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

Michigan Mortgage Professionals Association Phone: (630) 601-8601 Exectutive Director: Marve Stockert E-mail: Web site:

MMPA Code Of Ethics The members of the Michigan Association of Mortgage Professionals, believing that the interests of the public and private sector are best served through the voluntary observance of ethical standards of practice, hereby subscribe to the following Code of Ethics.

Honesty and Integrity NAMB members shall conduct business in a manner reflecting honesty, honor, and integrity.

Professional Conduct NAMB members shall conduct their business activities in a professional manner. Members shall not pressure any provider of services, goods or facilities to circumvent industry professional standards. Equally, Members shall not respond to any such pressure placed upon them.

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Compliance With Law NAMB members shall conduct their business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

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National Mortgage Professional Magazine

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May 2012




Volume 4, Number 5


Web Site



America’s Choice Home Loans .......................... ............................................43

A Special Look at “Building Relationships”

Best Rate Referrals, LLC .................................... ............Inside Back Cover

Establishing and Enhancing Your Relationships By Daniel Milstein ..................................................................32

Calyx Software ................................................ ......................................20

Relationships Win Races … And Business By B.J. Bounds ....................................................................33

Document Systems, Inc./DocMagic .................... ............................................11

How to Strengthen Client Relationships By Chad Jampedro ................................................................34 Innovative Relationship Building is Critical to Growth and Industry Leadership By Mark W. Boyer ........................35 Growing Your FHA Loan Production Through Relationships By Jeff Mifsud ..............................................36

CBC National Bank .......................................... ............................................13

Equity Loans LLC .............................................. ..........................................15 First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. .......................... ....................................................21 Frost Mortgage Lending Group .......................... ..............................18 Hometown Lenders .......................................... ................................41 Icon Residential Lenders, LLC ............................ ..............................17 & 34 Land Home Financial Services .......................... ....................................38

Top Five Tips for Building Your Loan Origination Team By Leif Boyd ........................................................................37

Loyalty Express ................................................ ......................................45

Make Friends With Top Real Estate Agents By Chris Nordby ..................................................................38

Menlo Park Funding ........................................ ................................45

Building Relationships Requires Contact Management By Adam P. Smith ................................................................39

Features True Marketing By Mary Beth Doyle ......................................4 FCRA Certification for End Users: Talk to Your Credit Reporting Agency Now By Terry W. Clemans ........................4

Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers Corp..... ..................................25

Mortgage Brokers Network Corp, Inc. ................ ......................31 NAPMW .......................................................... ..................................................6 PB Financial Group Corp. .................................. ......................................20 Polaris Home Funding Corp. (Branches).............. ....................9 Polaris Home Funding Corp. (Wholesale) ............ ............................................29 REMN (Real Estate Mortgage Network)................ ......................................7 Ridgewood Savings Bank .................................. ....................................27

HARP 2.0: Direct Marketing Outlook By Raymond Bartreau ..10

Shortsale Speedway.......................................... ................19

The NAMB Perspective ..................................................12

Streetlinks LLC ................................................ ........................Inside Front Cover

Too Many LOs Kill the Sale at Hello By Mark Green ..........14

TagQuest ........................................................ ................................................5

Five Steps to Hiring Successfully By Al Crisanty ................16

United Wholesale Mortgage .............................. ........................................Back Cover

The Secret Habits of Highly-Effective Loan Originators ....22

Veros .............................................................. ..........................................................20

The Elite Performer: Solidify Your Foundation By Andy W. Harris, CRMS ......................................................26 Marketing in 2012: Maximize Your Marketing Dollars ..28

Pursuing Excellence: Loan Officers Are Leaders Too By Casey Cunningham......................................30 Lykken on Leadership: Are You Getting Weary or Wealthy? By David Lykken ..............................................42 Regulatory Compliance Review: Consumer Privacy and Confidentiality By Jonathan Foxx ..................................44

Columns Heard on the Street ........................................................6 NMP News Flash: May 2012 ..........................................16 NMP Mortgage Professional Resource Registry ..........48 NMP Calendar of Events ................................................52

 MAY 2012

New to Market................................................................28


ValueNation: Usage and Application for Default-Specific Valuation Methods By David Rasmussen ..30 

The Regulatory Burdens of Dodd-Frank By Jonathan Foxx ....8

The Dodd-Frank Act: New Mortgage Servicing Rules on the Horizon By Laurie Spira ............................................26


Volume 4 • Number 5 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 (516) 409-5555, ext. 310 Andrew T. Berman Executive Vice President (516) 409-5555, ext. 333 Joey Arendt Art Director Jon Blake Advertising Coordinator (516) 409-5555, ext. 301 Beverly Koondel National Account Executive (516) 409-5555, ext. 316 Tara Cook Billing Coordinator (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 e-mail 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 Credit 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. SSIONAL






National Mortgage Professional Magazine is published monthly by NMP Media Corp. Copyright © 2012 NMP Media Corp.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your business. Like the ancient Romans who can be viewed as the architects of how our major cities are constructed today, time, teamwork, planning and patience are the building blocks that made you where you are today. Very rarely in this industry does one become an overnight sensation. You must trudge through the lean days at the beginning and establish the relationships which will eventually foster your growth. This month, our focus is on building these relationships that serve as the building blocks to a profitable business plan. Daniel Milstein of Gold Star Financial discusses various ways on how to begin those relationships and how to maintain a growing base of strong contacts on page 32. On page 33, B.J. Bounds from Calyx makes the analogy between growing one’s business and a political campaign using loan origination software (LOS) as your foundation. Chad Jampedro of GSF Mortgage on page 34 discusses how to cultivate and build your network in his piece, “How to Strengthen Client Relationships.” Mark W. Boyer, CEO of Foundation Financial Group, continues the notion of establishing key business relationships with his article on page 35, “Innovative Relationship Building is Critical to Growth and Industry Leadership.” Jeff Mifsud of Mortgage Seminars LLC, our resident FHA expert, takes a look at enhancing one’s FHA production through establishing strategic alliances on page 36 in his article, “Growing Your FHA Loan Production Through Relationships.” Leif Boyd of American Pacific Mortgage provides five tips on the building blocks to a strong production team on page 37 in his article, “Top Five Tips for Building Your Loan Origination Team.” Chris Nordby of Protelus delves into seeking out your area’s top real estate agents and forging strong bonds with them in his article on page 38. And wrapping up our focus this month is Adam P. Smith of The Colorado Real Estate Finance Group on page 39 with his article on how a strong database is a solid start to growing your business in his contribution, “Building Relationships Requires Contact Management.”

Is regulation ever easy? This month, Jonathan Foxx of Lenders Compliance Group takes a closer look at all 2,319 pages of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act … more importantly, the burdens brought about by this voluminous document. I concur with Jonathan that this piece of legislation has more twists and turns than the latest themed rollercoaster at a Six Flags amusement park. And what does it say when the government releases its own companion Web site, The Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker, to assist with navigating through this piece of legislation? Jonathan reveals the cold, hard facts of this bill, including the startling statistic that it will take private sector job-creators 24, 035,801 hours each year to comply with the first 185 Dodd-Frank rules. Are there even that many hours in a year?

NAMB Annual Conference set for June As noted in Don Frommeyer’s President’s Corner, NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, will host its Annual Conference & Board Installation, Friday-Saturday, June 22-23 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis, Ind. It’s a great opportunity to meet and network with your fellow industry professionals and get to know the 2012-2013 NAMB Board of Directors who will lead the association over the next year. For more information, see this month’s NAMB Perspective on page 12. Until next month ... Sincerely,

Joel M. Berman, Publisher NMP Media Corp.






The building blocks to you



From The Publisher’s Desk


May 2012




The Association of Mortgage Professionals

National Association of Professional Mortgage Women

2701 West 15th Street, Suite 536  Plano, TX 75075 Phone #: (703) 342-5900  Fax #: (530) 484-2906 Web site:

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

NAMB 2011-2012 Board of Directors

National Board of Directors 2011-2012

OFFICERS President—Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS Amtrust Mortgage Funding Inc. 200 Medical Drive, Suite D Carmel, IN 46032 (317) 575-4355 Vice President—Donald Fader, CRMS SMC Home Finance P.O. Box 1376 Kinston, NC 28503-1376 (252) 523-5800 Treasurer—John Councilman, CMC, CRMS AMC Mortgage Corporation 2613 Fallston Road Fallston, MD 21047 (410) 557-6400 Secretary—Olga Kucerak, CRMS Crown Lending 222 East Houston, Suite 1600 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 828-3384 Past President—Jim Pair, CMC Mortgage Associates Corpus Christi 6262 Weber Road, Suite 208 Corpus Christi, TX 78413 (361) 853-9987

DIRECTORS Rocke Andrews, CMC, CRMS Lending Arizona LLC 1996 North Kolb Tucson, AZ 85715 (520) 886-7283 Fred Arnold, CMC American Family Funding 24961 The Old Road, Suite 101 Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381 (661) 284-1150

Deb Killian, CRMS GMAC 246 Federal Road, Unit C-24 Brookfield, CT 06804 (203) 778-9999, ext. 103 Linda McCoy Mortgage Team 1 Inc. 6336 Picadilly Square Drive Mobile, AL 36609 (251) 610-0494

Vice President-Eastern Region Christine Pollard (607) 656-5005

Senior Vice President Jill Kinsman (206) 344-7827

Secretary Katheryn M. Farrell (509) 528-0349

Vice President-Northwestern Region Nita Cook, GML, CME, CMI (360) 705-5053

Treasurer Jeanne Evans, CME (918) 431-0155

Vice President-Western Region Lyman King III, CME, CMI (916) 967-4653

Parliamentarian Hulene Bridgman-Works (800) 827-3034

National Credit Reporting Association Inc. 125 East Lake Street, Suite 200  Bloomingdale, IL 60108 Phone #: (630) 539-1525  Fax #: (630) 539-1526 Web site:


2012 Board of Directors & Staff Donald J. Unger President (303) 670-7993, ext. 222 Daphne Large Vice President & Treasurer (901) 259-5105 Tom Conwell Ex-Officio & Legislative Chair (800) 445-4922, ext. 1010 Nancy Fedich Director–Conference Chair (908) 813-8555, ext. 3010 Judy Ryan Director-Strategic Alliance Chair (800) 929-3400, ext. 201 Susan Cataldo Director–Education & Compliance Chair (404) 303-8656, ext. 204

William Bower Director–Tenant Screening Chair (800) 288-4757 Mike Brown Director–Technology Chair (800) 925-6691, ext. 4350 Maureen Devine Director–Education & Compliance Co-Chair (413) 736-4511 Renee Erickson Director–New Membership & Elections Chair (800) 311-1585, ext. 2101 Terry Clemans Executive Director (630) 539-1525 Jan Gerber Office Manager/Membership Services (630) 539-1525

 MAY 2012

John Stevens Bank of England d/b/a ENG Lending 11650 South State Street, Ste. 350 Draper, UT 84120 (801) 427-7111

President-Elect Candace Smith, CME (512) 329-9040


Andy W. Harris, CRMS Vantage Mortgage Group 1596 SW Boones Ferry Road, Ste. 100 Lake Oswego, OR 97035 (503) 496-0431

Vice President-Central Region Lisa Puckett, CME (405) 741-5485 

Kay A. Cleland, CMC, CRMS KC Mortgage LLC 200 South Wilcox Street #224 Castle Rock, CO 80104 (720) 810-4917

President Laurie Abshier, GML, CME, CMI (661) 283-1262

True Marketing by Mary Beth Doyle, Founder

What does ‘true marketing’ really mean? At a minimum, it’s about consistently cultivating relationships and sharing

FCRA Certification for End Users: Talk to Your Credit Reporting Agency Now By Terry W. Clemans

quality information. Mortgage companies should focus on providing lifelong guidance and advice to customers. As markets fluctuate, timely messages can greatly impact savings & wealth. Lock-down privacy & compliance standards are very important. This involves creating branded & compliant materials for enterprise-wide access (with integrated opt-out information). Effective marketing requires centralized databases, the ability to mine data, and to deliver intelligent alerts. Reactive (rather than proactive) processes delay access to intelligent, actionable data – and lead to lost business. Personalization is another key to high-impact marketing. No matter how many contacts are in a database, segmentation against specific business rules is imperative. Targeted 4

messages generate exceptional responses & allow loan officers to connect with customers who need immediate help. Automation relies on core algorithm-based methodologies that recognize specific database attributes to send targeted communications. It minimizes the need for fragmented marketing. As a result, the organization sends timely &

MAY 2012 


relevant messages to steadily capture business. Finally, media formats should be diverse. Print, e-mail & telephone campaigns are all relevant. Cross-media allows communication across multiple formats with sensitivity to opt-out requirements. If a customer asks not to receive e-mail, default to other methods. Relevance and compliance with marketing standards makes a huge difference. Taking shortcuts or thinking that ‘something is better than nothing’ isn’t enough. Rise above the competition, and take marketing seriously. You will be amazed at the impact.

LoyaltyExpress is the leading mortgage marketing company in the nation. For more information: call 877.938.1175 or visit

Have you talked to your credit reporting agency about becoming Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) certified yet? Like many new programs, the target roll out date was delayed; however, the program is now online and certification is more important than ever. If you have not already spoken with your credit report provider, now is the perfect time to make that call and start the certification process. It’s free to mortgage originators who are customers of members of the National Credit Reporting Association (NCRA), which represents approximately 80 percent of the credit reporting agencies in the U.S. that can produce a credit report that meets Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) standards for mortgage lending. Late last year, I reported about the new certification program designed for the users of credit reports (employees of mortgage lenders and property managers/landlords) by the NCRA. This program was developed to keep up with the ever-increasing regulatory environment. In the months since the first report, it is clear by the actions of the national credit repositories, federal agencies, and the consumer litigation trends that this is going to be a more important program than was originally anticipated. NCRA developed the program specifically to assist the users of consumer credit reports in understanding the various federal laws and national credit repository guidelines that regulate their access to credit data. Access to consumer credit data is critical to their business operations and for continued access, tight compliance with these regulations is crucial. Those who participate in the certification program will be provided with an online study guide (printable if you prefer) and the opportunity to take the certification test. A major portion of the test is knowledge of the FCRA. Additionally, the test will cover areas of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA the 2003 overhaul to the FCRA), the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLB), the Red Flags Rule, and specific national credit repository requirements that also impact a credit report user’s access to consumer credit data. A solid working knowledge of the responsibilities of those who come into contact with consumer credit reports is required by federal law. Any company that is granted access to a consumer’s credit report data needs to be sure that anyone in their organization with access to these reports knows how to properly obtain that credit data and how they maintain and dispose of it when the transaction is complete. Due to the unfortunate continued misuse of consumer credit information which results in identity theft and data breaches, some type of FCRA education may be a requirement for access to consumer credit information in the near future. Don’t be caught with the masses rushing to beat a deadline when that requirement is implemented. Take the initiative to being a better steward of the consumer’s information and to protect your company from the problems associated with mistakes in handling consumer data by getting FCRA certified this summer. The program is online and features a comprehensive study guide that provides all of the materials needed to be able to learn the information required to pass the test. The test features 30 multiple choice and true/false questions that can be taken in an open book (if the user prints the study guide) format. Since only 45 minutes is provided to complete the 30 questions, the test taker must know the data thoroughly to be able to answer 75 percent of the questions accurately and to obtain an FCRA certification. Retesting is allowed (after 24 hours) if the person is not successful on the first attempt. After successfully completing the test, an FCRA Certification will be downloaded to document the successful completion of the program. Retesting is suggested every year to keep up with the latest changes in the complex regulatory world in which we operate. To obtain access to the FCRA certification program, ask your credit report provider if they are a member of the NCRA or contact the NCRA at to locate an agency near you that can sponsor your FCRA certification program today. Terry W. Clemans is executive director of the National Credit Reporting Association Inc. (NCRA). He may be reached at (630) 539-1525 or e-mail



 MAY 2012


Why W hy NAP NAPMW? M MW? Three T hree Simple Reasons Reaso ons Education E d duccation Organized for Organized for the purpose purpose of providing providing education education to to professionproffe essionals in all phases off the mortgage mortgage industry, industry, NAPMW N NAPMW offers offers educaeducamanyy vvenues workshops held ar around tion via man enues – seminars and w orkshops k ound the on-line,, and National Conference ccountry, ountry, on-line a at at its Na tional EEducation ducation C onference held each h May. May. NAPMW NAP MW membership membersship gives gives you you exclusive exclusive access a cess to ac to timely educaeducaaffecting career tion regarding regarding the e regulations regulations aff ecting yyour o car our eer such as a webinar FREE TO TO MEMBERSS monthly monthly w ebinar on industry ind dustry updates updates AND education class offering our 8 hour NMLS continuing continuing educa tion cla ss off ffe ering (NMLS Provider P rovider # 1400309) 140030 09) 6

LLeadership eadership p IIff you you believe believe in helping helping to to elevate elevate the educational edu ucational standards standards of this industry, industry, or assisting asssisting in developing developing the e most competent competent industryy w work industr ork force, force, then you you believe believe in NAPMW. NA APMW.

MAY 2012 


NAPMW Butt sinc since women NAP MW is not a women’s women’s organization. organization. Bu ew omen make majority profesup the major ity off professionals professionals in the mortgage/banking morrtgage/banking pr ofession, our purpose personal,, purpose is to to help them advance advance in business, business, personal and leadership development. de evelopment.

Networking Net wo ork king i NAPMW is a ccommunity NAPMW omm munity of near nearly ly 2,000 professionals prof o essionals acr across oss the Country engage mortgage banking industry. C ountry who eng age in the mor tgage / ba anking industr y. Men Men and w omen from from all backgrounds backgrounds ha ve joined joined NAPMW NAPMW because women have they want want tto oe xcel e aatt wha yers who w ant eexcelxcelexcel whatt they do do.. Emplo Employers want lenc e from from their employees e employees engage eng N NAPMW for for up-to-date up-to-date lence with NAPMW education. educa tion. B Both oth professionals p professionals and emplo emp employers yers e ha have ve ffound ound ther there e is place a plac e ffor or them in n NAPMW. NAPMW W.

National Education National Education National Training Training National National Networking Na tional N etworking

To T o Join NAP NAPMW MW W visit: w ww.napmw.o org or ccall: all: 1-800-827-3034 1 800 8 1-800-8 827 3034 827-3034 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

Coas Coast oast to to C Coast oas A oast Associations ssociations D iscoun un nted S errvic v es Discounted Services IIndustry ndustrry Updates U Updatess

DocMagic and Blueberry Systems Announce New LOS Compliance Partnership Blueberry Systems LLC has integrated its Relay loan origination software (LOS) with DocMagic, a provider of document production and compliance technologies. The integration adds complete document and disclosure compliance within Relay’s workflow, keeping all the loan data in one system and eliminating redundant data entry. Relay seamlessly integrates DocMagic’s document compliance rules into a single data stream, providing lenders immediate access to disclosures and documents using data previously entered into the LOS. DocMagic is designed to keep lenders in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. The provider’s sophisticated technology delivers a unique combination of speed, ease and accuracy to save lenders time and money and keep them ahead of competition. Blueberry Systems’ Relay offers a complete LOS to lenders, featuring a universal data model, providing the most accurate loan production data in the industry. Contrasted with many other systems that still employ an outdated data management model, the universal data model combines the various systems and applications involved in the production process into a single database, eliminating data silos and the need for duplicate or staggered data entry. “Integrating our solution with DocMagic eliminates the time wasted to re-enter data and the subsequent data entry errors that inevitably occur,” said Lloyd Booth, president and chief operating officer of Blueberry Systems. “It streamlines the entire application-toclosing process and immediately increases compliance. The integration gives our clients more options within our best-inclass system to ensure that disclosures and documents are accurate and meet all regulatory guidelines.”

Total Mortgage Services Approved to Lend in Kansas Total Mortgage Services LLC has announced that it has received its

Kansas Mortgage Lender License from the Office of the State Bank Commissioner of Kansas and is now able to originate residential mortgage loans throughout the state of Kanas. Total Mortgage is licensed as a lender and broker in Kansas and holds Mortgage Lender License MC.0025126. “With mortgage rates close to alltime lows, Total Mortgage is excited about being able to assist borrowers throughout the state of Kansas with both purchase and refinancing transactions,” said John Walsh, president of Total Mortgage. “Our team of fullylicensed, experienced loan officers is focused on providing high-quality oneon-one service to help borrowers make the right mortgage choice.” Total Mortgage is now licensed in 27 states and the District of Columbia with plans to be licensed in all 50 states in the near future. Total Mortgage offers jumbo loans, FHA-insured mortgages, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, and adjustable-rate mortgages through its retail and wholesale channels, and is currently licensed in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Quality Mortgage Services Chosen by Top U.S. Lender for Repurchase Defense Quality Mortgage Services LLC (QMS) has announced that a top U.S. bank has tapped the company for quality control (QC) risk mitigation support in defense against investor repurchase claims. The institution has been faced with buy back defense challenges that persist even after working with other QC vendors in the space. “After phased testing of the technical expertise of the QMS quality control risk staff, we made the cut,” said Tommy A. Duncan, president of QMS “QMS will collaborate with the bank’s risk staff as a force multiplier in order to neutralize the investor’s repurchases claims.” Due to the terms of the agreement, QMS could not release the name of the bank,

but said that the firm had been through a number of QC repurchase defense vendors and felt it had been over charged by companies that underperformed. “I know which vendors the investors are using to comb through these files and I welcome the challenge of going head-tohead with them for the success of the bank,” said Duncan. Brentwood, Tenn.-based QMS is a mortgage loan QC audit and compliance review company that has been performing repurchase defense and writing responses to indemnification letters for mortgage bankers for 20 years.

RealtyTrac Acquires Online Data Aggregator Homefacts

CoreLogic, a provider of information, analytics and business services, has announced that Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has approved it as a thirdparty due diligence provider for residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) rated by that agency. CoreLogic Due Diligence performs a full-range of diligence services for residential mortgages and small balance commercial loans, including forensic due diligence, non-performing loan reviews, acquisition and securitization reviews, data integrity reviews and quality control (QC).

The group is working with a growing number of issuers, originators and investors on pre-securitization and loan quality projects. It also provides underwriting support to press or defend buy-back claims. Mark Hughes, a CoreLogic vice president and 25-year veteran of the mortgage securities industry, heads the due diligence business which operates two underwriting centers in Jacksonville and Sunrise, Fla. “To attract investors back to privatelabel mortgage securities, issuers must deliver greater transparency and demonstrate that they have employed the best available tools to identify and reduce risk,” said Hughes. “CoreLogic is already a major provider of the diligence, valuation and fraud detection services that many lenders and investors use. With our S&P approval

we will now offer unique data-enhanced diligence/underwriting solutions to identify forensic issues, value portfolios and help originate securitizable loans. As privatelabel mortgage securities issuance returns, we will be there to provide the ‘new diligence’ that all market participants will demand.”

CampusMBA Announces New CE Requirement for CMB Designation CampusMBA, the award winning education division of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), has announced a new continued on page 10



RealtyTrac has announced the acquisition of online data aggregator Homefacts in the company’s latest move to grow its market presence and arm consumers with the information they need during the homebuying process. RealtyTrac entered the agreement to expand upon its data collection capabilities and broaden its data analytics, offering with new products that will further enhance the company’s value proposition. Homefacts offers homeowners and prospective real estate buyers an online due diligence resource for making informed decisions regarding property-specific characteristics and health, environmental and safety information that are outlined in real estate disclosure documents but are not otherwise easily accessible to homebuyers. As part of this agreement, Homefacts Founder James Moyle will join RealtyTrac’s executive team as president and chief operating officer. Moyle possesses a proven track record as a forward-thinking Internet entrepreneur, having grown the popularity of Homefacts to garner more than three million page views per month in the absence of a marketing budget or external financing, and previously founding and serving as president of the prominent online vacation rental sales retailer SkiWest before selling it to in 2005. In his new role alongside CEO Brandon Moore, Moyle will play an important day-to-day role managing RealtyTrac product development and consumer-facing teams in addition to shaping the strategic direction for the business going forward. “We are excited about the new opportunities that adding Homefacts’ incremental data sets allow us to explore, from new product offerings and stronger real estate analytics to better data collection methodologies,” said Moore. “RealtyTrac’s trusted leadership position in the marketplace combined with the financial backing of our strong ownership team to make strategic acquisitions such as this puts us in a position of leadership to empower homebuyers, providing them with the important information they need in the homebuying process.”

S&P Approves CoreLogic as a Third-Party Due Diligence Provider for RMBS

The Regulatory Burdens of Dodd-Frank By Jonathan Foxx


Let it not be said that regulations are ever “easy enough” to implement in these post-crash times! Of course, this view presupposes that we know which regulations to factor in and which ones to factor out. It presupposes that we know which ones are relevant and which ones do not apply. It presupposes that we are in a position to keep track of new regulatory requirements, how they impact existing regulations, and how they supersede existing regulations. And it presupposes that we have sufficient time, resources, and focused energy to implement the regulations, without putting a deep drain on the already compressed margins caused by a real estate market in free fall and a loan origination market with low interest rates that have only one way to go … up! The other day, a good friend and longtime client of ours, when considering all the new regulations his publicly traded firm is implementing and would have to put in place due to the DoddFrank Act, blurted out to me in a paroxysm of frustration, “What have we done to deserve this?” Indeed. So, just how burdensome a burden is the Dodd-Frank regulatory burden?

MAY 2012 


Burden? What burden? Having read, outlined and written about the 2,319-page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, I will vouch for the amazing complexity and regulatory intricacies that abound within it.1 If you want a brushup primer on Dodd-Frank, as it pertains to mortgage banking, you can read some of my published articles.2 In addition, my firm has issued numerous newsletters that we have sent to you regarding Dodd-Frank.3 The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “burden” in two basic ways: (1) something that is carried, such as a load, or it may be a duty, or a responsibility; and (2) something oppressive or worrisome. From my admittedly non-scientific polling, it seems clear to me that the management of many financial institutions believe that Dodd-Frank satisfies both definition (1) and definition (2). Certainly, management and boards of directors almost universally want to fulfill their duties and responsibilities; however, what I hear most often is that they consider the duties and responsibilities that flow from Dodd-Frank to be oppressive and worrisome. The view about Dodd-Frank that I have received from management, at financial institutions and from industry

“It seems to me that something is amiss in the way this legislation is being implemented, when Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Chairman of the Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, can opine that ‘it will take businesses more time to comply with Dodd-Frank rules than it took to build the Panama Canal.’”

leadership, is so pandemically against the “burden” of Dodd-Frank that it is hard to make a case for asserting that nefarious lobbyists in D.C. are deliberately misleading the public and trying to eviscerate this legislation on behalf of financial interests. Everybody agrees that Dodd-Frank is landmark legislation. But the view is that, in many aspects of Dodd-Frank, the legislation is like heaving the Hulk’s sledgehammer, when a nimble scalpel would be much more effective in providing some needed remedies to the financial system.

Keeping track Interestingly, certain members of the political class have been pushing back all along, alleging that Dodd-Frank is a burdensome onslaught that the financial system simply cannot bear. Most recently, on April 17, the House’s Financial Services Committee notified the public about a new tool that it developed, called the Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker, which is, to use the Committee’s description, “an online resource to help the public keep track of all the new government rules and red tape required by the Dodd-Frank Act.”4 Here is the Committee’s analysis, which I must leave unchallenged for the time being, of the effects of Dodd-Frank: “Dodd-Frank, passed by Congress in 2010, mandates that government regulators write over 400 new rules and requirements that will be imposed on the private sector. Since the law was signed by President Obama in July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker reveals:  Regulators have written 185 of the 400 rules;  These 185 rules consume 5,320 pages;  It will take private sector job-creators 24,035,801 hours every year to comply with these first 185 DoddFrank rules.”5 The mathematician in me cannot help but see these numbers in percentages and common ratios:

have been written which, of course, is another way of saying that 54% of the new rules are not yet written).  For each rule, the number of pages describing the rule: 1:28.75 (one rule consumes 28.75 pages).  The number of private sector, annual hours to comply with each of the first 185 rules: 129,923:1 (the first 185 new rules take a private sector, annual labor output of 129,923 hours to implement). That last statistic is a bit skewed, inasmuch as there are only 8,760 hours in a year. But the number 24,035,801 refers to so-called “total man hours.” I think you get the point! Nevertheless, consider those 400 new rules: the huge number of deadlines contained in the 400 rulemakings required by Dodd-Frank is obviously overwhelming the regulatory agencies as well as the private sector. And I haven’t even yet mentioned the estimated cost! The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it will cost well over $3 billion over the next five years to implement Dodd-Frank. Indeed, in an Atlantic Magazine article published last year, entitled “Dodd-Frank’s Derivatives Rules Could Cost Main Street $1 Trillion,” Daniel Indiviglio estimated that there could be up to $1 trillion in broader economic costs resulting from Dodd-Frank.6

The Burden Tracker We can play around with statistics all day, often using them for or against our arguments. But the Committee has done some of the work for us in the form of its Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker—which I shall call the Burden Tracker. The April 17 version is available from our Library, if you want to download all 20 pages.7 The Committee will update the Burden Tracker periodically. If you want a sense of the broad range of Dodd-Frank, the following is a list of the agencies, by their acronyms, that the Burden Tracker cites as affected by DoddFrank’s new rules: FDIC, OCC, FRS, OTS, NCUA, CFTC, SEC, CFPB, FSOC, FHFA, HUD, IRS, FTC, DOE, DO, VA and the FCA. The Burden Tracker totals the number of new rulemaking pages associated with each Dodd-Frank mandate, and the stages of such rulemaking thus far are interpretations, final rules, proposed rules, interim final rules, request for public comment, notice, order, joint notice, notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations, interim final rule with request for public comment, further notice of proposed rulemaking, and acceptance of standard.

Consequences  The percentage of new rules written versus the total: 46% (46% of the new rules

Dodd-Frank actually created 13 new regulatory agencies, and it eliminated

only one: The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS). One report I have read, issued by the Committee, entitled “One Year Later: The Consequences of the DoddFrank Act,” states that Dodd-Frank creates more than 2,600 new positions at regulatory agencies, with some agencies, like the Office of Financial Research, lacking any size limitations on their budgets or staffs. It seems to me that something is amiss in the way this legislation is being implemented, when Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Chairman of the Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, can opine that “it will take businesses more time to comply with Dodd-Frank rules than it took to build the Panama Canal.”8 I’ll let you reach your own conclusions. Jonathan Foxx, former chief compliance officer for two of the country’s top publicly-traded residential mortgage loan originators, is the president and managing director of Lenders Compliance Group, a mortgage risk management firm devoted to providing regulatory compliance advice and counsel to the mortgage industry. He may be contacted at (516) 442-3456 or by e-mail at

Footnotes 1—Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 91, Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Proposed Rules, 12 CFR Part 226, Regulation Z-Truth in Lending Act. [Regulation Z; Docket No. R–1417] H.R. 4173: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 111th Congress (2009-2010): “A bill to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end “too big to fail”, to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services practices, and for other purposes.” Sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT). 2—Foxx, Jonathan, “Landmark Financial Legislation: New Rules for Mortgage Originators– Part I: Reformation and Regulations,” National Mortgage Professional Magazine, August 2010, Volume 2, Issue 8, pages 28-42; “A New Era of Mortgage Reform–Part II: Legislation–Reactive or Proactive,” National Mortgage Professional Magazine, September 2010, Volume 2, Issue 9, pages 22-28; “A New Era of Mortgage Reform–Part III: Consumer Financial Protection-Bureau and Bureaucracy?,” National Mortgage Professional Magazine, October 2010, Volume 2, Issue 10, pages 22-40. 3—For our Newsletters, please visit the Articles and Newsletters section of our Web site: 4—Financial Services Committee Unveils “DoddFrank Burden Tracker,” House Committee on Financial Services, Press Release, April 17, 2012. 5—Ibid. 6—Indiviglio, Daniel, Dodd-Frank’s Derivatives Rules Could Cost Main Street $1 Trillion, The Atlantic, June 30, 2010. 7—Download the Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker (April 17, 2012) from our Library/Issuances-2012. 8—Dodd-Frank Burden Tracker, House Committee on Financial Services, Press Release, April 17, 2012.


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 MAY 2012

heard on the street

By Raymond Bartreau

MAY 2012 



Once you have exhausted all of your past clients, contacts and referral partners with the new Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) product, what’s next? You will want to start thinking about other forms of generating new business in the marketplace with this program. There are more than 27 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan holders nationwide who have no idea about HARP 2.0. The goal here is to find your audience within this large group and get yourself in front of them, or better yet, get them to come to you. The best way to do this is direct marketing, which consists of a few different options and avenues: Radio, TV, cold calling, direct mail and the Internet. As we all know in the mortgage industry, lenders have guidelines on pretty much every loan product on the market. If you are going to use direct marketing in the mortgage industry, the first thing you want to do is find the amount of homeowners that fit within your lending capabilities, in this case, we are talking about HARP 2.0. Some recent count studies were ran with three of the industry’s leading database compiler/managers of mortgage and here is what we came up with:  There are more than 27.5 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in America right now.  There are currently more than 11 million Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac homeowners that are upside down on their mortgage (more than 100 percent LTV).  Two states have more than 1.8 million, four states have more than 475,000, and another 31 states have 45,000-plus homeowners who can be helped.  Of those 11 million, nearly 60 percent of these homeowners are current right now on their mortgage.  The other 40 percent-plus could get current and potentially be helped before the end of 2013 if they are educated soon and make the efforts for the next six to 12 months. Depending on your specific lender requirements for this program, you would take these massive databases, and filter them down based upon the criteria you are looking to lend to. FICO, LTV, loan amount, origination date, late(s), no bankruptcies, and many more filters are available when you are looking to create your perfect audience. After extreme HARP 2.0 overlay filtering, we end up with a total of 2.3 million marketable (outbound with addresses) homeowners who may qualify for HARP 2.0. Of those, more than 215,000 homeowners are available to be called after we do a Do-Not-Call (DNC) scrub on the database. Since most of these folks have not seen a mortgage offer over the last two to four years, you should see a pretty good response on any direct mail continued on page 43


continued from page 7

Continuing Education (CE) requirement for all Commercial, Residential and Master Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designates. Beginning June 1, 2012, all CMB designates will now be required to complete ongoing CE to maintain their respective designation. “Since 1973, the CMB designation has been the symbol of respect, credibility, expertise and achievement within the real estate finance industry,” said Jeffrey Schummer, MBA’s vice president of education. “Now, more than ever, with the industry in a period of rapid change, it is essential that industry leaders continue to advance their knowledge and build on this standard in order to set the bar for excellence in our industry.” Each CMB will be required to complete 30 hours of continuing education over an ongoing two-year period. CE credits will be available through Campus MBA online courses, at selected sessions during MBA conferences, and through special CMB events. In order to be eligible for the CMB designation, candidates must either work for an MBA member company or be a member of a recognized state MBA. Every candidate for an Executive CMB is required to have a minimum of 10 years of experience in real estate finance and hold a senior management position at an MBA member company. CMB candidates must acquire 150 points earned through a combination of professional experience, secondary education, continuing education through MBA-sponsored events and CampusMBA courses, as well as participation in MBA at the local, state and/or national level. After accumulating the required points and passing a comprehensive written exam, candidates must demonstrate industry knowledge by passing an oral exam conducted by a panel of CMBs.

Bank of America Partners With NID-Housing Counseling Agency on Foreclosure Prevention Bank of America has formed a partnership with NID-Housing Counseling Agency (NIDHCA) to help eligible, hard-to-reach homeowners become aware of their options to have a free independent foreclosure review completed. As part of a consent order with federal bank regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) (independent bureaus of the U.S. Department of the Treasury), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Bank of America and their affiliates, along with 13 major mortgage servicers and their affiliates, have identified customers who were part of a foreclosure action on their primary residence during the period of Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010, to make them aware of their eligibility to participate in the Independent

Foreclosure Review. NID-HCA will leverage its network of counselors and partner organizations across the country to: Integrate the Independent Foreclosure Review education in outreach events it participates in to help counsel homeowners; provide application assistance by holding housing clinics designed to assist eligible customers with completing Request for Review Forms; and provide information to leaders in the housing, minority civic and social organizations, and real estate trade industry to help inform those in their sphere of influence. “NID-HCA has over 25 years of experience providing services in minority and underserved communities,” said Jacqueline Carlisle, NID’s executive director. “I’m confident we will have a significant impact to help homeowners become aware of their options. We applaud Bank of America’s continued effort to be proactive in this area, and we’re honored to partner with them.” NID-HCA has been an active partner with Bank of America, assisting at-risk clients daily across the country and participating in face-to-face outreach events in local communities. Assisting to increase awareness of the Independent Foreclosure Review will expand this relationship.

Aurora Financial Selects REO Allegiance for Property Preservation and Field Inspections REO Allegiance has announced that it has been selected by Aurora Financial Group Inc. to provide Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-compliant field services, inspection services, and P-260 communications. REO Allegiance’s enhanced inspection and HUD P-260 reporting processes will ensure that Aurora Financial continues to be fully compliant with all U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) guidelines for proper maintenance of properties throughout the foreclosure process and the timely conveyance of properties back into the market. “We understand how crucial compliance is in our heavily-regulated industry,” said Lisa Sadaoui, president and chief executive officer of REO Allegiance. “The best origination firms choose partners based on their ability to help them meet regulatory and investor requirements. We feel honored to be chosen by Aurora Financial to provide these services to them.” Deborah Johnson, foreclosure specialist at Aurora Financial, said, “We are very thorough in our search for vendor partners, and we feel very comfortable with entrusting our business to REO Allegiance. Our standards are very high, continued on page 19



 MAY 2012

The President’s Corner: May 2012

MAY 2012 



Wow, May is here and I hope all of you are experiencing the same mini-boom that my company is experiencing. It seems that the people looking for homes are starting to find them now, and the next few months should be good for all of us. This is the sixth time I have sat down and started to put things that I thought were important for you and this month I have decided to talk about membership and benefits. So, here is the important stuff and some clarification for all of you. In December, the NAMB Delegate Council approved a change to the reciprocity rule for memberships. What this means is that people can join NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals or join their state without having to join the other. It does not mean that NAMB does not want members to join the states, but that it gives an option to those who want to join one or the other or both. It again gives options to people to go to the NAMB Web site and join. Now this in no way means that we won’t share information. By the 10th day of every month, all of the information for new members who joined NAMB only is sent to every state so that states can begin to talk with these members about joining their state association. Many of you have called, e-mailed or sent me a letter on the fact that you don’t understand why NAMB went to this system of membership. You have said that it makes no sense why NAMB would do this. To be very frank, it is about membership. We have tried to increase membership by relying on the states to increase our membership, and we are still at the same round number of about 5,100 members. We need to grow this association and it is not going to do it on its own. We need to get to 25,000 (and that still is only 22 percent of the entire licensed and registered mortgage originators in the United States). This is a way for us to grow. We can then allow the NAMB Membership Committee to expand their abilities and go out and get more members. We will always suggest that these members join the state in which they are registered, but we need to increase our numbers. Some benefits that are great for our

members are doing business with NAMB’s Strategic Alliance Partners.  Sprint is one of our best benefits. A 20 percent monthly savings on their standard program is a great deal. And as an NAMB Member, you are a Preferred Customer. Contact Alex Mohammed, NAMB’s Sprint National Representative, at to talk with him about these outstanding benefits and get on the road to saving money today.  Lowe’s is another great benefit of NAMB membership. You can send your customers a coupon good for 10 percent off any purchase of Lowe’s products or services. There is no cost to you for participation in this program, and with this being the season for home improvement, now is an excellent time to send your customer one of these coupons. Go to and begin using your benefit to help your customers today.  Liberty Mutual has been a Strategic Alliance Partner of NAMB for the past three years. They not only can offer you a reduction in your insurance costs, but they can also help your customer. They offer you specials to college graduates with additional discounts. Contact to be put in touch with an insurance professional in your area.  Have you completed your compliance with the Red Flag Rule? If not, contact Jim DeGeronimo Sr. at Majestic Security for one of the most comprehensive programs you can have in your office. The cost is not overpowering, and Jim will save you lots of money from those fines you would have to pay without this important piece of security. Contact Jim at and let them help you today.  We have two other Strategic Alliances that are also helpful to all business in saving you money. Office Max and FedEx help you in your purchasing of office

supplies and your shipping needs. Contact Office Max at and FedEx at to take advantage of these great specials. As you can see, NAMB has been working very hard to bring you benefits that help you in your everyday business situations. And we are working on some great new programs that will benefit all of our members. And we are very close to announcing a new opportunity that each member will be able to benefit from just by answering your phone and gathering a little bit of information. I hope that some of you have tried out some of these outstanding benefits personally. NAMB is always striving to improve our benefits to all of the membership. We are putting a value on it that will expand your cost of the yearly membership, as well as give you the standard information from Washington, D.C. and our Government Affairs team. The cost of this membership is $120 per year for a Platinum Membership and $50 annually for a Silver Membership. Whichever one that you choose, remember that you will be an important member of NAMB who cares about you and will never give up the fight to protect you in your right to originate loans and be respected for what you do. Remember, we are NAMB—The Association of Mortgage

Professionals, and we are proud to have you as our member. As a final note, we will be having our Annual Conference & Board Installation in Indianapolis this year at the JW Marriott Hotel. It will be held Friday-Saturday, June 22-23, 2012, and this information will be on the NAMB Web site at We will be having a Board Meeting and a Delegate Council Meeting while we are there. It is a short one, but we will make every effort to be memorable one. On Friday, we will be going to the Indianapolis Indians baseball game, and then on Saturday, we will hosting a session for all new NAMB Board Members and Committee Chairs. The Delegate Council Meeting and Board Meeting will be in the afternoon, followed by the President’s Reception in the evening. So start making those reservations to come to Indy for a great time as we make plans for the upcoming year. And for those of you who remember the last Annual Convention in 2008, we had a great time in Indy. It is a great town to have a great time in. Come and join us for a great time. Sincerely,

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

Save the Dates … Friday-Saturday, June 22-23, 2012

NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals Annual Conference & Board Installation JW Marriott Hotel 10 S. West Street • Indianapolis Featuring:  NAMB Board Meeting  NAMB Delegate Council Meeting  President’s Reception  Indianapolis Indians vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees AAA Baseball Game (Fireworks Night)  Installation of 2012-2013 NAMB Board of Directors For more information, call NAMB at (972) 758-1151 or visit

Att CBC C Nationall Bank k we: I Prioritize purchase u/w times by contingency or closing dates I Provide touch points throughout the process to ensure on time closings I Encourage direct access to all underwriters, internal processors, closers & your Account Executive I Order your appraisal online without submitting the credit package – no delay I Offer diverse line: Conventional loans up to 97% LTV VA loans down to 640 Agency High Balance (100% LTV/105% CLTV) FHA loans down to 640 USDA loans



Too Many LOs Kill the Sale at Hello How? Bad chicken with broccoli

By Mark Green

Quality or quantity? What’s better? Of course, that depends on what we’re measuring, right?  Bottled water: On a hot summer day, you head into the convenience mart. Seventeen different brands of bottled water stare at you. They all look like water … filtered, clean and refreshing. Which

MAY 2012 



one are you most likely to choose? For me, it’s the biggest one at the lowest price possible. Why? Because I’m darn thirsty and they all taste like water.  Chinese food: True story, and the inspiration for this article … I checked out a new Chinese restaurant the other day. My $5 chicken with broccoli must have weighed five pounds when they brought it out to me. I am not exaggerating when I say the table buckled when I put it down. It looked like any other chick-

en with broccoli. But after I took my very first bite, I wasn’t too excited to try the second. I’ll be kind and say it was “unsavory.”

What happens to the 4.99 pounds of leftover chicken with broccoli? The same thing that happens to halfbaked quantity over quality e-mail content I see throughout our industry. It goes into the trash. What if the Chinese restaurant had showed up on my doorstep, uninvited, rang my doorbell and shoved a fork-full of their chicken with broccoli in my face as soon as I opened the door? Well isn’t that what we’re seeing in our industry today? The easy refinances are drying up and loan originators (LOs) are trying to drive purchase business. So they’re sending unwelcome and unsavory chicken with broccoli to whoever might have a taste. Okay, point made … let’s get to the solution. 1. Define your USP USP stands for “Unique Selling Proposition.” Most LOs think they have one: Great service. Have you ever heard an LO get in front of a top-producing real estate agents and confess belowaverage service? So, service is not a USP. Neither are “low rates” because someone can always come in a nickel cheaper (unless you enjoy working for free). Before you do anything else, identify something that is truly different and unique about your approach to your business. 2. Get permission Chivalry is indeed dead. Well, that’s fantastic news for you my fellow Permission Marketer! Use that to your advantage. Instead of firing off an unsolicited e-mail to a prospective real estate agent, call them first. Here’s a “script” I would use (and I generally dislike scripts): “Hi Mary, this is Mark Green with Acme Mortgage. I was about to e-mail an industry update with some critical new FHA requirements, but I figured you’d appreciate it if I got your permission first. Would you mind if I send this brief update your way? If you prefer not receiving my e-mails at any point, please simply reply, and I’ll remove you immediately—no questions asked.” Of course, this should be a bit more conversational (which is why I shy

away from scripts), but you get the idea … put good old-fashioned common courtesy to work for you and let your competition serve up the chicken with broccoli. 3. Content is always king Whoever tells you “content doesn’t matter—just get in front of them” is 100 percent wrong. Content means everything. That permission phone call accomplishes nothing if your real estate agents doesn’t see tremendous value in what they read once your email hits their inbox. Not just the first time, or second time, but every time. 4. Quality trumps quantity in the world of e-mail marketing E-mail is relatively cheap and e-mail is relatively easy. Therefore, marketers LOVE e-mail. Because marketers love e-mail, we receive lots of e-mail. This creates clutter and clutter creates noise. Your objective is to break through the noise and earn top of mind awareness. There are no shortcuts to achieve this status with a budding relationship.

If you’re not convinced yet, this might do the trick Make sure you’re monitoring openrates, bounce-backs, opt-outs and spam-markings. If you’ve never analyzed your e-mail performance before, you’ll be shocked to learn how you’re being received out there!

The bottom line Here’s the main idea I’d love you to take away from this article: If a real estate agent won’t give you permission to e-mail them, what makes you think they’re going to refer their buyers your way? Do yourself a big favor today. Define your USP. Polish it up so it shines and even YOU are impressed with yourself. Then, and only then, take the other steps and follow the path of quality and permission. Judge your success in 90-day increments and don’t look for instant gratification. Let everyone else serve up the chicken with broccoli. Mark Green is president of Top of Mind Networks, a one-stop shop for mortgage professionals to handle all of their customer relationship management needs. He may be reached by phone at (404 ) 943-9910, ext. 115 or email


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Five Steps To Hiring Successfully By Al Crisanty I have often been asked, “How do you hire and keep great people?” I’ve had the good fortune of working with some outstanding organizations and extraordinary people throughout my career and have some insight into this subject. Through trial and error and a lot of introspection, I’ve identified some interesting patterns in my hiring approach. I learned that we all view the world through our own set of filters that are skewed by experiences and create strong emotions about certain candidates during the recruiting process. Rather than letting our emotions take over, we need to understand that in order to do what’s best for our organization, team and customers, we must instead remain completely unbiased during the decision-making process and focus on five key steps to ensure we’re hiring and retaining the highest quality team members: 1. Define your target employee Narrow down your prospect list and identify your ideal candidate by creating a detailed job description of duties, responsibilities and minimum performance standards. Also, examine your organization’s culture, growth strategy, target customer and the characteristics of your top-performing team members to help determine the ideal attributes and qualities you’re looking for. 2. Focus on soft versus hard skills As managers, coaches and mentors, we tend to focus on “hard skills,” i.e. sales and underwriting aptitude, product knowledge, and customer service follow-through. While these are very important skills that successful team members must possess, I believe that soft skills—integrity, work ethic, team/collaborative spirit, and passion are the crucial un-teachable attributes that are the real indicators of future success for the individual, the team and the organization.


3. Hold multiple interviews Rather than viewing the interviewing process purely as a “sales job,” recognize it for what it really is: An opportunity for you and your candidates to make a well-informed and correct decision. Have candidates speak with other team members and managers who can provide additional feedback that will help identify potential red flags up front. Many candidates make strong positive first impressions, but later reveal a lack of alignment in some areas, while others may improve or validate your initial impressions, bringing you closer to your final decision.

MAY 2012 


4. Give employees a strong start Some managers subscribe to the “sink or swim” method when initiating new employees to a job. This method is not only disrespectful, but also sets up new employees for failure. Instead, take time to ensure that the new employee clearly understands their role, and has clearly defined expectations along with the tools necessary to succeed. 5. Retain employees and create a great work environment Studies show that the most satisfied employees feel they are a valued and vital part of an organization. Once you have a strong team of employees, create a supportive and collaborative work environment and provide venues for everyone to feel they’re contributing to organization success. The ability to attract, motivate, and retain great employees is the single most important skill of a successful leader and manager. In Good to Great, author Jim Collins writes that the key to building a great company is to, “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus.” In Execution, author Larry Bossidy writes that the key to business success is finding people who can execute and get the job done quickly and well. It’s imperative to know what you’re looking for and to dedicate the time and effort necessary to hire and keep the best. The success of your organization depends on it! Al Crisanty is vice president of national wholesale production for 360 Mortgage Group and is responsible for overseeing territory sales managers as the company seeks to expand operations to all 50 states. Al has accumulated more than 25 years of management and leadership experience in the mortgage industry, holding positions in secondary marketing, retail, wholesale and correspondent lending. Formerly the national wholesale director for Caliber Funding, Al was responsible for the development and expansion of Caliber’s wholesale production channel. Additionally, Al served as executive vice president of national production for American Home Mortgage, successfully transitioning the 500-member production team from Capital Commerce Mortgage Company after its closure. Al may be reached by phone at (916) 761-1624 or e-mail SPONSORED EDITORIAL

MAY 2012 DocMagic CEO Calls for Audits Throughout the Entire Loan Process Dominic Iannitti, president and chief executive officer of DocMagic Inc., a provider of fully-compliant, loan document preparation and delivery solutions for the mortgage industry, has called on all loan originators (LOs) to integrate automated loan file audits in their workflow throughout the mortgage production chain, from the time borrowers submit an application to the time loan file documents are prepared for delivery to the secondary market. “The traditional approach has been to perform an audit at the conclusion of the loan, before closing, but that’s not good enough anymore,” Iannitti said. “Only by monitoring compliance at every stage of the loan production process—from the time a borrower submits an application, to the time documents are prepared and packaged for investors, to every stage in between—can we be assured that the loans we originate are going to meet investor guidelines and compliance requirements so that down the road, lenders won’t be plagued by repurchase demands.” Compliance remains a serious issue as evidence of problematic loan files in the mortgage industry continues to persist. For example, Fannie Mae, the largest purchaser of residential mortgages in U.S., reported in February 2012 that it made a total of $23.8 billion in repurchase requests from lenders during 2011. That was an increase from $13.1 billion in repurchase requests in 2010. In fact, some lenders continue to owe billions to Fannie Mae for troubled loans. Iannitti pointed out that the technology exists today to check loan files for compliance at virtually any and every step in the process. “In a fraction of a second, DocMagic’s audit engine performs over 1,000 compliance, regulatory and investor guideline checks, and provides analytics to the user at every step of the way. Additionally, by integrating automated audits into production workflows, lenders can eliminate the need for separate compliance vendors,” Iannitti said. “With many of the loan parameters being set at inception, data integrity is essential to the entire origination cycle. Not only does a lender need to be aware of data that has changed, but equally important is data that has been

lost along the way. By leveraging DocMagic’s Audit engine throughout the process, any degradation of data is detected automatically.”

Veros Forecasts Housing Market Set to Accelerate Veros Real Estate Solutions has announced its VeroFORECAST real estate market forecast for the 12-month period from March 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013. The quarterly report shows that the recovery in the housing market is forecast to accelerate. The national home price index (HPI) forecast improved significantly from last quarter’s 1.3 percent depreciation to this quarter’s slight depreciation of 0.85 percent. VeroFORECAST shows fewer significant drags across an increasing number of markets, many of which are beginning to emerge with initial signs of appreciation for the first time since the market’s decline. On a national level, the gradual recovery in house prices is finally forecast to start accelerating, although the forecast projects the recovery to be market-by-market with not all areas expected to do well. Unemployment and housing supply remain key discriminators between the top and bottom 10 markets. Phoenix is predicted by VeroFORECAST to be the top performing market with a forecasted five percent appreciation. Its revival is based on the drastically reduced housing supply, great affordability and low interest rates. Also creating demand is Phoenix’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate, which is less than the national rate of 8.3 percent. For the third consecutive quarter, Bakersfield, Calif. stands at the bottom of the housing market with depreciation of 6.3 percent, which is a slight improvement from 6.8 percent in the previous quarter. Unemployment is at 14.3 percent and although housing inventory is coming down, the market is still experiencing a high rate of foreclosure and mortgage delinquency which continues to keep the pressure on pricing. The strongest areas in the United States can be still be found in the Great Plains, including regions in North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska and Louisiana. Housing markets that continue to perform well and see improvement include regions in Washington, D.C.; Hawaii and Alaska. continued on page 27


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Want to Recruit Successfully? Then Start Talking About the Right Things By Dave Hershman

get the following question in some shape or form just about every month from my clients who are managers …


“I am trying to grow my company, but it is tough to lure top producers, and even the lower-level producers just want to hear about our commission plan. How can I start a meaningful conversation with viable candidates?”

I am going to begin answering this question by stating the obvious: You start a meaningful conversation by having something more meaningful to say. The conversation cannot be about what you want. You need to think in terms of what is important to the candidate. That is the real “value.” Candidates are interested in two things: More income and less stress. Not having enough income is certainly one factor which produces more stress, so certainly these two issues are related. On the other hand, they are distinct in most ways, so I will treat them separately. We will start with this important


question: How are you going to increase their income? There are two ways to go about increasing their income. You can either increase their commissions or help them increase their volume. Increasing their commission is a zero sum game because every dollar of increased commission lowers your profits and your ability to help them produce more. Lower profits translate into less money and time you can devote to the goals of support. So while your plan needs to be competitive, it can’t be so high that they are on their own with regard to increasing their production in a way that will be the least stressful. Thus, if your solution to the problem is just to throw dollars at it with the goal of having the most lucrative commission plan for your sales force, then you probably won’t find this article very helpful. So we are left with the issue of increasing their production. That leads to a few other questions such as:

 How are you as a coach? I often tell managers who are recruiting that the most important factor in the process is not the candidate’s resume, but the manager’s resume. You need to be in a position to say—if you work with me, I can show you how to produce more. This needs to be supported by your experience and independent testimony. This is where social proof comes in … including quotes from others within the industry you have helped. This issue also provides quite a dilemma because the average manager in this industry is producing and has little time for support and coaching. That means you must make the best use of your time by implementing synergistic solutions, something we will talk about in future columns. This dilemma also requires the provision of easy-toimplement support tools.

MAY 2012 


 What kind of tools?

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There are three major categories of tools: Marketing, training and coaching. Some of these may involve technology—such as the provision of individual Web sites. The provision of leads may also come under the “marketing” category. Lead generation can encompass a wide range of choices, including the support of inbound telemarketing loan officers to those who sit in real estate offices, bank branches or builder sites. In-house LOs provide the best example of the relation of support to commission. Those who provide a steady stream of referrals are under less pressure to offer the most lucrative commission plans. Unfortunately, a substantial portion of managers in this industry are not in the position to offer in-house leads. This does not mean that it is not important to provide tools that will help with lead generation. Coaching and marketing tools must be easy to administer, especially considering the aforementioned time dilemma. Even training on topics, such as sphere marketing, is very important. Of course, they also have to be affordable. If they cost hundreds of dollars per month

per loan officer, the solution can increase expenses significantly. The goal here is not necessarily to pour money at a solution, but to have something unique you can talk about that will make a difference. I am interested in sharing ideas for solutions you have found that fit this description and can make some recommendations as well—just e-mail me at If we get enough response or questions, we will address in a future column. The second overall goal involves reducing stress level and is just as important as increasing revenues. More production and revenue does not work if you are adding to their stress levels. Getting loans in the door and closed is stressful in this industry, especially now. As a matter of fact, if you talk to loan officers about increasing their production, many of them will be imagining more stress in their lives. Again, there are solutions that involve throwing money at the problem, such as providing top producing loan officers with personal assistants. However, this solution is not for the masses. How can you lower their stress levels without dumping money? For one, you need to make sure that systems are in place that can minimize the causes of stress. Nothing is more stressful than an LO not understanding the systems they are supposed to operate within. Do you have an orientation or on-boarding system? Do you have a workflow system in writing which will delineate what are the loan officer’s responsibilities versus the processor’s responsibilities? Even training is important here. I have found that hammering on an LO to take a better application is a worthless exercise. On the other hand, if you can teach them how a better application process not only can lessen stress levels, but also increase their lead generation activities, then you have a winner. This is called “synergy marketing” and is an example from the title topic of one of my books, Maximum Synergy Marketing. Here is the bottom line, if you are unable to move the conversation from “What is your compensation plan” to “How I can help you increase your revenue and lower your stress-levels?” you will have a tough road getting the attention of most quality candidates. Even more importantly, answering these questions on your end will lead to implementing solutions that will make your present sales force more productive. The more productive your sales force, the better atmosphere you will create with regard to recruiting. High-quality LOs don’t want to work in a company where they have to supply all of the positive energy. They want to contribute, but they want to the company to contribute as well. Again, I am looking for your feedback and questions regarding this and other topics. We make this a better column if you all provide positive energy! Dave Hershman is a top author in the mortgage industry with seven books published, as well as hundreds of articles. Dave has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches, seminars and schools for the industry as well. He may be reached by e-mail at or visit

heard on the street

continued from page 10

for our own work and that of those we partner with. REO Allegiance’s excellent property preservation services will ensure our continued compliance and future success.”

LoanSifter Announces Integration With Bankrate

continued on page 20

Many real estate agents shy away from short sales because of the complexity involved in doing it themselves. When they refer the work to an attorney or third party negotiator, they risk losing a great chunk of their commission. ShortSaleSpeedway™ automates the short sale process, by creating all of the documents a real estate agent needs to create the superior short sale proposal exactly how banks want to see them.

How Can ShortSaleSpeedway™ Help YOU Trap Real Estate Agents? Your company can have your very own, private labeled version of ShortSaleSpeedway™ that you offer at no cost to your real estate agents. They will now have the tools provided by your company to be a true short sales specialist. Now they can negotiate short sales with ease and not have to give away their commission to someone else. You’re providing them with a tool that puts more money in their pocket.

What Do We Provide You? When you have your own ShortSaleSpeedway™, we provide you with the following: Q Your own customized private labeled ShortSaleSpeedway™ site Q Access to reporting on all borrowers being put into the system Q Training for you, your real estate agents and a dedicated support team Q Marketing materials to promote your ShortSaleSpeedway™ to real estate agents In many cases, the setup for the private labeled site costs you nothing!

For a free demo, contact Erik Wind, at (800) 262-3783, ext. 701 or visit

 MAY 2012

Stonegate Mortgage has announced that it is creating a Financial Institutions channel which will be a new strategic business unit within the company that will be solely focused on providing depository institutions with access to the secondary mortgage market on a correspondent and wholesale basis. The strategic business unit will be led by Doug Miller, formerly of GMAC/Ally Bank. Stonegate recently completed a private equity transaction with Long Ridge Equity Partners, a New York-based private investment firm, and indicated that it planned to use the capital to expand its portfolio of mortgage servicing rights and continue its growth in the correspondent and whole-

Genpact has announced that it has integrated QuestSoft’s Compliance EAGLE into its Quantum Mortgage Operating System (MOS) to help loan originators (LOs) and lenders automate and streamline compliance reviews during the origination process. The integration with Compliance EAGLE will enable Genpact’s Quantum users with the ability to check compliance and run reports throughout the loan process. QuestSoft not only provides compliance checks on national, state and local laws but also supports investor compliance guidelines. The software is fully integrated with Genpact’s Quantum MOS, which reduces errors and improves accuracy, providing lenders a faster and lower cost option to ensuring successful loan origination and compliance. “It is extremely difficult for lenders to keep up with every new regulation and law being passed at the federal and state levels,” said Leonard Ryan, president of

Why Is It Easy to Trap Real Estate Agents with ShortSaleSpeedway™?


Stonegate Mortgage to Launch New Financial Institutions Channel

Genpact Integrates Compliance Functions Into Quantum’s Mortgage Operating System


LoanSifter Inc. has announced an integration with Bankrate Inc. as a Bankrate Certified Technology Partner. The integration enables lenders to automatically post their mortgage rates and pricing information on Bankrate, straight from LoanSifter’s automated pricing engine. The result is additional exposure for lenders with minimal effort and more accurate, up-to-date rates for borrowers on one of the most popular destinations for mortgage information on the Internet. For lenders who are looking to minimize their efforts to maintain pricing, LoanSifter combines its automated pricing and underwriting content management with fee overlays to deliver a seamless solution that requires minimal to zero effort. While LoanSifter offers additional integrated products for lenders, this solution can be effectively run completely independent of the lenders’ existing workflow. “LoanSifter’s tools give me the ability to do a one-time set up, quoting in real-time from my current investors’ rate sheets. And it gives our company the ability to maintain the integrity we need to provide authentic, high-quality, and compliant rate quotes,” said Michael Farrell, president of Indianapolis, Ind.-based Grandview Lending. For lenders looking for maximum tactical flexibility over their positioning on, LoanSifter supplements the new integration with Bankrate with a manual override option, allowing lenders to quickly adjust final rates and pricing with minimal effort. LoanSifter also allows lenders to easily manage multiple states and regions on Bankrate, all from a single account interface.

sale loan origination channels. “We want to provide our financial institution clients liquidity for their mortgage assets,” said Jim Cutillo, chief executive officer of Stonegate Mortgage. “As a private conduit, we can provide access to the secondary market on a servicing released basis and we can help them manage their existing servicing portfolio in a less capital intensive way. We will bring our expertise and our dedication to service that we use on a day-to-day basis with our homeowners to financial institutions, providing capital and liquidity that fills a critical void in the marketplace.” Miller will bring his extensive knowledge of the industry, as well as nearly 40 year’s worth of mortgage lending experience to lead the Financial Institutions Business Unit. Miller has served a senior executive role with well-respected mortgages lenders such as Washington Mutual and Citicorp. He has worked the last two years at GMAC Bank/Ally Bank in Memphis, Tenn. where he was responsible for all sales in the Community Financial Institution’s Channel. Miller will bring his attuned skill set and dedication to upholding Stonegate’s dedication to excellence in customer experience and service. Miller will report to Steve Landes, executive vice president of loan origination for Stonegate. “Bringing Doug on board will provide Stonegate with a leading executive who has experience, understanding of the marketplace and relationships,” said Landes. “He will be an integral part of our Financial Institutions Division’s growth and success and we look forward to his leadership and contributions to our firm.”






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 Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc. (REMN) has announced the addition of Chris Wasinger and Brian Poling as regional managers in REMN’s Florida market.


 Don Henig has been named managing director of national sales for Walpole, Mass.-based Mortgage Master Inc.

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QuestSoft. “Integrating Compliance EAGLE into Quantum ensures that Genpact users are always in compliance with the newest regulations. Quantum’s transparent datafocused software platform ensures that originators, closers and secondary marketers can all monitor the compliance status of the loan from the initial application through closing.” Genpact’s Quantum MOS uses a datadriven approach to remove the silos between origination, closing and secondary marketing. The software platform combines automated decisioning and highly efficient processing, resulting in valuable data and insights for more accurate underwriting. The automated quality checking combined with Compliance EAGLE increases the pull through and lowers loan repurchases due to improper compliance. Compliance EAGLE evaluates loan files against a comprehensive suite of compliance regulations and standards, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), NMLS licensing, LEF reviews, RESPA fee tolerances, various exclusionary lists and flood determination requirements, in addition to the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), and federal, state and local consumer and predatory lending laws. Additionally, Compliance EAGLE’s reviews are widely accepted by many secondary market investors. “Having the ability to integrate compliance checks into the loan process in every step of the workflow enables enhanced risk transparency and reduced costs in collecting, analyzing and reporting potential issues before the loan closes,” said Rob Pommier, vice president of Genpact Mortgage Services. “As a result, an investor will no longer have to wait until the loan is closed to ensure compliance, and that enhanced level of risk transparency enables all parties to maximize pricing and profit potential.”


e-mail: visit:

continued from page 19


heard on the street

 Inlanta Mortgage has announced the promotion of Carla Blazek to underwriting manager, and has announced the additions of Sherri Mayer as disclosure desk analyst and Kerry Heus as closing specialist.  Calyx Software has added Jim Dymek to its new account sales team. continued on page 40

Best regards,

Andre w Pete rs

 MAY 2012 (800) 296-2275


Andrew Peters cer Chief Executive Offi tgage Corporation or M First Guarant y


Officer Lender/Retail Loan nt de on sp re or /C oker you may Dear Mortgage Br poration. Some of or C e ag tg or M y us for rant or have been with e to you First Gua e, uc tim od st tr fir in e to th r d fo se I’m plea stomers. ar ing our name Whether you’re he lp you help your cu . he us to ow ng kn ki y ta e ad re e’r al e steps w ll be plea sed by th ction are fa ster, years, I think you’ us on each transa ith w ns io ct ra te a better in w technology and noticed that your y ne ad ith re w al s ve es ha oc pr ay r ou ha se. You m e closing or purc ient. We’ve refined th fic re ef fo e be or e m fil d an ur smoother to touch yo ther than your cu stomer, ra fewer people need ith ng w ri k su or en w , : w st lo be kf wor what you do have time to do We want you to d troubleshooting. requires processing loans an . Today’s market rs ne rt pa r ou r py in today’s ide options fo ng hard to prov the space you occu of ss le rd ga re ns We are also worki VA lender solutio on sense FHA and m y. We’re offering m lit co bi a xi g fle in ek um se im oker or VA max are a mortgage br oducts like 203K u pr yo er ith w th s he id W . vo ce e marketpla and the fastest looking to fill th mpetitive pricing ngs; a flow seller co ri fe ith of w e r ye ch ni bu lk ith w tail loan / bu ing for a mini bulk se line relief; or a re ok ou lo eh er ar w nk or ba a w ls; flo manua lp create ca sh MC offers real the industry to he s opportunities, FG es dl en u yo w lo purcha se times in al at will r a unique home th the country. officer looking fo y for clients across da y er ev e es th g in liver s to be the options. We are de ilosophy continue ph re co ur O s. cu ted by fo changing is our serve to be evalua de be s ’t er on ow w rr at bo th at g th One thin lieve strongly e DU and FICO t we do. We still be ther than a simpl ra e, ns se on m foundation of wha m ing. We co es to mortgage lend underwriting and m l co ua it n an m he w d, e ce ns en se on ients experi customers. Your cl happened to comm r ur ve yo te ha do w as r , de at on th e score. We w homes. You deserv people into good od go t pu to ist ex t numbers. are borrowers, no ices at www.FGMCw rv se d an es lin t uc (capit al ore about our prod w m w n ); ar le nt to de u on yo sp te re We invi (cor w we can help your FGMCcorrespond ow you exactly ho sh n ca e w at (wholesale); www. th market may l) so can improve. The (retai e w. w w s w ay d w an on ); ts ck ke ba ed chance mar ers. We’d like the ays open to your fe w om al st e ar cu e ur W . yo d ow an gr business rtunit y for you at can mean oppo th t bu , ng gi an ch be to prove it to you.

The Secret Habits of Highly-Effective Loan Originators

Roundtable Discussion Held in Atlantic City at Annual Regional Conference of MBAs As part of the 19th Annual Regional Conference of Mortgage Bankers Associations, held in March at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., seven of the industry’s top originators were assembled to share what’s making them a success today to discuss the latest industry happenings. The panel, consisting of mortgage professionals of varying degrees of experience under their respective belts, all agreed that making it in today’s industry is not about pushing as many apps through their offices as possible. They agreed that, in order to make it in today’s mortgage landscape, mortgage professionals must properly plan, exercise patience and be proactive. In this discussion, these originators share their secret habits that make them a success.

MAY 2012 



Meet the sponsors …

Meet the originators …

Christopher Delisle Esq. Equity Settlement Services Inc.

Barbara Gallagher (McDonald) Welcome Mortgage

Christopher Delisle Esq. has been with Equity Settlement Services Inc. since 1986. He graduated Touro Law School in 1998 with high honors. During his tenure with Equity Settlement Services, he has gained extensive experience in all aspects of bank closings including, but not limited to, residential and commercial transactions.

Barbara Gallagher (McDonald) began her career in the mortgage industry in 1987. After working as president of Welcome Mortgage Corporation, she purchased the company in 2000 with her business partner, Mark DiLeo. She has been a special guest on 89.7 WGLS radio, as well as CN8’s “Real Life” and has appeared on a number of news broadcasts, including NPR.

Steven A. Milner US Mortgage Corporation

Anthony J. Gatto, Steven A. Milner, founder and chief CRMP, CSA executive officer of US Mortgage Morgan Hill Funding LLC Corporation, has nearly 30 years of and Reverse Choice experience in the mortgage industry, having started his career as a loan officer in 1981. Steven spent the first 18 years of his professional career as a math teacher on Long Island. It was not until 1981 that he first took an interest in the mortgage industry when doing a refinance on his home.

Anthony J. Gatto, CRMP, CSA is the founder of Morgan Hill Funding LLC and Reverse Choice, Morgan Hill Funding’s reverse mortgage division. Anthony began his career in the mortgage industry in 1997, and was introduced to reverse mortgages in 2000. He opened Morgan Hill Funding LLC/Reverse Choice in 2010 in order to follow his passion for reverse mortgages and his dedication to serving the senior community. He was previously a branch manager for Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation from 2000-2010, and Allied Home Mortgage’s state manager for New Jersey from 2007-2010, and also

served as their qualifier in New York from 2009-2010. Anthony is currently a board member of the New Jersey Association of Mortgage Brokers (NJAMB).

Ed Kenmure PrimeSource Ed Kenmure has been in the mortgage business since 1984. Ed was president and chief executive officer of United Community Mortgage Corporation. He orchestrated an acquisition merger with PrimeSource, a publicly-traded company, a little over one year ago.

Edward O’Connor Generation Mortgage Edward O’Connor is the eastern regional manager of retail sales with Generation Mortgage Company and a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP). Previously, he was the president of Advanced Funding Solutions Inc., a reverse mortgage broker licensed in three states. He has been involved in the financial services industry for more than 25 years, having started as a loan officer and then product manager for Chase Bank. Ed owned his own accounting and tax practice for 16 years prior to being in the mortgage industry and is a licensed Enrolled Agent by the IRS. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Long Island chapter of the National Aging in Place Council, and is a retired Nassau County Police Detective.

Steven Porter Qwest Mortgage Inc. Steven Porter of Qwest Mortgage Inc. has been originating mortgages for more than 32 years. Previously a Platinum Club Loan Officer for Bank of America, Steven has been president of Qwest Mortgage Inc. since August of 2000. Steven was the very first mortgage originator licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.

Dave Pressel West Town Savings Bank Dave Pressel is managing partner of the New Jersey Retail Division of West Town Savings Bank in Manalapan, N.J., a conventional and FHA/VA lender originating in all 50 states. Dave is in his 23rd year in the mortgage industry, and has been ranked in the top tier of producing loan officers in the country, averaging $75 million in personal closed loan production per year.

Jeff Van Note Jersey Mortgage With 10-plus years of industry experience, Jeff Van Note of Jersey Mortgage has emerged as an industry leader. Recognized for top-level performance, superior customer service and expertise in the industry, Jeff has successfully helped clients from all walks of life achieve their financial goals and objectives.

Moderator: What are some of the industry issues that keep you up at night? Dave Pressel: Other than the kids … I think I’m very fortunate that not too much keeps me up at night. After 22 years, I am still in love with this industry. I love what I do. I’m good at it, and I enjoy it. I get as much out of it as it gives back to me. I think that can be said for any industry that you have a passion for. I think there’s a difference between work stress and not enjoying your job, and I tell all my loan officers the same thing … look at this as a career and not as a job. If you look at this as a career, there could be a love affair for years and years. You know the thing that keeps me up at night is not having this industry tomorrow. Barbara Gallagher (McDonald): Everybody played a part in the downturn of the housing market in my opinion. The borrower played a part, real estate agents played a part, mortgage bankers played a part and the securities market also played a part. Everybody who thought they knew what they were doing knew the writing was on the wall. And the big deal, what keeps me up at night, is that those option ARMs have not come yet. What is negative has come from everything else, we have not seen the fallout yet from the option ARMs … they are still in the twos. I think we still have that to worry about.

Anthony J. Gatto: Yeah, who wants to refinance a deal that you’re in the twos and threes? Barbara Gallagher (McDonald): But that doesn’t mean that there’s not a consequence for that or that it’s …

Steven Milner: I find that a big challenge is keeping up with continuing education requirements. I have background in education. I was a school teacher for 18 years before I got into the business part-time to make a few extra bucks. I try to set the example for all of my salespeople. If I can do it, they too can do it. We all know the challenges associated with licensing. It’s a challenge we face in all of our organizations. Barbara Gallagher (McDonald): Another thing that worries me is when you are licensed in 50 states and must keep up with continuing education. I think that’s difficult, but what panicked me was the audit. Getting audited by 50 states because we just went through two audits and it was so time-consuming it was unbelievable. I’m in a 10-person shop, so it’s a huge thing and the bills haven’t come in for them yet. But what keeps me up at night is what the future holds as far as mounting business. I think that what we’re not saying is that we have had rates below the four percent mark for so long, that the housing market is eventually going to start creeping up again. Eventually, it might not be right away, but eventually. I’m not an expert, but it seems to me that after 25 years of doing this, I’m thinking of an equilibrium in the market at about six or seven percent. Don’t you think that’s where rates probably should be? Ed Kenmure: With all the sour inventory, foreclosures and short sales coming off the market, the prices are going to stay down, the rates will creep up, it’s cyclical. It always happens. It’s a purchase market. I’m probably doing half your business, but it’s more profitable because the loan officers are on commission, I’m not spending all this money on leads. People look at production and companies looking to go from $40 million a month to $70 million, but at what cost? Moderator: What trends do you see in the current mortgage marketplace? Anthony J. Gatto: There are definitely a lot less of us in the industry these days.

Ed Kenmure: What year was that? There were 60,000 loan officers in New Jersey in 2006. I wonder what that number is today? Anthony J. Gatto: I think today, it sits at only 4,500 to 5,000 in New Jersey. Ed Kenmure: And that’s a recent increase … it had been sitting at around 2,800. Anthony J. Gatto: I see, even with my own children and their friends, that there’s a little bit of a mind shift, a change in thinking as to what this generation expects out of life. I think our generation was a lot more driven. Ed Kenmure: We’ve made it easy for them. Anthony J. Gatto: Well, it’s more a quality of life issue to them than it is to us. To us, we’re tied to our job in more than one way. It’s more than just a place to go to make a living, it represents our identity, our ego and so many other things because I think that’s the environment we grew up in. They grew up in an easier environment because we made it easier for them, we sent them all to school and they got great educations. I went to a community college, I paid my own tuition … we didn’t have that. Not that I’m complaining because I think that provided me with the motivation to go out and want to succeed, but college may not be for everybody. Jeff Van Note: It’s not for everybody. Anthony J. Gatto: We don’t have enough engineers in this country as everybody has already seen, but we have more art history majors than there are museums in the world. Jeff Van Note: And too many accountants. Anthony J. Gatto: Right … so not everybody needs to go to college and spend that kind of money, but I think the mindset of that younger generation is really going to change a lot of things in our society. People are not looking at it like “I don’t need that big house.” And I

think the days of the McMansions are gone. Nobody wants to spend the money on property taxes especially in a state like New Jersey … they’re crazy. I just see that as a phase that we’re through and how this business is going to evolve is going to depend a lot on your generation like Jeff [Van Note] and how they perceive they want to live their life. Jeff Van Note: In my opinion, I see more of minority buyers coming out into the market. I am seeing more Dominican, Puerto Rican and African-American families who are coming out to buy homes. In areas like the Throggs Neck section near the Bronx, and it’s more like a blue collar society where you have your Con Ed guys, sanitation guys and members of the New York Police Department … they’re the ones who are buying there. They are the ones who started in sanitation because their parents said, “Listen, you are going to start in a New York City job when you’re 18-years-old and you’ll be out in 22-25 years.” I see that market buying as well. Like everyone else, I’ve done loans for people who are my age. They’re saying, “You know what, I don’t want to work for 30 to 40 years, and want to get out in 25 years with a full pension.” Barbara Gallagher (McDonald): There was a point a few years ago when I wanted to get out of this business because I was sick of competing against the liars and the rates and everybody’s pricing. I never thought of myself in sales, and I ended up just completely crazy, but I thought I would be in banking … I never thought of it as sales and a commission, I think of it as … Ed Kenmure: The deal and providing the service for someone … Barbara Gallagher (McDonald): Exactly. I mean, to me, it never seemed like I was a salesperson and the first time the person who hired me called me a salesperson I was almost insulted. It’s a different mentality because that’s what I felt for a long time. I can honestly tell you that I have never lost a loan in a year on price because people don’t price you when they are a repeat customer. The most loyal person is a repeat customer and I know they say continued on page 24


 MAY 2012

Anthony J. Gatto: No, you’re perceiving a future consequence. I think a bigger consequence that we had in our industry was that it was overbuilt. There was more product available at any given time that really brought down the entire industry. It wasn’t necessarily the financing, it was that the market was saturated with inventory.

Anthony J. Gatto: Yeah. The builders just continued to build and build.

I remember when I first took a position with Allied, there were 44,000 loan officers in the state of New Jersey alone.


Barbara Gallagher (McDonald): Because they are still in the twos.

Steven Porter: It was the cause and effect.

Steven Porter of Qwest Mortgage and Barbara Gallagher (McDonald) of Welcome Mortgage 

Anthony J. Gatto: I don’t think the option ARMs are as bad as we perceive them to be. I think if there had to be a villain in this whole crisis, I would say it was the big banks. They were the ones who went to Capitol Hill, they got in the bus, they drove over us back and forth, because somebody had to go down for this and brokers were the weakest link. The brokers were the weakest target and they really took the brunt of it. Most of those option ARMs that I see come across to try to refinance, I can’t refinance them.

Christopher Delisle Esq. of Equity Settlement Services Inc. with Steven A. Milner of US Mortgage Corporation and Edward O’Connor of Generation Mortgage

solid. If you’ve been around for three to five years, you really haven’t seen anything yet.

Anthony J. Gatto of Morgan Hill Funding LLC and Reverse Choice and Edward O’Connor of Generation Mortgage you have to ask them for business, but I’ve never asked a repeat customer for business. I tell them in the beginning that I work on referrals. Even my office walls are covered with thank you notes and it puts it in their mind.

MAY 2012 



Moderator: Can you discuss your business model and what it takes to make it in today’s marketplace? Jeff Van Note: I have been around the business my entire life. My family has been in it since the late 70s/early 80s, so I’ve seen everything from the booms to the collapses. The way I was told to do business literally was get dressed up, put on a suit and a tie and get out there. I don’t care who owns a real estate office, where it is, what part of the neighborhood it’s in … I just walk in there, drop off business cards and stay visible, go to open houses and work on the weekends. What separates me from everyone else is that I got in when everyone else was getting out. When people experienced downturns and a slowing of business, it hurt them big time. I was getting in with the family, I was in the right place right time. The biggest thing that was said to me was if you don’t work on Saturdays and Sundays, you’re not going to make it in this business because 99 percent of your competition doesn’t work the weekends. So above and beyond, give out the service, but don’t over-promise … underpromise and over-deliver. And that’s pretty much the foundation of doing any business—properly do it, do it the right way, don’t pay kickbacks, don’t pay referral fees, go out there and create value for yourself and people will appreciate that. That’s how I’d build my business. Ed Kenmure: I’m going through an acquisition and a merger, and prior to that, I was a full-time mortgage banker. We were talking about this before … the dumbing down of America … I don’t really want to call it the dumbing down of America, but I believe there are people who should be working in assembly plants and out in the field and farming and whatever, and then they are thrown into a service business. I’m finding that, across the country, when I used to control it and being on the East Coast and most of my business is in five states on the East Coast, I can control it and can determine what the regulations are and what the rules are and how to underwrite them. Now that I’m part of a larger organization, underwriting is being done

Dave Pressel of West Town Savings Bank with Steven A. Milner of US Mortgage Corporation

in either Oklahoma, the Midwest … I can’t get underwriters to read tax returns … every day it’s something new. Moderator: Have you noted any particular trends in the hiring of loan officers? Edward O’Connor: That is one of things I’m concerned about … how do you attract now and keep competent loan officers? If you want to come and work for me, you are coming because you are looking for a career in this industry. If you just want a job and a payday, you probably will do better at a being broker because they will pay you more, but you’re not going to get all the other benefits and support and everything else I can possibly offer. I want people who I can bring on now in a comfortable market that I know are going to be competent enough to stick around when it gets different. I won’t say “bad,” but it’s going be different … a year or two from now it’s going to be very different. The question is how do you find and attract people who understand some of these things, for this to be a career, not just a payday? Steven Milner: We know the characteristics that go into a good salesperson so you just have to evaluate, as quickly as possible, whether or not that a candidate has the ability to make it. You may have to go through 10 candidates through your training program, your education program, your motivation program, which is important, to end up with someone who may excel. I think there should be more emphasis on the newbies. What we try to do is really try to show them the income potential and break it down and get very granular about it. We ask them how much they want to make at the end of the year? Want to make $50,000 … want to make $100,000? Well, how many loans do you have to close? How many applications do they have to take? How many credit reports do you have to take? Edward O’Connor: I have found, in the last four years attending various conventions, I said to my associates, “Look around, what’s different?” They’d agree that there were a lot less vendors. “That’s obvious … what’s next? Tell me what you don’t see?, I’d ask. There are no more big company outings and parties, not many flashy gimmicks, etc. … we’re back to the guys like us. We started 20 years ago. Most of the people at this convention now [the 29th Annual

MBA Regional Conference of MBAs], in my opinion, haven’t been on the floor yet today because they have yet to set up their own booth … they are the owners and managers. This is the way it used to be when I first got into the industry in the 1980s. We went through that period of craziness and it’s actually back to that point where I can sit with someone and they can show me what they have and how it works. Christopher Delisle Esq.: From our approach, we are recognizing also what Edward [O’Connor] just mentioned, when we see a much more quality loan officer in the industry today. We have found that customer satisfaction has increased tremendously, and we are beginning to see the evolution of a better and brighter loan originator. We’re seeing that the quality of the product and the service offered is vastly improving. Jeff Van Note: I think we should focus on attracting new employees with value, not with dollar amount. Anyone could pay somebody, anyone could buy somebody, but if you upgrade the value then they stay loyal to you, because I’ve seen it at Jersey Mortgage. Dave Pressel: If I’m up against 10 people, I go into it thinking... and I have the same rate and similar costs, I think I get the loan 70 percent of the time. That’s not conceit, that’s not ego, it’s confidence. And that’s bred from many, many years of doing business. Have I lost deals? Absolutely. Look, me personally, over the last three years, I’ve probably closed close $275 million dollars myself. No other loan officers, just my business. It does not make me any better a loan officer than any person in this room. It just means that I do a lot of business. There are plenty of people, it’s like any other industry, there are plenty of people out there who do a lot of business that have the intelligence of a brick. And there are people out there who are incredibly intelligent and don’t do a lot of business. It’s basically a matter of drive, it’s a matter of application, ethics, integrity, and learning your craft and knowing your trade. Moderator: Where do you see the future of the industry headed? Jeff Van Note: If you look at a mortgage bank that has been in business for 20 years, you’ve been through ups and downs and are still here … that’s pretty

Edward O’Connor: There were people who got into this industry in the middle of the boom and could barely know how to fold a napkin, but they made money in the industry. And now, the rules and the NMLS [Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System] has probably gotten rid of about half those people and there are still some left. They are the ones who still want to make four points on every deal. Edward Kenmure: Can’t do it. The new blood can’t do it because it doesn’t even make sense as they’re never going to write lower loans. I found people when they got to a point to renegotiate the agreement, they always did less. Why? Because they made more. Well, I only have to do this many loans and they got that big check. I had guys who I wouldn’t see for 30 days after they closed three loans in a month. Edward O’Connor: I call them “Big Watch Guys” because the first thing they did was they got this big check and they went out and got this fancy watch and a boat, they had the car with the $700 a month payment. Jeff Van Note: You would see people in this business where it’s almost insulting. You see somebody and you’re doing great at $100,000 a year and you saw the used car salesman and the used shoe salesman who comes in are making $200,000 and you think to yourself, “I know more than him, I do things better than him, I’ve been around longer than him, he’s just overcharging people, he’s making more money than me.” Steven Milner: I believe that when people perceive that rates are going up, they make a decision to purchase, which is the opposite of what most people think. They get off the fence. Supply and demand will increase values. That’s Economics 101. Anthony J. Gatto: It’s a different world today, and I jumped on the technology express a long time ago and I’m a firm believer in it. I think what I’ve seen come from it has really been leaps and bounds over suit and tie. I mean there is a place and time for that, but I think to open a market you really have to go in from the technological standpoint and start developing what you think is going to bring in business. I don’t rely as much on personal relationships with Realtors and I see they tend to, over time, unless you develop a deep personal relationship with them, that Realtors are not very loyal in my opinion, and you know loyalty is a hard thing to find.

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The Dodd-Frank Act: New Mortgage Servicing Rules on the Horizon By Laurie Spira The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act imposes several new requirements related to the servicing of mortgage loans. These new requirements will take effect automatically on Jan. 21, 2013, unless the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issues final rules prior to that date. On April 9, the CFPB offered a sneak peek at its plan to formally propose mortgage servicing rules this summer and finalize them by January 2013. The proposed rules under consideration were announced by the CFPB under the banner of “Putting the Service Back in Mortgage Servicing: No Surprises, No Runaround.” To accomplish this goal, the proposed rules being considered would require servicers to provide:

MAY 2012 



I Monthly mortgage statements that break down principal, interest, fees, escrows and due dates. I Disclosures before adjusting interest rates on adjustable rate mortgage loans. I Notices prior to charging the borrower for force-placed insurance, plus special procedures for borrowers with escrow accounts and rules for terminating force-placed insurance. I Same-day crediting of monthly payments, with special rules for partial payments. I Timely response to borrower notification of possible errors, and for delinquent borrowers, early information about options for avoiding foreclosure. I Direct, ongoing access to staff who are dedicated to servicing troubled borrowers. The rules being considered would also require servicers to establish information management policies and implement procedures designed to minimize errors and facilitate quick corrections. Also on April 9, the CFPB published an outline prepared for a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panel, which provides a preliminary assessment of the potential benefits and costs to the types of small business and other small entities that would be subject to the proposals being considered, including community banks, credit unions, independent servicers, small non-profit organizations, and potentially, small government jurisdictions. Included in the outline were prototype periodic statements, adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) reset notices, and force-placed insurance notices that have been tested with consumers in different parts of the country. Also attached was a detailed description of procedures being considered for error resolution and responding to borrower inquiries. Accordingly, servicers and lenders that act as either the master servicer or sub-servicer for mortgage loans may wish to monitor developments with this proposed servicing rule.

Solidify Your Foundation


ave you ever tried to balance a triangle upside-down? You’ll find that it’s not only difficult, but impossible because there is no foundation to support it. Many of us find ourselves trying to balance upside-down triangles in our business. Instead of always trying to temporarily make up for a weak foundation, we need to take time in our planning to slow down and realize that some things simply won’t work without a strong footing. How do we turn these “upside-down triangles” around? As a mortgage loan originator, you are rushed and pressured from all sides to get things done. It can range from delays in our highly-regulated lending climate, to a Realtor setting a closing date two weeks too short without seeking counsel. Either way, being rushed is never an excuse to treat your career as a game of Jenga. We need to carefully take the time to ensure that all sectors of our business start with a strong foundation so that the pieces don’t come crashing down. With a strong foundation built around effective systems, you will naturally become proactive rather than reactive. A foundation in business can be small or large. For example, on the smaller scale, if you don’t have written goals and objectives prioritized each day in writing, there is no foundation to build a productive day from. On a larger scale, you need a true vision and mission for your business to effectively develop the foundations which you plan to build from. Your business will be unable to grow and truly succeed if you do not take the time to

“We need to carefully take the time to ensure that all sectors of our business start with a strong foundation so that the pieces don’t come crashing down.” focus on the most important part of the structure. You need this solid footing to keep the walls strong during the storms our industry tends to face. If you feel that you’re lost, start over. Develop your business plan and objectives, and determine what is most important to help meet these goals and objectives. This might include recreating entire operating systems already in place by making sure that each hole is filled and each crack is sealed. Or maybe some are working effectively, but you need to make some changes. Either way, without support, things tend to fall over. Don’t rely on temporary short-term “fixes” in business, and instead, focus on the long-term lowest supporting layers.

Tip of the month … Smile. You’ll be surprised on how rewarding it can be to yourself and others around you. 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

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 • Daily updated mortgage industry news • Industry blogs • Write your own blog Sponsored Editorial

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continued from page 16

Although not ready yet ready to crack the top 10, hard hit housing markets in Florida are starting to see signs of appreciation. Inland California and Nevada markets make up seven of the top bottom 10 markets. Recoveries in these areas will be a long time in coming due to extremely high unemployment rates that vary between 11 and 16 percent, as well as high foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates. Additionally, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle are three big cities not expected to fare well in the next year.

NAMB Joins Coalition Seeking Clarity From CFPB on QM Definition

NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals has announced that it has joined a coalition of trade associations and housing interest groups with ties to the mortgage industry in submitting a letter to Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), concerning the implementation of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) that addresses, among other things, the borrower’s abilityto-repay. “NAMB supports a broader QM defini-

tion that establishes strong consumer protections while promoting mortgage liquidly and affordability to the consumer seeking mortgage financing,� said Donald J. Frommeyer, president of NAMB. “We need to be careful when defining a borrower’s ‘ability-to-repay.’� NAMB believes that verifying a consumers’ income, assets and employment is important, but it makes the QM rule narrow. Under the QM rule as written, many potential borrowers do not qualify for a mortgage. A narrow definition of a QM may create higher rates and fees and less access to credit to potential homebuyers. The current definition of a QM as it is written per the Dodd-Frank Act also limits the availability of credit to consumers due to the three percent cap and fees rule. The current cap and fees limit of three percent includes escrow account deposits, lender compensation, and affiliated escrow and title fees, thus hurting particularly low- to moderate-income buyers where home prices and loan amounts are lower. “Our primary concern is for the overall health of the national economy,� said John H. P. Hudson, Government Affairs Committee chairman of NAMB. “If the ‘qualified mortgage’ is too narrowly defined with items that really do not measure a consumer’s ability-to-repay, then consumers will simply not have access to credit which will further perpetuate the economic woes

this country faces. Imagine what the economy would look like if the nation’s auto manufacturers lost the ability to finance their products? There are better ways to measure a consumer’s ability-to-repay, such as residual income requirements.�

CFPB Seeks to Enhance Consumer Protections by Targeting the Mortgage Servicing Sector The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has outlined rules that it is considering to help protect mortgage borrowers from being hit by costly surprises or getting the runaround from their mortgage servicer. The CFPB plans to formally propose rules during the summer and finalize them in January 2013. The CFPB expects to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking this summer, which will be followed by a public comment period. The rule will be finalized by Jan. 21, 2013. The CFPB can provide up to one year for implementation, but has not yet decided how long of a transition period is necessary. “The mortgage servicing rules we are considering reflect two basic, commonsense principles—no surprises and no runarounds,� said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “For too long, mortgage servicers have not been held accountable to their customers, and the result has been profoundly punishing to homeowners in distress. It’s time to put the ‘service’ back in mortgage servicing.� The rules under consideration by the

CFPB are aimed at tackling two underlying servicing problems: A lack of transparency and lack of accountability. To bring greater transparency to the servicing market, the CFPB is considering rules that would provide consumers with clear and timely information about changes to their mortgages so they can avoid costly surprises. “The reforms that Director Cordray outlined appear to closely track the issues we have talked to him and the CFPB staff about and MBA looks forward to working with the CFPB and other policymakers and stakeholders to ensure that the process used to develop the standards includes servicers of different sizes and business models,� said David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). “It is important that the final rules don’t give preference to one business type over any other, nor should they inhibit innovation or discourage new companies from entering the marketplace.� In developing the proposed mortgage servicing rules, the CFPB plans to engage extensively with consumers and industry. The documents that the CFPB will be sharing with a Small Business Review Panel for feedback include an overview of the rules under consideration and a list of questions for input. The Small Business Review Panel will provide its comments and the CFPB will consider them when formulating proposed rules. The CFPB will also be conducting other outreach to gather feedback from consumer groups, industry, and other agencies. continued on page 40


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Marketing in 2012: 2012: Tips Tipsto to Marketing in Maximize your Maximize Your Marketing MarketingDollars Dollars Follow the trends If the big word in the industry is HARP 2.0, don’t try to go against the grain and market for something else. The public is well-aware of the changes in the mortgage industry, and is keeping up on buzzwords like “FHA STREAMLINE” and “HARP.” Find a marketing means that works for you and your budget and get to work. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel When you go to trade shows or speak 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. Anyone who tries to tell you that they are the best marketer because they just know, isn’t worth your time. 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 they really start paying off. Talk to others who are successful People who successfully market commit the resources necessary to find a campaign that works for them. This can be exhausting, but once you find your niche, it will pay dividends; and you must exploit it. This is the campaign that gives you the return-oninvestment (ROI) you need while being versatile enough to change as guidelines do. Find a sales approach that works for you Many people have had less than profitable results trying their own marketing at one point or another. Chances are that this is because one of three things has happened:

MAY 2012 



1.) Wrong campaign You must find a marketing campaign that works with your own sales ability. 2.) Wrong company There are plenty of quality marketing firms to work with. Don’t try to manage your own marketing. Let the professionals help you. You’ve got loans to close or an office to run. A professional marketing firm can make your year, while managing your marketing and saving you valuable time and resources. 3.) Market the product that your most comfortable with All too often, salespeople want to jump onboard with a marketing campaign just because they talked to a colleague who made it work well. Find a product that you’re an expert on. Credibility is key to all sales and marketing, and if you don’t fully understand what you’re selling, it’s going to be hard to build that credibility. Take the lowhanging fruit first. Tips for 2012 I 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. I 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 those $10 (sold 10 times) ones. I Live transfers are a thing of the past. With as many as 90 percent of the population on the Do-Not-Call List, telemarketing just isn’t what it used to be. I 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. I Trigger leads are still being sold by the credit bureaus. Stay aware of what methods your competitors are using. Whether you are using them or not, it’s a reality that must be dealt with. I FHA is going to be BIG next month, get started early. Chances are, your competition has already got something in the works. I Last, but not least, ride the HARP 2.0 wave! This has been the biggest thing to hit the mortgage industry since 2009! 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 (888) 717-8980 or visit

Sponsored Editorial

United Wholesale Mortgage Announces the Addition of USDA Loans United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) has announced the addition of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loans to enhance its existing government platform of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan programs. UWM is currently recognized throughout the broker community as a top government lender and one of the largest-producing wholesale lenders in the country. “Adding USDA to our portfolio of products gives our brokers the ability to expand their client base and capture more market share,” said Mat Ishbia, president of UWM. “Our goal is to help brokers grow and maintain their business by providing them with a wide array of products and cutting edge technology. We want brokers across the country to think of UWM as their onestop shop for success.” UWM attributes their purchase volume growth to their understanding of the importance of hitting purchase contract dates for mortgage originators, borrowers and real estate agents. “The USDA product is a substantial part of the purchase business in many areas throughout the country, and these loans offer incredible benefits to borrowers,” said Ishbia. Details of UWM’s USDA product include: A 30-year fixed rate; zero percent down; financed closing costs; competitively low rates; and financed appliances with minimal restrictions.

functionality, which Calyx offers at no additional charge, has been enhanced with additional fields in the XML file. A new RegulatorConnect report will help Calyx users submit e-Exam data to auditors. In an effort to further streamline user operations, Calyx enhanced the interfaces with closing doc vendors with additional fields. Additionally, interfacing with LoanScoreCard is streamlined with shortcut buttons in multiple locations. PointCentral 7.6 offers users stronger security with password management and administration of file operations for specific users or user groups. It also gives administrators the ability to assign other user’s files to another user or user group. PointCentral administrators will also experience greater flexibility using business rules with additional comparisons to rules definitions. “We’ve been looking forward to launching 7.6 because it offers numerous new features and updated forms,” said Jody Collup, director of marketing for Calyx Software. “While there are a few compliance updates, functionality and upgrades were our main focus for this release and we’ve been able to address our most popular client requests. Many of our users will benefit even further with the May 10 WebCaster update that powers the new eDisclosure feature in Point 7.6 and makes automated document request, collection, and storage a very convenient reality.”

Mortech Launches Marksman Marketplace to Enhance Lead Generation Efforts

Calyx Launches Point and PointCentral 7.6 Calyx Software has announced the launch of Point and PointCentral 7.6. This latest version updates compliance functionality and offers improved integration with interface vendors to help clients further streamline mortgage operations. In response to client requests and compliance needs, Point 7.6 introduces a Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) screen for efficient delivery of Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) files to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD) reporting

Mortech Inc. has announced the launch of Marksman Marketplace, a mortgage quoting product specifically designed for Web site owners. Marksman Marketplace’s rate platform allows Web site visitors to view, compare and shop real-time mortgage rates from mortgage lenders nationwide. After submitting loan criteria, consumers are served instant mortgage information from mortgage bankers. Rate data is pulled directly from participating MarksmanLMP Lenders, allowing for current, company-specific mortgage information. Web site publishers can easily incorporate an additional

source of revenue, while providing added value to Web site visitors. Lenders gain access to borrowers while they are in the buy zone. Interested consumers are sent directly to the lender, creating an extremely high caliber of leads. Lenders can quickly move borrowers through the sales process by directing them to a mortgage application within their MarksmanLMP account to continue the qualification process. “We all know borrowers are turning to the Internet for real estate and mortgage information,” said Don Kracl, president of Mortech. “Our goal with the Marksman Marketplace is to assist these sites with their traffic flow and introduce the consumer to a reliable lender. It cultivates the relationship a lender can build with a motivated group of consumers, increasing the likelihood mortgage shoppers will convert into closed loans.”

and encourage feedback. There are three service plans, depending on the client’s compliance needs. Large and small mortgage brokers will be served, with smaller mortgage brokers being permitted to form cooperatives to receive compliance services as a group. LCG will even act as an ombudsman to place smaller brokers into cooperative arrangements, where necessary. “Our focus is on the unique compliance needs of mortgage brokers and loan originators, who want to know as much as possible about the compliance requirements relating to originating residential mortgage loan products,” said Foxx. “If you are a mortgage broker or a loan originator, I hope you will contact us to take advantage of the initiatives offered by Brokers Compliance Group.”

Lenders Compliance Group Announces New Mortgage Broker and LO Compliance Service

ClosingCorp has announced a partnership with Nebraskabased Mortech Inc., a mortgage technology software company specializing in solutions for mortgage banking operations and secondary market teams. Mortech’s mortgage quoting platform, Marksman Marketplace, will be integrated with ClosingCorp’s SmartClosing Mortgage Calculator to provide mortgage data, giving borrowers that use the calculator the ability to shop for mortgage rates from lenders nationwide. Because the calculator also includes ClosingCorp’s accurate closing cost data, borrowers can estimate total closing costs for any residence in the U.S. The SmartClosing Mortgage Calculator can be posted on real estate listing sites, real estate agent and brokerage sites, consumer-oriented real estate sites, IDX sites, blogs and social media sites, giving consumers the ability to quickly and easily compare loan offerings and determine closing costs before making a home purchase decision. “Our promise and commitment is to provide the most comprehensive, accurate mortgage and closing cost data as well as unbeatable technology for industry professionals and consumers to access that data,” said Paul Mass, president of ClosingCorp. “Today’s borrowers demand tools that empower them to shop for the best rates. In partnership with Mortech, we have truly enhanced our SmartClosing Mortgage Calculator, enabling consumers to quickly and easily evaluate rates while also giving lenders and real estate agents an opportunity to attract many new borrowers and clients.” The SmartClosing Mortgage Calculator provides instant mortgage rate shopping, APR, monthly mortgage payments, closing costs, property-specific recording fee and transfer tax costs and cash-to-close estimates. The rates are pulled from lender’s MarksmanLMP accounts and delivered

ClosingCorp and Mortech Partner to Enhance SmartClosing Mortgage Calculator


Same owner navigating industry since 1986. Privately held.

” #1 USDA RD lender in multiple states ” Quality FHA/VA lender ” Innovative technology ” Direct access to your underwriter ” Instant closing docs 616-667-9000 NMLS ID#: 38072

 MAY 2012

Licensed in: AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MD, OH, OK, PA, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, WI


continued on page 31

Wholesale Lending 

Lenders Compliance Group Inc. (LCG) has announced the formation of Brokers Compliance Group, a new mortgage compliance service exclusively devoted to offering regulatory compliance support to mortgage brokers and loan originators (LOs). “My colleagues and I feel that mortgage brokers and loan originators have been traditionally underserved by compliance professionals,” said Jonathan Foxx, LCG’s president and managing director. “We are able to offer costeffective, high-quality compliance support to this important group that is in much need of timely, reliable, and essential compliance guidance.” In addition to a presence on Twitter and Facebook, Brokers Compliance Group has established the following free communications portals, as part of its new launch: Brokers Compliance Group Web site; Brokers Compliance Group Social Community; and the Brokers Compliance Group LinkedIn Group. Brokers Compliance Group will offer compliance support services designed for mortgage brokers, including: Policies and Procedures; Due Diligence Reviews; Ongoing Compliance Administration; Direct Access to Compliance Experts; Disclosure Reviews; Training and Education; Three Economical Plans; Regulatory Hotline; and a Weekly Column. The Brokers Compliance Group LinkedIn Group is an Open Group devoted to sharing updates, news, and views about the unique mortgage compliance needs of residential mortgage brokers and mortgage loan originators. The Social Community venue is a Closed Group, available only to mortgage brokers and LOs who are interested in mortgage compliance news and solutions. LCG will maintain the community, monitor discussions,

A Bright Spot in

Loan Officers Are Leaders Too

Usage and Application for Default-Specific Valuation Methods By David Rasmussen

MAY 2012 



Industry statistics are starting to point to stabilization in the housing market. We are seeing more of a balance in performing and underperforming markets; however, properties still in or on the verge of default pose a significant challenge to the recovery of the housing industry. As of February 2012, it was reported that 3.8 million home loans were 30 or more days delinquent, but not yet in foreclosure and 2.1 million properties were in foreclosure. This means nearly six million properties were delinquent or in default, all of which need immediate attention and updated valuation data to minimize loss. How do stakeholders, mainly servicers and lenders, practically and economically obtain an accurate valuation on a default property to help quickly move it off the books? The answer is an REO AVM. Valuing a real estate-owned (REO) property can be difficult because of the many variables, including housing inventory, employment trends, and current and estimated interest rates that impact the property value. Additionally, there are specific valuation-related challenges brought about by distressed assets, increasing foreclosure rates, and expanding REO portfolios. Two of the biggest obstacles include the volume of foreclosures in the neighborhood/immediate area and the condition of the property. Typically, an inspection is required to verify property condition. Given the complexities of these variables, specialized REO valuation models should be used to most accurately estimate the value of an REO property and determine the next appropriate course of action. In the next three columns of ValueNation, I will explore the benefits of an REO AVM: • What Goes into a Good REO AVM • REO AVMs Compared to Other Valuation Methods • An REO AVM Used Alongside an Inspection Report

By Casey Cunningham

Great leaders make great things happen. Whether you have the title or not, you are a leader in your business. I’m not a leader you ask? Not true … you lead your production into greatness, into the ground or some place in between. You lead your customers through an incredible customer service experience, a “key your car” type of experience or somewhere in between. You lead the entire production team devoted to your production into winning the war, jumping off the ship or somewhere in between. Good, bad or indifferent, you lead your team. I’m going to assume you want to sidestep the bad or indifferent, so if you are ready to lead your entire business, production and team into greatness, it begins with the way in which you lead your team. Here is some insight into a topic which dramatically impacts your business and where you may not be giving enough attention: Your relationships with your processors, underwriters, etc. Processors who have been in mortgage lending for many years suggest there are three things you can do to inspire them to be true partner … partners who are actually excited and anxious to see you succeed. Can you imagine that?

1. Paint a complete picture

A good REO AVM The goal of an REO manager is loss mitigation and to get the highest price possible from the sale of a foreclosed property. Although the original loan amount may not be recoverable, loss severity can be minimized with an accurate valuation through a REO AVM. It will greatly lessen the chance of it being undersold. As a side note, it is important to remember not to make the assumption that a property is in poor condition just because it is in default or foreclosure. The ultimate function of an REO AVM is to provide realistic values for the foreclosed property in question. It should provide a complete analysis of neighborhood properties, including notices of default, notices of trustee sales, and foreclosure sales. This data can be used to develop an continued on page 43


When you meet and speak with your clients, get the whole story. Ask all the right questions, obtain all the documentation available and document the promises and expectations you’ve set. Something as simple as using a conversation log if your loan origination software (LOS) doesn’t have one or sending an e-mail with each file could alleviate delays in files being underwritten, last-minute closing nightmares. And the “you against them battles” so many of you find yourselves fighting might dissolve away into an occasional skirmish. Just as in any significant relationship, communication is key.

2. Complete files and applications Yes, your job is to bring in the business, but you also have an obligation to your clients, referral sources and teammates to turn in complete packages. An essential

“How do you get your team to passionately serve you? You must passionately serve them.” part of the “complete application” is to clearly outline and communicate who is responsible for what action regarding the file. One of the biggest time-wasters I see today is loan officers and processors who do not have clearly-defined roles and everyone is tripping over one another. It certainly is a huge waste of time and does not send a message of confidence to the borrower when more than one person is calling about the same issue. Create a system so that everyone in the processing chain has a clear idea of their responsibilities. This empowers the next person in the system to be effective and supports smooth closings. Everyone wins! As a business owner, there is simply nothing outside my scope of responsibility, sweep the floors, do dishes, etc. My team knows I will do anything and everything in order to get the job done. As a result, they do the same. Now, the reality is my team also knows the best use of my time is on the frontlines … as is probably yours. My team and I have defined the items that are “off limits” for me in order to optimize our business growth opportunity. How do you get your team to passionately serve you? You must passionately serve them. If you want them to be a “10” (the best) in processing, then you must lead them by turning in files with a quality rating of a “10.” In other words … lead by example. Show respect towards your team in the quality of what you do and you will receive quality and loyalty in return. Spend 15 to 30 minutes more on a file ensuring that it is welldocumented before you turn it in and you will see a significant improvement in the service you provide, the referrals you gain and the team’s overall attitude about you.

3. Remember, processors are people too Have you taken the time to get to know your Processor? They, like your referral sources, are instrumental to your success. A simple handwritten note, a caring question about their family, an interest in their hobbies and an understanding of their life goals will create a support part-

ner who is motivated with you in building your business. They are deserving of our respect and appreciation. The better your relationship with your processor, the better your production … guaranteed.

fully complete your applications? The very next application you take, invest a little extra time and you may find you have an awesome person on your side. Life can truly be sweet and you can reach those unlimited earnings when you are the If you had any blow-ups or unneces- leader of your team! sary stresses during last month’s closings, stop for a moment and think. Did you Casey Cunningham is president of XINNIX, make the time to communicate often and a provider of mortgage sales and leadership clearly? Did you spend time getting to development programs. She may be know your processor as a person and reached by phone at (678) 325-3501 or eshow that you really care? Did you care- mail

new to market

continued from page 29

to the Marksman Marketplace platform. The streamlined process will give borrowers a simple, real-time rate shopping experience, as well as an accurate expectation of total closing costs, which are not provided by any other competing mortgage calculator.

Coester Adds Automated Appraisal Review Technology to Its Cloud Control Product

Interthinx Adds StreetLevel Imaging Via Google Maps to FraudGUARD

 MAY 2012

continued on page 46



In response to its own findings that property valuation mortgage fraud risk has risen significantly since 2006, Interthinx has integrated Google Maps satellite images to help lenders decrease loan processing time and quickly identify external issues with properties. The inclusion of satellite image data within Interthinx’s FraudGUARD can improve loan quality, provides users with a more comprehensive fraud prevention report, and enables a more concise overall risk review. “According to our findings, property valuation fraud risk has more than doubled since 2006, which could expose lenders to buyback requests that could cripple their companies,” said Ian Anthony, director of product management at Interthinx. “Our product team recognized the threat and alerted our customers. They responded by comparing photos from appraisal reports or Broker Price Opinion (BPO) photos to satellite images through multiple steps. Since Google’s database already had the images, it made sense for us to integrate them into our FraudGUARD reports, saving our customers time and money.” Interthinx’s FraudGUARD software contacts the Google Satellite image database in real-time, which returns a 360-degree external view of the property from the street level. There is no additional cost to use satellite images in FraudGUARD. The new Interthinx product enhancement can also highlight risk associated with borrower employment and intent to occupy. Satellite images 

Coester Appraisal Group has announced an enhancement to it Cloud Control appraisal management technology by adding C-Data, the company’s automated appraisal review technology. C-Data automated review technology provides a comprehensive and thorough review by electronically evaluating every field in an appraisal report; identifying potential fraud, errors, discrepancies and missing information; and availing its extensive findings both online and in printed reports. Every appraisal managed with Cloud Control, and every appraisal provided by Coester Appraisal Group, is subjected to a thorough automated review by the C-Data review system. “C-Data is like a virtual quality control inspector, except that it takes only a few minutes, it’s tireless, flawlessly consistent and expansive,” said Brian Coester, chief executive officer of Coester Appraisal Group. “C-Data’s findings integrate MLS sales, AVM data and even mapped out comparables, all on one screen. And the best part is that we’re providing C-Data completely free of charge to all Cloud Control users.” Coester launched Cloud Control, built on the award-wining platform of, in March and in doing so, raised the standard for appraisal management technologies. Cloud Control offers a virtually limitless level of customizability, a feature that to date is unmatched by other appraisal management technologies. Cloud Control even offers’s ability to create business-unique sales and marketing rules that can help companies generate new business in addition to enhancing compliance and efficiency. “People don’t expect the best tech-

nology to be free, but we’re breaking the mold,” said Coester. “The current technology offered for lenders is not even close to the current technology being used by regular people, every day. At Coester, we won’t wait for appraisal technology providers to open the door. We’ll do whatever’s needed to elevate the way this industry leverages technology.”

Establishing and Enhancing Your Relationships By Daniel Milstein Developing long-term, effective relationships with customers, prospects, strategic partners and others should be a primary goal for all loan originators (LOs). Many originators place a high priority on this critical part of building their business, while others tend to forget. Of course, it is an ongoing process and all mortgage professionals must continue adapting to changes in their sphere of influence and marketplace.

Key guidelines

MAY 2012 



I consider the key components of establishing relationships to be:  Providing something of value Originators should not have an overly commercial focus when dealing with their key audiences; and refrain from always discussing the lowest rates, the refinance opportunities and so on. Obviously, this is an element of creating relationships, but so is offering educational information and other support that the customer/other considers important, to assist with their personal planning and/or to do their jobs better.  Showing that you care Customers appreciate their originators and their team members demonstrate an interest in their welfare. This means asking about the customer’s future plans, family members, hobbies and related areas.  Timely response No matter how busy we are, it is critical to respond to customers’ and strategic partners’ calls and e-mails as soon as possible. Even if you cannot take the time for a lengthy phone discussion, you (or your assistant) can at least send an e-mail or make a quick call to advise someone that you will check back as soon as you’re able.  Ongoing contact It is essential to maintain an appropriate level of contact so that we remain visible. You have to remind them that you are still available to

help with their future home financing needs.

Customers first Of course, the most crucial relationship is with your past customers. All successful LOs have a “customers for life” mindset. Establishing solid relationships with customers ensures that you will get their future business, as well as their referrals to others. This sounds so simple, yet the key is to actually follow-through. It begins with first impressions and continues through ongoing contact. We strive to generate a positive initial impression by making customers feel welcome in our office, spending the right amount of time to explain their options, listening carefully to their questions and concerns and emphasizing that we will help them every step of the way. Originators rely on a variety of ways to maintain post-closing visibility with their past customers. Whether it be email newsletters, postcards, holiday greetings or birthday cards, the key is to be consistent. I send customers letters/other mailers at least six times a year and make frequent calls as well. I include a “call to action” in every conversation, by asking how I can help them with a new loan or if I can be of service to a friend or family member. I am a strong advocate of providing useful, educational information, such as “how to” guides. Customers and prospects should believe that you truly care about helping them better understand home financing. This has become especially important following the mortgage industry’s “meltdown” and subsequent tightening of credit and related guidelines. Customers need more direction as to what is possible.

Real estate agents We know that during heavy refinance periods, relationships with real estate agents are often ignored, which, of course, is a huge mistake. If you aren’t maintaining contacts with your market’s best agents, someone else is. During refinance boom of 2004, many LOs were too busy to spend time with their favorite

can assist their clients by agents. When refinance providing my expertise with activity began to slow, a purchase or refinance, as their overall production well as support the strategic suffered because they were partner in other ways. I not getting much business don’t ask for referrals, but from real estate agents. rather suggest that if we However, those who had a have similar business and purchase/long-term focus customer service approachand had maintained cones, we should do whatever tact with agents saw their possible to help each other. business increase in 2005. Again, there are so many different ways to strengthen “Of course, the most Teachers, fire personnel and your bond with agents, but I crucial relationship more believe one of the most is with your past Most LOs have estabeffective methods is to customers. lished one or more nichensure their clients get All successful LOs the best possible service. have a ‘customers for es with key groups, such as teachers and fire/safeAccurate pre-approvals, life’ mindset.” ty personnel. Two of my timely closings and regular communications to avoid uncertain- early niche groups were immigrants ty/delays can make a major difference in and professional athletes. The first was demonstrating that you have their best based on my own background as a interests in mind. I know that one of the Soviet Union (Ukraine) immigrant who reasons agents appreciate working with us came to America as a youth. As a new is that we strive to make every transaction LO, I realized that I could be of special service to other immigrants, which seamless and trouble-free. Another critical element of relation- included assisting them with finding an ships with real estate agents is the shar- apartment and obtaining a driver’s ing of referrals. Many originators develop license. Immigrant groups are generally a one-sided relationship with agents, extremely loyal. When you consider with a tendency to ask for referrals rather developing such a niche, it is important than to offer them as well. One of my to understand the culture—including early strategies as an LO was to provide the group’s homebuying attitudes—but several referrals to agents without asking it isn’t absolutely necessary that you for any in return. They saw that I was speak their language. By the time they truly interested in building a solid, long- are ready to purchase a home, most term relationship. It became a win-win people have at least a basic grasp of the situation for all as they soon began pro- English language. I later assisted a professional hockey player and gradually viding me with their referrals. I also believe it is beneficial to develop developed a strong base of professional relationships with newer agents, as well hockey players and other athletes. In as the more seasoned top-producing order to create effective relationships agents. If you cultivate contacts with with such niches, you have to find out agents who appear to be proactive and what is most important to them and otherwise on the path to success, they then be certain to provide that. will usually be among your most loyal supporters as they gain more experience Social media Mortgage lending has changed dramatand sales. ically during the last five to 10 years. One of the major developments has Other industry profesbeen the role that social media plays in sionals CPAs, attorneys and business managers establishing customer/other relationare all great sources of business and ships. Previously, we were limited to offer an opportunity to expand your snail mail and face-to-face meetings to professional sphere of influence. At the develop our relationships, which we heart of these mutually beneficial asso- later enhanced with e-mail and ciations is the offer to share informa- Internet communication. An ever-increasing number of LOs are tion that will assist these strategic partadapting Facebook and LinkedIn strategies ners and benefit their clients. For example, when I first make contact to reach out to their sphere of influence with a CPA or attorney, I’ll explain that I and stay connected with new groups. It is

a timely way to communicate with your customer base—especially with the “younger” generations of buyers and others accustomed to communicating via social media outlets. The challenge is to stay abreast of the rapid marketing-tech advancements, but that is just one more of the LO’s new responsibilities. The common elements in all of our business-related associations are service, communication and support. Those are the basics that make customers, real estate agents and others want to

work with us. As all mortgage lending professionals know, it takes time to cement meaningful customer/strategic partner relationships so we should do whatever possible to maintain and improve them. Daniel Milstein is founder and chief executive officer of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Gold Star Mortgage Financial and the author of the award-winning The ABC of Sales, Lessons From a Superstar. He may be reached by phone at (734) 971-9900 or email

Relationships Win Races ... and Business What we can learn from politics By B.J. Bounds

 MAY 2012

Signs may not be the first thing a candidate uses during a campaign, but it is




often the first thing we notice. As colorful signs begin appearing in residential yards, business lots and along well-traveled roads, we start learning the names. We may not know what they’re running for, but we see their names in big, bold print. That’s how it begins for most of us. Strategically, it makes sense for political candidates to initiate a focus on name recognition. It can be hard to justify economically, but it’s still a prudent move. Now for the mortgage industry, yard signs are just a metaphor. Of course it wouldn’t make much sense to spend thousands of dollars on yard signs, but for brokers and loan officers seeking to increase business and revenue, name recognition is very important. Your “signs” are all the things you do to put your name where it counts. Begin with promoting your business through your own customized Web site, but make sure you also have a presence where millions of potential clients are hanging out— Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The biggest “sign” for your business, however, is the tried and true method of “word of mouth.” Your past clients can be your biggest fans and cheerleaders. If you want name recognition and the potential for exponential growth, you’ll need to get on the phone or e-mail. You already have a consolidated database of contacts and personal information—use your LOS to make contact. If you are pressed for time, use your LOS to create

however, saving money whenever possible is the goal here. You also don’t need expensive graphic programs to design your own creative materials. You can Personal easily find free templates for Microsoft Word or any networking Candidates spend countother Microsoft program less hours walking around you like to use. If you neighborhoods knocking choose a template from on doors. It’s the most Word, you can also use your “Your database personal way to discuss LOS to customize with your of LOS contacts their platform, explain should be in constant company information and why they are the best even use the two to create a growth mode.” choice, and ultimately ask mail merge document you for votes. Here you have several can send to your database contacts. options. The concept is the same, but You need to build your arsenal of literyour neighborhood selection isn’t tied ature to leave with potential clients and to a voting district and you don’t really even with businesses willing to support have to walk door to door. The equiva- your efforts. As your networking activities lent for business owners is the impor- take you by local stores and restaurants, tant activity of networking. Network via make it a point to go in and build relae-mail, phone calls, face-to-face interac- tionships there. Many small businesses tion and attend local events. are more than happy to support other Here’s where your LOS will come in small businesses in the area. It’s a good handy again. Pull up some of your past way to become more involved in those sales and check out the neighborhoods. communities. This is a great time to pull up some of the personal information on your past clients Community involvement from your LOS and use it to select the per- Besides learning the local routes and fect time to get the e-mails flying out the businesses, you can churn up interest door and the phones ringing off the hook. by participating in various community You can time your activities near the bor- events. Just about every town in rower’s birthday or even a child’s birthday America has at least one special day or event. Documenting this type of infor- that allows businesses to promote their mation in your LOS builds up the type of wares in inexpensive ways. database you can use for all of your marSpend the money to have a booth or keting needs. table at your local fair, trade-days, Door-knocking or networking, is very Founder’s Day or whatever comes up effective for political candidates and is next. I know a local insurance agent that definitely worth looking into. If you are always has a table at the National Night introverted, begin by working your way Out (for safety) in our town. She buys herout of shyness by joining Toastmasters or self a place on the event t-shirt and make another similar organization. It’s also a sure she has plenty of materials to hand great way to get to know other business out. She gets involved in all community owners in your area. Have fun with it— events and her name is well-known. and leave something behind for whomevJust like the insurance agent, our er you meet. You just never know when local political candidates are shaking they’ll decide they need you! hands and handing out literature at every event they can. They’re doing Literature everything they can to get their name They’re called a myriad of different front and center in the minds of everythings: Brochures, flyers, leave-behinds, body they meet, wherever they go— bird-cage liners, etc., but whatever you community events, social organizations, call them, you need to have them. It trade organizations and chambers of does little good to talk to people with- commerce. That’s what you should do out giving them something to remem- too, if you really want to build your ber you by. You don’t need to spend name recognition—and your business. money on house-shaped keychains or continued on page 34 imprinted tape measures. Those are great; 

It’s a common theme that runs through any “winning at selling” course: People buy from a person, not a company. It’s a solid theory, and as a consumer, I fully embrace it as truth. I want to know who I’m dealing with, and I expect most of you do as well. Let’s face it, if we’re not buying something at the lowest cost as we would at Wal-Mart or Target, we want to know and like the person who is getting our hard-earned dollars. When we purchase a home, the best that many of us can do is work with a broker who has earned our trust and our money. The same is true for political candidates. So often, people will go to the polls to vote and just pick the name they recognize, most likely the incumbent. Whether they believe that’s the best choice or not, that is what they know. The burden on any candidate running against a long-time incumbent is to ensure that the name most recognized—and most trusted—is theirs. What they do that works and what doesn’t, makes a difference at the polls … and it will make a difference in your business as well. While there are many tactics that candidates can employ, the following four marketing ideas are simple, yet can make the most impact when building relationships and your business.

and send e-mails either asking for referrals or repeat business. That puts the ball in their court and you have time to focus on other activities.

relationships win races

continued from page 33

Get those votes

MAY 2012 



Business owners can learn a lot from political candidates. It’s all about marketing yourself to the public and using the tools you have at your disposal for optimal exposure. That’s how they get votes, and that’s how you can grow your business. Candidates are hungry, and they’re willing to get beyond their comfort zone to earn votes. Challenge yourself to talk to strangers in the grocery store if you are shy. Hand them your business card. It’s actually easy to engage customers standing in line with you; just do it! Use your LOS to find old clients, business partners, applicants that dropped out, anybody you can approach for referrals. When your database is tapped, build a new one by marketing yourself. Your

database of LOS contacts should be in constant growth mode. Get personal information from everybody you meet and you’ll always know the right opportunity to approach them with your marketing tactics. Be one of the hungry ambitious candidates that are ubiquitous in election years, and build your relationships to get those votes! B.J. Bounds is senior marketing communications specialist for Calyx Software. In addition to media relations and copywriting, BJ is a contributing author to the Calyx Software blog, CalyxCorner. She has more than 10 years of experience in sales and corporate marketing with a focus on technology that spans several industries. She may be reached by phone at (800) 362-2599 or visit

ICON RESIDENTIAL is GROWING in markets across the country. Top producing Account Executives are joining us because we offer: I Compensation Above Industry Standard I Excellent Employee Benefits I Customer Service That Exceeds Expectations I Competitive Pricing I Paperless Solution I Bank Subsidiary If you’re a top producing Account Executive please take a minute to explore how ICON RESIDENTIAL can help you take your career to the next level. We have opportunities in markets across the country.

How to Strengthen Client Relationships Cultivating a loyal, repeat customer base is the key to the success of any business … big or small By Chad Jampedro Struggling to build client carry an expiration relationships can be comdate. Don’t expect a parable to rolling a boulone-time event to go der uphill. But once you very far in building relaget that force of loyalty tionships. Follow up behind you, you will find and follow up again. the uphill battle gets easiThink of this way, when er. Like with everything in a person is ready to buy business, strengthening a a home or know of loyal customer base takes someone else who’s time. It doesn’t happen shopping for a lender, overnight at networking will you be at the top of events. A pocketful of “Think of networking his or her mind? Not business cards isn’t going unless you take the time as a long-term to do the trick. to stay in touch and offer investment. Consistent conneceducation and value in You are connecting tion and value are what the relationship. with people who are drive and support client potentially waiting relationships. You can 3. Recognize for you to meet achieve this feat by your loyal their needs.” incorporating the folcustomers, lowing tactics into your client-build- and they will reward you ing approach: It’s a proven fact that your most profitable customers are repeat cus1. Focus on building tomers. Are you doing enough to encourage them to recommend you your network Who is your network? Your network is and work with you again? Are you comprised of your professional staying in touch and giving them peers, colleagues, acquaintances, some value? It doesn’t need to be a partners, vendors, contractors, con- whole lot—nuggets of helpful inforsultants, association members, com- mation or money-saving tips go a munity members. Don’t forget exist- long way. ing and prospective clients, friends, family and other relatives. In this 4. Loyal customers business, you understand the mean- are your brand ing of investment. Think of network- ambassadors ing as a long-term investment. You Concentrate on growing your netare connecting with people who are work and following up. E-mail marpotentially waiting for you to meet keting is an effective way to reach their needs. Keep adding value to the them without a lot of cost. Social initial relationship to strengthen it marketing is also very effective in reaching clients and potential clients and watch for results. to deliver valuable information while engaging with them to evaluate their 2. Open the lines of needs. communication early

and often

For immediate consideration, please send resumes to:

You were enthusiastic and convincing at your business association’s happy hour. But don’t expect that one-time impression to take you to grand places. These types of relationships

Chad Jampedro is chief operating officer of Brookfield, Wis.-based GSF Mortgage Corporation. He may be reached by phone at (888) 834-6655 or e-mail

Innovative Relationship Building is Critical to Growth and Industry Leadership By Mark W. Boyer As a chief executive officer spending long hours guiding my company through growth and a challenging business environment, it’s good to set aside time either alone or with family to pursue a personal passion. In my case, that passion is fishing and sometimes it’s an opportunity to give thought to areas of life other than work, while other times it’s a chance to bring a new perspective to work subjects in the serenity of a tranquil environment. On a recent fishing outing, I took some time to reflect on the broad philosophy and more detailed elements that have helped drive my company to become one of the nation’s fastest growing full-service financial services companies. Taken at a high-level, it can all be categorized under the theme of building relationships. At a bit more granular level, the idea of building relationships can be segmented into three key areas: Employees, customers and communities.

Customer relationships

 MAY 2012

One of Jack Welch’s Six Rules for Successful Leadership is: “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” An essential element of building customer relationships and generating success is demonstrating a tangible competitive advantage that helps bond the customer to your product or service. As simple and critical as Welch’s rule is,


The cornerstone of any successful company is exceptional employees who understand the company vision, live it every day in the workplace, and reflect it in their personal lives whether discussing work with friends and family or giving time to good causes the company supports. This requires building meaningful, trusting relationships with employees from the start of their employment, establishing a clear vision for the company and proliferating it to staff in multiple ways throughout the year. This starts with the interview and on-boarding processes and should be delivered on a consistent basis as a core value. Give consideration to adopting the following growth and relationship building strategy that many executives would deem unusual. Rather than basing our growth model on decisions about geographic regions, we focus on existing relationships with great people, because we know they will generate business, reflect well on our company, earn higher positions and lead others. Don’t pick a market first and end up with the fourth or fifth best person, rather pursue the best people so you will have top talent in all markets you enter.


Employee relationships

Build relationships across industries and consider that the best people could very well come from outside your industry. While it may be enticing to go after candidates with years of experience in your field, there are two sides to the coin. These people often have pre-set, outmoded ways of doing things that could run counter to your culture and beliefs. It’s most important to identify those who are driven to be part of something bigger than their own self-interest. Create positive policies, programs and ethics in the workplace to reinforce good relationships between management and all employees, and among employees. The founder of our company, Foundation Financial Group, Paul Scott, was raised with a blue collar work ethic that didn’t allow for excuses, and that philosophy is reflected in the culture of the company and is viewed as highly positive by employees. It rewards performance, placing all employees on equal footing and incentivizing excellence. There are tremendous opportunities for creativity and innovation in developing policies and programs that solidify employee relationships. Our company created a university for professional development and growth from mid-management to the executive level. There are many ways to build relationships with employees, making them feel vested in the company’s success such that they give maximum effort each day. Areas to consider include: Education/professional development, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability. The result of your employee-focused philosophy should be satisfied, motivated employees who earn good incomes, grow your business and tell the world that it’s a great place to work.

Seek to build relationships many companies do not with organizations and have a well-defined comcharitable groups that petitive advantage, or if reflect causes of importhey do, it’s not well-comtance to you, or your colmunicated internally or leagues/employees. externally, oftentimes renTake the pulse of your dering it less effective. If team to see what’s imporpossible, identify your comtant to them and build a petitive advantage at the community relationship outset of the company, as it and charitable program will help build stronger cusaround it. If you have multomer relationships from the outset and will be more “Build relationships tiple locations be aware of easily internalized by initial across industries and regional differences that and subsequent employees. consider that the best could require a tailored Companies that go into people could very well program for each area. Don’t be afraid to ask business to address a need come from outside employees to commit perin the market are more likeyour industry.” sonal time for the cause, ly to organically create and internalize a competitive advantage. In our and include their families if they would industry’s case, loan closing times were like to, but show that you are equally interaveraging 45 days and the market had a ested in doing so. Lead by example. need for significantly lower closing times, Consider serving on the board of a charitable organization and encourage the same which we reduced to less than 17 days. Also be aware that focusing too exclu- from your others in your organization. Each of our locations participates in at sively on accepted industry practices in building relationships can be counter-pro- least one philanthropic event per quarter ductive. Those who rely too heavily on with staff members volunteering time and building relationships with real estate the company making a cash donation. agents or others as a main source of busi- However you decide to structure a proness may forego more innovative and pro- gram, show employees and the communiductive methods of business development. ty that it’s an ongoing commitment and For example, today’s technology allows for not a hit-and-miss proposition. Be nimble much greater efficiencies in identifying and and ready to move quickly if a sudden communicating directly with large groups need arises. This type of responsiveness of individuals or companies who are often fills an important void when government agencies and other organizations potential customers. Tout your successes to the outside world take time to respond to emergencies. through a public relations campaign. Issue Effectively combining employee, cusnews releases to the media, industry experts, tomer and community relationship-buildexisting customers and potential customers ing into the fabric of your company is when you land new business, grow into new geographic regions, hire key staff members essential to growth and industry leaderand reach major milestones. Make certain ship. Observe and implement proven your presence on social media is properly strategies in these areas, but be innovative updated and if you are not handling it your- in creating your own methods that work self, make certain a responsible and diplo- better or provide a new dimension. Getting back to my mention of fishing, matically astute professional is in charge, as take time to pursue your personal passion mistakes on the Internet often cannot be as a way to diversify your life away from the erased and can do lasting damage. Take the temperature of your customer office and encounter new environments. In relationships from time to time, whether addition to personal enjoyment, it could through surveys or other methods of keep- lead to great relationship building ideas for ing in touch that both remind them they your business when you least expect it. are important to your business and provide opportunities to discuss their needs and Mark W. Boyer is chief executive officer of Foundation Financial Group, which specialyour solutions. izes in mortgage lending, property and casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement Community relationships Become integrated into the communities services, personal taxes and corporate tax you serve based on the right reasons and services. He may be reached by phone at not as a calculation of business success. (866) 334-1001 or e-mail

Growing Your FHA Loan Production Through Relationships By Jeff Mifsud There are four relationship pillars that can play a pivotal role in any loan originator’s (LO’s) business plan. Those who have been in the business for more than15 years have seen many ups and down in the industry, and understand the importance of having multiple income streams within your business to help cushion the impact of those ups and downs. If you don’t have sufficient and multiple referral sources working for you, then it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and open up some new channels of business by building some new relationships. Let’s explore these four pillars…

MAY 2012 



1. Capturing more business from real estate agents If you want to build your pipeline with purchase business, then it goes without saying that real estate agents are a natural source for purchase referrals. A great way to create and maintain agent relationships is with what I call “The Three P Strategy.” I mentioned this strategy in a 2010 article, and it is worth repeating here. The Three P Strategy stands for “Prepare, Promote and Present.” Challenge yourself over the next 30 days and make a commitment to Prepare a short PowerPoint presentation on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans that includes information that is relevant to real estate agents. Give the presentation a catchy title like “The Five Things All Agents Need to Know about Purchase Contracts and FHA Loans.” If PowerPoint isn’t your strong suit or you’re too busy to do them yourself, you can subscribe to “The FHA Originator” by and customize any of the many ready-made presentations available there. The next step is to Promote the presentation until you get appointments with 10 real estate offices. You’ll likely need to make about five calls to get one appointment, so be prepared to make a total of around 50 or so phone calls. Now, you are ready to Present. Keep in mind that the goal of your presentation is not only to provide the real estate agents with valuable information, but to present your content in a way that engages them and elicits questions from the audience. I recommend just printing the PowerPoint

slides as handouts since this will help you to better engage the audience.

2. Expanding your sphere of influence through family and friends This may seem elementary, but the fact is that a very high percentage of LOs do not leverage their familial spheres of influence. Bob Burg, author of several best-selling business books says that “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” I would add to this that “People refer their co-workers, friends and family to people they know, like and trust.” So as long as your family knows you, likes you and trusts you, they are the ideal sources of referrals (and if they don’t, you’ve got a bit of work to do that’s outside the scope of this article!). If you have not worked your familial sphere of influence into your marketing plan, then now is the time. Tonight, take the time to write down at least 10 family members that you feel would be good potential referral sources. Once you’ve done that, go back through your list and next to each name, write down the types of referral sources you think they might be able to provide. You might be surprised at how much potential business you have been overlooking for so many years.

3. Getting the most from your wholesale representatives LOs often take for granted the relationships they have with their wholesale representatives. The truth is that to be a successful FHA originator, you need to develop and maintain good relationships with at least two FHA wholesalers. I have trained thousands of LOs in FHA over the years, and I’ve heard far too many stories from LOs who get loans denied because they are working with a wholesaler that crushes their loans in underwriting because there are so many overlays to the FHA guides. My favorite FHA wholesalers are what I call “FHA Boutique Lenders.” These are lenders that do business on a regional level and underwrite almost entirely according to FHA guidelines. One lender that has remained true to FHA guides is a Michigan-

and the one leaving has to based company called Ross buy a new home. The realMortgage Corporation. Ross ity of many divorce situais a company with a strong tions is that credit is often mid-Western footprint blemished so the scores are founded in 1949 that truly lower, thus resulting in the understands how to underneed for FHA loans. write FHA loans the way they Accountants and CPAs are supposed to be undertraditionally have a high written. It is clear from my percentage of self-employed discussions with MLOs clients, and prior to the around the country that mortgage industry crash, many lenders do not possess these clients had easy a thorough understanding of “Relationships are access to home financing. the guidelines, and fewer everything in this However, since the tightenstill understand how to apply business, and it’s them over a broad range of always a good time to ing of conventional guideloan scenarios. add some more good lines and given FHA’s generFHA is the original loan people to your sphere ous self-employed guides, FHA has become an ideal program for hard-working of influence.” loan for many of these peoAmericans who present a vast array of credit profiles. The guidelines ple. For example, FHA allows selfare written in a way that allows the FHA employed income to be used if having underwriter to use common sense when been received a minimum of one year (as reviewing a loan. LOs who know the guides long as the borrower has two years of prior well can attest to the fact that there are a experience as a wage earner in the same or lot of FHA underwriters who have no com- related field). FHA will also allow a minimon sense when it comes to loans with mum of one year of self-employment unique circumstances. If you do a lot of income if the borrower had one year of purchases and have a wide range of bor- previous employment along with formal rower profiles, it is absolutely critical that education or training in the same or relatyou have this type of lender. Aside from ed field (see 4155.1 4D.4.c). The other advantage of creating relasaving a lot of time, hassle and headache, this will improve your FHA closing ratio tionships with these professionals is that they are not commonly receiving calls and help you grow your FHA business. For LOs who specialize in FHA purchas- from other LOs, so it’s likely that you won’t es, there is nothing more embarrassing have much if anything in way of competiand detrimental to a real estate agent rela- tion. To take action in adding these protionship than having a make-sense FHA fessionals to your FHA referral sources, purchase loan get denied—resulting in the start with identifying attorneys and CPAs agent having to refer the buyer to another among family and friends, and then work lender who then gets the loan closed. If on creating those lists I mentioned above you don’t have this type of lender relation- in Pillar Number Two. ship for your FHA loans, I strongly suggest Create new referral sources and work you get one in order to achieve more sucon maintaining those in addition to your cess with your FHA loans. existing sources. Over time, these relation4. Becoming a trusted ships have the potential to help you to close an extra 10 loans a year or so. resource for attorneys Relationships are everything in this busiand accountants Traditionally, FHA originators may not ness, and it’s always a good time to add have spent much time developing rela- some more good people to your sphere of tionships with these professionals because influence. Take action today! the typical referral would be a conventionGo FHA al one, but since the tightening of conventional credit guides and the rise of FHA Jeff Mifsud is founder of Michigan-based loans, these are great resources for FHA Mortgage Seminars LLC, a former FHA business. Divorce attorneys specifically are underwriter with 15-plus years of experience outstanding FHA referral sources because originating FHA loans, an FHA expert for when a divorce occurs, there are often two and creator of The FHA transactions that need to take place: The Originator, a monthly FHA newsletter. Jeff spouse who is keeping the home has to may be reached by phone at (248) 403-8181 refinance to cash-out the exiting spouse, or visit

Top Five Tips for Building Your Loan Origination Team By Leif Boyd Over the last few months, I have written a series of articles that I hope loan originators (LOs) are enjoying and learning from. This month, I continue the series with five tips that will help when you want to start building a successful team. Although every business is different, these are strategies that I have used and have seen others use. Implementing these tips has helped to make my business and others successful.

1. Know your business model inside out

“Every house starts out with a blueprint, then a foundation is laid, walls are erected and eventually it takes shape and becomes a home. Why should an LO not follow the same basic principles?”

3. Understand that it takes money to make money It is an age-old phrase, but many LOs and other business leaders often feel that it does not apply to them for some reason. There is a good reason why Fortune 500 companies do not have a staff of one. They have boards, vice presidents, managers, analysts and staff. These companies have realized that their jobs cannot be done alone and they are better, more efficient and more productive as a team. There are many fantastic LOs out there that need help, but some cannot fathom

4. Have a plan, don’t wait This is a bonus tip and goes directly back to the focus of my April 2012 article until it’s too late Every house starts out with a blueprint, then a foundation is laid, walls are erected and eventually it takes shape and becomes a home. Why should an LO not follow the same basic principles? Start with a plan, build a firm foundation and eventually a thriving business will take shape. Sometimes, I see that LOs are so busy with their day-to-day workload that they have neglected to plan or build a solid foundation before erecting walls and putting on a roof. These business models often fail, the walls (support) were not put in the right spot, the foundation crumbled and the roof had nothing holding it up. In a perfect world, an LO would start his or her business with a plan in mind of what level they would need to get to in their business before hiring. Once they hit the predetermined level, they would already know what tasks that person would help with and immediately hire that person, knowing their job description and knowing what skill set they were looking for. My recommendation is that when an LO notices that they have very little time to prospect on a daily or weekly basis, it’s time to hire immediately. Waiting two or three months is far too long. Prospecting is the most important part of an LO’s job, and stopping it for even a week or two could result in a significant loss of potential income.

5. Figure out how much money you are leaving on the table A good LO is almost always a good prospector. Take a look back at the last few months of prospecting. How many people and events did you go to before getting a new

for National Mortgage Professional Magazine, “The Top Five Things to Improve Your Existing Business.” In order to grow a business and make it successful, you need to take a step back, see what worked and what did not work and put a plan in place to grow the business. This can be done with careful reflection or with a business coach, but it must be done and must be done honestly. Also, once an LO hires staff, they need to train them. Training helps establish what an individual’s role will be, who they should go to with questions and will help them do their jobs correctly the first time. Mistakes will be made, but each mistake offers a new learning experience for both the LO and their staff members. Utilizing these six strategies can help many LOs take their business to the next level. Hiring the right staff for the right tasks can lead to increased profit and even a better work/life balance. When done correctly, it can also reduce stress on the LO, giving them the ability to perform the tasks they love and excel at, while giving some of the other necessary tasks to a staff member. Finally, remember this: being successful takes a team of talented individuals working together to achieve a common goal. Leif Boyd is senior vice president of production for American Pacific Mortgage. Since joining American Pacific Mortgage, Leif has taken an active role in overseeing all aspects of mortgage origination, including the oversight of the production department and 114-plus branches. He may be reached by phone at (916) 960-1325 or e-mail


 MAY 2012

Similar to step one, this step involves a lit-

First, notice I did not include “High Value, Low Touch.” Although it is a valid category, most tasks are better situated in the categories listed above. Once all of the tasks have been ranked by the LO, separate tasks labeled “B” and “C.” Tasks labeled “B” and “C” can be delegated to another team member or to a new hire. An LO can even write a job description based off the tasks with these labels. Tasks with an “A” label should be done by the LO.

6. Commit to working on your business, not just in your business


2. Determine what you can give up

 A: High Value, High Touch  B: Low Value, High Touch  C: Low Value, Low Touch

referral source? Let’s say that a successful LO needs to attend four events per week, meeting ten new people at each event for each new referral source. If the LO ends up missing one event a week because they are in their office doing paperwork, they have cost themselves one new referral source per month. Now, the LO must ask themselves what is one referral source worth? What could the LO do with 12 more referral sources over a year? My guess is that 12 new referral sources and the revenue they helped to create would far surpass the investment of hiring staff to handle some of the tasks that take an LO away from prospecting. 

Building a successful team starts with knowing what you do. Simply put, if you don’t know what you do, it’s nearly impossible to hire the right people with the right skills to help. LOs should start by carefully documenting each step in their processes, from business development and meeting with clients to starting the loan process, closing and follow-up. It may take a few days or even a few weeks to clearly layout every step. Once processes have been clearly defined, an LO can go through and review each process asking themself, “If I personally do not do this, will it cost me money?” If it will cost the LO money, then that process cannot be delegated, if it will not negatively impact the bottom line, then an individual can be hired for those tasks. It is important to note that every step in the process is important. Attention to detail is essential for a loan to close on time. That said, the difference lies in what tasks help increase the bottom line and which tasks just take time. For all of the time-consuming tasks that do not help generate revenue, find an individual who can fill that need. Hiring for these processes will help give the LO time to focus on profit generating activities.

tle bit of journaling. Spend one or two weeks documenting each unique action you take. Are you making outreach calls? Following up on referrals? Asking for referrals? Attending networking events? Filing loan documents? Meeting with clients? Talking with a real estate agent? Making copies? Write it all down and don’t forget anything. No task is too big or too small to include on the list. When every task has been written down, the LO can then go through and review the list using a specific labeling system to categorize each task. For example, I use a three-tiered approach:

giving up income or reducing their income to obtain help. No matter how hard an LO works, there are still 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. The only way to reach out to more clients and get more work done is to hire additional staff members to help with some of the tasks. I often tell LOs that hiring additional staff is not a cost, but an investment in their business. A busy LO cannot thrive or achieve their full potential without assistance. LOs need to focus their time on networking and prospecting for new business. If they are too busy closing loans, they do not have the time necessary to effectively grow their business. They can choose to hit a plateau and stay there for the rest of their career or they can choose to grow their business by hiring additional staff.

Make Friends With Top Real Estate Agents By Chris Nordby

MAY 2012 



At a certain point, perhaps in the near future, the refinance boom that has captivated our industry is going to cool off. New loan programs introduced by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) like HARP 2.0 have extended this period but it can only go on for so long. A market shift focusing on purchase transactions is coming and it’s important that you have a plan in place for capturing and fostering relationships with real estate agents. Reaching out via direct mail, e-mail and social marketing are all viable strategies. However, it is important to understand that industry surveys show that the top complaint of both borrowers and real estate agents about the mortgage loan process is that they did not receive enough information between the application being taken and the loan closing. Before you put in place any marketing strategies for real estate agents, you need to cover their basic need: A good flow on information while the loan is in processing. This is their number one need! Adding progress reporting and informational emails on the status of loans will enhance both the agents’ and borrower’s experience. You may often hear loan originators (LOs) claim that providing more information while the loan is in progress generates more phone calls and confusion, but there are no objective studies or industry expert opinions

that support this belief. In fact, studies show the opposite—the more informed the client and business partners are, the more they can accurately communicate their needs, and the more willing they are to purchase. Many of today’s marketing and underwriting systems have the capabilities to create status updates on loans in the pipeline, but often require real estate agents to sign into multiple Web sites manually, or rely on LOs and underwriting staff to manually send them out. Topproducing agents may be juggling multiple transactions at once, and memorizing Web site log-in information for various sites can be burdensome. A system that can deliver automated e-mails directly to the inbox of the real estate agents allows them to stay on top of clients’ transactions with no effort on their part. Our own experience has been that providing this information to agents has led to a substantial increase in purchase business. While many real estate agents are not high value referral sources as individuals due to their low deal volumes, the top producers place a great value on having an automated system that keeps them up to date on all their deals in the pipeline. These top producers place such a high value on this feature, that they will assertively push their clients to use the LO who can provide this

Unlock Your Earning Potential with AMX! • Advanced technology, personal service, and creative marketing support. • Strong, experienced leadership providing successful sales strategies. • Purchase specialist, close your purchases in 21 days. • Knowledgeable support staff, working as a team, to assist you in reaching your monthly sales goals. • Competitively priced products.

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valuable information. The to personalize each one of system must deliver the these messages. Rule of information to them in thumb in managing this real-time reliably and technology: Deal personwithout requiring any ally with exceptions, not action on their part. the rule.” Recent research has shown that real estate agents It is important to have difficulty differentiatunderstand that the selling LOs. This means they ing agent isn’t the only are somewhat arbitrary in important real estate their choices. This also agent involved in a transimplies a lower level of action. Listing agents “Before you put in commitment to their curplace any marketing tend to have strong relarent choice. They are tionship with their sellstrategies for real rarely approached directly ers, allowing them to estate agents, you by LOs with a coherent influence the seller’s need to cover their value proposition. This is decision on a mortgage basic need: A good at a time when they have flow on information provider when they buy an increased need for a their replacement home. while the loan is in reliable source of financBeing involved with listprocessing.” ing for their clients. ing agents also brings the By providing agents a system they LO into the transaction much earlier know will deliver important information and gives them an opportunity to also consistently to their inboxes, you can pick up the buyer and selling agent as a develop a stream of purchase business client and/or referral source. that will continue to grow as the market A fundamental determinate of the transitions away from refinances. market value of business is repeat busiToday, most real estate agents do not ness as a percentage of overall business. believe LOs really differentiate them- A company that has a high percentage of selves from one another. It is important one-time transactions is viewed as having in this upcoming environment that you much less predictable and stable future deliver a level of information and serv- revenue. Since the primary valuation tool ice that is unexpected. If you exceed the for an established company is discounted real estate agent’s expectations, again future earnings, a lower discount rate, with real-time transaction information, and therefore, a higher valuation, will be particularly for the top producers who applied to repeat revenue relative to first have a higher need for information due time revenue. Companies highly reliant to their volume of transactions, you will on first-time transactions will also have a set yourself apart from competitors. higher expense structure compared to LOs often feel automated messages companies with well-established record to borrowers and real estate agents do of low cost, high value, repeat clients. not deliver the level of personalization The mortgage industry is experiencing they’ve grown accustomed to providing. a rapid increase in the adoption of autoHowever, the value that these agents mated technology, primarily to address receive from automated messages is not operational and compliance requirethe wording of the message, but its ments and efficiency. Larger gains may guaranteed arrival and accuracy. Eric be available now through automation Wiley, chief operating officer of Pacific that increases revenue rather than seekResidential Mortgage, provides insight: ing to further decrease expenses. Meeting the number one need of both “Some LOs feel they must infuse their real estate agents and borrowers should own personality and/or own personal be a critical goal to position LOs and touches to their loan status reports. Our companies as the purchase transaction experience shows that such personaliza- becomes a staple of our industry. tion serves no useful purpose and in fact, Realtors and clients love the simple, Chris Nordby is president of Protelus, a automated status reports we send them. provider of marketing automation and The reason? These reports happen elec- data services exclusively for the mortgage tronically, without fail, on every transac- industry. He may be reached by phone at tion as checkpoints are reached. The LO (800) 585-0207, ext. 100 or by e-mail at is misallocating valuable time by trying

Building Relationships Requires Contact Management By Adam P. Smith



business at any given time is from repeat clients and client referrals. Meeting new contacts is obviously an important thing to do, as well. There are only so many referrals you can gain from your current clients, and you cannot put the burden of all the prospecting on your referral partners. You do need to refer business to them as well. How do you gain new contacts? Do you go to networking events? Do you know how to “net-weave,” and not just network? Do you participate in social events? There are probably great groups in your own neighborhood that would provide a great social atmosphere and probably give you an opportunity to do something good for your community. Do you participate in any charity groups? Sitting on the board of a non-profit or volunteering for a charitable organization is a great way to meet new contacts and to give back. These are also great ways to prove your character. How about your favorite watering hole, sporting events or the restaurant where you order “the usual?” The point is that there are always people, everywhere you go, and they are your contacts … or at least they could be. Obviously, once you have contacts, another important piece of the contact management puzzle is a contact management database. There are a ton of options for this that range from very robust and expensive, to adequate and completely free. I have used Act! and Goldmine, and they are both great, but they both cost a tidy sum and I am all about minimizing costs. I like and use Outlook, but there are many great cloud-based options from Microsoft, Google and the like. As long as it has the ability to store contact data like phone numbers and e-mail addresses, has a calendar so you can keep your contact management on a good schedule, and the ability to take notes when you do have contact with people, then it works. It doesn’t need to be the most complex customer relationship management (CRM) tool out there, it just needs to help you build relationships. There are a ton of tools available, beyond a CRM that will be helpful in building up and maintaining a contact 

Relationship building is key to being a successful mortgage loan originator (LO). That also holds true for real estate agents, insurance agents, financial planners and anyone else who has a direct-toconsumer relationship and works in some sort of financial capacity. If we are expected to be entrusted with the largest transactions of people’s lives, then we must be willing to build a relationship with them first. And don’t be mistaken … whether it’s a first-time homebuyer purchasing or refinancing a $50,000 condo, or Donald Trump purchasing or refinancing a new Manhattan skyscraper, it is the biggest transaction of their lives. So whether you are seeking business from new clients or referrals from other sources like real estate agents and attorneys, you need to spend the time building a relationship to prove two things. First, that you have the competency to do the job well, and second, that you have the character to be entrusted with that job. I have heard that it takes at least six to eight interactions with a person to prove those things, and if you want to do hundreds or thousands of deals in your career, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Solid contact management is a great way to build relationships and is very marketing budget-friendly. Good contact management requires a few things to get started like … contacts.! Everyone you meet, or even hear about, is a potential contact. If you hear a neighbor talk about their cousin who needs to refinance their home, are your ears open enough to make a note of such and put the cousin into your contact database? Advocates are also great. Are there real estate agents and financial planners in your contact management system? They should be. How about defunct colleagues? How many former LOs and real estate agents are out of the business now? They still need to buy, sell, finance and refinance their properties. And of greatest importance, your past clients. If you are not in touch with your past clients, they are now someone else’s prospects and shame on you. I cannot emphasize that enough. This is an amazing source of referral business and I would say the majority of our

have very casual converdatabase, as well. Do you sations. How are you? have a business card scanThe wife and kids? Glad ner? It might save you a to hear it … let your conton of time doing data tacts do the talking. entry after a networking People love to talk and event. There are a ton of they will really tell you great options for smarttheir needs, goals, etc. if phones these days where you are really listening you need only to take a and reading between the picture of a business card lines. This is a great and it is automatically opportunity to prove that entered into your contact you have the character to database. Do you really “Solid contact be trusted. All the while, know how to find good management is a the subtext of the converrapport-building data on great way to build sation is that I am still in the Internet? The Web site relationships and is the mortgage business and is a great source very marketing don’t forget about me. For for contact information budget-friendly.” some reason, it is ingrained and integrates with Outlook, as well. If someone mentioned in our DNA that with new contacts, people their cousin needing to refinance, I always ask what you do for a living, so could look up the cousin, see where don’t feel like you need to force that inforthey live, check out the values and even mation down anyone’s throat. They will visit, a complete and eventually ask. It is also a part of our psyfree database of public records, to see ches to ask somewhat familiar contacts when they bought the house, how how work is going, so don’t worry. They much they spent, and so on. Now I even will ask that too. And when they ask what have great data for the cousin when we you do for a living or how work is going, walk through that door they opened and do finally get in touch. The actual contact management is talk about your business then. This is an the key in all this to the relationship opportunity to prove that you have the building, though. You have to be in competency to do the job and that you touch with people. You have to make really know your business. I think that the listening aspect, and sure that your contacts are not falling through the cracks and that requires now, the reading aspect with the modern some serious effort. You have to main- social media world, is one of the most tain the database just like changing the important contact management and relaoil in your car if you want it to run right. tionship building tools out there. People I “prospect” every day no matter what do want to let it out. They want sympathy else I have going on in my business, like for their problems and issues, and we all taking time out to write the occasional know misery loves company. So listen, or magazine article. You cannot let that read in the case of Facebook and other process fall through the cracks either. social media outlets, and you will learn a When you are busy with deals and clos- lot about your contacts and become more ings, you tend to prospect less and then and more trusted and can even be a probyou haven’t been completing a total lem solver. We have all heard about the relationship building cycle and you can differences between being someone’s brosee a rollercoaster effect in your work ker versus being a trusted advisor or even load. You must manage your contacts being a trusted authority. Good listening, and build relationships all the time to good sympathy and good problem solving on a personal level will help you become have a consistent business. I tend to do most of this contacting a trusted authority and you have then and relationship building via the tele- proven that you have the competency and phone. However, e-mails, social media character to be trusted with their transacpostings or anything you want to do to tions. That can only result in a well-built stay in contact, and to remain in the relationship. front of people’s minds is what it takes. I literally have a couple dozen phone Adam P. Smith is president of calls, set months in advance, on my cal- Greenwood, Colo.-based The Colorado endar every morning just to stay in Real Estate Finance Group Inc. He may touch with people. These interactions be reached by phone at (866) 423-0564 are usually very social and we typically or e-mail

nmp news flash

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Judge Approves $25 Billion Servicing Settlement as Joseph Smith Oversees Settlement Requirements U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Rosemary Collyer has signed documents and has approved the $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement with the nation’s top mortgage servicers, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial. “The court approval of the historic $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement is a victory for American homeowners,” said U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan. “We know that when we work together and put partisanship aside we can accomplish big things for the American people. And while we applaud yesterday’s actions by the court, we know that now the real work begins to hold these servicers accountable and ensure that the nearly two million homeowners who are expected to receive help and relief


heard on the street

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 Ed Delgado has been named new chief operating officer of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors.



 Residential Finance Corporation (RFC) has announced the addition of Leslie Bondy as director of operation of RFC’s new Charlotte, N.C. operations.  The StoneHill Group has announced the appointment of Wade Hamby as business development manager.

MAY 2012 

actually get it.” After the ink was dry on the signing of the settlement, Joseph A. Smith Jr., the former top regulator of banking in North Carolina, officially assumed his position as the monitor of the mortgage servicing settlement. In this role, Smith will work to ensure that the banks follow the requirements outlined in the settlement agreement through the formal creation of the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight (OMSO), the body Smith has set up to facilitate his work. Participants in the settlement unofficially named Smith as their choice in early February when news of the agreement became public, but both the settlement and Smith’s appointment became official when Judge Collyer made final consent judgments affecting each of the banks. “The mortgage settlement is a bipartisan achievement that holds promise for millions of people,” said Smith. “Our nation depends on its home financing system not only to function properly, but also to inspire confidence in the people who use it. By itself, this settlement will not remedy every problem

 Eric Smith has been named managing director of Loan Value Group LLC (LVG).  Kevin Grey and Sara Shappell have joined mortgage industry software provider Blueberry Systems LLC, Grey as lead implementation specialist and Shappell as lead sales support specialist.  ISGN Corporation has hired Tim Anderson, former senior vice president of Lender Processing Services

Inc. (LPS), as director of corporate technology strategy, and has also announced the addition of both Jennifer Fulks and Matthew Mesmer as associate general counsels.  DocuTech Corporation has named Gregg Holsapple as vice president of product management and has also named Sandra Griebe as director of integrations.  Kelly Dobbs has joined Churchill Mortgage as the firm’s newest home mortgage consultant, and Peter Oreziak and Mike Gonzalez have joined Churchill as home loan specialists.

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.

that system faces. But trust in our mortgage system can move forward if we use this opportunity to show fairness, transparency and accountability. This is a responsibility I take seriously.” Smith will receive periodic reports from the settlement participants and oversee bank compliance with the agreement. The Monitor will then report his findings, determinations and actions to the Court and a Monitoring Committee of state and federal government representatives. The Monitor is empowered to work with non-compliant institutions to establish corrective plans, or, if necessary, to recommend penalties or to seek injunctive relief to enforce the settlement.

GSEs Take Measures to Streamline the Short Sale Process The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—to develop enhanced and aligned strategies for facilitating short sales, deeds-in-lieu and deeds-for-lease in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure. The effort will come in stages with the first taking place this June. The new, aligned timelines include the requirement that mortgage servicers review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer. “FHFA and the enterprises are committed to enhancing the short sales and deeds-in-lieu process as additional tools to prevent foreclosure, keep homes occupied and help maintain stable communities,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “These timeline and borrower communication announcements set minimum standards and provide clear expectations regarding these important foreclosure alternatives.” With the alignment, servicers will be required to do the following: Review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower response package; provide weekly status updates to the borrower if the short sale offer is still under review after 30 calendar days; and make and communicate final decisions to the borrower within 60 calendar days of receipt of the offer and complete borrower response package. By the end of 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will announce additional enhancements addressing borrower eligibility and evaluation, documentation simplification, property valuation, fraud mitigation, payments to subordinate lien holders, and mortgage insurance (MI).

Survey Finds Nearly One in Five Lenders Looking for New LOS Systems According to a survey conducted by compliance software provider QuestSoft, of 461 lenders sampled nationwide, 18.7 percent of mortgage

lenders are considering changing their loan origination software (LOS) in the next 12 months. This is the highest percentage looking to switch in the six years QuestSoft has been conducting its annual survey. When QuestSoft began conducting its annual compliance and technology survey in 2008, the number of lenders considering replacing their LOS remained consistently around 10 percent each year (22 of 207 lenders in the survey’s first year). However, last year, the percentage of lenders jumped to 17.75 percent, with a new high of 18.7 percent looking to change this year. “One of the factors in seeing more LOS changes is the reduced expense of implementation and conversion offered by hosted software companies,” said Leonard Ryan, president and founder of QuestSoft. “Another factor may be the result of acquisitions. As LOS vendors have merged, acquired customers may be using the change as an opportunity to evaluate their platforms.” Ryan added that many lenders also said they place a high priority on LOS providers that have comprehensive compliance functionality. QuestSoft currently integrates with more than 40 leading LOS platforms, and the LOS systems integrated with QuestSoft’s flagship product, Compliance EAGLE, are able to provide a simple interface that automates the evaluation of a loan file against a comprehensive suite of more than 300 federal and state compliance regulations representing more than 10,000 pages of standards.

Mortgage Fraud Suspicious Activity Reports See 31 Percent Year-Over-Year Rise in 2011 The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released its full-year 2011 update of mortgage loan fraud reported suspicious activity reports (MLF SARs) that shows financial institutions submitted 92,028 MLF SARs last year, a 31 percent increase over the 70,472 submitted in 2010. The increase can primarily be attributable to mortgage repurchase demands. Financial institutions submitted 17,050 MLF SARs in the 2011 fourth quarter, a nine percent decrease in filings over the same period in 2010 when financial institutions filed 18,759 MLF SARs. While too soon to call a trend, Q4 of 2011 was the first time since the fourth quarter of 2010 when filings of MLF SARs had fallen from the previous year. FinCEN also updated its SAR data sets used in the report. The report also provides clues that there is significant improvement in mortgage lending due diligence since the height of the housing bubble. For example, 40 percent of MLF SAR narratives, where SAR filers provide details of why an activity appears suspicious, indicated the filing institution turned down the subject’s loan application, short sale request, or debt elimination attempt because of the suspected fraud reported in the SAR.

“The FinCEN report shows we’re seeing financial institutions spotting activity that appears to be fraud before it happens and in the process, helping to prevent it,” said FinCEN Director James H. Freis Jr. “Even though we’re seeing the market work through its backlog of the book of business now in default, FinCEN data is revealing possible fraud that institutions are using to help defeat scammers.” In 2011, 84 percent of reported activities occurred more than two years prior to filing, compared to 77 percent in 2010. In Q4 of 2011, 80 percent of reported activities occurred more than two years prior to filing, compared to 82 percent in 2010 fourth quarter. FinCEN also released per capita rankings of MLF SARs subjects by state and by county. The top five counties ranked per capita and by MLF SAR subjects in 2011 were Santa Clara County, Orange County and Riverside County, Calif.; Broward County, Fla. and Los Angeles. The top five states ranked by per capita and by SAR subject in 2011 were: California, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada and the District of Columbia.

Senior Home Equity Increases by $30 Billion in Q4

Commercial and multifamily mortgage origination volumes increased 55 percent in 2011, with mortgage bankers reporting $184.3 billion of closed commercial and multifamily loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) 2011 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance: Annual Origination Volume Summation. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) were collectively the leading investor group for whom loans were originated in 2011, responsible for $57.6 billion of the total. Life insurance companies and pension funds saw the second highest volume, $49.3 billion. In terms of property types, multifamily properties saw the highest origination volume, $77.4 billion, followed by office properties with $34.4 billion of originations. First liens accounted for 93 percent of the total dollar volume closed. Lending for retail properties saw the largest percentage increase among the major property types, followed closely by multifamily and industrial properties. Origination volumes for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA each hit new records in 2011. Despite their record volumes, faster growth in multifamily lending by other investors led the market share of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to decline in 2011. Loans originated for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accounted for 57 percent of multifamily volume in 2011, down from 63 percent in 2010 and 85 percent in 2009. “Commercial mortgage lending continues to rebound from its 2009 lows,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s VP of commercial real estate research. “Originations for life companies, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA were all strong, and banks, commercial mortgagebacked securities (CMBS) issuers and others also saw strong growth. With interest rates still low and stability returning to real estate fundamentals, the rebound is expected to continue in 2012.”

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 MAY 2012

Wells Fargo was the top commercial/multifamily mortgage originator in 2011, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Firms— Annual Origination Volumes. Other originators in the top 10 include HFF LP, Meridian Capital Group LLC, CBRE Capital Markets Inc., PNC Real Estate, MetLife Real Estate Investments, Deutsche Bank Commercial Real Estate, Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, Northmarq Capital LLC and JP Morgan (CMBS). By dollar volume, the top five origi-


Wells Fargo Named Top Commercial/Multifamily Originator in 2011


Data released by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) shows that senior home equity increased by $30 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. Seniors have $3.22 trillion in home equity available according to the most recent NRMLA/Risk Span Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI) report. “Our nation’s demographic and economic trends suggest that the reverse mortgage market will continue to grow,” said Peter Bell, president and chief executive officer of NRMLA. “This data further validates that reverse mortgages are a fundamental tool to help fund longevity at a time when many Americans might face limited options.” The NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI) showed continued stabilization in Q4 of 2011, increasing to 153.48, up 0.9 percent from the third quarter. The increase was driven by increases in senior housing values (up 0.6 percent) and a drop in mortgage debt (down 0.3 percent). Senior mortgage debt levels fell for the 11th straight quarter to $1.01 trillion, leaving seniors with $3.22 trillion in equity. “Many seniors face the possibility of losing their homes based on a shortfall in cash each month and the reverse mortgage can be a great financial solution,” said Bell. “Home equity is a key component to financial prosperity for American seniors.” The RMMI has tracked reverse mortgage market opportunity since 2000 by analyzing and reporting on trends in senior home values and home equity levels and is updated on a quarterly basis.

Commercial Mortgage Lending Continues Rebound as Originations Hit $184.3 Billion in 2011

By David Lykken

Are You Getting Weary or Wealthy?

MAY 2012 



Some questions can just be downright irritating? The title of this article is one of those questions that has irritated and frustrated me for years. Why, because I never liked my answer(s). For the longest time, it seemed as though the harder I worked, the more weary than wealthy I became. All the while, I was putting on a good face “fighting the good fight.” Beneath the surface, I was one frustrated guy. Sadly, many in our industry are where I was at for years. At the end of this article, I will provide you three quick and easy action steps that will, if acted upon, end weariness and get you positioned for increasing wealth. Let me first start off by saying that I believe that those of us in the mortgage industry should be some of the happiest and most fulfilled professionals on the planet. Why you may ask … because we are financing the American dream of homeownership. Buying a home for most people is the biggest transaction of their lives. While the American dream for many became the American nightmare, it doesn’t negate the fact that owning an affordable home with common sense financing can be one of most rewarding transactions of our lives. Owning a home can bring stability to families in a way that few things can. Consumers need us more than ever because a home they cannot afford is a surefire recipe for disaster both from a family perspective, as well as a financial perspective. The idea of buying that bigger and more expensive house that was going to make them happier has collided with the reality of foreclosure and has resulted in disillusionment. Many who have lost their home to foreclosure have wished for the “good old days” when they owned that smaller house with a smaller mortgage payment. As the saying goes, “Life is not always greener on the other side of the fence or on the other side of the tracks.” Americans are getting a harsh lesson in

what real wealth is all about and what is to be valued … but that is another topic for another day. So, if you find yourself more weary than wealthy, this article is for you. What I want for each of you reading this article is to become rewarded and wealthy while having a lifestyle that is fulfilling instead of filled with tiredness and weariness. That’s one of my passions in life, to help people become successful … I mean truly successful. There are many definitions and meanings of the word “successful,” but I would suggest you consider this one. A successful person is someone who is enjoying life to the max … someone who loves what they do and has a deep sense of accomplishment that they are making a difference in the lives of others. This is someone who is able to do what they want, when they want and in the style in which they want to do it. Does that describe you? If not, keep reading. Success is not, as some have jokingly defined, as “He who dies with the most toys wins.” While I may not agree with all that the German philosopher Eric Fromm wrote, he sure got it right when he said: “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” I have come to learn that true success is more about being “fulfilled” than being “filled-full” of “things.” And don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in the ditch on the other side of the road by saying, “Having things is a bad thing.” Monasteries are populated by people who have that attitude. I like the saying, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor … it is better to be rich.” Where is the balance? I am going to ask you to consider that it is not about being rich or poor. It’s about being fulfilled! It’s about focusing on helping others achieve their goals and not focusing on selfish gains. We all probably know people who are wealthy

“Consumers need us more than ever because a home they cannot afford is a surefire recipe for disaster both from a family perspective, as well as a financial perspective.” and miserable. Why do so many who have so much take their own lives? I look for examples of those who are that are happy, fulfilled and wealthy. When I find them, I see one common denominator— they all put others’ interests ahead of their own. I love stories like the one of John D. Rockefeller Sr. who, at the turn of the last century, was considered the wealthiest person in the world. He started his professional life as a poor young man in an office with little formal education. By the time he retired, he had amassed a fortune close to $1.5 billion … quite an accomplished back in the early 1900s. After he retired, he experienced some serious health issues and was told that he did not have long to live. As he laid there on what he thought was going to be his deathbed in the hospital, he started contemplating all that he had accomplished and the legacy that he would be leaving. He realized that he would be remembered as the greatest “getter” of wealth, but not the greatest “giver” of wealth. He thought, “What a horrible legacy to leave behind!” It was at that moment, he made a lifechanging decision. He discovered a reason to live longer. He wanted to redefine his legacy and be known more for his “giving” than his “getting.” If I understand his story correctly, he got out of his hospital bed and walked to one of the busier streets in New York City and started putting coins down on the centerline of the road. You can only imagine how crazy that looked. Here’s the wealthiest man in the world in hospital clothes bending over laying down money on the center line of a busy

street. Certainly everyone thought the old man had lost his mind, but something unexpected happened. As he walked along the center line of the street laying down money, he started getting excited. He got a new vision for life and was healed of that “terminal” disease. His legacy was transformed from being the biggest “getter” to the biggest “giver,” and he went on to live for a number of more years but he said that his later years of giving were so much more fulfilling than the many years he spent “getting.” As a consultant to the mortgage industry, I routinely get a phone calls from executives who have been successful, but now are weary and worn out. They want out! They want our firm to sell their business. Many times I wondered how someone who is so successful can be so miserable. I often discover that they have lost their joy of doing what they’re doing and have long since lost sight of why they got in the business in the first place. The dream of owning a business has become a nightmare. The business now owns them instead of them owning the business. When I get a call from someone who wants to sell their company, I immediately start probing as to why they want to sell, especially when I see such a HUGE opportunity on the horizon for mortgage company business owners. I ask questions like, “What drew you to the mortgage industry?” “What is it that you loved about it, and what is it now that you hate about it?” “What was the original motivation for you starting the business that you now want to sell?”

“When was the last time you enjoyed doing what you’re doing?” There is no question that today’s business environment is more challenging than ever and the risks are certainly greater, but so are the rewards! If someone will work with me and let me get the joy/fulfillment back into their lives, they often will end up wanting to keep the business and not sell! They realize they really didn’t want to sell. They just wanted to have a new reason for living. The more they start helping others achieve their objectives, the more energized and excited they become about being in business. This is also true of many mortgage professionals whether or not they are business owners. Francis Bacon, the 17th century English philosopher, nailed it when he said, “Money is a great servant, but a bad master.” So here are three basic things that, if acted upon, will give you more energy, eradicate any weariness you may be feeling, bring you true fulfillment, and along the way, will increase your wealth: 1. Remember why you got into the business: Another way to say it is rediscover your passion for the business. 2. Find ways to focus on others needs rather than your own: In other words, help others get what they want rather

harp 2.0

than what you want by making your career about helping others get into the right home with the right financing. 3. Give back to the industry and to your community: There’s a million ways in which you can do this and make a huge difference in the lives of others. Giving should be 10 percent about giving money and 90 percent about giving of yourself! If you do these three things, it will positively impact your life, your career and your bank account! I always love reading e-mails giving me feedback about what I have written. It is a way that you can start giving back now. Do it … I ‘d love to hear from you! 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

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Raymond Bartreau is chief executive officer of BestRate Referrals, and founder and chief executive officer of He may be reached by phone at (800) 811-1402 or e-mail

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REO adjustment for a property and the final value can be compared to traditional sales with the REO adjustment factored in. A good REO AVM provides the advantages of providing all of this information quickly to shorten the time the property sits. It gives stakeholders the ability to diligently review portfolios on a regular basis and determine next steps.

David Rasmussen is senior vice president of operations at Veros Real Estate Solutions. For more information, call (714) 415-6300 or visit

America’s Choice gives you the tools you need so you can Originate, Close and Get Paid! Don’t take our word for it, read what our Rising Stars at America’s Choice Say about us!

“I started with America’s Choice as State Manager at the beginning of 2011 and I’m glad I made the move. ACHL is an excellent company to be associated with. This company offers many of the opportunities we had at previous companies and even some of the same people we’ve all worked with prior to coming to ACHL.”

I’m very pleased that I chose ACHL. They understand the importance of customer service and a team environment. The underwriting and closing departments are responsive and quick. With our excellent management, HR, and accounting team, we have a family working together for a common goal – to Close More Loans!!

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20+ years in business


“I really like this organization. My only regret is that I didn’t find you sooner!”

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Jim Patterson

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Give Jonathan Fowler, Director of National Production of America’s Choice Home Loans a call at

713-821-9750 to learn how you can have a better, more rewarding career


 MAY 2012

It is important to understand your market and know when you need to use a default valuation model. The

practice of using traditional and REO AVMs is a highly effective strategy in managing residential real estate assets in today’s climate. Next month, we will delve into a comparison of an REO AVM to other valuation methods and how they can be used in conjunction with each other.




page or through a company that can help you capture those leads. Second, the above numbers also let us know how many people you can market to through direct mail campaigns, as well as cold calling campaigns. If you set up your direct marketing programs correctly with the right partners, HARP will be bigger than you could have imagined!

...the freedom to 

or outbound call campaign. We are currently seeing more than 2.5 percent responses with marketing campaigns to current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan holders. Once this new plan launches in full force and major news outlets begin reporting on the program, the excitement should drive direct mail responses up well over the three percent mark. The above-stated numbers provide us with a couple important things to consider. First, there will be at least 11 million homeowners (that you can help) that may be searching online for HARP rates at any given time from now until the end of 2013. It is your job to capture that search, either by your own


Regulatory Compliance Review CONSUMER PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY By Jonathan Foxx

MAY 2012 



Last month, I discussed the announcement made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding the confidential treatment of information obtained from persons in connection with its exercise of authorities under federal consumer financial law.1 I offered an Action Plan that a financial institution, bank or non-bank, should implement in preparation for a CFPB examination, with respect to protecting the confidentiality and privilege of documents and information. This month, I would like to discuss new consumer privacy protection updates at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the watchdog enforcement agency charged with protecting consumer privacy, as the FTC has issued sweeping revisions to its privacy rules. In this article, we will take a look at the FTC’s call for companies to adopt best privacy practices. These best practices include making privacy the “default setting” for commercial data practices and giving consumers greater control over the collection and use of their personal data through simplified choices and increased transparency.

Overview On March 26, 2012, the FTC issued a final report of 112 pages, setting forth best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of American consumers and give them greater control over the collection and use of their personal data. In the report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers,” the FTC also recommends that Congress consider enacting general privacy legislation, data security and breach notification legislation, and data broker legislation.2 The Report follows a preliminary staff report that the FTC issued in December 2010. The preliminary Report proposed a framework for protecting consumer privacy with respect to the new communication technologies of this century. Like this Report, the framework urged companies to adopt the following practices, consistent with the Fair Information Practice Principles first articulated nearly 40 years ago:  Privacy by design: Build in privacy at

every stage of product development.  Simplified choice for businesses and consumers: Give consumers the ability to make decisions about their data at a relevant time and context, including through a Do-Not-Track mechanism, while reducing the burden on businesses of providing unnecessary choices.  Greater transparency: Make information collection and use practices transparent.

Privacy by design Companies should build in consumers’ privacy protections at every stage in developing their products. These include reasonable security for consumer data, limited collection and retention of such data, and reasonable procedures to promote data accuracy.

Simplified choices for businesses and consumers Companies should give consumers the option to decide what information is shared about them, and with whom. This should include a Do-Not-Track mechanism that would provide a simple, easy way for consumers to control the tracking of their online activities.

Greater transparency Companies should disclose details about their collection and use of consumers’ information, and provide consumers access to the data collected about them.

What has changed? The Report changes the guidance’s scope; that is, the preliminary report of December 2010 recommended that the proposed framework apply to all commercial entities that collect or use consumer data that can be linked to a specific consumer, computer or other device, but now, this final Report concludes that the framework should not apply to companies that collect and do not transfer only non-sensitive data from fewer than 5,000 consumers a year. The Report also responds to comments filed by organizations and individuals that, with technological advances, more and more data could be “reasonably linked” to consumers, computers or devices. Thus, the Report concludes that data is not “reasonably linked” if a company takes reasonable measures to re-iden-

tify the data, commits not to re-identify it, and prohibits downstream recipients from re-identifying it. Furthermore, the Report refines the guidance for when companies should provide consumers with choice about how their data is used. It states that whether a practice should include choice depends on the extent to which the practice is consistent with the context of the transaction or the consumer’s existing relationship with the business or is required or specifically authorized by law. These practices would include product fulfillment and fraud prevention. Finally, the Report contains important recommendations regarding data brokers. It notes that data brokers often buy, compile, and sell highly personal information about consumers. The FTC observes that consumers are often unaware of their existence and the purposes to which they use the data. Therefore, the Report makes two recommendations to increase the transparency of such data broker practices by first reiterating the FTC’s prior support for legislation that would provide consumers with access to information held by data brokers, and, secondly, by calling on data brokers who compile consumer data for marketing purposes to explore the creation of a centralized website where consumers could get information about their practices and their options for controlling data use.

Future issues Over the course of the next year, the FTC has stated that it will work to encourage consumer privacy protections by focusing on five (5) main action items:  Do-Not-Track The FTC commends the progress made in this area: browser vendors have developed tools to allow consumers to limit data collection about them, the Digital Advertising Alliance has developed its own iconbased system and also committed to honor the browser tools, and the World Wide Web Consortium standards-setting body is developing standards.  Mobile The FTC urges companies offering mobile services to work toward improved privacy protections, including disclosures. To that end, it will host a workshop on May 30, 2012 to address how mobile privacy

disclosures can be short, effective and accessible to consumers on small screens.  Data brokers The FTC will call on data brokers to make their operations more transparent by creating a centralized website to identify themselves, and to disclose how they collect and use consumer data. In addition, the website should detail the choices that data brokers provide consumers about their own information.  Large platform providers The Report cited heightened privacy concerns about the extent to which platforms, such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), operating systems, browsers and social media companies, seek to comprehensively track consumers’ online activities. The FTC will host a public workshop in the second half of 2012 to explore issues related to comprehensive tracking.  Promoting enforceable self-regulatory codes The FTC will work with the Department of Commerce and stakeholders to develop industry-specific codes of conduct. To the extent that strong privacy codes are developed, when companies adhere to these codes, the FTC will take that into account in its law enforcement efforts. If companies do not honor the codes they sign up for, they could be subject to FTC enforcement actions. Jonathan Foxx, former chief compliance officer for two of the country’s top publicly-traded residential mortgage loan originators, is the president and managing director of Lenders Compliance Group, a mortgage risk management firm devoted to providing regulatory compliance advice and counsel to the mortgage industry. He may be contacted at (516) 442-3456 or by e-mail at

Footnotes 1—Foxx, Jonathan, Regulatory Compliance Review: The CFPB’s Treatment of Confidentiality and Privilege, National Mortgage Professional Magazine, April 2012, Volume 4, Number 4, pages 30-31. 2—Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers, Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers, Federal Trade Commission, March 2012.

nmp news flash

continued from page 41

nators for third parties in 2011 were Wells Fargo Bank, HFF, Meridian Capital Group, CBRE Capital Markets and Northmarq Capital. The top five lenders in 2011 were Wells Fargo, MetLife Real Estate Investments, PNC Real Estate, Deutsche Bank Commercial Real Estate and Prudential Mortgage Capital.

Former Taylor Bean and Whitaker CFO Pleads Guilty to Role in $2.9 Billion Fraud Scheme

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Delton de Armas, former chief financial officer of Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corporation (TBW), has pled guilty to making false statements and conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud for his role in a more than $2.9 billion fraud scheme that contributed to the failures of TBW and Colonial Bank. De Armas of Carrollton, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 15, 2012. “As TBW’s chief financial officer, Mr. de Armas concealed a massive $1.5 billion deficit in TBW’s funding facility and another large deficit on TBW’s books,� said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. “He tried to conceal the gaping holes by falsifying financial statements and lying to investors as well as the government. Ultimately, Mr. de Armas’ criminal conduct, along with that of his coconspirators, contributed to the collapse of TBW and Colonial Bank. With today’s guilty plea, Mr. de Armas joins seven other defendants—including the former chairman of TBW, Lee Farkas—who have been convicted of participating in this massive fraudulent scheme.� According to court documents, de Armas joined TBW in 2000 as its CFO and reported directly to its chairman, Lee Farkas, and later to its Chief Executive Officer Paul Allen. He admitted in court that from 2005-August 2009, he and other co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud financial institutions that had invested in a wholly-owned lending facility called Ocala Funding. Ocala Funding obtained funds for mortgage lending for TBW from the sale of asset-backed commercial paper to financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas. The facility was managed by TBW and had no employees of its own. According to court records, shortly after Ocala Funding was established, de Armas learned there were inadequate assets backing its commercial paper, a deficiency referred to internally at TBW as a “hole� in Ocala Funding. De Armas knew that the hole grew over time to more than $700 million. He learned from the CEO that the hole was more than $1.5 billion at the time of TBW’s collapse. De Armas admitted he was aware that, in an effort to cover up the hole and mislead investors, a subordi-

nate who reported to him had falsified Ocala Funding collateral reports and periodically sent the falsified reports to financial institution investors in Ocala Funding and to other third parties. De Armas acknowledged that he and the chief executive officer also deceived investors by providing them with a false explanation for the hole in Ocala Funding. De Armas also admitted in court that he directed a subordinate to inflate an account receivable balance for loan participations in TBW’s financial statements. De Armas acknowledged that he knew that the falsified financial statements were subsequently provided to Ginnie Mae and Freddie Mac for their determination on the renewal of TBW’s authority to sell and service securities issued by them. In addition, de Armas admitted to aiding and abetting false statements in a letter the CEO sent to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), through Ginnie Mae, regarding TBW’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2009. De Armas reviewed and edited the letter, knowing it contained material omissions. The letter omitted that the delay in submitting the financial data was caused by concerns its independent auditor had raised about the financing relationship between TBW and Colonial Bank and its request that TBW retain a law firm to conduct an internal investigation. Instead, the letter falsely attributed the delay to a new acquisition and TBW’s switch to a compressed 11-month fiscal year. “With our nation in a housing crisis, de Armas, as chief financial officer of TBW, one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders, papered over a gaping hole in the balance sheet of TBW subsidiary Ocala Funding and lied to regulators and investors to cover it up,� said Christy Romero, Deputy Special Inspector General, Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). “The fraud provided cover to others at TBW to misappropriate more than $1 billion in Ocala funds and sell fraudulent, worthless securities to conspirators at Colonial BancGroup. SIGTARP and its law enforcement partners stopped $553 million in TARP funds from being lost to this fraud and brought accountability and justice that the American taxpayers deserve.�

new to market

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from the Occupancy Map help pinpoint potential misrepresentations of employer location. In addition, the visual support allows for quick identification of the distances between the subject property, borrower’s current residence, and employer location.

Short Sale Enhancements Added to DataQuick’s RiskFinder Distress Offering

MAY 2012 



DataQuick has announced the addition of several key content and performance enhancements to its RiskFinder Distress solution, including enhanced tracking of short sales. These additional features provide investors, lenders and servicers expanded distressed property reviews based on a new data algorithm and extended customization. Released earlier this year, RiskFinder Distress delivers an exhaustive monthly tracking of distressed property trends and statistics at the national and local levels. RiskFinder Distress users can now accurately track short sales in addition to real estate-owned (REO) liquidation and auction sales through expansive nationwide and local sales information. DataQuick also revamped the logic engine driving RiskFinder Distress to provide more accurate overall tracking of distressed properties, resulting in more current and usable data and analysis for users. RiskFinder Distress now also features an enhanced reporting interface, which provides more flexibility and customization in any output that’s required. These enhanced customization features enable users to make use of new metrics, layouts and reporting technology to create detailed reports tailored to meet their specific needs. “Short sales can make up as much as a quarter of all sales in a geography,” said John Walsh, president of DataQuick. “With the addition of short sale tracking and more reporting into RiskFinder Distress, lenders, investors and servicers have a valuable tool to evaluate their market or portfolio and make the decisions necessary to enhance profit or reduce risk.” DataQuick’s RiskFinder Distress allows users to track and analyze key distress events throughout the life cycle of the loan, resulting in a complete picture of distressed property trends. This capability provides investors and lenders with valuable information needed to effectively evaluate risk, determine the impact of distress sales on loss severity estimates, drive loss mitigation strategies and zero in on markets that are starting to recover.

Quandis Announces New Vendor Connectivity Module Quandis Inc. has announced the launch of a solution that connects mortgage service companies with a

nationwide network of real estate vendors. The module provides a centralized Web portal that creates a medium for vendors to list the services and expertise they provide, and for mortgage companies to locate vendors based on their business needs. Mortgage servicers, lenders, escrow firms, outsourcers and preservation companies have an ongoing need to hire vendors to help complete transactions such as valuations, short sales, inspections and others. Quandis’ Vendor Module allows mortgage companies to gain access to vendors like real estate agents, real estate brokers, appraisers, property inspectors and notaries. The solution eliminates the laborious process whereby vendors are forced to visit multiple mortgage companies’ Web sites to do business with them. Suitable vendors can be quickly located and once engaged with, vendors can return to the site to monitor the status of orders placed. Vendors are able to list their specific services, expertise, track record, reputation, markets, zip codes served and more. “In order to efficiently complete real estate transactions associated with servicing processes such as valuations and short sales, mortgage companies must be able to quickly find the best vendors offering services they are looking for in a specific area,” said Scott Stoddard, chief executive officer of Quandis. “Our vendor module works by allowing individual vendors to list their services and specialties in our national database, and provides a medium for organizations to easily search for and engage with them. Often, this is a manual process for both parties, as vendors must add and re-key their information into dozens of different Web sites while organizations in turn must use several different methods by which to locate vendors. Our vendor module eliminates these cumbersome functions for both parties.”

New CoreLogic Consulting Services Team to Stamp Out Industry Fraud CoreLogic has announced the launch of its Fraud and Risk Consulting Services that address the needs of mortgage lenders, servicers and credit card issuers by helping optimize fraud tools and risk strategies to improve fraud detection and minimize fraud-loss. CoreLogic created these services in response to the growing demand from resource-constrained financial institutions for skilled professionals with specialized fraud and risk expertise who can holistically examine technologies and processes. With guidance from the deep industry experience available from CoreLogic Fraud and Risk Strategists, clients can uncover opportu-

nities for process improvement, operational efficiencies and cost reduction, and act on these opportunities with confidence to bolster profitability. “While financial institutions value the impact that results from integrating risk management products within the mortgage loan origination and servicing process, they are also telling us they would benefit from experts that help optimize their risk management solutions based on a thorough understanding of their business,” said Tim Grace, senior vice president of product management at CoreLogic. “The CoreLogic team of fraud and risk strategists provides superior, hands-on consulting that delivers measurable fraud loss reduction. Our goal is to enable these organizations to be prepared now and for the future.” Leading financial institutions have already experienced success using consulting services from CoreLogic. In a recent engagement, one U.S. mortgage company improved fraud detection and reduced false positive rates that led to the company reviewing 42 percent less loan applications while increasing the fraud detected overall, which resulted in a significant production cost savings for the organization. CoreLogic currently offers two levels of service aimed at helping clients increase fraud detection and optimize risk management—advisory consulting services and comprehensive performance services. Advisory Consulting Services include introductory level services that help clients re-examine and benchmark their current environment and expose opportunities to combat identified fraud and risk challenges. This level of service includes Fraud Reduction Analysis, which fully details a client’s fraud preparedness; expertise of a CoreLogic Fraud Manager for Hire, which provides a highly trained expert for a specified period of time; and Product Support which provides customized services for specified products. These services can produce significant value for financial organizations, by addressing a range of circumstances from stand-alone, specialized projects to the identification and resolution of a fraud crisis. Georganne Rosenberger, senior director at CoreLogic, leads the team and brings more than 25 years of specialized experience leading fraud and risk management initiatives for major consumer and business lenders. Formerly a vice president with Wells Fargo Bank, Georganne succeeded in achieving seven consecutive years of reduced fraud losses. She also led fraud control initiatives and held leadership positions at Bank One and Mellon Bank.

ClearQC, a fully-hosted service to automate the review of broker price opinions (BPOs) and appraisal reports. The system brings new levels of speed and intelligence to the valuation review process, with refined business rules and multiple data perspectives to create the most progressive automated review service available from any vendor. ClearQC finds the “needles in the haystacks” for internal review teams. It allows loan originators, servicers, and investors to run all of their valuation reports from any provider through an automated process to highlight complete and well supported valuations, and also flag those needing further attention. “To ensure our appraisals and BPOs consistently lead the market in quality, we’ve spent the last decade developing and refining an advanced internal system to analyze our own valuations prior to human review,” said Kevin Marshall, president and cofounder of Clear Capital. “We were frequently asked by clients if we could run non-Clear Capital valuations through our system as they recognized the lift in quality that ClearQC provides. Now for the first time, we are excited to offer these automated review technologies directly to our customers as a hosted service for any BPO or appraisal, helping create a much more powerful and efficient review process.” ClearQC’s advanced rules evaluate areas of the report such as selection of comparables, price conclusions, the effect of market trends, and the completeness and validity of data. The company provides a full set of pre-defined rules based on best practices learned over a decade of valuation experience, and will also work with customers to develop customized sets of rules to meet their specific business needs. The data used by ClearQC to support the analysis includes MLS data, including sales and listings data, public records, Clear Capital’s HDI (Home Data Index) market data, and the company’s proprietary market and comparable database built up over 11 years. This data powers evaluations of value ranges, selection of comparables, and appropriate vendor proximities and behaviors.

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 Clear Capital Examines QC and Risk With New ClearQC Offering Clear Capital, a provider of data and solutions for commercial and residential real estate asset valuations, has announced the availability of

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.

The Role of a Real Property Receiver: How a Receiver Assists Parties From Taking on Unnecessary Risks and Exposure By James N. Guthrie Jr. and Richard P. Ormond Esq. n discussing the role of a receiver appointed over a distressed real property, it is apparent that many financial institutions and services still have a misunderstanding as to what a receiver truly is, what he or she does, and why the receiver is necessary in certain circumstances. Here are the most common questions a receiver is faced with along with comprehensive answers that should clear up some of these misunderstandings.


What is a receiver? The receiver is an agent of the court, not of the parties, and the receivership estate is under the control and supervision of the court. The appointment of the receiver is an ancillary proceeding concerned with the preservation of the property subject to a dispute in litigation pending the outcome and disposition pursuant to a final judgment in that litigation. (CCP 564) A receiver is to take custody and control of an asset (thus, creating a receivership estate), and is entrusted to protect and preserve that asset. In a receivership proceeding, the main function of the court through the receiver is to manage or dispose of the estate in the best manner possible and for the best interest of all of the parties concerned.

Above all, the receiver must be honest

James N. Guthrie Jr. is managing director of Charter Equities Group LLC and is an experienced receiver and a member of the California Receivers Forum. He may be reached by phone at (714) 434-8554 or e-mail Richard P. Ormond Esq. is a shareholder in Buchalter Nemer’s Litigation Practice Group, Chair of the Firm’s Pro-Bono Committee, and serves as the Firm’s Hiring Partner. He may be reached by phone at (213) 891-5217 or email


 MAY 2012

What are the qualities and skills that a receiver must possess?

By appointing a receiver, the lender limits its liability by preserving its capacity to that of a lender and not stepping into the shoes of the owner/developer, and therefore does not open itself up for litigation in the future as a result of being on the chain of title. The appointment of a receiver to complete and sell a residential project keeps the developer entity in place as the responsible party in the event of a construction defect claim, and keeps the lender off the title and at armslength from any construction issues, thereby creating a layer of liability protection. Other risks of ownership are avoided by a lender if a receiver takes custody and control as well, including entitlement concerns, environmental hazards and personal injuries at the property. All in all, in some circumstances the appointment of a receiver is an ideal solution for a lender to resolve an outstanding loan, by avoiding certain liabilities and risks.


As stated above, the receiver is appointed by the court, acts as an agent of the court and acts on behalf of the court in protecting and preserving the assets that make up the receivership estate. The appointment is sought, usually by a lender or secured creditor, in a court of law. After appointment, the receiver takes custody and control of the receivership estate as directed by the court. The court grants the receiver such authority as the court considers appropriate to protect and preserve the property. This authority may be narrowly or broadly tailored depending upon the scope and breadth of the receivership. It should be noted that, by California law, the receiver serves the court and does not work for either the plaintiff or the defendant. The receiver does have a fiduciary duty to all parties having an interest in the property.

and exposes itself to potential liability for any construction or design defects in the future. It’s important for any lender to understand the potential long-term issues relating to being on the title, including, but not limited to, exposure under SB 800, detailed above. California courts have not ruled on the issue of lender liability in the event of foreclosure in an SB 800 context. However, it is likely that plaintiffs’ attorneys will file suit and name commercial lenders who have foreclosed on certain residential properties if, for no other reason, than they are a deep pocket and the original developer has no ability to respond to the damages. The case for holding lenders responsible for construction defects becomes stronger the moment a lender takes control of the physical assets and makes any effort to complete construction of any unfinished improvements. 

Who appoints the receiver?

and be a person of integrievaluating a project— ty because the receiver this will save both time has a fiduciary obligation and money in the long to the parties, he must run. The receiver must have the ability to operate have the ability to pay transparently. attention to detail while Due to the contentious seeing the big picture. nature of a receivership, Does the lender the receiver must maintain their poise and have always need to the ability to act without have a receiver being adversely impacted appointed? The short answer to this by the parties’ challenges. “Above all, the question is, not always, A large amount of receiver must be but there are certain conpatience is required in honest and be a siderations that a lender dealing with the parties person of integrity needs to understand who will sometimes be because the receiver when contemplating a belligerent and irritated has a fiduciary foreclosure versus having as in those cases where obligation to the they are fighting for sur- parties, he must have a receiver appointed. As vival. The receiver must the ability to operate it relates specifically to condominium or other deal with the parties withtransparently.” out taking their criticism —James N. Guthrie Jr. types of residential projects, the construction personally. defect liability issues are In saying this, keep in complex and should be mind that the defendant, considered both from a in most instances, has short-term and a longtheir heart and soul in term risk perspective. the property not to menReceivers can exercise tion enormous financial their equitable position commitment to the projto assist in resolving many ect. The defendants are of these concerns and angry with the plaintiff issues. and make the assumption (wrongly) that the receivThe perils er is the plaintiff’s representative. On the other of SB 800 Consider the following … side, the plaintiff is not “It is up to the in 2003, Senate Bill 800 very happy that it may be receiver to navigate necessary for it to put these troubled waters was enacted in an attempt to limit the nummore money into an and maximize ber of actions resulting already distressed projthe value of the from residential construcect. It is up to the receiver receivership estate for tion defect litigation. In to navigate these trouthe benefit of all.” California, the homeownbled waters and maximize the value of the —Richard P. Ormond er or homeowners associEsq ation has up to 10 years receivership estate for the to file an action for conbenefit of all. Importantly, the receiver must have struction defects. SB 800 provides for the knowledge and experience in man- the developer to have an opportunity to aging the type of asset over which they inspect the property with the alleged are being appointed. It’s important that construction defect and attempt to remthe receiver have a seasoned staff that edy it, as well as for the homeowners can help manage and monitor complex and developer to meet in order to projects. This can be both efficient and mediate any unresolved construction cost-effective to the receivership estate. defect issues, and hopefully, resolve The staff needs to include accounting those issues prior to filing an action, all personnel with an understandable in an attempt to avoid costly litigation. accounting system. The receiver must have the ability to The perils of a lender anticipate problems and be prepared taking the title through with solutions. It’s important for the foreclosure receiver to have the capability to be By the lender foreclosing on a property, able to ask the right questions when the lender now enters the chain of title

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• • • •

DocVelocity is an end-to-end paperless solution designed to simplify the loan origination experience. Imagine having all your documents in the loan process as electronic files, all online, from pre-approval to closing. DocVelocity provides: Fast and easy loan delivery to any lender … Automatic doc sorting, naming and filing … Real-time online document sharing for anyone you choose … Friendly and intuitive user interface … No start-up fees, and free training and support. DocVelocity addresses important compliance issues while giving your office the competitive advantage of being paperless. It streamlines all aspects of the mortgage process and most important, it does so in one easy-touse and inexpensive package. DocVelocity is the flagship product of Paperless Office Solutions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Flagstar Bancorp. Visit to find out more.

FHA Audit and Licensing

Hard Money/Private Lending

ACC Mortgage, Inc. 932 Hungerford Drive #6 • Rockville, MD 20850 240-314-0399 • 240-314-0336 fax We are doing traditional subprime lending, fix & flip lending and hard money lending.

Retail Branch


Loanbright 27902 Meadow Drive, Suite 375 Evergreen,CO 80439 866-391-2709 • Loanbright helps mortgage companies capture and close more business through its marketing and software tools. An INC. 500 awardee, Loanbright has helped thousands of companies since 1999 by providing them with well over 3 million qualified sales leads.

Polaris Home Funding Corp. 616-667-9000 #1 USDA RD lender in multiple states with strong FHA/VA/CONV product lines as well. Don't be held hostage by a captive branch arrangement. Bank it or broker it. Have a business name/identity you don't want to give up? We allow DBAs (subject to state rules).

Windvest Corporation ............................877-285-0777 Specializing in rehab loans for property investors in So. CA. Up to 60% ARV, 12.99% fixed rate, 3.5-5 points, 1 yr. term. Fast & professional service since '94! Visit!

Loan Origination Systems

Leads (800) LOANS-15 Calyx Software 800-362-2599

AAA Refi Leads.....AAA Refi Leads.....AAA Refi Leads Learn how I went from failure to success by mailing cheap refi letters from home, closed 71 loans & made $248,954.62 last yr. I’ll show you exactly how I did it. Go to: www.Refi-Leads.NET

Calyx Software, the #1 provider of mortgage solutions is dedicated to offering reliable and affordable software that streamlines, integrates and optimizes the loan process. Find out how PointCentral can streamline your business and create compliant processes today.


Are you a broker/owner or current branch manager looking to expand your business into Mortgage Banking with FHA capabilities? Then our PARTNER BRANCH ADVANTAGE© program is perfect for you. We are offering you all the benefits of partnering with an established lender while still enjoying your independence. US Mortgage Corporation is a nationwide FHA Direct Lender with a 16 year long reputation of excellence. YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR SUCCESS! For more information contact THOMAS R. SIRICO, Vice President of Business Development at (917) 923-1472 or email at

Internet’s Leading Consumer Mortgage Marketplace Attracting over 8 million unique consumers every month • 561-630-1257

Mortgage Forms

We look forward to sharing our services with you!

MAY 2012 


Reach affluent and creditworthy consumers who are in-market and ready to transact. Bankrate is a consumer direct Web site, NOT a lead aggregator. Qualified leads for every sized budget, and pay only for performance. No set up fees! No contracts! No risk! • Reach self directed, highly qualified consumers that are actively searching for mortgage loans • Geo-targeting – reach the right consumers in the right markets • Our proprietary Advertiser Portal gives you complete control over your campaigns, budgets, and performance reports. • YOU determine your daily/weekly/monthly budget • Pay only for consumers who click on your listing • NO cancellation fees Try us risk-free! Call 561-630-1257 or visit for more details. Same Day Shipping (orders placed prior to 3pm et) 24/7 Secure e-Commerce Site Save 33-50% • • • •


HUD Settlement Cost Booklets CHARM Booklets Uniform Residential Loan Applications HUD Case Binders

Icon Residential Lenders (888) 247-4207


Icon Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grand Bank N.A., is one of the nation’s leading Conforming, Jumbo, FHA and VA wholesale lenders. Our strength, success and longevity is derived from delivering customers service that exceeds our valued business partners expectations. With deep industry knowledge, financial stability and innovative technology we provide the solutions for our business partners to fund loans while avoiding risk.

Best Rate Referrals The Leading Direct Marketing Company for Mortgage Professionals 800-811-1402 • Reach affluent and creditworthy consumers who are in-market and ready to transact. Bankrate is a consumer direct Web site, NOT a lead aggregator. Qualified leads for every sized budget, and pay only for performance. No set up fees! No contracts! No risk! Founded in 2005, Best Rate Referrals has grown into one of the fastest growing marketing firms in the nation. By combining new technology with traditional direct marketing methods that produce profitable results.

Comergence Compliance Monitoring, LLC 630 The City Drive South, Suite 205 • Orange, CA 92868 Office: 714-740-9000 Comergence Compliance Monitoring is the mortgage industry’s only Complete broker desk management software and outsource solution for TPO management and monitoring. We can supplement lenders inhouse management and monitoring resources departments.

• • • • •

Direct Access to Underwriters Competitive Pricing Innovative Technology Paperless Solution Bank Funding

Best Rate Referrals is the direct marketing leader in the mortgage and banking industry. • • • •

Mortgage Direct Mail & List Services Mortgage Live Transfers Mortgage Internet Leads Mobile Marketing

The Lykken on Lending Radio Program Sign-on weekly at

Wholesale Reverse Mortgages

Nationwide Equities Corporation 201-529-1401

88 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor San Francisco, CA 94108 Phone: (415) 632-5150 • Fax: (925) 226-1938 Now • Arizona • California • Colorado

Wholesale Lending in: • Nevada • Texas • New Mexico • Utah • Oregon • Washington

CBC National Bank 3010 Royal Boulevard South, Ste. 230 Alpharetta, GA 30022 888-486-4304

For Licensed Mortgage Brokers in NY, NJ, CT, PA and FL No HUD Approval Required – Live Help Desk Will Provide Training at Our Office or Yours 48 Hour Underwriting - Get Paid Within 48 Hours of Funding





AMX/Land Home Financial ..................800-349-4172 AMX/Land Home Financial Services Wholesale Lending Division - Great Rates, Great Programs, Great Service. Offering financing options that work in today's market.








Bookmark this! Access these listings online at



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 now hiring Account Executives in AL, TN, KY, VA, & MD. Contact Stu Ehrlich in our HR department at for further details. Big Enough to MATTER…Small Enough to CARE


Terrace Mortgage 4010 W. Boyscout Blvd., Suite 550 Tampa, FL 33607 866-934-4631 •

• • • •

Paperless! Quick and Easy! Top Tier Account Executives Committed to Wholesale Operations that Earn Your Business

Veros Real Estate Solutions 2333 North Broadway, Suite 350 • Santa Ana, CA 92706 (866) 458-3767 • @verosres (Twitter)

 MAY 2012

Veros Real Estate Solutions is a premier technology leader in the mortgage industry and proven leader in enterprise risk management and collateral valuation services. Veros combines the power of predictive technology and data analytics for advanced automated solutions.


TMSfunding Wholesale Lending 326 W Main Street • Milford, Ct. 06460 888.371.2989 • WWW.TMSFUNDING.COM Your Partner in Success! 

We offer competitive pricing and fast turn-times for FHA, VA, Conventional, and USDA programs without having a retail presence in the industry. We are a wholesale lender with 22 years of experience and believe in exceptional service.


calendar OF EVENTS

Calendar of Events, please e-mail the details of your event, along with contact information, to MAY 2012 Sunday-Wednesday, May 20-23 2012 Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference Hilton Anatole 2201 North Stemmons Freeway Dallas For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

Wednesday-Friday, May 30-June 1 2012 Hawaii Association of Mortgage Brokers Annual Conference “Get Your Eight in the 808” Sheraton Waikiki Hotel 2255 Kalakaua Avenue Honolulu, Hawaii For more information, call (808) 783-4442 or visit

Sunday-Tuesday, June 24-26 Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman’s Conference 2012 The Breakers 1 South Country Road Palm Beach, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit JULY 2012 Wednesday-Saturday, July 11-14 Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP) 2012 Convention & Trade Show “Stay on Track” The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay 2900 Bayport Drive Tampa, Fla. For more information, call (850) 942-6411 or visit Sunday-Tuesday, July 29-31 CoreLogic’s 24th Annual RiskSummit St. Regis Monarch Beach 1 Monarch Beach Resort Dana Point, Calif. For more information, call (415) 536-3525 or visit

Monday-Wednesday, September 10-12 2012 American Mortgage Conference Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley 4500 Marriott Drive Raleigh, N.C. For more information, call (919) 781-7979 or visit OCTOBER 2012 Sunday-Wednesday, October 21-24 Mortgage Bankers Association 99th Annual Convention & Expo The Hyatt Regency 151 East Wacker Drive Chicago For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit






MAY 2012 

Tuesday-Wednesday, May 22-23 28th Annual Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama Convention “Staying the Course” Wynfrey Hotel 1000 Riverchase Galleria Birmingham, Ala. For more information, call (334) 260-8197 or visit

Friday-Saturday, June 22-23 NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals Annual Conference & Board Installation JW Marriott Hotel 10 S. West Street, Indianapolis For more information, call (972) 758-1151 or visit

SEPTEMBER 2012 Sunday-Tuesday, September 9-11 Mortgage Success Source 2012 Mortgage Leadership Today Conference The Mirage Hotel & Casino 3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas For more information, call (800) 963-1900 or visit




Sunday-Wednesday, May 20-23 2012 Legal Issues/Regulatory Compliance Conference La Quinta Resort & Club 49-499 Eisenhower Drive La Quinta, Calif. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

JUNE 2012 Monday-Friday, June 4-8 MISMO June 2012 Trimester Meeting DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel 201 East MacArthur Boulevard Santa Ana, Calif. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit

AUGUST 2012 Tuesday-Wednesday, August 2-3 Louisiana Mortgage Lenders Association (LMLA) 2012 Educational Conference New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel 2 Poydras Street New Orleans, La. For more information, call (225) 590-5722 or visit


To submit your entry for inclusion in the National Mortgage Professional