. Get into the world of photos/photography: People love images. Find a way to take your Fan Page content and turn it into something visually enhancing. If all else fails, hold a contest between your fans to see who can create the best or most attractive logo/main picture for your Fan Page.

The 10 how’s

2. Make it original: In content, layout and your Fan Page altogether … if people see that you have put the legwork into making your content not like everyone else’s, they will be more willing to peek in and see what it is you are doing (and thinking). 3. Engage your fans regularly: This Fan Page isn’t just about you and yours–it’s about them and theirs! Use your Status Updates to pose questions, ask for opinions, and hold polls. People love answering questions, especially when it has to do with something personal. Running out of ideas? Make it simple! “The weather here is rainy and windy! How will you guys be spending your day?” or even “Is it just me, or was today a really long day?”

7. Prepare for negative feedback: The Internet can be a surprisingly harsh, mean and downright rude place. Do not ignore it. Negative feedback can be your chance to shine. Perfect your response beforehand so you are not caught offguard when it happens! 8. Tie several other social media outlets into your Fan Page: Create other pages on other social media sites, and then link them to your Facebook Page. This will help better engage your audience, connecting everyone just a little bit more. 9. Consider promoting your page through other sources: Facebook itself has an advertisement system– you may have seen their ads on the right-hand side of all Facebook pages. For a fee, Facebook will host a small ad for your Fan Page for a certain amount of time. 10. If all else fails, seek professional help: There are many Web sites and personal coaches that can either teach you how to set up your page, or even do it for you. Professional services may or may not cost money,

Jason Wroble has worked with the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals (IAMP) in the roles of executive vice president and IMPA board of directors. He was also selected as a “Top 40 Influential Mortgage Professional Under the Age of 40” by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (312) 3075593 or e-mail

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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

1. The first, and most important tip: Consistently post new content. Whether it’s a Status Update or Photo, make sure to post via your Fan Page at least once every day. Many pages post more frequently. Make sure the content would be something your fans will have a vested interest in.

6. Hold a contest or giveaway: Even if the content given away is something simple, people love free stuff!

In our age, Facebook is a force that cannot be ignored. No matter where you on the Internet, Facebook is either mentioned or utilized to further connect people across the world. Having a solid and effective Fan Page is your first step in getting your name recognized! Improving your page can take many hours or devotion, but it all pays off. Take your first steps today to improv-

ing your Fan Page, and it will pay off for months (and possibly years) to come.

The only type of Fan Page that is not useful is one that isn’t being seen. Here are 10 ways to make sure your Facebook Fan Page is a success.

but a true professional will be worth the cost

“… if you are not harnessing the full potential of LinkedIn to grow sales and build a loyal client base, you are leaving more money on the table than you even realize.”

Seven Sure-Fire Ways to Get More Clients with LinkedIn By Jeff t is a fact that LinkedIn is the world’s largest, most comprehensive professional network. With more than 200 million subscribers, LinkedIn adds two new profiles every second. The clients that you need to do business with are on LinkedIn. It is a fact that studies indicate that mortgage professionals who implement proven LinkedIn sales and marketing strategies have grown their originations by more than 30 percent. Some of my students have even doubled their origination volume within just 12 months of implementing these proven techniques. It is a fact that if you are not harnessing the full potential of LinkedIn to grow sales and build a loyal client base, you are leaving more money on the table than you even realize. But, how do we catch the wave of this massive trend in social media? Here are seven simple strategies proven to grow sales and get more clients utilizing LinkedIn:


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1. Build a robust LinkedIn profile Your LinkedIn profile is the hub of your sales activity. For many clients who do business with you, it will be the first impression that you make with them. The perception of your professionalism, capability and accomplishments has a huge influence on a client’s decision of who they choose to do business with. The first step to acquire more clients with LinkedIn is to build a superior profile page that does full justice to your personal brand and informs potential clients of the depth of your industry experience and competencies. Did you realize that your LinkedIn Headline (which appears directly under your name) in your profile is picked up in Google’s search algorithms? It is! Simply placing the prop-

through a variety of methods. You may reach out to them directly through LinkedIn’s InMail system (an internal email system). You could also send them a direct invitation to connect. You may also elect to be introduced to these Krantz valuable connections through someone in your existing network that knows er text in your LinkedIn headline can them. The networking possibilities truly put you in a favorable place with are endless. Google’s fantastic search engine. 3. Obtain professional Imagine the possibilities. LinkedIn profile pages have replaced recommendations the old-school version of your profes- You have clients who you have happily sional resume. In this modern era of served before with your mortgage servicsocial media, the people that need to es. They are delighted with your profesfind you and desire what you do pro- sionalism and capability. How great fessionally, are going to find you online. would it be if you could obtain profesIt is imperative that your LinkedIn sional testimonials from these happy profile include a thorough detail of clients that edify you and highly endorse your professional working history, your your services? With LinkedIn, you are able to do that professional designations and certifications, as well as a robust client testimo- very thing. You can request recommennial collection called recommenda- dations from past clients through tions, where past clients of yours sing LinkedIn’s InMail recommendation system. The recipients of these recommenyour praises. dation requests are prompted to draft a concise testimonial of your professional 2. Add targeted services. Once they complete this recomconnections A free basic LinkedIn account allows mendation, the InMail system automatisophisticated search capabilities. A sub- cally notifies you of their recommendascribing member can search for tion and immediately allows you to post prospects in a variety of ways making it the recommendation on your profile easier to find new clients than ever page. You can even return the favor and before. LinkedIn’s advanced search share a recommendation of how capabilities allow us to search by key- delightful it was to work with that client word, name, company, title, location, and tout their professional capabilities industry, and even seniority (among as well. There is nothing as compelling as a others). Just think of the possibilities of searching and finding prospects from a professional recommendation. Over the specific organization that is expanding course of time, you can compile a treasor opening new facilities in an area ure-trove of robust client testimonials to where you originate loans? Imagine display on your LinkedIn profile that connecting with influencers who have speak volumes of your abilities and seniority with the clients you want to do experience to help so many others. business with. How would you like the opportunity find and connect with 4. Post priceless wisdom some of the industry movers and shak- and always add value ers that could stand to become a very LinkedIn allows you to post valuable profitable strategic partner to grow information which then appears to all your mortgage originations business. of your connections in the newsfeedLinkedIn allows you to do that very styled updates section. Much like Facebook allows you to post status thing. Once you have searched for and updates, LinkedIn allows you to share a found these individuals, you may begin great article, quote, news headline to connect with them through LinkedIn among so many other valuable things

directly as a personal update. What better way to stay out in front of potential clients and strategic partners? Today’s economy is based on information. When we provide valuable insights to our connections through LinkedIn, not only are we increasing the value of our personal brand, but we are helping them to make informed decisions when it comes to home financing. As you post the latest valuable industry information to your updates feed on LinkedIn, you will become the provider of choice when your prospects select the mortgage professional that they desire to do business with.

5. Communicate strategically Once you have connected with the individuals you desire to do business with, you can implement a strategic communication strategy with them directly through LinkedIn. I encourage regular, ongoing frequency of communication with your LinkedIn connections. The initial contact with the connection may be a simple expression of gratitude for adding them into your network. Often, during these first exchanges of communication, you are getting introduced to them and getting your name out there. Expressing a bit of thankfulness and then positioning yourself to help them when the need arises, is always a tactful way to create a great first impression. Follow up communication directly to your LinkedIn connections should always be saturated with value-added information and never pitching a product to them. There is no faster way to turn a prospect off than to use social media as a platform to pitch your latest product. LinkedIn is the platform to create authentic, mutually beneficial professional relationships.

6. Join industry groups LinkedIn has thousands of industry and professional groups that you can join. Most of these groups have a leader who administers the group and also screens applicants so that the membership of each group is of true

professional quality. Once you join an industry group, you may be the benefactor of leading strategies and techniques for your profession that the group publishes and gives you access to. LinkedIn also allows you to set the communication preferences and frequency of group communications so you can manage your time and inbox efficiently. Most LinkedIn Groups will host conversations relative to a specific hot topic or trend. You can join the conversations and share your ideas and thought-leadership. LinkedIn discussions are a fantastic way to engage with other professionals that share a common passion and interest area that you may learn from and contribute to.

7. Post your valuable intellectual assets

producers use to fill their calendars with qualified sales appointments. He may be reached by phone at (716) 432-1202 or email


In the Nation! 57

For Branch opportunities call 877.896.8496

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LinkedIn allows a great variety of ways and means to post your ideas and get your personal brand established. In today’s economy, thought-leadership is of paramount importance. If you want to be the mortgage professional of choice, it is imperative that you add value like no one else can. This means that ideas and opinions you contribute from your experience in the profession have great influence on the decisions your prospects make. Posting these intellectual assets is easy with LinkedIn. You can post articles or publications that you have written. You may share resources through LinkedIn’s Slideshare feature which is viewable to all LinkedIn members and posts directly to your profile page. When you come across another interesting article or discussion posted by a connection of yours, you may also share it so that your connections may see it in your updates feed as well. When it comes to posting updates and information on LinkedIn, it’s always a good practice to keep the variety of information you post fresh and interesting. Sometimes I post an article; at other times, I may post a motivational quote. At other times, I may share something that is humorous and tasteful that my LinkedIn connections would find uplifting. The idea here is to fully leverage the capabilities of such a robust social platform as LinkedIn so that you may obtain more clients and deepen the relationships with existing clients.

LinkedIn is one of the powerful tools chest and put it to effective use. you have at your disposal to build a truly remarkable mortgage practice. It’s Jeff Krantz is of LLC time that you reached into the tool trains the techniques that ultra-top sales

“Treat your Facebook page as a living, breathing creature … if you don’t feed it, it will die.”

Getting Started on Facebook By Steven Xavier Muldrow

here are more than 1.11 billion active users a month on Facebook and 50 million-plus business pages, according to a 2013 study by That is just too large a number to ignore as a business. However, it can seem overwhelming when trying to start out on Facebook. There are many options and capabilities, but when you are just starting out, there are a few things you should know. One thing to remember is that Facebook is different for each user. What works for my company’s page may be different from what works for your business page, as there is no cookie cutter formula to success. Both pages have different users with different demographics and interests, and you must approach it with this mindset. With that said, to help organize some of the chaos surrounding Facebook and to get started talking with the millions of potential customers, here are a few suggestions to follow that should help get to the ball rolling.


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Plan Facebook is a way for your company to casually interact with consumers; however, you should have a business strategy and plan on how you are going to leverage the platform. Like anything in business, you need to have a plan. What is your purpose for being on Facebook, do you want to increase sales? Drive traffic to your Web site? Increase brand awareness? Define your purpose, and start to set up goals you want to reach. These goals should be specific and measurable such as increase fans to 500 by Aug. 1. This enables you to track your progress and make improvements if need be. A great tool that helps you with this tracking and analysis is the Insights section. In this section, you are able to see graphs about the demographics of your page, as well as

data from past posts. You can then use this information to better position your future post.

Cover photo Create a cover photo for your page. It’s the first thing people will see when visiting your page, so it should be inviting and well done. First, it should be the right size so that the photo doesn’t look blurry or skewed. The correct dimensions of a cover photo should be 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall, while the minimum photo dimension used should be 720 pixels wide. The next step should be choosing an image that sparks interest and draws the attention of users. There is a restriction on how much text can be used in the photo, so make the image speak for itself. One way to do this is to use bright colors or a photo that highlights one of the products or services you offer. Remember, the image should still align with your brand image and message. Lastly, don’t be afraid to switch it up after a few months. You want the cover photo to continuously work for you so change it to show new products, a holiday theme, etc. … Just don’t be boring!

Content Content is everything on Facebook. What you post matters, so finding the right content is a key factor in succeeding on Facebook. Obviously, what to post changes depending on what industry or business you are in, but there a few best practices to follow as you first start out. Keep the message short, as Facebook users tend to have small attention spans and are usually not willing to read a big block of text. Make it easy and tempting to engage with your posts by asking questions, fill in the blanks and “Like This” type of posts. Also, strategically use photos, videos, and articles. They say a

picture is worth a thousand words, and that seems to be true on Facebook as well. Please use original posts, do NOT use an auto post app. People can tell and it lowers the amount of engagement the posts sees. Most importantly stay consistent. A lot of businesses get a Facebook page and post for a few months, and then forget about it for weeks at a time. There is no magic or secret formula to success with Facebook, you just need to check in consistently and continually post relevant content. Treat your Facebook page as a living, breathing creature … if you don’t feed it, it will die.


your followers. You can also better target your advertisements on Facebook. You can target as broad or narrow as you would like. Some of the options you have to target the right audience are by state, city, gender, age, keywords, workplaces, relationship and sexual persuasion. It also allows you to set a daily budget, or you are able to set a lifetime campaign budget. Either way, advertising on Facebook is substantially cheaper than traditional advertising. There a few ways that you can be charged for placing your ad, with the most popular being the CPC (Cost per Click) model. With this model, you are only paying your bid amount when someone clicks on your ad. This seems to be the most effective in terms of return-on-investment (ROI). The photo and content are the most important part of a Facebook ad. Some ways to increase your ads click through rate (CTR) are to ask a question in the ad, personalize the image, capitalize a few words, try to invoke emotion, or send users to your Facebook Page. Once you get a user to click on your ad, you must be able to keep them on your page long enough to like it.

Facebook displays four tabs on your page. You can have as many tabs as you like, but only four will automatically be shown. One of those tabs must be your “Photos,” but you get to choose what the other three will be. This is an important part of your page because it is where you are able to extend your content beyond the posting of status updates. The most commonly used tab is the “Welcome Tab.” It should be used to explain what you do and what value you offer. Here is where you can highlight the value you add to users such as discounts or exclusive offers. Other popular tabs Lastly, always remember Facebook used are to show other social media is a social media platform with an sites your business is on like Twitter, emphasis on social. You must engage Pinterest and Instagram. with your followers. This means responding to comments and mesContests sages. Use your business page as a Contests are another Tab you can uti- place to talk and have conversations lize and they are a great way to gain with users. In its own way, Facebook fans quickly. It’s important to read the is a never ending focus group that rules and guidelines for running con- allows you insights into what your tests on Facebook before starting. customers are saying, so use it to Contest ideas that are widely used are improve and increase your business. sweepstakes, giveaways or photo contests. Prizes can be gift cards or as sim- Steven Xavier Muldrow has more than ple as making the winner the featured two years of experience working with fan of the week. Contests are also a social media and is currently employed great way to gain leads by requiring at First California Mortgage Company as entrants to fill out a contact form. the firm’s social media coordinator. He Most contests will require the use of holds an undergraduate degree in third party apps. Marketing and Accounting and an MBA in Global Management. He may be reached by e-mail at xmuldrow@firstAds You can advertise on Facebook to grow

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MORTGAGE PROFES Jason Berman Facebook: Twitter: @jbinfrisco, @jbermangroup, @mtgtechsummit Jason Berman is a mortgage originator based in Summit County, Colo. He also hosts Mortgage Tech Summit, a technology conference for mortgage originators that coalesces every six to nine months in warm destinations around the U.S. The conference attracts top industry professionals from around the country who gather to discuss emerging technologies in the mortgage origination vertical.

Frank Garay and Brian Stevens Web site: Frank Garay and Brian Stevens are the hosts of the extremely popular online show, The National Real Estate Post. Frank and Brian made the Inman 100 in 2010, a list of the top 100 most influential people in the real estate industry along with several other notable achievements. Their mortgage and real estate commentary video blog has had 50 million-plus views in under five years.

Vladimir Bien-Aimé Blog: Facebook: LinkedIn: Vladimir Bien-Aime’ is a well-respected expert in the valuation mortgage technology space. He is constantly evangelizing on how organizations can increase efficiencies, effectiveness, profitability and manage risk.

Amy Goldstein Facebook: Twitter: @amybmic LinkedIn: Amy Goldstein has been a senior mortgage broker for BMIC Mortgage in Rockville, Md. for the past 13 years. Amy loves social media outlets because it gives her the ability to reach an audience that is not necessarily aware about mortgage happenings!

Chris Brown Facebook: Twitter: @chris_brown_ Chris Brown rocks it when being meaningful with his social media connections. “Online only magnifies who you are offline. Be cool.”

Dan Green Blog: Twitter: @mortgagereports Dan Green is a loan officer with Waterstone Mortgage in Cincinnati, Ohio. His blog, The Mortgage Reports, launched in 2004 and today, it’s widely considered the premier U.S. mortgage blog for consumers.

Rob Chrisman Blog: After officially retiring in 2008 from a career in capital markets, many in the industry came to know Rob Chrisman through his daily commentary that is sent out five to six days per week. “I merely am trying to help the industry keep up on the many changes that it goes through every week,” said Chrisman.

J. Scott Harris Facebook: Twitter: @harrisjscott LinkedIn: J. Scott Harris has 5,000 Facebook Likes and 6,400-plus LinkedIn connections. He sends his past client, real estate agent and industry database of more than 20,000 monthly e-mails to stay in touch and keep them informed. He also runs three monthly networking events that attract between 300-400 total.

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Ricardo Cobos Blog: Facebook: Twitter: @ricardocobos LinkedIn: Ricardo Cobos said, “Because I’ve always used technology to improve my business model, when the tried and true methods of lead generation with real estate agents, builders and direct mail campaigns began to wane in 2008, migrating to social media was an easy shift for me. Since then, the most valuable lesson I have learned is where to invest my time and money. For me, e-mail, Facebook ads, Twitter, LinkedIn and my own self-hosted, personally branded blog,, has been the most rewarding.” Marc Demetriou Twitter: @mdemetriou2 LinkedIn: Marc Demetriou has become one of the most trusted and respected mortgage bankers in the state of New Jersey, especially among the accounting and legal community where he is called upon frequently as an expert panelist and speaker. In 2005, NJBIZ named him one of their “Forty Under 40,” an award honoring the 40 most successful New Jersey business leaders under the age of 40.

Brittney Haven Facebook: LinkedIn: A consummate relationship builder, Brittney Haven’s talents were quickly recognized when she joined VirPack as a customer relationship manager in March 2012. In just over a year’s time, she was promoted to manager of customer relationships and implementations, the position she currently holds. Britt’s career has escalated in alignment with VirPack’s growth overall, helping to solidify the company as a premier platform in the mortgage industry. Britt is well-respected with customers, partners and peers, and her outreach and engagement aligned with her business strategy has helped VirPack achieve double-digit profitability the past several years. Anny Havland Facebook: Twitter: @annyhavland YouTube: Anny Havland, social media and video queen, is an original founder of Neighborhood Mortgage. She is known for her online show, Talk It Up TV, a program she started from her own community to spread positive messages and help those in need. She also enjoys helping others get into video marketing.


SSIONALS Julian Hebron Blog: Twitter: @thebasispoint Julian Hebron’s content appears on CNBC, WSJ, CNNMoney, Marketwatch, TheStreet and more. Top housing execs, journalists and policymakers rely on his @TheBasisPoint feed for straight talk from the retail lending trenches.

John H.P. Hudson Facebook: 139620189523728 Twitter: @Premier_Hudson YouTube: John H.P. Hudson recently served as the 2012-2013 Government Affairs Chairman for NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals and worked to shape the future of the mortgage market. “My job with NAMB is to fight for brokers and loan professionals. My job with Premier Nationwide Lending is to help my business partners close and fund more loans. My team and I have been effective because we have embraced the use of social media to effectively get our message across. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn have helped me educate thousands of mortgage professionals on industry issues affecting them,” said Hudson. Dustin Hughes Facebook: Dustin Hughes’ Facebook group, Hughes’ Troop, has more than 2,400 members, many of which are mortgage professionals. This group follows Dustin’s journey as he battles brain cancer. This group is a source of inspiration and hope for those who admire Dustin’s courage and strength in this trying time.

Mark Madsen Facebook: Twitter: @mark_madsen Mark Madsen manages a portfolio of more than 13,800 consumer-focused mortgage and real estate niche Web sites which has produced more than 42,100 organic mortgage leads from top search engine marketing strategies in the month of May alone. He runs the largest mortgage professional network on Google Plus, as well as a few very active private mortgage and real estate blogging communities on Facebook. Justin McHood Facebook: Twitter: @jmchood Justin McHood has been in the mortgage business since 2003 and has made the transition from offline to online when it comes to talking about mortgages. You can find him on various mortgage and real estate industry blogs discussing mortgage topics as well as Twitter and Facebook. He is based in Phoenix, Ariz. and works with a number of different organizations helping them with their mortgage lead generation efforts. Jeffrey Nelson Facebook: Twitter: @jefflnelson LinkedIn: Jeffrey Nelson is a mortgage and financial executive with 25 years in wholesale and retail mortgage originations. Positions Jeff has held include president, executive vice president, senior vice president, national and regional sales manager for private and public companies. Jeff produces a weekly show on the economy for KDPI FM community radio. Currently works in retail mortgage originations as a Regional Manager for Gateway Funding DMS LP based out of his offices in Sun Valley, Idaho. Lewis Poretz Facebook: Twitter: @lewisporetz LinkedIn: A 20-plus-year veteran of the mortgage industry and early adopter of social media, Lewis Poretz’s online presence includes 9,000-plus Twitter followers, Twitter chat host, 4,200-plus LinkedIn connections, Linkedin group builder, a “Rainmaker,” Zillow Mortgages Unzipped featured blogger, and speaker at conferences in the U.S. and Canada discussing social media for the mortgage and real estate industries. Poretz is a branch recruiter for AnnieMac Home Mortgage.

Todd LaBorwit Facebook: Twitter: @todd_laborwit LinkedIn: Todd LaBorwit has been in the mortgage business since 1997. He is skilled in developing strategies to maintain a high client retention and referral rate. He operates with the highest level of integrity and focuses on empowering his clients, and is known in his community as a professional who truly cares. Todd specializes in working with financial advisors, attorneys, CPAs and real estate agents. Todd is also the founder of, where a tree is planted and the client receives a coin of authentication.

Brandon Snider Facebook: Twitter: @cfmbrandon LinkedIn: Brandon Snider has attracted more than 3,500 fans for his Facebook Page by constantly posting engaging and relevant content to his fans, comprised of real estate agents, as well as past and “future” clients. He also has more than 2,700 “Friends” on his personal Facebook profile, 600-plus connections on LinkedIn and nearly 400 followers on Twitter.

David Lykken Facebook: Twitter: @davidlykken LinkedIn: David Lykken, a 40-year veteran of the mortgage industry is a leading mortgage industry business strategy consultant as well as an industry spokesman commenting as a guest on FOX, CNBC, CBS Evening News, Bloomberg radio and NPR, and many radio shows. Additionally, he started a LinkedIn discussion group called “Loan Originator Compensation & New Rules” which continues to grow and now has over 6,000 members, as well as having his

John G. Stevens Facebook: Twitter: @johnglenstevens LinkedIn: John G. Stevens has had the privilege of serving on the board of directors for both the Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP) as well as NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. His desire to serve and help others is what makes him stand out as a pillar in this ever-changing industry.

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Adam Smith Facebook: Twitter: @adampsmith1 YouTube: Adam P. Smith is the President of The Colorado Real Estate Finance Group, Inc., a Commercial and Residential Real Estate Finance Firm. During his career he has helped thousands of clients, both individuals and corporations, in their goals regarding real estate finance as well as both personal and corporate finance and has personally written billions of dollars in mortgage and finance deals.


Dan Keller Blog: Twitter: @dankellermtg YouTube: Dan Keller is using LinkedIn recommendations, Yelp reviews, and his blog to connect directly with homebuyers and real estate agents in the Seattle market. Dan also uses video e-mail and video texts to raise the level of communication and conversion in an industry that traditionally lacks in those departments.

own weekly podcast radio program called “Lykken On Lending” that can be heard nationally each Monday at noon Central Time by visiting

Lenders, AMCs and Technology: What’s the Ideal Approach?

new to market

By Vladimir Bien-Aimé

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As the regulatory environment intensifies and further scrutiny is placed on lenders to process appraisals in a compliant manner, now more than ever, it is critical that lenders utilize an organization and model that cost effectively gets the job done right—every time. Most lenders elect to use appraisal management companies (AMCs) to outsource and handle the appraisal process for them. While this is an effective method, there are a number of different challenges that accompany working with multiple AMCs in order to efficiently and compliantly manage the appraisal process. These challenges can cost them time, money, cause reporting issues and create potential compliance exposure. Most every AMC uses some form of technology to help manage the appraisal process and make it easier for lenders to do business with them. However, each AMC may use a different technology system that the lender’s staff must learn for managing different processes such as how to order, receive status updates, workflows, reporting and more. Further complicating matters is that using multiple AMCs that have different technologies makes it difficult to efficiently assign and place orders with appraisers due to systems that do not talk to one another. And then you have to make sense of multiple reports from multiple AMCs’ systems. So, you can easily find yourself bouncing around to different applications, re-logging in, learning different systems and features, and sorting out what ultimately becomes a messy, time consuming reporting structure. This can get so complex and laborious that it becomes counterproductive. The good news is that there are solutions available to remedy the aforementioned issues. The optimal solution is to implement a centralized appraisal order management and distribution system that consolidates and streamlines the eight primary aspects of the appraisal management process: Vendor Management, Ordering, Assigning, Tracking, Delivery, Reviewing, Selling and Accounting. Using a centralized, all-in-one platform eliminates errors, thus preventing kick-backs, and it ensures 100 percent compliance with detailed reporting. By using a centralized appraisal management distribution system, you are able to effectively streamline and manage all steps in the process. Users will only be required to learn a single system for every appraisal order, thus creating a more simplified and efficient process for LOs, processors, appraisal coordinators, and review/underwriting staff. This will save significant amounts of time, reduces errors and speed up the entire appraisal process. There a quite a few commercially available appraisal management systems that mortgage technology vendors offer. What is key to look for when selecting a vendor is to evaluate how well they handle the eight key components of the appraisal management process. And the platform must absolutely have a standardized, easy method to integrate with the AMCs you use in order to share and manage data, complete tasks, and deliver reports. The platform should also integrate tightly with your loan origination system (LOS). If you implement a centralized appraisal management system that integrates with your AMCs’ different systems and also your LOS, then all of the applications are able to talk to one another, thus bringing newfound efficiencies and transparency to your appraisal process, thus eliminating the problems associated with using multiple AMCs. The bottom line is that while AMCs have developed technology for their lender clients to use, if those systems cannot interface with a central, all-in-one appraisal management platform, then you are going to have challenges. Vladimir Bien-Aimé is president and chief executive officer of Global DMS. Since co-founding Global DMS in 1999, Bien-Aime’ has grown the company to capture a leading share of the appraisal management segment, with a client base of over 20,000 unique users and a 100 percent retention rate among lender clients. He may be reached by phone at (877) 866-2747 or visit






l l

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tors in regional offices across the country, including Brenda Beal in Orlando, Fla.; Brian Palatucci in Shrewsbury, N.J.; David Gottlieb in Hackensack, N.J.; Debra Morgenstern in Edison, N.J.; Eric Bastian in Orlando, Fla.; Harris Corbett in Wilmington, Del.; Judy Lewis in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Rick Cannon in Plano, Texas; and Sam Flack in Melbourne, Fla. Titan Capital Solutions (TCS) has announced the addition of Mike Eberl to the TCS sales team as correspondent regional sales director. NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals has announced that Harry Blake of Blake Mortgage in Scottsdale, Ariz. has received his Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) designation. LoanLogics has hired Jessica Price as senior vice president of professional services, promoted Griff Durham to senior vice president of operations, Mary Anne Ahmer to senior vice president of marketing, and Ira Artman to senior vice president of product management. Sierra Pacific Mortgage has announced a number of new hires, including Mike Bugbee as correspondent division manager, Bill Ballew as correspondent lending operations manager, Lonnie Adams as VP of capital markets, and Theresa Walters as southwest regional manager. DataQuick has announced the promotion of Rich Kuegler to the position of senior vice president of branch production for DataQuick Title, formerly Rels Title. Steve Erb has been hired as a senior loan officer for Bell Mortgage, a division of Bell State Bank & Trust. LRES has named Scott Pickell as its new vice president of operations

l Catherine Burgoyne has joined Inlanta Mortgage as vice president of compliance. l Stonegate Mortgage Corporation has announced the hiring of three new members to the company’s senior management team, Bob Conway as senior vice president of strategy and business development, Brent Laurie as senior vice president of servicing administration, and Phil Bowling as vice president of external financial reporting. l The StoneHill Group has announced the additions of Michael Atwell as business development manager and Kristin Belcher as underwriting manager and manager of StoneHill’s new Jacksonville, Fla. service center. l GMH Mortgage Services LLC has announced three new additions to their management team: John Santangelo as vice president of finance and accounting, Jacqueline Burley as assistant vice president of processing, and Joanne Harris as assistant vice president of underwriting. l Informative Research has appointed Stan Baldwin to the position of chief operating officer.

Your turn National Mortgage Professional Magazine invites its readers to submit any information, events, passages, promotions, personal or professional occurrences that seem appropriate and/or other pertinent data to the attention of: Heard on the Street/Mortgage Professionals to Watch column Phone #: (516) 409-5555 E-mail: Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.


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Summer Tips To Keep Your Pipeline Red Hot Here are some tips to keep your pipeline full regardless of market conditions Follow the trends It’s never a good idea to try and develop your own marketing campaign until you’ve found multiple types of marketing that work for you. If the big word in the industry is HARP (the Home Affordable Refinance Program), don’t try to go against the grain and market for something that isn’t working. The public is well-aware of the changes in the mortgage industry, and is keeping up on buzz words like “FHA STREAMLINE” and “HARP.” Find a marketing means that works for you and your budget and get to work. When you go to trade shows or talk with colleagues about how great their own campaigns are working, GO AFTER THE SAME THING! The marketing is working because the market is accepting it. Find a marketing firm that follows the trends, and then follow them yourself. The market will always show you how to best offer your products.

Test, measure, test again Many people begin a new marketing campaign with a new marketing firm and think that they should be setting records right away. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, in most cases, the first campaign is only the beginning. Campaign number three or four is where their efforts really begin to pay off.

Tips for 2013

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Direct mail responses are up. If you haven’t tried direct mail in a while, it might be time to give it a try again. VA responses are down so try to mix your VA campaign with other loan types as well. It’ll keep your response rates up while keeping an eye the VA market so you’ll see exactly when responses come back. Internet leads work if you work them. Don’t expect to make an easy buck … those days are over. If you must use them, make sure you get exclusive Internet leads and not ones that have been sold 10 times already, unless you already know those type of leads work for you. When it comes to Internet leads, cheaper is not always better. Live transfers are back! They are expensive but they are performing very well. If you’re not able to make outbound leads work, let your marketing firm do all the work for you. All you have to do is answer the phone. New data files are available specifically for the mortgage industry. You don’t have to get set up with credit bureaus to get qualified data anymore. Mail houses won’t have it, but good marketing firms will. Trigger leads are still being sold by the credit bureaus. Remain aware of what methods your competitors are using. Whether you are using them or not, it’s a reality that must be dealt with. Last, but not least, RIDE THE WAVE! The mortgage industry is back and it’s time you came back with it. If you are not having the biggest year of your career, you’ve got to take a look at your own marketing efforts and how you can make your campaigns perform better. Medford, Ore.-based TagQuest is a full-service marketing firm created specifically for the ever-changing business world. TagQuest assists companies with their direct marketing, advertising and branding needs, and knows what it takes to generate quality customers and, most importantly, how to retain those customers for years to come. TagQuest brings forth a unique opportunity to utilize our experience and expertise in varying consumer sales and marketing environments. For more information, call (866) 376-5540 or visit

VIEW OUR MOST RECENT WEBINAR ON YOUTUBE Online readers please click on the link below, readers of the print edition, please copy the link and paste it into your browser.

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Compliance: More Than Just a Department … a Way of Doing Business By Melissa Koupal s the regulatory landscape changes, the concept of compliance has broadened. Gone are the days of compliance staying in the background as production pushes forward. Compliance must now be an integral part of every business decision. The spectrum of the impact of compliance starts before a customer reaches an employee at the organization until the loan is sold or servicing ends and the customer parts ways with the company. So why keep compliance in the background? Push it to the front and make it part of the framework of the organization. Build the relationship with your customers with compliance in mind. The concept of a “relationship” with the consumer should be considered in the true sense of the word. Our customers are not another hash mark on the company scoreboard. They are a homeowner that builds the framework of our industry. Their pride in owning their home is serious to them and should be just as important to our business. Compliance needs to step into this arena and execute the true meaning of the regulations. Does the borrower understand the loan they are applying for? Is the loan program the consumer chose optimal for their lifestyle and goals? Compliance on its face can be viewed as a list of black and white rules. For instance, is the APR within tolerance or were the disclosures sent within three business days? Push compliance up to the next level. Review the loan from a higher elevation assessing if the loan was originated with integrity, full knowledge of the terms of the loan were communicated or if there are unintended consequences the customer needs to be versed on, as a few examples. The goals in originating a loan should include ensuring that all interactions with the consumer are legally compliant, integrity is crafted into the loan file and the documents provided are best suited for the consumer. With all of this in mind, the loan has operational integrity, adherence to state


and federal laws, soundness in the underwriting decision and ultimately consumer satisfaction.

Operational integrity The basis of a compliant mortgage is integrity of the operations that process, fund and service the loans. A mortgage company is built off of individual departments specializing in each part of the loan process. This separation of duties creates operational integrity. Another way to envision it is a Ford Model-T production plant. Ford revolutionized the automobile market by breaking down the manufacturing of a car into more than 80 individual knowledge and skill sets. Therefore, instead of a plant worker needing to know 10 different skills, they were experts on one skill, and therefore, produced a vehicle with utmost quality. The same concept may be applied to the loan process. The division of duties creates specialists and those specialists instill integrity in the product produced. Now, take the concept a step further. Add the notion of random assignment to the process. Now the company not only has specialization but also checks and balances. Random assignment could be applied between loan officer and loan processor as well as loan processor and “Compliance underwriter. The Home Valuation needs to be Code of Conduct ingrained in the (HVCC) applied this concept through the company culture, forced separanot an aftertion between production and the thought.” appraiser. The prevention of a production employee, such as a processor, from ordering and speaking with the appraiser is meant to instill a higher level of integrity in the determination of a home’s value. Random assignment also addresses predatory practices, fraud, steering and other abuses since these are typically associated with unethical agreements between individuals. By breaking down continued on page 66

what mortgage executives think? thought it did, but only by the slightest margin–12 ayes to 10 nays. Q38 wondered if respondents thought that the CFPB would ultimately benefit consumers. Cynical, maybe, but 18 said no net benefit compared to the five that did see enough benefit to exceed the cost. Q39 asked the executives to grade the CFPB on its first full year of operations. The group gave it a C- for 2012, but there were seven Ds among the 23 responses. Q40 asked the lenders how well-prepared their firms were for the Jan. 10, 2014 implementation date for QM and the new servicing regulations. The group’s mean was a 5.7 on the one through 10 scale. The range of responses was from one to 10, suggesting the question was open to too much interpretation, and thus, the responses weren’t useful in getting to the heart of the matter. The final questions concern the entity at the center of the financial markets, none other than the Federal Reserve. Q41 questions if the spike in house prices last year (Case-Shiller +9.3 percent) was driven by market fundamentals (supply and demand) or monetary policy. The result was the survey’s only question that produced a tie: 10 executives saying due to fundamentals compared to 10 saying Fed policy essentially set-up various assets for price apprecia-

continued from page 43

tion. Q42 asked respondents to rank their confidence in the Fed’s ability to accelerate economic growth and stimulate employment. Executives collectively gave the Fed a 4.6 on the 10-point scale. Interestingly, there were no nines or 10s and only two eights among the responses. Nearly half, 11 of 24, put their level of confidence in the Fed at a four or less. So, in sum, the narrative above is what we learned about the opinions, ideas, attitudes and expectations of 25 senior mortgage banking executives on 42 key industry issues and topics. If you care to go through the questionnaire for yourself, go to and click on the link to view the full survey. Tom LaMalfa is a 34-year veteran mortgage-market analyst and researcher. He has done pioneering work in the areas of secondary markets, wholesale mortgage banking, mortgage brokerages, financial benchmarking and GSE reform. Tom continues since 1977 to co-author an old-fashioned mail newsletter, The Holm Mortgage Finance Report. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, his focus is on Washington, D.C. and the regulatory burden it is imposing on consumers and lenders. His 21-year old research firm, TSl Consulting, does survey research. He may be reached by email at

Jonathan Foxx is president and managing director of Lenders Compliance Group and Brokers Compliance Group, mortgage risk management firms devoted to providing regulatory compliance advice and counsel to the mortgage industry. He may be contacted at (516) 442-3456, by e-mail at, or visit or

Footnotes 1—For instance, see Foxx, Jonathan, Anti-Money Laundering Program: Preparation is Protection, National Mortgage Professional Magazine, August 2012, Volume 4, Issue 8, pp. 22-34. 2—Foxx, Jonathan, Policy, Procedures, and Examination - Part I: Mortgage Brokers, National Mortgage Professional Magazine, March 2013, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp. 8-32. 3—I will not treat important areas of preparation, such as readiness for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), tie-in restrictions, insider lending, and other compliance areas, if the mortgage banker is affiliated with a depository institution. 4—Portions of this table are adapted from Pannabecker, James H., Mortgage Lending Compliance (With Federal and State Guidance), Volume I, Second Edition, xv-xvi, A. S. Pratt, 2012. 5—The table is based on legal and regulatory compliance requirements as of February 28, 2013. 6—For instance, see CFPB Statement of Intent for Sharing Information With State Banking and Financial Services Regulators, Dec. 6, 2012; 2013 CFPB-State Supervisory Coordination Framework, May 7, 2013; Memorandum of Understanding between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the United States Department of Justice Regarding Fair Lending Coordination, December 2012; Memorandum of Understanding between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and the Other Signatories Hereto, On the Sharing of Information for Consumer Protection Purposes, January 2011. 7—Section IV.B, Memorandum of Understanding between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, and the Other Signatories Hereto, On the Sharing of Information for Consumer Protection Purposes, January 2011.

n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

Finally, management should monitor all aspects of the loan flow process, in order to identify, mitigate, reduce, or eliminate risk. To a considerable extent, training plays an important role in risk management, but the monitoring must go beyond training employees. When exposure to risk is identified, management should document that event and implement corrective actions. For the most part, whatever defect or deficiency has been cited, an Examiner may understand a mortgage banker’s actions in affirmatively endeavoring to prevent any continuation of a defect trend or deficiency practice. However, the one thing that no banking department will tolerate is a deficiency that, once discovered, remains irresolutely unresolved.

continued from page 45

policy, procedures & examinations



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continued from page 64

the ability to form routine relationships on loan files, the tendency of these situations occurring is greatly diminished.

Consider the Source By Mason Grashot, CPA

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n


The bond business is similar to the mortgage business in that it all starts with access to the products. Whom the customer chooses to guide them into and through the world of surety (or mortgages as a comparison) can be the single most important piece of the puzzle that also happens to be entirely within the customer’s control. Some industry professionals consider themselves to be a “jack of all trades,” but are really a “master of none” (or at least a “master of few”). Others are specialists whose focus, experience and knowledge really add value to the customer’s buying decision. Some insurance agents can and will write any type of insurance that is needed. Surety is a type of insurance (as is life, disability, health, home/auto or commercial lines). Usually, the products that are purchased from people who truly specialize in that specific product type are either better than or less expensive than those purchased from people who handle various types of products. There are thousands of insurance agents out there (some of whom sell surety bonds, too). There are dozens of bond agents out there (some of whom sell insurance as well). Sometimes a customer can purchase a surety bond from an insurance agent and that insurance agent’s bond knowledge, application process, price and service are all no different than what the customer would have experienced by using a bond agent. But more often than not, bond customers find that the price is lower, the process is easier and the knowledge is greater when they choose to purchase their surety bond from a surety specialist. If you’ve had your bond for a while or if you think you might be paying too much because the first answer isn’t always the best answer, you should take a little time to look into something that you pay for year after year after year. Ask your association, your colleagues, or your search engine for recommendations. Find a surety specialist and find out whether your surety bond is costing you what it should be. Mason Grashot, CPA is president of The Bond Exchange, a national insurance agency focused on surety bonds with a unique specialty practice centered on the mortgage profession. As the endorsed strategic partner of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, The Bond Exchange services thousands of surety bonds through programs designed specifically for the mortgage industry. For more information, call (501) 224-8895 or visit

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State and federal compliance The state and federal compliance landscape is changing on a daily basis. With the emergence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, a mortgage company needs to have a robust compliance department that has a clear and constant presence in all facets of the organization. Every member of the company needs to be versed on federal and state laws. For instance, to ensure that a customer’s information is properly protected and disposed of, they need to be educated on the Safeguards and Disposal Rule of the Gramm–Leach– Bliley Act. When a potential customer calls to apply for a mortgage, the call must be routed to a properly licensed or registered mortgage loan originator, and therefore, education on the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) is essential. How is your organization ensuring this is executed and maintained? Not only do compliance representatives need to be included in business decisions, but the members of the company need to be engaged in new hire training and continued training throughout their career at the company on state and federal compliance. Compliance needs to be ingrained in the company culture, not an afterthought.

Soundness of underwriting decision/product selection In the industry, it is well-known that a loan may be compliant in technical nature, approved from an underwriting perspective, but inappropriate for the consumer. As such, mortgage companies should take steps to ensure that the overall transaction meets with the goals of the consumer and informs them of the risks, obligations and benefits of their product selection. To achieve this goal, several initiatives can be pursued including education through the company’s Web site, written materials during the origination process and a robust consumer education experience through direct conversations with the customer by front line personnel. There should be

no hesitancy by a company in educating their customers on the loan programs and associated risks. Through enhanced communications the organization could reap the benefits of improved customer service ratings, lower early payment defaults and fewer consumer complaints to the CFPB and state regulators.

Consumer satisfaction Constantly monitoring the pulse of the consumer and ensuring that issues are brought to the management team for understanding and resolution is essential to maintaining compliant originations. The customer is often the first line for identifying potentially unsound practices or unscrupulous origination behavior. By using an effective and comprehensive customer contact system, a company ensures issues are escalated as appropriate and initiates an unbiased review of the situation. Customers should not only have the ability to, but should be encouraged to contact supervisors of staff they are unhappy with and every e-mail sent by staff should include contact information for their immediate supervisor. Again, the policy is effective for its actual application, but it also helps to prevent problems as the staff knows that customer service issues get escalated very quickly for resolution. In light of this, front line staff is careful to ensure they do not occur or are addressed immediately at their level.

Conclusion Compliance requirements in the industry are increasing. In reaction, the number of compliance professionals on a company’s roster has risen. Is this a bad trend? If in the end, the consumers are placed into better-suited loans and the industry becomes more stable, everyone wins. Embed compliance into your company culture and build long-standing relationships with your customers. Melissa Koupal is vice president of loan integrity for LLC, a full-service direct lender located in Foothill Ranch, Calif. Melissa oversees licensing, quality control and operational compliance over more than 2,500 corporate and loan officer licenses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. She may be reached by phone at (888) 337-6888 or e-mail

Growing Your Real Estate Agent Relationships, Grow Your Mortgage Business Part I: Cover the Basics, Well! By Jean LeBlanc f we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a hundred times: The refi business is drying up and purchase business is where we need to be focusing. That means now is the time to solidify relationships with real estate agents, as they are the first and best source of home buyer leads.


First: Ensure you thoroughly cover the basics Realty companies hear from many of us in the mortgage business daily. And here’s what they want to hear: l That you can help 99.95 percent of their clients with the right home loan l That you can close on-time l That you keep the agent informed every step of the way, so the agent can be proactive if there’s a glitch in the process l That you can deliver excellent customer service, so that you don’t leave a bad taste in their client’s mouth that will reflect badly on them If you cannot do these four things well, then they could care less about your free open house flyers or any other services you may offer. One of our LOs blogged awhile back:

He went on to list seven ways to build strong real estate agent relationships:

Fort Knox is a United States Army Post near Louisville, Ky. The post is also home to the U.S. Gold Bullion Depository, operated by the U.S. Treasury Department. Home to many veterans and active duty service personnel, there is one special “treasure” working hard to help military families looking to settle in the community … Mr. Al Taft. As a retired service member, he began his work as a real estate agent nearly 11 years ago. “I work with the military community every day, active and retired helping them buy and sale their homes in the surrounding areas of Ft. Knox,” said Al. “About 80 percent of my clients are either serving or have served in the military. I have always made it a priority to seek out and help them because I feel that I can relate to their needs and understand their situations better than most realtors in the field.” Al Taft Al completed the USA Cares Certified Military Housing Specialist Course in 2012. He has worked as a volunteer with USA Cares, supporting local events and telling others about the mission of helping post-9-11 veterans with financial and advocacy support. A 20-year career veteran, Al understands the strain of relocating: “For these families to know that having someone working with them that is a subject matter expert and knows the area well helps to ease the stresses of relocation.: Al is a certified relocation specialist with a world-wide relocation company (Cartus), and is a preferred agent with USAA, Navy Federal, and many other financial institutions that service the military. “I like to refer the military to these companies because most of them have very competitive rates and offer the military cash back after they close on their homes,” said Al. “In my 11-year career as a real estate agent, I have helped more than 200 military families purchase or sell homes. As a relocation specialist, I can help them even if they are moving across the country or to another country because I am a part of a worldwide relocation program.” “Being able to provide a professional service to those who are serving and putting their lives on the line for our country is one of the highest honors I have as a real estate agent,” said Mr. Taft. To find out how you can make the lives of veterans and their families better, e-mail Al Taft at Joann Muncey is director of housing assistance at USA Cares, where she has worked since 2008. She may be reached by e-mail at

In Part II of this series, we’ll talk more about building relationships with your real estate agents using touch points throughout your client’s loan process. Jean LeBlanc is director of marketing for Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company. For more marketing tips, download the eBook, 13 Ways to Juice Up Your Marketing in 2013, by going to and clicking on the eBook offer midway down the page. She may be reached by phone at (914) 696-3400.

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n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

1. Always give leads from real estate agents top priority: Speak to the consumer ASAP and then update the agent. 2. Always express gratitude for any leads you receive: Let them know how you appreciate them trusting you with their customer. 3. Realize that an agent will earn much more commission than the LO, which means there is a much greater impact on the agent’s lifestyle. 4. Always strive to expedite the loan process. The ability to close loans quickly and efficiently will greatly enhance the relationship, as this allows the agent to get paid more quickly. 5. Always ensure that the borrower is happy. The borrower will report back to their agent if they are happy or unhappy with the loan process and their loan originator. 6. Proactively update the agent regarding any status changes on a loan. Call the agent when the appraisal comes in or when the loan is approved. As soon as you can, let them know when and where the closing will take place. 7. Don’t delay giving out negative information: If a loan is not working, let the agent know. Sometimes they may have a solution that can turn a decline into an approval. Remember, they have much more to lose than an LO and will work to help make a loan work (if they can).

By Joann Muncey

Over the course of my 23 years in the mortgage industry, I have learned what real estate professionals want and need from their mortgage counterparts. The way to a successful relationship with real estate agents can be summed up in one word: Communication. The number one complaint from real estate agents about LOs is that they don’t give updates or communicate the status of the loan application.

USA Cares Mortgage Heroes: Al Taft



The Bond Exchange (501) 224-8895 LOWEST-COST STATE MORTGAGE LICENSE BONDS Support NAMB in supporting you! Online surety bond applications, instant underwriting approval, and credit card payments administered through The Bond Exchange NAMB's exclusive partner provider for state license surety bonds. The Bond Exchange is a national surety agency specializing in servicing mortgage license bonds for thousands of mortgage professionals across the country. Low prices and fantastic service. You really can have them both at the same time!


It’s Time‌to join one of the Top Mortgage Bankers as Branch Managers or Loan Officer NOW! Why? You Have Our Guarantee! Our Guarantee We will not leave you stranded and alone on an island. Our seasoned operational rollout team will ensure you a smooth transition to our branch platform. Our RHF University will train everyone on your staff. We stand by our reputation of providing ongoing support and communication to every branch , every day. You’re our #1 Priority! We are a Full-Service Banker, a Direct Endorsed FHA and Fannie Lender.  We are a TRUE 48 hours in Underwriting and Closing. We will close your loans on time.  We will give the best service to you and your clients We will give you full access to all marketing and development services from loan origination to hiring to specialty products. We are the Leader in marketing, technology and strategic business partnerships. We assist our Branch Managers in hiring, training and motivating their staff. We will help you build your team. CALL NOW 866-319-4442 or EMAIL or VISIT


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StreetLinks Lender Solutions provides an innovative and comprehensive suite of valuation and service solutions used by lenders, servicers and appraisers nationwide to improve everyday business operations. StreetLinks industry-leading products include LenderPlus™ full-service appraisal management, LenderX™ lender-executed appraisal management software and SCORe™ appraisal reviews and a series of valuation analysis tools for services. Our commitment to quality and service, embodied by our partnership approach to clients and appraisers, continues to set us apart as the nation’s premier lending solutions partner. For more information, visit


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Gateway Mortgage Group has immediate opportunities in 16 states. Our origination teams enjoy: • A local branch- and origination-centric model • The perfect balance of corporate support • Competitive compensation plans And best of all, our entire platform is built with one thing in mind— helping local originators take their success to the next level. Visit our careers page on LinkedIn. Follow us. Or call us at 888.360.3773. And we will show you YOUR Gateway to a Great Way of Life™! Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC is an equal opportunity employer. NMLS 7233 HQ: 6910 E. 14th Street, Tulsa, OK 74112

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Clix Mg, provides the mortgage industry with compliant marketing solutions. We assist mortgage companies to balance the competing needs of effective marketing campaigns and compliance. Our management team includes attorneys, software developers and marketers, combining more than 50 years experience in the industry. During the past year Clix Mg has been developing the LCP (“Lender Compliance Portal”). LCP is a web based platform that provides mortgage companies the ability to track, control, oversee and approve every marketing piece, material, campaign or program according to their own guidelines in an easy user friendly and cost effective manner. LCP provides reporting capability for internal as well as State and Federal audits.

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LENDERS COMPLIANCE GROUP 167 West Hudson Street - Suite 200 Long Beach | NY | 11561 | (516) 442-3456 The first full-service, mortgage risk management firm in the country, specializing exclusively in mortgage compliance. Pioneers in outsourcing solutions for mortgage compliance. Our Compliance Team Will:

Titan List & Mailing Services, Inc. 1020 NW 6th St Suite D, Deerfield Beach, FL. 33442 (800) 544-8060 Titan List and Mailing Services, Inc. is a direct marketing agency that offers a complete range of advertising and design services. The firm specializes in data lists (mail/phone), printing, direct mail, graphic and website design as well as internet and SEO marketing. Starting in 1998, the company has, since then employed highly skilled individuals who have considerable experience regarding marketing trends. The company manages the complete in-house campaign themselves including Design, Data Lists, Printing, Postage, and Mailing.


Credit Plus, Inc. 31550 Winterplace Parkway, Salisbury, MD 21804 800-258-3488


Credit Plus, Inc., a leader in credit information services, is dedicated to providing mortgage professionals with an unsurpassed level of service and technology. We provide lenders and brokers the best tools and support to close more loans faster and cheaper. Offering the most innovative, reliable and robust credit reporting platforms on the market, Credit Plus goes BEYOND BUNDLEDTM by combining key products, such as credit reports, scoring tools, Undisclosed Debt Monitoring powered by Equifax, flood reports, title services, AVMs, Warranted AVMs, tax return verifications and more, while providing stellar customer service.

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AllRegs—Your Source for Fast, Reliable Answers 2600 Eagan Woods Drive, Suite 220 Eagan, MN 55121 (800) 848-4904 AllRegs offers mortgage professionals fast, reliable answers needed to conduct their day-to-day business. From research and reference to business intelligence, from education and training to professional services, we are your definitive source for mortgage industry information. With tools for originators like NMLSapproved CE training, regulatory content libraries for compliance staff, guidelines for underwriters, policy manuals for operations, and business intelligence for business development – we have you covered as the leading information provider for the mortgage industry. If you have a specific need, our professional services team can help with thing like policy, procedure or guideline development, as well  as custom training or publishing resources. Contact us to learn how we can help you – visit today.

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TagQuest 888-717-8980 TagQuest is a full service marketing firm created specifically for the ever changing mortgage business. We have tested and proven campaigns for FHA -VA - HARP - CONVENTIONAL loan types. TagQuest knows what it takes to generate quality leads whether through direct mail marketing, telemarketing, internet leads, data lists, tracking systems, or any combination thereof. TagQuest will brand your company, prepare targeted marketing campaigns that generate interest in your company, and most importantly, show you how to turn sales leads into repeat customers.

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Calyx Software is the #1 provider of affordable mortgage solutions for banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers and brokers. Beginning with customizable websites that offer online mortgage applications with eDisclosures and document request/retrieval, Calyx offers products that enable smooth bi-directional flow of data from start to finish. Our solid yet flexible LOS delivers smart technology with electronic document management, back-end functionality such as underwriting and secondary marketing, strong security, remote access, on-the-go productivity available with optional mobile apps, and a configurable business rules engine needed for workflow and compliance. Convenient interfaces with over 200 vendors providing PPE, closing documents, compliance services and more make endto-end processing and reporting simple & accurate. Lenders can take advantage of our fully integrated automated underwriting and pricing products that determine loan eligibility and pricing against investor or FHA guidelines.


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Close Jumbo Loans Others Cannot Veros Real Estate Solutions "Innovating Mortgage Technology" | (866) 458.3767 Follow us on Twitter at @verosRES Veros has been an industry leader in real estate collateral valuation management & decision analytics for more than a decade. We offer a wide variety of software solutions and tools to help you manage collateral valuation from the beginning of the mortgage chain and throughout the life of the loan.

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Contact Veros today to learn about: • Sapphire – the most comprehensive valuation management platform • VeroVALUE – the industry’s leading national AVM • VeroSCORE – automated appraisal scoring quality control tool • ComplianceTRACK – independently designed AVM cascade • VeroFORECAST - most advanced residential market forecast Email Veros at to learn more or to schedule your complimentary product demonstration.

• Expanded debt-to-income ratio (DTI) up to 50%



The Direct Path into the Reverse Mortgage Market. Ralph E. Rosynek, Jr. / Senior Vice-President National Production Manager /HECM Direct Endorsement Underwriter E-Mail: / Office: 281.404.7970 / Cell: 708.774.1092 / EFax: 866.543.5420 URL: •

Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. 866-933-6342

Whether you are an experienced reverse mortgage professional looking to grow faster or a firm wanting to create a new product line, allow RMS’s production division RMPath to work with and alongside you to build a strategic path to success. We have: • Correspondent, Wholesale Lending And Aggregation Partnering • We Offer Exceptional Customer Service And Market - Leading Pricing • Powerful, Secure, Scalable Loan Origination Systems • Proprietary State-Of-The-Art Technology Utilizing The RM COMPASS Technology Platform • Customizable Production Strategies To Fit Your Needs • Rapid Execution And Exceptional Customer Service • Excellent Compliance And Regulatory Controls

Rushmore Home Loans 888.202.0878


HomeBridge is a national wholesale lender offering both conventional and government products. We are committed to providing the highest value to our clients through competitive pricing, unique product offerings, superior customer service, and state-of-the-art technology. Currently expanding and hiring experienced Wholesale Account Executives nationwide.

United Wholesale Mortgage 800-981-8898 UWM has a full set of mortgage products to meet all of your lending needs with Conventional, FHA, USDA (Rural Development), VA, Jumbo, HARP 2.0 and DU Refi Plus. With UWM’s ELITE program, you will receive the most aggressive conventional rates and pricing in the industry for your elite borrowers! Discover Lending Made Easy with United Wholesale Mortgage!


CBC National Bank 3010 Royal Boulevard South, Ste. 230 Alpharetta, GA 30022 888-486-4304 CBC National Bank is one of the nation’s fastest growing wholesale lenders offering Conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA. The most important aspect of being a leader in today’s market is the ability to build and maintain a meaningful relationship with each customer. We understand that these meaningful relationships coupled with competitive pricing and efficient technology are the pillars of today’s lending environment. We are hiring Loan officers in the Southeast. GA, FL, AL, TN, NC,SC.

Please send your resume to

Contact Gabe Santiago our Corporate Recruiter at for further details.

Building bridges to success, one loan at a time.

Big Enough to MATTER…Small Enough to CARE


n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n JULY 2013

HomeBridge 5 Park Plaza, 10th Floor Irvine, CA 92614

Interested in joining our Wholesale Division? Send your resume to

Rushmore Home Loans is a wholesale lender dedicated to understanding and answering the needs of our brokers. We provide competitive mortgage loan products with a focus on quality, efficiency and flexibility. Our goal is to deliver an experienced, customer-focused team with access to the most comprehensive technology platform to deliver the highest possible service to our brokers.

REMN has FHA, USDA, 203k, VA and Conventional solutions to fit the needs of your customers. But, at REMN, our most valuable product is our people. The REMN Sales and Operations Teams give you - and your loans - the time and attention that you deserve. Even better, at REMN, same-day approvals are guaranteed.* You can rely on us to get the little, yet vital, things taken care of on time.

calendar of events N A T I O N A L

JULY 2013


Wednesday, July 17

Tuesday-Wednesday, September 10-11

2013 “Let’s Make A Deal” Tri-State Wholesale Lending Fair Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort 1000 Boardwalk Avenue Atlantic City, N.J. For more information, call (732) 596-1619 or visit

Wednesday-Saturday, July 31-August 3

JULY 2013 n Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine n



Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals 2013 Annual Convention “Here We Grow Again” Rosen’s Shingle Creek 9939 Universal Boulevard Orlando, Fla. For more information, e-mail or visit

Alabama Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) 2013 Annual Convention The Tutwiler Hotel 2021 Park Place Birmingham, Ala. For more information, call (205) 663-9696 or visit


Thursday, November 7

Thursday, October 17

Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals 2013 Annual Expo & Conference South Towne Exposition Center 9575 South State Street Sand, Utah For more information, call (801) 597-2122 or visit

IAAMB—Mortgage Professionals of Iowa 2013 Convention Stoney Creek Inn 5291 Stoney Creek Court Johnston, Iowa For more information, call (800) 462-0077, e-mail or visit


Tuesday-Thursday, September 10-12 Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Risk Management and Quality Assurance Forum JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort 5350 East Marriott Drive Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit


Thursday-Friday, August 8-9

Friday, September 13

Louisiana Mortgage Lenders Association 2013 Annual Conference Hilton New Orleans Riverside 2 Poydras Street New Orleans, La. For more information, call (225) 590-5722 or visit

Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals 2013 NW Housing Summit & Lenders Expo Meydenbauer Center 11100 NE 6th Street Bellevue, Wash. For more information, e-mail or visit

Wednesday-Friday, August 14-16 California Association of Mortgage Professionals 2013 Conference & Expo San Jose Marriott 301 South Market Street San Jose, Calif. For more information, call (916) 448-8236, ext. 107 or visit


Sunday-Tuesday, September 29-October 1 Mortgage Bankers Association Regulatory Compliance Conference Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel 999 9th Street NW Washington, D.C. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

Saturday-Monday, October 19-21

Sunday-Wednesday, February 2-5

NAMB National 2013 Harrah’s Las Vegas 3475 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, call (972) 758-1151 or visit

CREF/Multifamily Conference & Expo The Peabody Orlando 9801 International Drive Orlando, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

Sunday-Wednesday, October 27-30

Tuesday-Friday, February 18-21

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 100th Annual Convention & Expo Walter E. Washington Convention Center 801 Mt. Vernon Place Washington, D.C. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2014 National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo The Peabody Orlando 9801 International Drive Orlando, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

NOVEMBER 2013 Sunday-Tuesday, November 6-8 National Consumer Reporting Association (NCRA) 2013 Annual Conference Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa 1000 Woodward Place NE Albuquerque, N.M. For more information, call (630) 539-1525 or visit

To submit your entry for inclusion in the National Mortgage Professional Calendar of Events, please e-mail the details of your event, along with contact information, to

LOOKING FOR A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP?                     Conventional - Conventional Fixed - Freddie Mac Open Access - Fannie Mae DU Refi Plus (Unlimited LTV/CLTV on HARP loans)

- Manufactured Housing VA - Purchases and Refinances - VA IRRRL Refinances - Manufactured Housing FHA - FHA Streamline - FHA Premium Plus - FHA $100 Down - FHA One Time Close - FHA 203(k) and 203(k) Streamline - Manufactured Housing - FHA 203h for Disaster Victims

AFR DOES NOT CHARGE ANY LENDER FEES! To sign up as a TPO or Table Funded Broker, Correspondent or Correspondent with Delegated Underwriting Authority, call us at 888-913-3912 or online at

USDA - Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan - Manufactured Housing

Free Processing through AFR’s Wholesale Direct. Call 888-913-3912 for more details. AFR is a nationwide, direct FHA lender and approved GNMA issuer. Our corporate office is located at 9 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054 • 1-888-664-2101 Intended for Mortgage Professionals only.

Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine July 2013  
Connecticut Mortgage Professional Magazine July 2013