O DECEMBER 2012
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Qualified Borrowers May be Eligible for Payments From National Servicer Settlement Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly has announced that official notifications are being sent to approximately 29,000 Pennsylvania borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 and who may be eligible for payment as part of the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement. Eligible borrowers had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia. The settlement, which took effect in April, set aside approximately $1.5 billion in payments for two million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period and had their loan serviced by one of the settling servicers. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who decide to participate. Attorney General Kelly said the national settlement administrator has mailed notification postcards to eligible borrowers nationwide. The postcards explain that consumers may be eligible for a portion of the foreclosure settlement and advises them to carefully review all of the information in the claim packets, which are being mailed this week. In Pennsylvania, the packets contain an official notification letter from Attorney General Kelly along with a claim form, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions. Those packets are being mailed to 28,448 eligible. AG Kelly urged eligible Pennsylvania borrowers to watch their mail for the official packets and to complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided. Claim forms can also be filed online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The deadline for filing all claims is Jan. 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013. Kelly noted that eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm to receive a payment, nor do they give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer or to participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators. Eligible borrowers may get a payment from this settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any payment received may reduce payments borrowers may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding. PA 1
O DECEMBER 2012
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Scenes From the
2012 Northeast Conference of Mortgage Brokers October 9-11 at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Dave Burgess and Angelo Zakis of Amerisave
The team from Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc. (REMN) gather for a group photo
Justin Glass, Dejana Vessell and Tony Hatchigian from United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM)
James Matarazzo and Gary Formisano from ICON Residential
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David Baum, Jennifer Votruba, Elena Chimienti and Eric Tofte from HomeBridge
Barry Habib from RFC during his speech â€œThe Bang Momentâ€? at the morning session
Kim Zebrowski, John Lewandowski and Rosa Ferreira from Menlo Park Funding were on hand to discuss their product offerings
NJAMB President Joseph F. Heisler Jr. welcomes attendees to the event NJAMB Executive Director E. Robert Levy Esq. during his opening speech at morning session
Scenes From the
2012 Northeast Conference of Mortgage Brokers October 9-11 at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
The Super Panel discusses CFPB examination procedures
PAMB President Paul Logan fills attendees in on the latest regulatory happenings in his state
MAMP President Charles Reid takes part in the Opening Session PA 3
Jack Konyk, executive director of government affairs at Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC details CFPB exam procedures
Carl Markman, Noel Chapman and Joe Amoroso from REMN at the After Party at Revel
O DECEMBER 2012
The crew from REMN with members of the New York Jets Cheerleading Squad at the After Party at Revel
The iPad raffle winner claims her prize
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Federal and state compliance Attorney Kristie D. Kully covers what to watch out for during an audit
Ken Markison, associate vice president, regulatory council the Mortgage Bankers Association during the Super Panel discussion
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National Mortgage Professional Magazine
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Volume 4, Number 12
A Special Look at “Growth Strategies for 2013” Three Questions to Ask Yourself About Your 2013 Strategic Plan By Gibran Nicholas ..............................52 Shaping Your Business in 2013 By Barry Habib ................53 Developing a 2013-Style Communications Strategy for Your Mortgage Company By John & Pat Seroka ............54
America’s Choice Home Loans .......................... www.achlonline.com ............................................9 Amerisave Mortgage Corporation ...................... www.amerisavetpo.com ........................................49 Brokers Compliance Group................................ www.brokerscompliancegroup.com ..Inside Back Cover Calyx Software ................................................ www.calyxsoftware.com ......................................12 CBC National Bank .......................................... www.cbconnex.com ............................................19 Data Facts........................................................ www.datafacts.com ..............................................59 Document Systems, Inc./DocMagic .................... www.docmagic.com ....................................32 & 33
Changing Technology Mindsets for Growth in 2013 By Todd Mobraten ................................................................55
Equity Loans LLC .............................................. www.equityloans.com ..........................................45
Fostering Growth in the Wholesale Channel in 2013 By Cathy Blaszyk ..................................................................56
First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. .......................... www.fgmcwholesale.com ......................................43
HomeBridge .................................................... www.homebridgewholesale.com ..........................11
Implementing a “Gold Standard” in Mortgage Production By Al Crisanty ....................................................4
Icon Residential Lenders, LLC ............................ www.iconwholesale.com ......................................17
The Elite Performer: No More Rain Checks By Andy W. Harris, CRMS ........................................................4
FindMortgageJobs.com .................................... www.findmortgagejobs.com ..........................35 & 57
Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company .............. www.joinGHMC.com ............................................15
Hometown Lenders ........................................www.whotookmybacon.com ..................................13
LendingTree.com ............................................ www.joinlendingtree.com ....................................51 Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers Corp. .. www.mortgagesalesjob.com ..................................37
Bonded With NAMB: Consider the Source By Mason Grashot, CPA ..........................................................6
Menlo Park Funding ........................................ www.menloparkfunding.com ................................19
Regulatory Compliance Outlook: CFPB’s Company Portal for Consumer Complaints By Jonathan Foxx ............8
PB Financial Group Corp. .................................. www.pbfinancialgrp.com ......................................12
FHA MIP Program Creating Surplus of Trigger Leads for Mortgage Marketing By K. Justin Restaino ....................10
NAPMW .......................................................... www.napmw.org ..................................................16
Power Training LLC .......................................... www.maccelcoach.com/webinars ..........................47 REMN (Real Estate Mortgage Network)................ www.remnwholesale.com ............................PA2 & 7
FHA Insider: FHA Reserves—The Rest of the Story By Jeff Mifsud ......................................................................12
Streetlinks LLC ................................................ www.streetlinks.com ....................Inside Front Cover
Lykken on Lending: Leadership and Generosity By David Lykken ..................................................................14
The Bond Exchange .......................................... www.thebondexchange.com ................................18
NAMB Perspective ........................................................20 CFPB Delays Effective Date for Certain New Mortgage Disclosures By Laurie Spira................................26 40 Under 40: National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40 ................................27
Marketing in 2012: Fall Tips to Maximize Your Marketing Dollars ..........................................................36 Pursuing Excellence: The Invisible Hand By Casey Cunningham ..........................................................36 Agent Vetting is Here to Stay By Stanley Friedlander ..........44 A Landmark Victory for the Reverse Mortgage Lending Industry By T. Steven Gregory Esq. ..........................46 Choosing Appraisal Business Partners By Chris Sullivan ....48 Creating Compliant ABAs and MSAs By Joseph Cilento ....58
Columns NMP News Flash: December 2012 ................................16 New to Market ................................................................42 NMP Calendar of Events ................................................64
United States Appraisals .................................. www.unitedstatesappraisals.com ............................5 United Wholesale Mortgage .............................. www.uwm.com ........................................Back Cover
Heard on the Street ........................................................6
Titan List & Mailing Services, Inc. ...................... www.titanlists.com ..............................................41
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
NMP Mortgage Professional of the Month: Tom Hurst, President of StreetLinks Lender Solutions By David J. Coster ................................................................34
TagQuest ........................................................ www.tagquest.com ..............................................39
For Managers Only: Should You Hire a Rookie? By Dave Hershman ..............................................................18
December 2012 Volume 4 • Number 12 1220 Wantagh Avenue • Wantagh, NY 11793-2202 Phone: (516) 409-5555 • Fax: (516) 409-4600 Web site: NationalMortgageProfessional.com STAFF Eric C. Peck Editor-in-Chief (516) 409-5555, ext. 312 firstname.lastname@example.org Joel M. Berman Publisher - CEO (516) 409-5555, ext. 310 email@example.com David J. Coster Senior Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Joey Arendt Art Director email@example.com Jon Blake Advertising Coordinator (516) 409-5555, ext. 301 firstname.lastname@example.org Beverly Koondel National Account Executive (516) 409-5555, ext. 316 email@example.com Scott Koondel Billing Coordinator (516) 409-5555, ext. 324 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com or visit www.nationalmortgageprofessional.com. 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.
As we enter the final month of 2012, we have much to look back on. For me personally, 2012 was a life-changing year. On the business end, I saw new life being breathed into the industry. New players entered the scene and old faces returned at new companies to lead the charge. Personally, both myself and my staff are in the recovery stages of Hurricane Sandy. We all know that it will be a long road ahead in the recovery process, but not to brag, but we have vowed to move forward with great resolve to get past this hiccup in life dealt by Mother Nature.
Closing out 2012 … NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals is closing out 2012 with a bang. NAMB’s newest national conference offering, the first-ever NAMB National 2012, is set to hit the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in early December. As of this writing, there are 1,300 pre-registered to attend the event, and the exhibit hall is sold out as are the sponsorships. I equate this event to a throwback event of the early to mid-1990s … a conference with a packed exhibit hall, teeming with new and exciting business opportunities for 2013, an exciting and informative slate of guest speakers and sessions, and the opportunity to network and establish new partnerships with your industry peers. I am feeling nostalgic as this show approaches and I am sure that it will not disappoint. A special thanks to Vince Valvo and the Conference Committee for putting together such a highly-anticipated event. The work of Vince and his committee in bringing together some of the industry’s top speakers and leaders should be commended, and please make it a point to stop and thank Vince and his crew for bringing back an event of this magnitude.
Our nation prepares to take the plunge … As midnight approaches on Dec. 31, 2012, and the countdown begins as giant, glowing ball covered in Swarovski crystals begins its descent in Times Square, out nation will be faced with a new issue, one which has been branded the “fiscal cliff.” In laymen’s terms, the fiscal cliff is the utter chaos that may ensue when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1st. Happy New Years Day huh? As we sit back and enjoy the calmness that usually hovers over the New Year’s Day holiday, fiscal panic may set in instead as more than 1,000 government programs are expected to face the impact of the fiscal cliff and the impact will be profound. And while a rise in taxes and spending cuts should reduce the deficit by an estimated $560 billion, forecasters anticipate yet another recession as the gross domestic product (GDP) may drop by four percentage points in 2013, unemployment may also rise by nearly a full percentage point, with an expected loss of about two million jobs. Keep a close eye on the mortgage-interest deduction situation in terms of the fiscal cliff. This tax break allows homeowners to deduct interest on the mortgage debt of first and second homes up to $1 million and the interest on debt from up to $100,000 on home equity loans or lines of credit. Phasing out this deduction could increase revenue by $215 billion through 2021. Elimination of this deduction will have a dramatic negative effect on the economy and have a big impact on low and middle income homeowners, as well as stunting the growth of what seems to be a healthy overall housing market.
40 Under 40 makes its return … Now an annual tradition, NMP’s “40 Under 40” recognizes the top movers and shakers in the industry As voted upon by their peers. This ever-popular list makes our December issue quite in demand as our readers are curious to see just who will be carrying the torch and leading the charge in the future. Tech providers, wholesalers, brokers, speakers and educators … you will find them all beginning on page 27 of this issue. A big congratulations to you all for leading the way.
Speaking of leading the way … This month, we focus our attention on the topic of “Growth Strategies for 2013.” How are you going to make 2013 a better year? What changes will you make both personally and/or professionally to achieve your goals in the new year? We get to pick the minds of five of the industry’s top innovators beginning on page 52 as they provide us with tips and tricks to get the ball rolling on a successful 2013. From shaping your strategic plan, to developing an effective communication style, our authors will share with you what has worked for them in the past and what they see are strategies in order to attain your goals in the new year.
In closing … As 2012 comes to an end, please take the time to sit back and enjoy the finer things of life. Sure, we are all here for business. We are in the business of putting people in homes and fulfilling the American dream of homeownership. We can make these dreams come true, but must abide by a set of standards. Do the right thing and never cut corners. The fallout of cutting corners can be severe to both you and your business as non-compliance and curtailing regulations will get you in hot water. So continue to make these dreams a reality for your clientele and keep on the right path … the path of success in the year 2013 and beyond. On behalf of the team at National Mortgage Professional Magazine, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season and wish you much success in the new year. We are survivors and will continue to bear the torch of “Mortgage Professional” in the year 2013 and beyond. Sincerely,
Joel M. Berman, Publisher-CEO NMP Media Corp. firstname.lastname@example.org
National Mortgage Professional Magazine is published monthly by NMP Media Corp. Copyright © 2012 NMP Media Corp.
Knocking on 2013’s door …
GAGE PR ORT O
From The Publisher’s Desk
O F F I C E R S
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: www.namb.org
P.O. Box 451718 Garland, TX 75042 Phone #: (800) 827-3034 Fax #: (469) 524-5121 Web site: www.napmw.org
NAMB 2012-2013 Board of Directors
National Board of Directors 2012-2013
Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS—President Amtrust Mortgage Funding Inc. 200 Medical Drive, Suite D Carmel, IN 46032 (317) 575-4355 email@example.com
President Candace M. Smith, CME (512) 306-6354 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President—Northwestern Region Debbie Tofte, GML (425) 483-3359 email@example.com
John Councilman, CMC, CRMS—Vice President AMC Mortgage Corporation 11920 Fairway Lakes Drive, Suite 2 Fort Myers, FL 33913 (239) 267-2400 firstname.lastname@example.org
President-Elect Jill Kinsman (206) 344-7827 email@example.com
Vice President—Western Region Lyman King III, CMI, CME (916) 967-4653 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Arnold, CMC—Treasurer American Family Funding 24961 The Old Road, Suite #101 Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381 (661) 284-1150 email@example.com
Senior Vice President Christine Pollard (607) 226-1046 firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary Sara Vasura (703) 255-7460 email@example.com
Kay A. Cleland, CMC, CRMS—Secretary KC Mortgage LLC 200 South Wilcox Street #224 Castle Rock, CO 80104 (720) 810-4917 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President—Central Region Kelly Hendricks (314) 398-6840 email@example.com
Treasurer Jeanne Evans, CME (918) 431-0155 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Pair, CMC—Immediate Past President Mortgage America Corpus Christi Inc. 22800 Bulverde Road, Apt. 1402 San Antonio, TX 78261 (361) 774-7314 E-mail: email@example.com
Vice President—Eastern Region Katrica J. Driscoll, MML, CME, CMI (919) 877-5683 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parliamentarian Hulene Works (972) 494-2788 email@example.com
Rocke Andrews, CMC, CRMS—Director Lending Arizona LLC 1996 North Kolb Tucson, AZ 85715 (520) 886-7283 firstname.lastname@example.org
National Credit Reporting Association Inc.
Rick Bettencourt—Director Mortgage Network 300 Rosewood Drive Danvers, MA 01923 (978) 777-7500 email@example.com
Olga Kucerak, CRMS—Director Crown Lending 328 West Mistletoe San Antonio, TX 78212 (210) 828-3384 firstname.lastname@example.org Linda McCoy—Director Mortgage Team 1 Inc. 6336 Piccadilly Square Drive Mobile, AL 36609 (251) 650-0805 Linda@mortgageteam1.com Dick Morin—Director Consumers First Mortgage P.O. Box 918 Kennebunk, ME 04043 207-985-2895 email@example.com Valerie Saunders—Director RE Financial Services 13033 West Lindburgh Avenue Tampa, FL 33626 (866) 992-0785 firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald J. Unger President (303) 670-7993, ext. 222 email@example.com Daphne Large Vice President & Treasurer (901) 259-5105 firstname.lastname@example.org Tom Conwell Ex-Officio & Legislative Chair (800) 445-4922, ext. 1010 email@example.com Nancy Fedich Director–Conference Chair (908) 813-8555, ext. 3010 firstname.lastname@example.org Judy Ryan Director-Strategic Alliance Chair (800) 929-3400, ext. 201 jryan@Kroll.com Susan Cataldo Director–Education & Compliance Chair (404) 303-8656, ext. 204 email@example.com
William Bower Director–Tenant Screening Chair (800) 288-4757 firstname.lastname@example.org Mike Brown Director–Technology Chair (800) 925-6691, ext. 4350 email@example.com Maureen Devine Director–Education & Compliance Co-Chair (413) 736-4511 firstname.lastname@example.org Renee Erickson Director–New Membership & Elections Chair (800) 311-1585, ext. 2101 email@example.com Terry Clemans Executive Director (630) 539-1525 firstname.lastname@example.org Jan Gerber Office Manager/Membership Services (630) 539-1525 email@example.com
John Stevens—Director Bank of England d/b/a ENG Lending 11650 South State Street, Ste. 350 Draper UT 84020 (801) 427-7111 firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 Board of Directors & Staff
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D I R E C T O R S
Andy W. Harris, CRMS—Director Vantage Mortgage Group Inc 15962 SW Boones Ferry Road, Ste. 100 Lake Oswego, OR 97035 (503) 496-0431, ext. 302 email@example.com
Donald E. Fader, CRMS—Director SMC Home Finance PO Box 1376 Kinston, NC 28503-1376 (252) 523-5800 firstname.lastname@example.org
701 East Irving Park Road, Suite 306 Roselle, IL 60172 Phone #: (630) 539-1525 Fax #: (630) 539-1526 Web site: www.ncrainc.org
Implementing a “Gold Standard” in Mortgage Production By Al Crisanty
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
The housing bubble and the credit crisis which followed have forced us to re-examine the banking, and more specifically, the mortgage industry from the ground up. Such a review requires us to revisit the basic premises on which our housing finance system is built. At the very foundation of the system are the two principal “stores of value” that attract and enable investors to make capital available for housing finance: the real estate and the note. A store of value is defined as a form of economic exchange that must be able to be saved and retrieved at a later time, and be predictably useful when it is retrieved. To simplify, before we go too deep in the weeds of financial theory, a store of value is something that can be bought, sold or exchanged and retains its value in a predictable manner over time. Money is the most basic store of value, but things like gold, real estate, stocks and bonds are also stores of value. Each different store of value carries its own level of risk based on the stability of value it provides. For a period of 40-50 years, from roughly the 1880s-1930s, many currencies issued by sovereign countries around the world were backed by holdings of silver and/or gold. This period was known as the “gold standard period.” One of the gold standard’s purposes was to provide a backstop for the currencies—to ensure that they retained consistent value over time. While the gold standard for currencies proved unworkable in the long run due to the complexities of international finance, the general concept of a “gold standard” or the strongest, most stable form of something has endured. Residential mortgages exist because private investors are able to exchange (loan) the funds needed to purchase a home for both an interest in the property being purchased and a note requiring principal and interest payments on a set schedule over a set period of time. When the system functions properly, these two stores of value received by investors carry very little risk and represent a “gold standard investment.” Yet as we all learned, when complexities (we all know what they were) were allowed to enter the housing finance system, the gold standard was abandoned and the system came crashing down. Our firm has committed to producing “gold standard mortgage loans.” This means we produce loans that are appropriate for consumers and represent unparalleled stores of value for investors. This requires that we hold ourselves and our partners accountable for the quality of the work we do and the loans we originate. Accepting errors or slipshod efforts is not something that we as an industry can or should tolerate. Producing gold standard mortgage loans begins with hiring the best employees and ensuring that they have the necessary tools and support to accomplish this. The quality (defined by experience and proven capabilities) of the professionals currently working in our industry is unmatched by any previous period in my 30-year career. Yet attracting quality personnel that are new to the industry is much more difficult given the media’s treatment of the industry over the past five years. It is imperative that all of us in the industry pledge to not only implement and maintain a gold standard for mortgage production that will help improve the perception of our industry, but also to maintain our commitment to train and recruit personnel that are fully capable of meeting this high standard indefinitely. Al Crisanty is vice president of national wholesale production for 360 Mortgage Group and is responsible for overseeing regional sales managers as the company seeks to expand operations to all 50 states. 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. Al may be reached by phone at (916) 761-1624 or e-mail email@example.com. SPONSORED EDITORIAL
No More Rain Checks The holidays are among us and this is the time of year when we slow down and spend quality time with our friends and family. It’s very important not to take advantage of the limited time we are able to spend with those who are close to us and to build memories that will last a lifetime. Balancing the demands of work and prioritizing time with family and friends is vital to our well being and the well being of those we love. It’s important that we live each day with purpose, both personally and professionally. While the holidays tend to bring us together based on historical family behaviors and commitments, we need to determine how to make these commitments more consistently throughout the year. It could be as small as being home on time every night for dinner with the family, or setting goals to meet with important people in your life often enough to remain involved for support and friendship. There are very few things more important in life than the time we spend with our friends and family. A few weeks ago, I was thinking of a close friend of mine that I had not seen for nearly two-and-a-half years. We grew up together and were extremely close, spending nearly every day together as kids into young adults. We went through just about everything together and I’ve always considered him one of my very best friends. It’s amazing how fast the time had gone by with how busy work and life tend to be. We’ve talked in recent months and shared messages back and forth about needing to get together and catch up, but it has always resulted in a rain check for one reason or another. I was at the office last week on Tuesday morning and while going through e-mails and returning calls as usual, I received a text message on my cell phone. It was from my friend’s brother stating he was not sure if I still had the same phone number, but to please call him if I got the message. I thought it was strange so picked up the phone right away to call. Something about the message caused me significant
discomfort and obviously I wanted to find out the reason for the message. When his brother answered the phone, I could tell there was something not right. Before he told me what was going on, in my head I was running circles as to what it could be. I was afraid my friend was hurt or that something happened within the family. What he began to tell me was much worse. His brother and my dear friend had just passed away in his sleep. My heart dropped and I didn’t know what to say or do. He was only 34-years-old and in excellent health. Needless to say, I had one of the most challenging weeks of my life, and my life will never be the same because of it. I am thankful that he passed peacefully and without pain, but much too soon and it still feels unreal. He was a wonderful person and loved by many and I hope he knew how much he meant to me personally. It’s painful to look through our messages together on my phone and realize all the missed opportunities we had to spend time together in recent months. I know that I can’t live with regrets and I know that he would not want that either, but this has been an ongoing challenge for me. I wanted to share my story because I feel it is important for everyone to hear. I have never personally experienced something like this before and it puts things into perspective as to what is important and what is not in life. Life is precious and fragile and we need to live every minute of every day. My suggestion for all is to cherish time with friends and family and make commitments instead of rain checks. R.I.P Zach … You will be deeply missed, never forgotten, and your life will be celebrated. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit AndyHarrisMortgage.com.
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
Bonded With NAMB
Consider the Source By Mason Grashot, CPA
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
The bond business is similar to the mortgage business in that it all starts with access to the products. Whom the customer chooses to guide them into and through the world of surety (or mortgages as a comparison) can be the single most important piece of the puzzle that also happens to be entirely within the customer’s control. Some industry professionals consider themselves to be a “jack of all trades,” but are really a “master of none” (or at least a “master of few”). Others are specialists whose focus, experience and knowledge really add value to the customer’s buying decision. Some insurance agents can and will write any type of insurance that is needed. Surety is a type of insurance (as is life, disability, health, home/auto or commercial lines). Usually, the products that are purchased from people who truly specialize in that specific product type are either better than or less expensive than those purchased from people who handle various types of products. There are thousands of insurance agents out there (some of whom sell surety bonds, too). There are dozens of bond agents out there (some of whom sell insurance as well). Sometimes a customer can purchase a surety bond from an insurance agent and that insurance agent’s bond knowledge, application process, price and service are all no different than what the customer would have experienced by using a bond agent. But more often than not, bond customers find that the price is lower, the process is easier and the knowledge is greater when they choose to purchase their surety bond from a surety specialist. If you’ve had your bond for a while or if you think you might be paying too much because the first answer isn’t always the best answer, you should take a little time to look into something that you pay for year after year after year. Ask your association, your colleagues, or your search engine for recommendations. Find a surety specialist and find out whether your surety bond is costing you what it should be. Mason Grashot, CPA is president of The Bond Exchange, a national insurance agency focused on surety bonds with a unique specialty practice centered on the mortgage profession. As the endorsed strategic partner of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals, The Bond Exchange services thousands of surety bonds through programs designed specifically for the mortgage industry. For more information, call (501) 224-8895 or visit www.thebondexchange.com.
DocMagic Enters Into Compliance Partnership With Blueberry Systems Blueberry Systems LLC has announced that its Relay loan origination software (LOS) now seamlessly integrates with DocMagic Inc.’s document preparation and compliance technology, and features more capabilities including eSignature and eDelivery. Lending institutions can now maintain both origination and regulatory guidelines without ever leaving Relay. The integration adds complete document and eDelivery compliance within Relay’s workflow, keeping all loan data in one system and eliminating redundant data entry. In addition, originators using Relay now have access to eSignature and eDelivery capabilities from DocMagic to further streamline the document process and ensure compliance. Using the latest technology, originators benefit from the fastest and most efficient system for immediate eDelivery of fully compliant mortgage documents. “DocMagic has always been committed to providing superior technology and a level of customer service that far exceeds the expectations of today’s standards,” said Steve Ribultan, director of business development for DocMagic Inc. “By seamlessly integrating our system with Blueberry Solutions’ cutting-edge loan origination software, we continue to deliver on that promise.” Blueberry Systems’ flagship solution, Relay, offers a complete loan origination system to lenders, featuring a universal data model to provide the most accurate loan production data in the industry. Unlike many other systems that still rely on an outdated data management model, Relay’s 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.
Zillow Agrees to $12 Million Purchase of Mortech
Zillow Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mortech Inc., a mortgage technology company that
provides software to the mortgage industry, for approximately $12 million in cash and 150,000 shares of restricted stock. The transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012. This acquisition accelerates the development of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow’s lending marketplace where borrowers can connect instantly with reputable lenders to get personalized loan options and realtime mortgage rates. Now Zillow will deliver valuable marketing and productivity solutions to mortgage professionals to help them manage their business, and convert more borrower contacts to funded loans. Currently on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, borrowers submit more than one million loan requests per month and receive on average 25 customized quotes, which they can compare alongside over 22,000 lender reviews. “We are following our proven strategy of building home-related marketplaces. In the case of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, we first innovated on behalf of consumers by creating a transparent marketplace where the borrowers’ needs come first, then we connected borrowers with lenders, and now we are investing in tools to help lenders be even more successful serving consumers,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO. “Enhancing the capabilities of mortgage lenders ultimately leads to a more vibrant and transparent consumer experience.” Founded in 1987, Mortech is based in Lincoln, Neb. and has 39 employees. Mortech will continue to operate from its Nebraska office. Mortech will be the fifth acquisition by Zillow in two years, and its first in the mortgage sector. The company last week announced the acquisition of Buyfolio, an online and mobile collaborative shopping platform where home shoppers can search, track, organize and discuss for-sale listings with their real estate agent and others in their personal network. In June 2012, Zillow acquired RentJuice, the foundation of Zillow Rentals. In 2011, the company acquired Postlets, an online real estate listing creation and distribution platform and Diverse Solutions, which helps real estate agents market their businesses and improve their personal Web sites. Each of these companies provide valuable services that support
Zillow’s strategic expansion beyond a traditional media model to offer a suite of marketing and business services to local professionals.
US Appraisal Group Named to Inc. 500 List
Credit Repair Resources and OriginationPro have announced that the two organizations have partnered in order to promote legitimate and compliant credit repair with marketing and training support to the mortgage and real estate industries. The partnership between the two entities will include industry and consumer training designed to educate par-
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Interthinx and Decision Ready have announced an alliance to offer comprehensive quality control (QC) and quality assurance programs to the servicing industry. With mortgage servicers facing increasing scrutiny of their default management procedures and the upcoming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforcement, servicers will need to increase their diligence in assessing and monitoring policy and regulatory compliance. Interthinx and Decision Ready Solutions have joined forces to bring a comprehensive quality control and forensic loan review program to the market. The collaboration will offer a compliance oversight program frame-
Credit Repair Resources and OriginationPro Form Credit Repair Partnership
ticipants about consumer rights and how credit repair works. This training will reveal what actions are allowed from a legal perspective and what results can be expected. We will also educate professionals regarding how to overcome stigmas associated with the industry due to the widespread delivery of illegal or deceptive practices. Additionally, we will give our followers the marketing tools that will help industry participants deliver an effective message to consumers regarding the realities of credit restoration services. “We are very excited at the opportunity to serve the industry in this regard,” said Dave Hershman, co-
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Interthinx and Decision Ready Partner on Servicing QC Initiative
reflected in our decision to work closely with Decision Ready Solutions.”
Inc. Magazine ranked US Appraisal Group 319th on its 31st annual Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. It was also ranked the 11th fastest growing real estate company in the country, and the 13th fastest growing company in the Chicago Metro area. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Zappos, Intuit, Jamba Juice, Zipcar, Clif Bar, Vizio, Oracle, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 500|5000. With three-year growth at 1,177 percent, US Appraisal Group anticipates an exciting 2012-2013 cycle. “Over the past two years, we have brought on a number of significant accounts at US Appraisal Group,” said said Dione Spiteri, CEO and president of US Appraisal Group. “Our clients are often initially attracted to our company because we are exceptionally vigilant about maintaining the highest quality appraisal panel. We believe that everyone deserves to have a positive experience and our vision is to dramatically increase confidence in appraisal management. Our inclusion on the Inc. 500 list is just another testament to our clients’ satisfaction. We’re very excited about the direction we’re headed in.” To make the Inc. 500, companies had to have achieved a staggering minimum of 770 percent in sales growth. The Inc. 500’s aggregate revenue is $15.7 billion, with a median three-year growth of 1,431 percent. The companies on this year’s Inc. 500 employ more than 48,000 people and generated over 40,000 jobs in the past three years.
work that will help servicers monitor process execution and compliance along the complete end-to-end default timeline. “Today’s mortgage servicers are required to conduct ongoing evaluations of internal processes using objective process review and quantify results via score cards. The newly launched Servicing QC offering allows servicers to review operational activity and objectively score the process on accuracy and policy conformance,” said Kevin Coop, president of Interthinx. “It also helps servicers make process adjustments based on real findings rather than relying on a subjective process. Our ongoing commitment to finding the right experts to assemble the best solution is
CFPB’S COMPANY PORTAL FOR CONSUMER COMPLAINTS By Jonathan Foxx
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
In September 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its Company Portal Manual (Manual). The Manual gave instructions on the use of the special access portal, known as the Company Portal (Portal). The Portal allows financial institutions to view and respond to complaints in the CFPB consumer complaint database. At that time, the Portal was enabled to take consumer complaints about credit cards and provider resources for distressed homeowners. Since the inception of the Portal, my firm has responded to numerous requests from clients to help them navigate its rather labyrinthine pathways. Thus, we have obtained considerable experience in guiding our clients from point of contact with the CFPB to point of resolution. In most instances, resolution of the complaint was achieved. While the CFPB continues to acquire statistics about the nature of the complaints, we also have become familiar with how best to respond to the complaints and have kept our own database. When I cite statistics in this article, the time frame that I am writing about is July 21, 2011 to June 1, 2012. More recent statistics have not yet been officially announced by the CFPB. However, it is known that this database is updated on a daily basis. Retroactive data is expected shortly. I would like you to become more familiar with the Portal and learn how to set up your access to it. Of course, in a magazine column, I can only offer a generic (rather than a detailed) description. I encourage you to explore the Portal, download the most recent Manual–I give the hyperlinks below— and, most importantly, draft and implement complaint management procedures for using it. Regulators will surely expect as much!
Statistics By this point, the CFPB has staffed a Consumer Response team. The Consumer Response team, or “Consumer Response” as it has become known, began taking
consumer complaints about credit cards on July 21, 2011; it began handling mortgage complaints on Dec. 1, 2011; and it began accepting complaints about bank products and services, private student loans, and other consumer loans on March 1, 2012. Over the next year, the CFPB expects to handle consumer complaints on all products and services under its authority. According to the CFPB, between July 21, 2011, and June 1, 2012, the CFPB received approximately 45,630 consumer complaints, including approximately: 16,840 credit card complaints, 19,250 mortgage complaints, 6,490 bank products and services complaints, and 1,270 private student loan complaints. Approximately 44 percent of all complaints were submitted through the CFPB’s Web site and 11 percent via telephone calls. In the same period, referrals from other regulators and agencies accounted for 39 percent of all complaints received (the rest were submitted by mail, email, and fax). Furthermore, the CFPB has notified the public that more than 37,120 complaints (81 percent) of complaints received as of June 1, 2012, have been sent by Consumer Response to companies for review and response. The remaining complaints have been referred to other regulatory agencies (nine percent), found to be incomplete (four percent), or are pending with the consumer or the CFPB (six percent). Companies have already responded to approximately 33,000 complaints or 89 percent of the complaints sent to them for response.
Common complaints In a June 2012 report, the CFPB stated that the most common type of mortgage complaint is about problems consumers have when they are unable to pay, such as issues related to loan modifications, collection, or foreclosure. The example given was where a “consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission time frames, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations,
and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period.” The “shelf life” of documents provided as part of the loan modification process was cited as of particular concern to consumers. The CFPB asserts: “though consumers must provide documents within short time periods and income documentation generally remains valid for up to 60 days, lengthy evaluation periods can result in consumers having to resubmit documentation—sometimes more than once. This seems to contribute to consumer fatigue and frustration with these processes.” Other common types of mortgage complaints are those about making payments, such as issues related to loan servicing, payments, or escrow accounts. Here, the example given is where “consumers express confusion about whether making timely trial period payments will guarantee placement into a permanent modification. Issues related to applying for the loan, such as the application, the originator, or the mortgage broker, are also amongst the most common type of mortgage complaints.” In the CFPB’s view, “consumers filing complaints about problems when they are unable to pay generally appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives.”
Screening process This is a generic outline of the Consumer Response process: 1) Consumer Response screens all complaints submitted by consumers based on several criteria, such as whether the criteria include the complaint falling within the CFPB’s primary enforcement authority, whether the complaint is complete, or whether it is a duplicate of a prior submission by the same consumer. 2) Screened complaints are then sent via a secure web portal to the appropriate company. If appropriate, the complaint is posted to the Portal within approximately three days of receipt, along with a request for a response within 15 calendar days. 3) The company reviews the information, communicates with the consumer (as
needed), and determines what action to take in response. If additional communications are required between the consumer, the company and/or the CFPB, these can occur offline or through the Portal. 4) The company reports back to the consumer and the CFPB via the Portal. In addition to the 15-day response deadline, the CFPB provides companies 60 calendar days from when the complaint is forwarded for the company to resolve the complaint. 5) The CFPB then invites the consumer to review the response. Throughout the complaint process, consumers can log onto the Portal or call a toll-free number to receive status updates, provide additional information, and review responses provided to the consumer by the company. The Portal allows companies to select one of four resolutions to complaints: 1. Closed with a monetary payment to the consumer, 2. Closed without a monetary payment, 3. Closed with an explanation, or 4. Closed without further explanation. Resolving a complaint is important and may lead to further review and action by the CFPB. Consumer Response will prioritize for review and investigation complaints in which the consumer disputes the response or where companies fail to provide a timely response. If the consumer disputes a company’s response, Consumer Response will investigate the complaint further, evaluate the jurisdiction, attempt to reconcile the positions of the consumer and the company, identify potential consumer violations and/or opportunities to provide consumer education, and communicate the results of the investigation to the consumer. If a company fails to respond to a complaint on a timely basis or if Consumer Response suspects a possible violation, the complaint may be referred to the CFPB’s supervision and enforcement units for further action. continued on page 38
“I spent several months researching different companies and had all but given up when a friend, Jonny Fowler, asked me to take a look at ACHL This company doesn’t just feel like home, it IS home. Every time I need help I get it, and more! And with an incredible branch opportunity it all sums up into 3 words: Product, Service, and HOME!”
“It is absolutely impressive the spirit of teamwork and customer service driven culture that everyone in the company has demonstrated to me… thus being transferred on to the customer!
“I chose ACHL because of the people and service I get from everyone. Also the selection of products I have access to. I am Finally back with a great team of people.”
“I really like this organization. My only regret is that I didn’t find you sooner!”
Steven J. Scarfo
14 years in business Cliffside Park, New Jersey
15 years in business Morristown, New Jersey
9 years in business Houston, Texas
“An employee of a previous lender recommended ACHL to me. After talking to everyone at ACHL I knew it was the right fit. They did everything possible to answer my questions and make sure that I could open and run our branch our way.” -
“After weighing my options I decided to go with America’s Choice Home Loans. The branch compensations is one of the best in the industry. They are committed to providing extraordinary customer service. ACHL will help me grow my branch into a mortgage powerhouse by equipping me with their proven tools and systems.”
“I joined America’s Choice Home loans because I felt like I was joining a family. They just jumped through hoops to get me on board and opened. They give me the tools needed to help me run and grow my business.”
“You know the old saying ‘Your company is only as good as your employees’ Jonny and his team have proven that statement to be true! I’ve had the pleasure to work with Jonny and his team for over 10 years. Once I had the opportunity to move and work with him and his team again I took it! It’s the right move!
13 years in business Corpus Christi, Texas
17 years in business Macon, Georgia
33 years in business Salem, Oregon
15 years in business Virginia Beach, Virginia
Give Jonathan Fowler, Director of National Production of America’s Choice Home Loans a call at
to learn how you can have a better, more rewarding career
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22 years in business Saco, Maine
FHA MIP Program Creating Surplus of Trigger Leads for Mortgage Marketing By K. Justin Restaino The FHA MIP program has generated a strong demand for refinances by borrowers stuck in high interest rate loans, thus creating a surplus of trigger leads available for mortgage marketing
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
The FHA MIP program produced a surge in the number of borrowers seeking to refinance their loans that have been stuck in high interest rates. This created a favorable condition for mortgage marketing professionals who have been getting high response rates with direct mail using trigger leads generated from the vast numbers of refinance applicants having their credit pulled. A trigger lead is created when someone has their credit pulled. Mortgage professionals can purchase lists of trigger leads for use in either direct mail or telemarketing campaigns. Triggers are a valuable resource since these people are actively seeking to refinance. However, factors such as timeliness to contact these candidates and a strong sales ability, are necessary to be successful. Trigger leads can be purchased as daily or weekly lists. These are candidates that are in the market now, so it is extremely important to contact them before they sign with their original mortgage shop lender. For this reason, daily and weekly trigger leads tend to be more valuable, carrying a higher premium. Most people are open to shopping around for the best deal, so a mortgage shop with a strong sales force can often have a very high success rate using trigger leads paired with a direct mail marketing campaign. An average conversion rate for a mortgage shop with a strong sales force can be greater than 20 percent of the inbound calls. Direct mail marketing using trigger leads can be a viable option for a mortgage shop to generate a consistent flow of new customers if done on a regular basis. Sending consistent advertisements also helps to strengthen the brand identity, and put the company in the forefront of potential customers – not everyone will call after seeing an ad once. Phone lists can also be used in conjunction with a direct mail marketing campaign to follow up after the mailing. With timeliness being such a huge factor in the success of a direct mail campaign using trigger leads, a mortgage shop needs to find a mortgage marketing company that is not only able to respond quickly to trigger candidates, but also has solid experience in advertising for the mortgage industry. A mortgage marketing firm should be able to handle the entire campaign in-house. Outsourcing pieces of the campaign such as purchasing the trigger leads, designing the advertisement, or printing and mailing, not only adds more overhead costs, but also takes more time to get the finished advertisement to the hands of the candidate–which may be too late. Using a mortgage marketing firm with a solid reputation and experience in the industry can be the difference between the success or failure of your campaign, and your company’s reputation. With compliance being such a huge factor in today’s environment, it is important to find a company that not only has your best interests in mind, but also has a stellar reputation and no blemishes. K. Justin Restaino is vice president of Titan List & Mailing Services Inc. For more than 13 years, he has led Titan’s Mortgage Division, helping lenders of all capacities grow their businesses utilizing targeted direct mail. With a specialized focus in refinance and purchase markets, Restaino has the insight for proper data and mail application for success. He may be reached by phone at (800) 544-8060, ext. 204 or e-mail email@example.com.
heard on the street
continued from page 7
founder of the Hershman Group and OriginationPro. “In my over three decades of experience leading this industry, our goal has always been to help the average American achieve the American Dream of Homeownership in the right way. I have always held a deep belief that this service should extend beyond making a mortgage, but putting a client in a better financial position. Risk based pricing and stricter standards have not only put homeownership out of reach for many in this country but put, many others in a position of raising their costs for insurance, debts and even put them in jeopardy of not being able to obtain their ideal job. With these services delivered in the right way, we can help turn the tide for thousands of our citizens.”
Carrington Announces New Division to Serve REO and Short Sale Market Carrington Property Services LLC has announced the introduction of the Carrington Property Network (CPN), an exclusive national network of leading residential real estate brokerage firms. Carrington will assist these firms to increase their business in two ways: by facilitating their participation in the distressed property market, and by enabling them to work with institutional real estate investors. CPN members will have access to Carrington’s institutional real estate services as well as real estateowned (REO) listings, short sale leads, investor buyers, and property management and BPO fulfillment services. CPN brokerage firms will be selected by Carrington and must be ranked in the top five in their market in terms of transactions and sales volume, and have the infrastructure in place to manage institutional business in order to qualify for consideration for CPN membership. “Our objective is to complement the traditional resale and relocation services currently provided by residential brokerage companies with best-in-class institutional real estate services,” said Michael Harris, president of Carrington Property Services. “We also intend to work closely with our CPN brokers to extend the offer of these services to our customers who have need for local and regional real estate professionals to help them effectively and efficiently dispose of their inventory.” Institutional real estate sales have grown in importance in recent years, as the volume of distressed property sales has increased dramatically. Distressed properties—short sales and foreclosed homes—have consistently accounted for between 25-30 percent of all residential home sales for the past three years, and have been in high demand among prospective homebuyers and
investors. CPN will provide training and support to its members to help them successfully participate in this market segment.
Secure Settlements Forms E&O Partnership
Secure Settlements Inc. has announced a partnership with Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, a global risk management and insurance services provider, to offer easily accessible and discounted errors and omissions (E&O) insurance opportunities to Secure Settlements member closing agents. Under the agreement, Secure Settlements members will receive premium quotations from a wide range of carriers, which could reduce the cost of their E&O insurance. “The professional liability, or E&O, insurance market for closing professionals has shrunk considerably over the past year,” said Secure Settlements CEO Andrew Liput. “For the dwindling number of insurance carriers in this market, rates are rising, deductibles are increasing and limitations are tightening. Through our partnership with Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, we are aiming to reinvigorate this insurance market by offering premium opportunities to our members.” Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. offers claims-made policies with retroactive coverage for qualified applicants with multiple limit and deductible options to a broad range of professionals, including notary publics, title agents, escrow and closing agents, title abstractors, corporate document searchers and title examiners, all of which can be vetted through the Secure Settlements program. “We understand the importance of affordable and dependable professional liability insurance,” said Liput. “That’s why we’re pleased to partner with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. to bring this opportunity to our members. As we work to expand our portfolio of member benefits, this opportunity represents an important added value for professionals interested in being vetted through Secure Settlements.”
RFC Receives Approval as a Fannie Mae Seller-Servicer Residential Finance Corporation (RFC) has announced that it is now a Fannie Mae Seller-Servicer and will be retaining the servicing of select loans. This designation, a reflection of RFC’s commitment to loan quality and compliance, will allow the continued on page 40
I Direct Access to Underwriters I DU Refi Plus to 125% LTV I FHA Streamline Non-Credit QualifyingAll Servicers Allowed I Escrow Hold Back Allowed
To learn more about the HomeBridge advantage, please contact us at 855-729-2885
This information is provided for the use of mortgage professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers or other third parties. Product information is subject to change without notice. HomeBridge is a division of Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. NMLS #6521. HomeBridge is licensed or operating with a license exemption under the name Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. d/b/a HomeBridge except in the following states; AK, IL, MD, MN, NY, RI, VA “Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc.”; VT: “Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. d/b/a HomeBridge Funding” © Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. d/b/a HomeBridge. All rights reserved.
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I Free DU I Online FHA Case Number Requests I Paperless I Online 4506 Ordering I Experienced Knowledgeable Account Executives
HomeBridge is a national wholesale lender offering both conventional and government products. We are committed to providing the highest value to our clients through competitive pricing, unique product offerings, superior customer service, and state-ofthe-art technology.
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L Florida ss: Out of r Bo chem e: S e d v u ra o ag e F erc s M o rtg Un d ast Texa Major E 203(k) Rehab Loan Program: Foreclosures Present Challenges, Opportunity NMLS an d St ate Testing fo r Mortgage Pr ofessionals
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FHA Reserves: The Rest of the Story This year’s federally-mandated annual independent Federal “… make sure you have your purHousing Administration (FHA) chase lead generation systems in audit was completed recently, place now, so you can easily and not surprisingly, every replace your refinance volume media channel I saw (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, when it decreases!” and Wall Street Journal to name a few) focused on the single piece of negative data that was there. Am I surprised? No. Does this type of coverage on housing help the recovery and instill confidence in homebuyers and sellers? No. I did my own analysis of the 235-page audit performed by Integrated Financial Engineering Inc. based in Rockville, Md. Below, I will highlight some of what I found, which may give you a different perspective on the report. The first thing to bring to your attention is this: The audit gave FHA insurance fund projections through the year 2019. The media only focused on the deficit that is estimated to occur this month, December of 2012. Well, what about the future years? The audit states that: “Both the economic value and the Insurance In Force (IIF) portion of the Fund are expected to increase each year over the next seven years … Our current projections indicate that the Fund’s economic value will increase in the future, rising by an average of $9.68 billion per year through the next 7 years and reach $54.25 billion by the end of FY 2019.” In other words, according to the report, the fund is actually projected to begin strengthening through 2013 and beyond. Hmmm. That paints a different picture than the media, doesn’t it? The report also stated that: “We project that there is approximately a five percent chance that the Fund’s capital resources could turn negative during the next seven years.” Stated another way, there is a 95 percent chance that the fund will be positive over the next seven years. This sounds like a pretty positive projection to me! But then again, I’m not looking at it through the negative lens of the larger media channels which only see the negative five percent chance.
Rates forecast For those of you who like to hear a prediction on what future interest rates will do, the audit quoted Moody’s forecast of rapid rising interest rates between 2013-2015, with rates stabilizing sometime in 2016 and dropping again between 2016-2017. For those of you who are overwhelmed with the volume of refinances, thus ignoring your referral partners for purchase business, take heed. This, as another indicator, that it behooves you to take the time to develop your strategy for generating purchase transactions. Take a look at what percentage your pipeline is refinance business. Is it 65 percent, maybe 75 percent? Now ask yourself what your paycheck would look like with a 65-75 percent decrease. That might hurt a bit … yes? continued on page 26
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
By David Lykken
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
n late October, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the East Coast, leaving a path of devastation behind. During the storm, controversy arose in the way some businesses sought to profit from the destruction. In what public relations expert David Meerman Scott calls “news jacking,” many companies used the storm as a platform for gaining media exposure. On the day of the storm, countless Web
Leadership and Generosity sites began posting articles trying to capitalize on Hurricane Sandy by promoting their businesses, products and/or services. One example was a Fortune 500 retailer who tweeted, “Did Hurricane Sandy affect your city? Get all of your generators, air mattresses, and more in one place … #HurricaneSandy.” Another example was a well-known clothing company which sent out an e-mail blast as the storm began,
which read, “In case you’re bored during the storm: 20% off of everything for the next 36 hours.” The executives at these companies only proved how out of touch they were with the seriousness of this situation. Don’t get me wrong ... I’m all for businesses making a profit, but some common sense would have seemed to have suggested a different approach. As the saying goes, “Not all press is good press.” People were dying. Companies that attempted to use Hurricane Sandy as a way to pitch their products send out one glaring message: “You matter to us if you are buying from us!” It seem to be more all about them. Where’s the concern for their customers? They only care about how much revenue they can get from the carnage—how well they can profit from the pain. And I don’t think people are fooled. They see the shortsightedness and self-interest of these sales pitches, and they’ll respond accordingly. But there’s another side to the story … a good side. Not all businesses used Hurricane Sandy as an opportunity for immediate profit. In fact, the more widely publicized stories during the Hurricane Sandy disaster are actually about those businesses which helped victims during the storm. Countless companies, large and small, contributed quickly and heavily to disaster relief. Guitar Center, a musical instrument retailer whose Facebook page has over 600,000 fans, posted this on its wall just after the storm: “For our East Coast friends affected by power outages as a result of Hurricane Sandy we are offering a place to charge your cell phones in all of our East Coast stores. We have power strips available to charge your phones. All stores are OPEN with power available. Stay safe!” Kohls, Home Depot, Verizon, CVS, the New York Yankees, and countless other organizations made cash donations of $100,000 and more to the American Red Cross. Chevrolet donated 50 full-size cargo vans for the relief efforts, CVS donated $50,000 in bottled water and snacks, Con Edison handed out free dry ice
from its seven locations in Brooklyn, and Home Depot stationed hundreds of supply trucks preloaded with supplies at strategic locations along the East Coast. The example these companies have set by their generosity is quite stunning. When we look at how responsive they were in pitching in for the relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy, we see them in a more favorable light. We see them, not as takers, but as givers. Instead of wanting to boycott them because of their selfishness, we instead want to buy from them because of their generosity. Did these companies lose money by donating hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the relief efforts? On the surface, technically “yes” but in reality, it was an investment in humanity. Who are you going to buy from when the storm is over? The company that gave you a free wardrobe when yours was lost in the wreckage, or the company that tried to sell you a wardrobe when you had nothing to wear? For most of us, it’s a no-brainer. We reward those who help us when we are in need. Smart companies understand this. And the leaders of those companies—they know that growth comes from a spirit of generosity, not one of self-centeredness. The real question, though, is this: Why does it take a disaster to force companies into a spirit of generosity? Isn’t “giving” something that we should be doing all of the time? I would argue that it is. You don’t need a hurricane as an excuse to give back to your community. Great leaders make it a point to create a culture of giving in their organizations—no matter the season. Whether or not someone believes in God or not, most recognize that “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Most get the concept that “You reap what you sow.” You get out of life what you put in. What goes around comes around. We’re all familiar with this philosophy, so why don’t we honor it in our business activities? I would like to challenge you as you lead your business into 2013 in a way that you
evening a week serving food at a local soup kitchen? You can coach a little league baseball team or lead a Boy Scout troop. You should create a culture of giving such that your entire team of volunteers gives on a consistent basis. Your company should be one that is widely recognized for giving, not just its money, but its time. Perhaps the most valuable thing you have to offer as a leader in the mortgage banking industry, though, is your expertise. So many young people are entering into adulthood with no concept of how to manage their personal finances. Have you ever considered teaching a free college class or holding a free finance workshop at your local library? Creating a culture of giving will inevitably lead to growth in the long-term. The law of reciprocity is one of the most
prevalent in human beings. People are going to recognize you for your generosity and feel compelled to reward you for it. You will get customers. You will get referrals. You will get media exposure that actually paints you in a positive light. But, in the end, it’s about more than growth. It’s about your legacy. What do you want your company to be remembered for? What do you want to be remembered for? Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” So, each of us has a choice. We can be takers … or we can be givers. We saw how various companies reacted to the Hurricane Sandy disaster. Some sought how they could get something out of it for themselves. Others sought how they could give something to those who were in need.
But let’s not wait for the next disaster to decide who we will be. Let’s not be reactive; let’s be proactive. Let’s decide here and now that we will be the greatest givers we can be going into 2013. Who’s with me? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012
may not expect. It isn’t about fine-tuning your marketing strategy, although that is important. It isn’t about re-engineering your operations, even though that may be necessary. It’s about giving back. John F. Kennedy is famous for saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” I challenge you, as you go into 2013, to create and implement a strategy for building a culture of giving in your organization. That, more than anything, will give you the long-term growth you need to be successful. Now let me drill down a bit into what I mean by “giving.” There is a fiscally responsible way to engage in philanthropy. Yes, monetary donations to organizations “doing good” are part of it. It doesn’t have to be the Red Cross. Select a few organizations that align with your company values and donate to them consistently. But that is only part of it. You only have so much in the budget that you can just give away. I get that. There is a story in the Bible, the best “handbook” for life, about the nature of giving. Apostles Peter and John are approaching the temple at the same time that a crippled man is being carried to the temple gates. We are told that the man has been lame since birth and he spends his days sitting by the temple gates and begging for money so that he may live. As Peter and John approach the gate, the man calls out to them—asking them for money. When Peter stops and gets the man’s attention, he thinks that Peter and John are going to give him money. Instead, Peter says, “Silver or gold have I none but such as I do have, that is what I give to you”, and then Peter reached out his hand, inviting the man to stand up. In that moment, that man saw himself well and he got up completed changed not only on the outside physically but also on the inside. When I say “on the inside” I mean that the man’s faith (believing in something beyond his circumstances) was stirred up and changed. The words that Peter and John spoke allowed this man to see his circumstances different which opened the door for a miracle to take place. Often times, we can get “stuck” and need someone to come along and stir us up … specifically, to believe that we can do something that we otherwise thought or viewed as impossible. This is what a leader who understands these principles will cause to happen. This has happened a number of times in my own life, someone came along that changed how I saw myself and/or my circumstances. Now I live to give to others what has been given to me and I want to encourage you to do the same. And for those that may not think someone has done anything for them, let me just say that all you need to do as an American is go to a National cemetery and look at the untold thousands who gave the ultimate … their very life! One of my favorite Bible verses is “To whom much is given, much is expected.” We as Americans and we as mortgage professionals have been given much. I believe it is our responsibility to give back. Whether or not you have money to give, you do have something you can give. All of us have time. Perhaps you have one day or evening free. How about giving one
NMLS DECEMBER 2012 Flagstar Bank Triples Wholesale Customer Responses With E-mail Marketing Campaign
Why W hy NAPMW? NAPMW? M Three T hree Simple Reaso Reasons ons Education E duc d cation Organized for Organized for the purpose purpose of providing providing education education to to professionproffession e als in all phases off the mortgage mortgage industry, industry, N NAPMW 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) 16
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If If 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 industry work industry w ork force, force, then you you believe believe in NAPMW. NA APMW. NAPMW Butt sinc since women NAPMW is not a women’s women’s organization. organization. Bu ew omen make up the major majority profesity off professionals professionals in the mortgage/banking morrtgage/banking pr ofession, our purpose purpose is to to help them advance advance in business, business, personal, personal, and leadership development. de evelopment.
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Flagstar Bank has announced that they have tripled wholesale customer service survey responses since January with marketing campaigns powered by global interactive marketing provider ExactTarget and Salesforce.com. Using ExactTarget’s seamless integration with Salesforce.com, Flagstar leverages data housed in Salesforce.com to automatically populate and send a series of automated, personalized ExactTarget-powered emails. “Our e-mails are much more than just open and click rates- it’s about managing, communicating and engaging with our customers,” said Charlie Johnson, vice president at Flagstar Bank and Salesforce.com administrator. “With ExactTarget and Salesforce, we are able to provide timely, relevant information allowing us to build relationships and gain new insight into other aspects of our customers’ businesses in order to serve them better.” Following an interaction on Flagstar Bank’s business-to-business Web site, the customer’s contact information is automatically logged in Salesforce.com. Using ExactTarget’s marketing automation capabilities integrated with Salesforce.com, Flagstar automatically creates and sends a series of seven ExactTarget-powered e-mails over 35 days focused on various topics including training, technology, regulatory licenses and a customer service survey. “In today’s hyper-connected world, marketers must provide consumers relevant, engaging content that drives consumer interaction,” said Tim Kopp ExactTarget’s chief marketing officer. “With ExactTarget, Flagstar Bank is unlocking the power of its data using Salesforce.com to create a new customer experience that provides highly relevant and effective interactive marketing.” A recent study from ExactTarget found more than 75 percent of consumers prefer to receive marketing messages via e-mail and 66 percent have made a purchase based on an email marketing message. Featured in ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey, the study surveyed nearly 1,500 Americans to understand how they pre-
fer to communicate with brands and with friends.
a la mode Steps Up With Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
As mortgage lender orders for disaster inspection reports surged to more than 200 times the normal level in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, technology provider a la mode inc. announced that its Mercury Network service will completely waive all fees related to gathering disaster reports in the affected areas. Mercury Network is a vendor management platform, handling millions of transactions each year for the nation’s largest lenders and appraisal management companies (AMCs). a la mode urged lenders, appraisers, and management companies should visit www.mercuryvmp.com/sandy for details on how to smoothly scale up disaster operations to meet the current crisis. Vendors and clients can be conducting transactions at no charge whatsoever within minutes of visiting the site. With more than 3,300 appraisers available in the affected areas, lenders can be assured that every property in their portfolio is within reach of a professional appraiser ready to provide the inspection reports, safety conditions permitting. “Our focus right now is to make sure lenders are able to immediately move forward on closings for unaffected properties, and get rapid assessments using the Catastrophic Disaster Area Inspection Report, or CDAIR, on those that have been impacted,” said Jennifer Miller, president of a la mode’s Mortgage Solutions Division. “We’re glad to be in a position to help the industry and the local area’s housing markets at a time when they need it the most. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy, but especially our lenders, appraisers, management companies, and agents. It’s a real estate disaster which will alter their livelihoods for years to come.” a la mode will donate $10,000 to the “Young Families of Island Park Hurricane Relief,” a fund set up where qualified recipients will receive $1,000 to help pay for temporary housing in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. continued on page 19
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Should You Hire a Rookie? By Dave Hershman
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First, it is clear that if you can find a top producer with plenty of experience who also meets all of your specific criteria you have set out as the perfect loan officer, hire that person! Who would not want an experienced top producer who is also ethical, profitable, a team player and produces a quality product? There does not seem to be much of a decision to make here. On the other hand, since only approximately ten percent of originators are top producers and only a portion of these are high quality, the task of finding one is not easy and frankly you are not necessarily likely to be successful unless you are paying bonuses, spending money on marketing dollars or spending a lot of time and energy networking. In reality, many times the choice is between either a high-quality novice or a lower quality experienced
producer (typically we say one with bad habits). In other words, many times the choice will be between someone we have to train, but does not have bad habits and someone we will have to “un-train.” Too many times in the recruitment process the sales manager makes the choice of the latter because they do not have the necessary training resources or the time to attract higher quality experienced producers. In my mind, the key would be to focus upon quality individuals, experienced or not. Sometimes it is harder to spot lower quality within novices because they have no track record within the industry. They are more likely to seem perfect, but raw when they are new. However, if you take the time to really check their track record, you can separate the wheat from the chafe. The goal should be a choice between quality with experience and quality without experience. I have to admit a certain propensity to those without experience. Why? For one thing, I have built my
career around training and having that ability helped distinguish myself from other managers. In addition, I can remember being a “rookie” and people telling me that I should expect to earn $25,000 in my first year (probably the equivalent of $50,000 now). Well, I earned that in one month on my way to doing almost 600 transactions in my first 18 months. What if someone did not give me a chance because I had no experience? Some of the rookies I trained twenty years ago are nationally-ranked top producers now. I was lucky that I had experience people to learn from. However, there was no training program. Today, there are plenty of training programs available. And of course, the licensing curriculum is basic as well. In other words, you don’t have to train them yourself. On the other hand, there are not a lot of programs that bridge technical knowledge and what they need to do in order to succeed. There needs to be programs that go beyond the basics and show an originator how to become an expert and market like an expert. One also needs to remember that experience is a broad term. I had a manager tell me that he would never touch a rookie. I said—what if the candidate had ten years as a real estate agent and personally knew one-hundred other agents? What if they also had five years as a financial planner and ran their own business? Would you hire that person? The answer was, sure! Well, experience in mortgages is not the only qualifying experience. One should also look at sales, real estate, financial and even mortgage operational experience. Some
of the best loan officers started out as processors because they know what gets files approved. Finally you need to determine how you can weed out those who have a quality background but are not committed. For that I prefer challenges. Ask any rookie if they have the motivation to succeed and they will say yes. How many actually will become top performers? Think about your long-term experience in interviewing. Everyone’s view of him/herself includes the hope that they will succeed in the future, even if they have not in the past. One of the most important attributes of success is the ability to be honest with yourself about your shortcomings. The first step in recovery in the Alcoholics Anonymous program is admitting you are an alcoholic. If you never get through that step, there is no chance of recovery. Well, most of your prospects are still failing step one because they don’t know what they need to fix or are not committed to fixing what they know is a problem. And when you hire someone who is going to fail, you are wasting very, very precious resources. What are examples of challenges? Have them go through the licensing course and take the test and pass BEFORE you hire them–even if you work for a bank. Hand them a book (I use the book I have written, The Book of Home Finance) and ask them to call you back when they are finished and ready to take a test on it. If only two in 10 people return—at least you have eliminated eight who tend not to follow-up. Of course the exercise does not measure who might have call reluctance. Ask them to put a list together of at least three hundred people they know or are connected to. If they don’t have an extensive sphere, why would you hire them? Being a rookie and having to cold call or purchase leads is a lethal combination for failure. Have them get a letter from a Realtor saying they will use them if they get in the business. This will test how well they can leverage their sphere and measure their propensity to overcome call reluctance.
“The goal should be a choice between quality with experience and quality without experience.”
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Hire a rookie or hire experience? Instead focus on quality. If you would like advice regarding how to put resources in place to support those who are inexperienced, don’t hesitate to contact me. 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 Dave@HershmanGroup.com or visit OriginationPro.com.
nmp news flash
continued from page 16
a la mode’s client and partner, CoreLogic, released pre-landfall estimates of approximately 284,000 homes at risk with a combined property value of nearly $88 billion. Since the time of that estimate, post-landfall insurance risk reports have been dramatically upgraded, with EQECAT doubling its insured and economic damage estimates to up to $50 billion as updated information streams into its computer models. Real estate damages are potentially even larger than previously forecasted, with more than 8.2 million homes out of power in 17 states, and large-scale commercial property damages highly visible in media reports. “We designed the CDAIR as a triage tool, to give lenders a quick assessment as to whether the property is still viable collateral,” said John Farley, president of a la mode’s Appraisal Division. “It’s intentionally not a full appraisal. Remember that in a disaster, the appraisers serving the area are working under highly abnormal conditions, so delivery times for traditional appraisals with the full URAR scope of work will stretch to several weeks or months. By comparison, the CDAIR lets a qualified appraiser rapidly and inexpensively complete and deliver an initial ‘boots on the ground’ assessment of the property’s damage, marketability, and habitability. Full appraisals or engineering reports should be ordered after reviewing the CDAIR’s conclusions.”
GAO Gives FHFA Clean Bill of Health
J.D. Power Ranks Quicken Loans Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Third Consecutive Year
continued on page 49
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Overall customer satisfaction with mortgage lenders has reached its highest level in the past six years, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. For a second consecutive year, overall customer satisfaction has increased to 761 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2012 from 747 in 2011 and 734 in 2010. Quicken Loans ranked highest among primary mortgage lenders for a third consecutive year, with a score of 817, and performed well in all four factors measured in the study. BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust Company) followed with a score of 791, while U.S. Bank ranked third with a score of 784. The study measures customer satisfaction in four key factors of the mortgage origination experience: Application/approval process; loan representative; closing; and contact. This increase in customer satisfaction was driven by steady improvements related to transparency and communication. The study found that, during the past three years, lenders
[INSERT: FHFA_Logo] Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting (FHFA) Director Edward J. DeMarco has released FHFA’s 2012 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) detailing the agency’s performance as regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and regulator of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs). The 2012 Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) highlights collective efforts to assist homeowners, challenges and ongoing initiatives to ensure FHFA meets its strategic goals for fiscal year 2012. For the fourth consecutive year, FHFA received an unqualified or “clean” audit opinion on its financial statements from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Key FHFA accomplishments detailed in the PAR: Provided results and conclusions of 2011 examinations of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHLBs in FHFA’s annual Report to Congress. Produced A Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships, which provides a roadmap for work FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will undertake in the next phase of the conservatorships. Developed a new strategic plan for
FHFA for 2013-2017, which incorporates goals included in A Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships. Established a new Office of Strategic Initiatives to coordinate and oversee the activities associated with the conservatorship strategic plan. Issued a white paper, Building a New Infrastructure for the Secondary Mortgage Market, which proposes a common securitization platform to replace the Enterprises’ current proprietary systems. Appointed new chief executive officers for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and increased and realigned FHFA staff supervising the companies. Worked with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to complete foreclosure prevention actions and enhanced the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to increase refinances. Completed first real estate-owned (REO) pilot initiative to dispose of approximately 1,772 Fannie Mae single-family foreclosed properties in areas hardest hit in the housing downturn. Terminated cease and desist order on the Chicago FHLB due to improvements in the bank’s financial and capital positions and deemed the Seattle FHLB “adequately capitalized” due to a strengthening of its capital position.
The President’s Corner: December 2012
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hat an outstanding N A M B National Conference we have planned. We have more than 1,300 registered, and all the exhibit booths and sponsorships are sold out. In addition, we have an outstanding group of speakers and functions, including how to create your own LinkedIn page before you leave the session. Everyone is guaranteed to enjoy themselves and we have many amazing prizes to be won. This event is everything that all the NAMB conferences used to be. I thank everyone who contributed to the success of this event, along with thanking the hard work of the Conference Committee. John Stevens did an excellent job and the entire committee is to be commended. Our new executive director of the event, Vincent Valvo, did a fantastic job and definitely got things moving. A great job by all! As all of you know, we will be having the 2013 NAMB Legislative & Regulatory Conference in March. We need to really start getting our grassroots up and going. So I am asking all of you to participate. We need each of you in each of your states to contact our Government Affairs Committee and tell them that you would be happy to represent NAMB with your representative or senator. We need to have a one on
one relationship with our elected officials and the best part of this is you are a constituent and it makes it better with them. Your involvement is crucial to making our representation in this process effective. Who better to talk with them than someone who votes for them. So, get on board and help us help you. Contact John Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take this big step to becoming involved, understanding what we are doing and become a big part of this grassroots effort. You will personally learn what we do and how we do it on the Hill. Do not waste any time … go out and find who your congressman or congresswoman is and e-mail the NAMB Government Affairs Committee and let them know you want to be part of the team. NAMB is still working on their “News From NAMB” and we had our first issue in late October. The second issue should be out by the time that you get this edition. It is going to be a joint effort by the Communications Committee and the crew at National Mortgage Professional Magazine. At the time I am writing this, both parties are working very hard to get the next edition out to you. The purpose of this is to keep you up to date with all of the NAMB Committees and what they are doing. We have listened to you as a member and the request is to be more informative as to what they are doing in the committees and to get as much information as you can as a member.
As we near 2013, I want to challenge all of you to join NAMB to make a statement. Once again, we were reminded that it is a shame that our membership is only a fraction of the entire mortgage professional population nationwide. Many of you who are not members need to step up and become members. When we talk with members of Congress and the Senate, they find it very hard to believe that we have only 4.5 percent of all originators as NAMB members. With a total exceeding 110,000 originators and the cost of an NAMB Silver Membership at $50, they don’t understand. Frankly, I don’t either. I pay my dues as a Platinum Member each year because I believe in being informed and as a member, understanding what is going on in our business. That is the reason why I joined this organization in 1990. Yes ... I said 1990! I have been a member of NAMB for 22 years. Why you may ask? Because I believe that this association is about helping the mortgage professional. I also believe that as an association, we can make things happen. The feeling and pride that I get every time that I speak with someone and knowing that as your president, I am working for you, to make sure that we have our livelihood to go to each and every morning. Each day, I do a juggling act to make the most of my time. I spend six to eight hours a day working on NAMB items and another three or four hours running my shop. And to be
truthful, I love doing both. I get to meet with my customers and talk with them about what they want and how I can help them achieve those goals. But when I get an e-mail of phone call from a member, it almost the same as those people need something too. So just a few more facts! All of the money that NAMB collects from its members from membership dues pays for our services to you as an NAMB member. These dues pay for our government affairs programs including lobbyists, it pays for information on Capitol Hill, it pays for overseeing membership, and most of all, it helps us maintain our relationship with you our member. No member of my Board of Directors, no committee chair or committee volunteer gets any money for the job they do. No salary … nothing.! It is purely personal to be part of the solution and have resolve. So take a few minutes, visit NAMB.org and join today. I promise you that it will be the best investment of a small amount of money that you will ever make. Let’s do everything we can to spur membership and get the total up to exceed 10,000. It all starts with you. It’s time to get off the fence. Sincerely,
Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS, President NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals
The Best Resolution We Can Make for Our Clients in 2013 Personifying the Professional Code of NAMB By Fred Arnold
ach new year gives us a prime opportunity to reflect on professional lessons learned in the previous 12 months. Perhaps, more importantly, it presents a perfect time to identify areas where we can improve as individuals and as an organization. Indeed, with the dawn of 2013 and a surge in homebuying, there is no better time to ask ourselves: How can we serve our clients even better in 2013? Because NAMB would cease to exist without its individual members, it’s clear that our success as a NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals is contingent upon each of our own per-
sonal victories. As members, we are each small parts of a bigger whole. When we recommit ourselves on a personal level to honor the Professional Code of NAMB, our association, on a public level, is strengthened as well. This year, I encourage all new members, and certainly existing members, to recommit ourselves to upholding our Gold Standard of Professional Conduct in all we do. Here’s how I propose we achieve this collective resolution ...
Honesty and integrity Being honest and acting with integrity with each client will demand full disclosure with each mortgage file. We must remember that although we see the forms that our clients sign thousands of times each year, it may be the first time they’ve ever seen loan documents. In fact, we should err on the side of cau-
tion and assume that this is the first time our client has been introduced to these forms. There should be no corners cut in explaining in complete detail precisely what our clients are signing up for. The onus is on us as members of NAMB to bring all of the fine print into clear light for every client. This practice of absolute honesty and integrity should also extend to fully explaining your fees, all closing costs, and certainly explaining the intricacies of how interest rate locking works. What seems second nature to us is often extremely confusing to clients. We must take the extra time, no matter how long it takes, to explain how locking works and to ensure that our clients understand everything they are signing before, not after, they sign it. Many loan officers skip this stem and this will differentiate you from the competition!
Professional conduct Being a member of NAMB means that our services should be of the highest standards, period! There are simple ways to ensure that we are meeting this standard. Professionalism begins with keeping our clients updated. There is no excuse for not returning calls. We do not get to pick and choose which information our clients need to know and what they don’t need to know. They have the right to be kept abreast of the status of their loan at all times. If there is an unexpected delay, they need to be notified ahead of time, not after the fact. If they need to meet with us outside of our normal business hours, we need to make ourselves available. In an effort to ensure that we maintain these levels of professionalism, we might want to consider printing a copy of the NAMB Professional Code and providing
it to the client before beginning work on their behalf.
Honesty in advertising Some mortgage loan officers lure clients to their doors with promises that cannot be met, at best, a shady practice and, at worst, criminal. They are fooling themselves if they think that clients won’t notice discrepancies in what was advertised and what they are really getting. Clients aren’t fooled when they call and expect to get an interest rate promised on a mailer only to find out that those rates only apply to people with perfect credit and a substantial downpayment. Misleading advertising tactics more often than not backfire, leaving clients angry and more than happy to share their dissatisfaction with others. It’s cliché but true that when it comes to advertising, as a member of NAMB, honesty is not only the best policy but it must be our only policy.
Confidentiality Our clients count on us to protect their valuable personal information. To that end, once a file has closed, we have absolutely no reason to keep sensitive information such as Social Security numbers on local file. When a loan has closed, we owe it to our clients to delete those numbers from their files to ensure that we are protecting our clients in the event of a cybercrime. Likewise, when sending confidential information electronically, we should do our best to ensure the safe transmission of documents by password protecting the files.
Compliance with the law Our code demands that NAMB members conduct their business in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. That means that we must do our part to remain informed of any and all new laws and regulations. Understanding lending laws and regula-
tions is our responsibility not the responsibility of our clients. We must assume that our clients are completely unfamiliar with lending laws and regulations and, therefore, it is up to us to ensure that every file that we submit adheres to all national and state laws and regulations.
Disclosure of financial interests I’ve never understood why some mortgage broker professionals are reluctant to disclose their earnings on a loan to a client. I have never come across a client who thought I was helping them for free. They expect that we will be earning money on the loan. Again, honesty and full disclosure will prevent you from having an angry client who is all too happy to tell everyone they know that you tried to make an extra buck on the sly. As the housing market continues to
recover, as it appears it will in 2013, there is no better time to recommit ourselves to our best practices. This effort must start with each of us on a personal level and we must maintain our commitment to it on a daily basis. Our individual efforts to provide the Gold Standard in service will then serve to strengthen the reputation of NAMB as the beacon of professionalism, honesty and integrity in mortgage lending for the new year to come. Fred Arnold, CMC is past president of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals, current Treasurer of NAMB, and mortgage professional at American Pacific Mortgage Corporation in Southern California. Fred hosts the radio show SCV Chamber and Business Spotlight on AM 1220 KHTS, as well as the televised program “Out of The Rough” on SCVTV.com, channel 20. He may be reached by phone at (661) 5054300 or e-mail email@example.com.
NAMB Membership Update By Andy W. Harris, CRMS
involved, it is imperative that they support their trade association through membership. Many do not realize the amount of selfless work a small group of industry colleagues have put in (especially over the last few years) to improve all of our careers. It would shock you to know where things could be if it were not for these people. While it is easy to sit on the sidelines and do nothing, staying informed and supporting membership of a trade group fighting for you should be viewed as a duty to all in our field. I speak
as an originator and your colleague when I say WE should all be held accountable when not being part of a state or national trade group. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit AndyHarrisMortgage.com.
By John Councilman, CMC, CRMS
Elected officials listen to NAMB as your voice. It is important that the collective voices of the various areas around the United States shape NAMB into a truly reflective voice. Surprisingly, a few states fail to send representatives to Delegate Council. They claim several hundred dollars to come to Las Vegas is beyond their budget. If you come to Las Vegas and your state fails to send a representative, let them know that is one of the reasons why you pay state dues. If your state is too small to have an association, let us know that you are interested in representing your state. If you are a Platinum NAMB Member, you are eligible to be a delegate at Delegate Council. Your NAMB board, including the
president, receives no pay. No board member is reimbursed for travel expenses. We are all volunteers who care enough about our profession to spend our own money and our own time to make certain we all have the ability to make a living and serve the public. Make certain your state is sending two delegates so your voice is heard. If they aren’t, step up and volunteer to represent your state and your profession. See you in Vegas! John Councilman, CMC, CRMS is NAMB vice president and Delegate Council chair. He may be reached by phone at (239) 267-2400 or e-mail email@example.com.
f you have never been to a major NAMB convention, you may not know about the Delegate Council. The Delegate Council is what separates NAMB from every other trade association in the real estate industry. Some trade associations are run by a chief executive, while others select a board that runs the association. NAMB is very different. Rather than being an association run from the top down, NAMB is run from the ground up. Delegate Council is like the United States Senate … every state
affiliate, large or small is allowed two delegates and gets two votes. Delegate Council is NAMB members choosing who the leaders of NAMB will be. It also sets NAMB policies, NAMB bylaws and NAMB dues. It is a group with amazing power given to the members of NAMB. If you have never attended a Delegate Council meeting, you are in for an interesting time. Every Delegate Council meeting is open to all NAMB members. Even NAMB board meetings are open to NAMB members. It is a tradition at NAMB to have its leadership face its members regularly. After all, they are the people who chose them. NAMB is the recognized voice of mortgage professionals across America.
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What is NAMB’s Delegate Council?
was recently appointed as the Western Regional Membership Chair for NAMB. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the Western states who are state affiliates of NAMB and their leadership teams to continue to build up membership within their state and the national association. I am truly excited for what
the future brings to our industry and our association, regardless of the challenges we’ve faced together. As a committed volunteer and passionate active mortgage professional, I find my recent time spent as immediate past president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals (OAMP), as well as now serving on the NAMB board, has simply been my required duty from the current state of our industry and the multitude of regulatory changes we are facing. While not everyone may feel compelled to get
NAMB National 2012 Saturday-Monday, December 8-10 MGM Grand • Las Vegas For more information, visit http://nambnational.com.
Preliminary Agenda (Subject to change)
Saturday, December 8 NAMB Business Meetings ..........APEX (Affiliate President’s Exchange) Training Day 9:00 a.m. ................................Registration Opens 10:15 a.m. ..............................Welcoming Remarks–NAMB Outlook, Presented by Don Frommeyer, President, NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals 10:45 a.m.-Noon......................“Steal This Idea” Roundtable Workshops Noon-1:30 p.m. ......................Lunch on Your Own 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ................NAMB Delegate Council Meeting 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ................Opening Reception & PAC Auction
The Next Great Thing Track: How to Build Your Correspondent Business Compliance Track: Reverse Mortgage Borrower and Lender Safeguards, Presented by Anthony Lopes of Cambridge Credit Counseling Services and Ralph Rosynek of Reverse Mortgage Solutions Maximum Growth Track: The Three Secrets of Solution-Based Planning, Presented by Brad Korn and Erik Janeczko of Maximum Acceleration with Greg Frost 3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. ................Concurrent Hands-On Sessions Mortgage Success Track: Social Media Workshop … Walk Out LinkedIn (continuation of 2:30 p.m. session) The Next Great Thing Track: Making the Move From Originator to Broker Compliance Track: Don’t Get Washed Out … Money Laundering and You, Presented by Chip Langley of Quality Mortgage Services Maximum Growth Track: The Three Keys to Accelerated Performance ... ProAction, Progress Focus, and Persistent Learning, Presented by Erik Janeczko, Greg Frost and the Maximum Acceleration Team 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m. ................Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall
Sunday, December 9 9:00 a.m. ................................Registration Opens & Exhibitor Setup Begins
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10:00 a.m.-10:50 a.m...............Opening Keynote Presentation: “Build Your Sales to a Billion Dollars!” Presented by Greg Frost 11:15 a.m.-Noon......................Concurrent Hands-On Sessions Mortgage Success Track: Five New Trends Rocking Your Mortgage World, Presented by Rick Sharga of Carrington Mortgage Services The Next Great Thing Track: Growing in Reverse, Presented by Ralph Rosynek of Reverse Mortgage Solutions Compliance Track: Making Your Appraisal Management Relationship Work, Presented by John Culbertson of AppraiserVendor.com Maximum Growth Track: Creating a Vision for Maximum Growth, Presented by Erik Janeczko, Rene Rodriguez Brad Korn and Stephanie York of Maximum Acceleration Noon-1:00 p.m. ......................Lunch on Your Own 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m. ................Concurrent Hands-On Sessions Mortgage Success Track: Mortgage Marketing 2.0, Presented by Rocky Foroutan of Lender411.com The Next Great Thing Track: How to Use Credit Counseling to Propel More Closings, Presented by Doc Compton of Omega Credit Repair and Counseling Services Compliance Track: The Top 10 Problems With Loans, Presented by Tommy Duncan, CMT of Quality Mortgage Services Maximum Growth Track: Clearing Obstacles and Seizing Opportunities, Presented by Maximum Acceleration Team with Lead Coach Stephanie York and Ginger Bell
6:30 p.m. ................................Apex Awards Dinner: NAMB’s Mortgage Professional of the Year, NAMB’s Affiliate Company of the Year and NAMB’s Volunteer of the Year Awards
Monday, December 10 9:30 a.m. ................................Attendee Registration Opens 9:30 a.m. ................................Exhibit Hall Opens & Breakfast in Exhibit Hall 10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m...............Keynote Speaker Series: William Matthews, President of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) 11:15 a.m.-Noon......................Keynote Speaker Series: Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow.com Noon-1:00 p.m. ......................Lunch Available for All Attendees in the Exhibit Hall 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m. ................Keynote Speaker Series: Theodore Tozer, President of Ginnie Mae 1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ................Break in the Exhibit Hall and Grand Prize Drawings 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ................Keynote Speaker Series: Edward J. Pinto, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
1:45 p.m. ................................Exhibit Hall Opens 3:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. ................NAMB National Conclusion 2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m. ................Concurrent Hands-On Sessions Mortgage Success Track: Social Media Workshop … Walk Out LinkedIn
4:00 p.m. ................................NAMB Board of Directors Meeting
For more information, visit http://nambnational.com.
NAMB National 2012 Sponsors (as of 11/27/12)
Track Sponsors www.avantus.com
Platinum Sponsors www.rmsnav.com
Gold Sponsors www.lowermybills.com
Silver Sponsors www.gotappraisals.com
For more information, visit http://nambnational.com.
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www.avantus.com (800) 243-0120
Why you should connect with this company
About the company
NAMB National Booth #
We specialize in providing customized mortgage credit reports, mortgage-related services and technology solutions to the nation’s financial community. Our easy-to-use suite of products and services allow mortgage brokers and lenders to reduce costs, simplify operations and close more loans. The robust platform that is the Avantus reporting system was developed in-house, by our own development team and continues to evolve to meet ever-changing market conditions. New features, performance enhancements, and product offerings are continually in process and migrated into the platform on a weekly basis.
Avantus is a provider of business information to mortgage and consumer lenders, property management firms, and other businesses. Combining innovative services with industry leading customer service, cutting-edge technology, and 75-plus years of experience analyzing consumer data, Avantus helps its clients make prompt, accurate decisions.
Stop by for a quick chat and find out that you’re probably paying too much for your state mortgage license bonds.
The Bond Exchange is a national surety agency specializing in servicing mortgage license bonds for thousands of mortgage professionals across the county while providing industry-low prices and fantastic service.
Calyx Software is the leading loan origination software for mortgage brokers because we give special attention to your needs. Calyx understands your business does not stand still; it is a forward moving, constantly evolving force. Bearing this is mind, Calyx mobile was released this November. With Calyx Mobile you can access real-time updates to loan files and upload new loan application data directly from your phone to your software without missing a beat.
Calyx Software has become the clear industry leader by helping our clients maximize profitability through use of high performance, yet amazingly affordable software solutions that streamline and optimize the loan process from within one system of record.
We’ve got a tool that every broker needs to know about–it helps protect their pipelines and stops their borrowers from shopping.
Credit Plus offers credit reports, scoring tools, Undisclosed Debt Monitoring powered by Equifax, tax return verifications, mortgage fraud prevention tools and more.
If you are a broker/owner or a producing branch manager who wants to expand your practice into mortgage banking … you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Branch Partner Program offered by Frost Mortgage.
Founded in 1992 by Greg Frost Sr. in Albuquerque, N.M., Frost Mortgage Banking Group is one of the largest FHA/VA lenders in the country.
www.bondedwithnamb.org (501) 224-8895
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Why you should connect with this company
About the company
NAMB National Booth #
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Icon’s business objective is to lead the mortgage industry with motivated, streamlined processes that leverage existing relationships, while maintaining profitable, sustainable and controlled growth.
Our mission is to provide exceptional customer service to everyone we come in contact with and going beyond the expected while establishing and maintaining relationships that are built on trust and respect; demonstrating a high regard for integrity and our commitment to doing things right the first time.
LendingTree is the industry leader with more than 30 million borrowers served. They have 84 percent brand awareness, no setup costs, and the highest conversion rates in the industry.
LendingTree is one of the nation’s leading online lending exchanges that connects consumers with lenders. With more than 30 million borrowers served, LendingTree provides its partners the highest quality mortgage leads with the highest conversion rates in the online mortgage lead generation industry through best-in-class marketing support.
The Maximum Acceleration coaching program is designed specifically to help mortgage professionals increase profits, generate more leads, develop more referral relationships and streamline operational systems.
Maximum Acceleration has been in operation since 2004 and has helped thousands of loan originators successfully build their businesses and increase loan volumes with a focus on sustainable, yet rapid growth.
REMN’s commitment to customer service and same day turn times will make them heroes in the eyes of their customers and referral sources.
Real Estate Mortgage Network Inc. is a national wholesale lender, servicing brokers and bankers across the country.
Meet UWM’s President Mat Ishbia and UWM’s management team to discover how UWM is making lending easy!
UWM provides unparalleled service with its deep understanding of the mortgage process using its talented team of account executives, underwriters, closers and funders, who have years of experience with intricate knowledge in wholesale.
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The Largest NAMB-Sponsored Event in The Country!
BIGGER. BETTER. And ROARING BACK! www.NAMBNational.com
CFPB Delays Effective Date for Certain New Mortgage Disclosures By Laurie Spira
On Nov. 16, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will delay the effective date for certain new disclosures required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Dodd-Frank Act requires that the CFPB integrate certain disclosures required by the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) into a single disclosure. These “Integrated Disclosures,” which will replace the Good Faith Estimate (GFE), Truth-in-Lending (TIL) Disclosure Statement, and HUD-1 Settlement Statement, were proposed on July 9. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act establishes new mortgage disclosure requirements, which would automatically take effect on Jan. 21, 2013 unless regulatory action was taken. Rather than approach each of these requirements separately, the CFPB integrated many of these new requirements into the Bureau’s proposed Integrated Disclosures. Through this new final rule, the CFPB has given a temporary exemption from many of the disclosure requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act that would otherwise be effective on Jan. 21, so that the entire Integrated Disclosure set can go into effect at once. Lenders and brokers need not comply with these disclosure requirements until such time as the Bureau removes the exemption, which it plans to do in the final rule for the Integrated Disclosures. The affected disclosures are:
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I Warning regarding negative amortization features. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1414(a); TILA section 129C(f)(1)). I Disclosure of State law anti-deficiency protections. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1414(c); TILA section 129C(g)(2) and (3)). I Disclosure regarding creditor’s partial payment policy prior to consummation and, for new creditors, after consummation. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1414(d); TILA section 129C(h) I Disclosure regarding mandatory escrow or impound accounts. (DoddFrank Act section 1461(a); TILA section 129D(h)). I Disclosure prior to consummation regarding waiver of escrow in connection with the transaction. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1462; TILA section 129D(j)(1)(A)). I Disclosure of monthly payment, including escrow, at initial and fullyindexed rate for variable-rate residential mortgage loan transactions. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1419; TILA section 128(a)(16)). I Repayment analysis disclosure to include amount of escrow payments for taxes and insurance. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1465; TILA 128(b)(4)). I Disclosure of aggregate amount of settlement charges, amount of charges included in the loan and the amount of such charges the borrower must pay at closing, the approximate amount of the wholesale rate of funds, and the aggregate amount of other fees or required payments in connection with a residential mortgage loan. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1419; TILA section 128(a)(17)). I Disclosure of aggregate amount of mortgage originator fees and the amount of fees paid by the consumer and the creditor. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1419; TILA section 128(a)(18)). I Disclosure of total interest as a percentage of principal. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1419; TILA section 128(a)(19)). I Optional disclosure of appraisal management company fees. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1475; RESPA section 4(c)). I Post-Consummation Escrow Cancellation Disclosure. (Dodd-Frank Act section 1462; TILA section 129D(j)(1)(B)). While there will be so many requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act for the mortgage industry to comply with, the CFPB’s coordinated efforts in releasing inter-related disclosure requirements is welcome and encouraging news. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In my very first week in the business back in 1995, my manager told me in no uncertain terms, “If you want to be in this business long-term, you have to have purchase business … regardless of what rates do, people always have a need to buy and sell homes.” I was taught to treat refinance transactions as “extra income” and to focus on the purchase market. I took that to heart and from day one I was always focused more on purchase business. During nearly every refinance boom, I always took the time to make appointments with real estate agents. My experience was that it was pretty easy to get appointments because my competition was not out in the field creating new relationships; they were cherry-picking the easy business generated by the refi boom. Not that I didn’t pick cherries too, mind you, but it so happens that during the one refinance boom during which I focused more on refinance business, while neglecting the purchase market, I paid for it dearly after the rates increased again and refinance business plummeted. I had to struggle mightily to get my purchase business back up. Learn from my mistake, and make sure you have your purchase lead generation systems in place now, so you can easily replace your refinance volume when it decreases!
Top FHA states For those of you who might be curious about what states produce the highest FHA volume, the report gives the following information: The top 10 FHA states in volume originated in 2012 are as follows, (1) California, (2) Texas, (3) New York, (4) Florida, (5) New Jersey, (6) Virginia, (7) Pennsylvania, (8) Maryland, (9) Illinois and (10) Colorado. This data is important for those of you that do business on a national level and are wondering where you can originate more FHA loans.
FHA market share Now to take a look at purchase market data: According to the audit, FHA accounted for approximately 13.5 percent of the purchase market in 2000, and dipped to a low of 3.77 percent in 2006 (remember the 100 percent LTV 580 stated-income?). It then climbed back up to 15.78 percent as of May 2012. Historically, FHA is usually about 10 percent of the total market volume (including both refinances and purchases). The report predicts that at some point (if the other agencies return to former market share), the FHA market share will likely again decrease to the 10 percent level. If, however, the recovery of the other agencies remains impaired, then FHA will remain
around 15 percent of the market share.
Credit scores Over the last three years, approximately 90 percent of all FHA loans had credit scores over 640, with about 60 percent between 680-850, and 30 percent between 640-679. Just under 10 percent of all FHA loans had scores between 600-639. Only about 0.5 percent had scores between 560599. For those of you doing consumer direct marketing for FHA loans, this data is tells you some important information. For starters, it tells you not to waste your money marketing to demographics that will have anything less than 640! And secondly, it tells you that not many loans below 640 are getting approved. There are lenders that accept scores of 580, and the direct marketing companies will likely be able to generate a lot of leads for you in the 580-620 range. Is it a good use of your time and money? Likely not. One thing is clear … in any rate environment and in any economy, there will always be potential homebuyers with good jobs that want to buy homes. If you market yourself as an FHA specialist and create your brand as an FHA expert among real estate agents, you will always have loans in your pipeline. According to the 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, first-time homebuyers (FTHB) accounted for about 40 percent of all purchases, and in 2011 accounted for 37 percent. Given this data, having a marketing channel for FTHBs is a way to recession-proof your mortgage practice. At the height of the crash, I trained a lot of mortgage loan originators (MLOs) who had niches in the jumbo market. They were trying to shift in to the FTHB market to survive. Learn from the past and consider creating a FTHB niche to enhance the foundation of your business. For FHA marketing help and to stay current on FHA changes, you can subscribe to “The FHA Originator,” a service I created to help MLOs brand themselves as FHA experts among FHA referral sources, go to MortgageSeminars.com to check it out. Wishing you a year of growth and prosperity in the coming year … Go FHA! Jeff Mifsud is founder of Michiganbased Mortgage Seminars LLC, a former FHA underwriter with 15-plus years of experience originating FHA loans, an FHA expert for LoanToolbox.com and creator of The FHA Originator, a monthly FHA newsletter. Jeff may be reached by phone at (248) 403-8181 or visit www.MortgageSeminars.com.
National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 40 Under 40 The 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40 n our fourth annual “40 Under 40” feature, you will find a list of the top mortgage professionals under
the age of 40, as voted on by their peers, who exemplify professionalism and top production in today’s housing market. Despite the rough waters of the U.S. economy and the ever-shifting landscape known
as the mortgage industry, these 40 professionals have persevered in a time of great uncertainty. In assembling this list, we at National Mortgage Professional Magazine took some criticism when we began this endeavor. Many felt a list of this nature ignored many, and others felt that a list of this type is a “thing of the past,” while some even cited age discrimination, but we firmly stood by our decision to assemble this group. Like their industry pioneers before them, these individuals are the ones who carried the torch of professionalism in the year 2012 and beyond, fighting the daily barrage or regulatory and legislative pressure and negative coverage by the mainstream media as the culprits for the collapse of the U.S. economy. However, they forge forward, as they continue to lead by example and set the bar for education, professionalism and excellence in the mortgage industry. We’d like to congratulate all of the following individuals named to our “40 Under 40” list—in no particular order but alphabetical—and thank all the nominees for their participation in our fourth annual “40 Under 40: The 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40” feature.
PAUL ANASTOS President Mortgage Master • Walpole, Mass. www.mortgagemasterinc.com After assuming his leadership role from Founder Leif Thomsen, Paul Anastos has continued to operate Mortgage Master on a simple but powerful strategy of a 360 degree focus on responsive service, responsible lending and performance. Through its low-cost model, Mortgage Master has been able to generate significant efficiencies in its origination and operational infrastructure, and deliver the cost and time savings on to borrowers in the form of the lowest rates on the majority of products in the industry and best in class service. Under Paul’s leadership, Mortgage Master has consistently delivered on this philosophy and expanded from two locations and 150 employees to 40 locations and 650 employees. ALLEN BEYDOUN Executive Vice President of Sales United Wholesale Mortgage • Birmingham, Mich. www.uwm.com Allen Beydoun joined United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) as an account executive in 2007, and developed a strong understanding of customer dynamics to create a leadership style that would further drive UWM’s commitment to Lending Made Easy. His impressive leadership guides the entire staff of UWM in providing exceptional customer service, consistent turn times and constant communication between UWM’s operations staff and brokers. Beydoun has been instrumental in UWM’s rapid growth, with the company achieving a 62 percent volume increase from the second to third quarter. He motivates more than 100 account executives, along with team leaders and division managers, to exceed their goals.
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LANIE BOUDREAUX Mortgage Loan Officer St. Martin Bank & Trust Company • St. Martinville, La. www.stmartinbank.com Lanie Boudreaux attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and graduated with a degree in finance in 2003. She was hired with St Martin Bank & Trust in 2003 with no intentions of working in the mortgage department, but it just so happened she started learning the ins and outs because they were short-handed and so she has been running the mortgage department ever since. Lanie does everything from origination to processing to marketing and St Martin Bank does everything from rural development to conventional to FHA loans. JENAY BOWEN Senior Loan Officer Service First Mortgage • Richardson, Texas www.servicefirstonline.com Jenay Bowen has been in the mortgage business since 2003. She is committed to making every transaction as smooth and stress-free as possible. She has systems in place to keep everyone updated in the transaction from contract to closing. Getting to the closing table on time is top priority. Jenay holds a double major in finance and real estate which gives her the opportunity to look at the big picture of her client’s financial needs and goals. Jenay is also a certified FHA underwriter. She promotes knowledge and expertise of the mortgage industry throughout her community. CHRIS BROWN Home Finance Advisor Certified Mortgage Planners • Lake Mary, Fla. www.cmpfl.com Chris Brown is a team leader and head mortgage recruiter at Certified Mortgage Planners. He is also a published real estate author, a frequent contributor to the local Fox News affiliate, and a growing philanthropist, as 100 percent of every 10th closed loan is donated to local charities in his community. Chris’ unique mortgage planning approach teaches folks how to prioritize their take home pay and frequently results in families establishing relationships with Chris’ friends in the financial planning community; creating additional financial significance for his clients.
BRIAN CALL President and Chief Manager Rubicon Mortgage Advisors • Edina, Minn. www.rubiconmortgageadvisors.com Brian Call is president and chief manager of Rubicon Mortgage Advisors, a boutique and luxury service mortgage company based in Edina, Minn. Through a partnership-based approach with experienced, accredited mortgage professionals, Rubicon has become the chosen service provider of many of the top respected real estate and finance professionals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and California. Rubicon offers comprehensive mortgage solutions through transparent conversation, and a focus on providing our customers straightforward education on home finance options–standing by the belief that “Your best interest is our basic principle.” BRIAN COESTER Chief Executive Officer CoesterVMS • Rockville, Md. www.coestervms.com Brian Coester is CEO of CoesterVMS. He has grown CoesterVMS from a local appraisal company, to a nationwide provider of appraisals and appraisal technology. He is the mastermind behind CloudControl, appraisal process management software built on the award-winning Salesforce.com platform. Brian is also a highly regarded speaker, presenter and trainer in the appraisal industry. He has authored numerous articles for the mortgage and real estate press. BINH DANG President LendingQB • Costa Mesa, Calif. www.lendingqb.com Binh Dang is an experienced technologist focused on developing leading software solutions built with contemporary architecture designed to optimize lending operations. He has a proven track record of successfully building and growing software companies in the mortgage banking industry, and holds more than 15 years of experience driving the development of highly flexible and scalable mortgage technology solutions. Binh is currently the president and founder of LendingQB, a browserbased end-to-end LOS platform, which was officially launched in 2011. Prior to LendingQB, he founded PriceMyLoan, a widely used best-of-breed pricing engine and AUS. JOHN DONNELLY Branch Manager Service First Mortgage • Arlington, Texas www.servicefirstmtg.com John Donnelly’s business is built on a simple principle: Treat others as you would want to be treated. That includes dealing with clients with honesty and integrity, and maintaining open lines of communication on each project, as well as meeting all promised deadlines and keeping on top of all the details. In the mortgage lending business since 1997, John is a hands-on manager, who feels that his involvement in loan originations keeps him sharp and on top of an ever-changing industry. It’s this attitude of total commitment that has fueled John’s success over the past 15 years. GEORGE E. FRENCH IV Managing Director Maridian Group LLC • Miami, Fla. www.maridiangroup.com George E. French IV is a Louisiana native who moved to Florida in the mid-1990s after completing college and graduate studies in Philadelphia and New York City. He entered the lending industry working at a large private lending firm after leaving a litigation/strategic consulting position in Manhattan. George was able to grow within that company, working his way up to regional management, overseeing the West Coast, including 47 offices (1,100 employees) responsible for $1.5 billion-plus in monthly mortgage origination. He also was responsible for training and development of best practices for his region. George started his own successful venture landing him as managing director of Maridian Group LLC, a brokerage and financing procurement firm lending in 50 states and specializing in conforming products, limited, stated-income documentation programs in niche sectors catering to celebrities, professional athletes and investors.
AMY GOLDSTEIN Senior Mortgage Broker BMIC Mortgage • North Bethesda, Md. www.bmicmortgage.com Amy Goldstein received her BA in public relations from Long Island University in 2001. After graduation, Amy joined BMIC Mortgage Inc. as a loan officer. Amy is currently a senior mortgage broker at BMIC Mortgage, assisting borrowers in choosing the best mortgage product for their individual needs, and managing the loan process to insure that the real estate transaction is fast and efficient. Amy was raised in a family of mortgage brokers and learned early on that honesty and integrity are the most important parts of being a mortgage broker. She continues to maintain a very loyal customer base which has kept her very busy over the past 12 years. ANDY W. HARRIS President Vantage Mortgage Group • Lake Oswego, Ore. www.vantagemortgagegroup.com Andy W. Harris, CRMS began his mortgage career at the age of 22. While currently only 33-years old, he feels that his level of industry experience, volunteerism, and diversity defines him as a veteran. Since his first year in the industry, Andy has been able to consistently maintain a high volume of mortgage originations and obtain various awards. In 2007 during an industry entering chaos, Andy started Oregon-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. at 27-years-old. Andy is proud to have met and exceeded goals which most felt unachievable both operationally and financially. Andy served as the 2010-2011 President of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals (OAMP) and currently serves on the Board of Directors with the National Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMB). JULIAN HEBRON Vice President RPM Mortgage • San Francisco, Calif. www.rpm-mtg.com Julian Hebron is a perennial top producing loan agent, runs two RPM Mortgage branches, and is spokesman for the firm. His industry mission is writing about mortgage and housing issues on TheBasisPoint.com. His daily housing content is syndicated by Stocktwits, MortgageNewsDaily, CNNMoney and TheStreet.com. Key housing pros, journalists, policymakers and consumers rely on TheBasisPoint daily for straight talk from the retail mortgage trenches.
RENO MANUELE President Neighborhood Loans • Lombard, Ill. www.neighborhoodloans.com Reno Manuele is president of Neighborhood Loans, a growing residential lender in the Chicago area. Reno is recognized by his business associates for his efforts to streamline the lending and homebuying process. He has developed relationships with real estate offices and attorneys to assist families in his community with homebuying and refinance solutions. Since purchasing Neighborhood Loans in 2009, Reno and his two business partners have grown from a four-person operation to include 35 loan officers, five processors, an operations manager, a marketing call center, and a direct mail department. The company’s 2012 business volume is on track to triple that of 2009. MATT MARTIN Founder and CEO Matt Martin Real Estate Management • Arlington, Va. www.mmrem.com Matt Martin is founder and chief executive officer of Matt Martin Real Estate Management LLC (MMREM), founded in 2004 and based in Arlington, Va. He is an authority in all facets of real estate asset management, property preservation, sales and marketing and loss mitigation services. He is also an authority on liens and claims from homeowners associations (HOAs) and their impact on lenders and servicers in foreclosure and resales scenarios. Matt has led MMREM to become a qualified General Services Administration (GSA) Financial and Business Services (FABS) Schedule Contract Holder. He works directly with the U.S Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in providing real estate-owned (REO) marketing and management services as part of the agency’s Marketing & Management III Program (M&M III). The company has opened additional locations in Austin and Frisco, Texas; Irvine, Calif.; and in Ft. Washington, Pa.
KHAI MCBRIDE Performance Coach Khai McBride Companies • Los Angeles, Calif. www.khaimcbride.com Khai McBride’s performance strategies and teaching methodologies are recognized by top companies and producers nationwide. As a top producing loan officer himself and faculty member of Mortgage Success Source, Khai is a highly sought-after speaker and innovative coach, coaching some of the industry’s top performers in the area of business and life balance, using methodologies that utilize systems, mindset and behavior strategies.
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ERIK JANECZKO Head Coach/Business Development Strategist Maximum Acceleration Coaching • Jefferson City, Mo. www.maccelcoach.com As one of the mortgage industry’s leading business coaches, Erik Janeczko and his team have helped thousands of loan originators improve the way they do business and increase their loan volume. Erik has served the mortgage industry since 1996, with great success in origination, management, wholesale, training and coaching. He has appeared on stage at top mortgage industry events, and played an integral part in designing the LoanToolbox Business Planning Tool. Erik is the head coach and chief business development strategist for Maximum Acceleration, a coaching system designed to help loan originators build their businesses by implementing proven care strategies.
ERIC LEVIN Managing Partner, Head of Eastern U.S. Hammerhouse LLC • Mission Viejo, Calif. www.teamhammerhouse.com Eric Levin has spent 15 years supporting the strategic growth needs of clients within the mortgage banking/financial services industry as an external recruiting partner with an internal “value add” approach. In his role as managing partner and head of the Eastern U.S. at Hammerhouse, Eric provides day to day leadership across all lines of the company’s business that support the needs of mortgage banking clients. In addition, he partners with clients to support their growth plans, while acting as coach/consultant to ensure that all parties share a common model-matching strategy. Eric also leads the development and execution of Hammerhouse’ s industry leading Annual Loan Officer Survey.
TOM HURST President StreetLinks Lender Solutions • Indianapolis, Ind. www.streetlinks.com As a founding partner of StreetLinks Lender Solutions, Tom Hurst’s focus on strategy, operations and sales proved to be instrumental in the firm’s growth into an industry-leading partner. Tom recently transitioned into the role of company president, where he continues to focus on company growth, technological development, maintaining StreetLinks’ commitment to exceptional quality and service, as well as expansion into the automated valuation and appraisal review space. StreetLinks currently employs more than 500 and works with more than 475 clients, including many of the top 10 banks and mortgage lenders in the country.
TODD LABORWIT President Topaz Mortgage • Rockville, Md. www.topazmortgage.net Todd LaBorwit has been in the mortgage business since 1997. Prior to starting with Topaz Mortgage in March 1998, he worked for the large banks and worked his way up to the top ranks. Todd is skilled in developing strategies to maintain a high level client retention rate. He is known as a professional with integrity and competence that focuses on premium customer service. Todd specializes in working with financial advisors, attorneys, CPAs and real estate agents.
NINA NAZAR Branch Manager Skyline Financial • Los Angeles, Calif. www.skylinehomeloans.com Nina Nazar is a powerhouse branch manager in the highly competitive Los Angeles marketplace. She has built a mini-empire with more than $40 million of origination volume last month (and growing) through strong relationships and powerful leadership. As a female leader, she is paving the way for women in her market. GIBRAN NICHOLAS Chairman & CEO CMPS Institute • Ann Arbor, Mich. www.gibrannicholas.com Gibran Nicholas is a writer, speaker and entrepreneur. He is currently chairman and chief executive officer of CMPS Institute, an organization that trains and certifies mortgage professionals. He is the founder of Strategic Relationship Academy, an elite performance program for bankers, brokers and trusted advisors. Gibran has trained more than 7,000 bankers, brokers and trusted advisors since 2005. He writes and speaks on topics related to life purpose and balance, communication and leadership, and economics, housing and personal finance. Gibran is regularly quoted as a financial and housing expert in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Business Week and he has been featured regularly on Fox and ABC News.
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JASEN NUETZMANN Certified Mortgage Consultant Atlas Mortgage • Lynnwood, Wash. www.atlasmortgages.com Jasen Nuetzmann has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with the last 12 years in the mortgage business. Jasen is a top-producing branch manager for Atlas Mortgage (a division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corporation) and leads a team of 13 experienced mortgage professionals. Jasen has been a leader in the Mortgage Coach community leading several coaching calls and has also developed and taught continuing education courses for loan originators in the state of Washington. Jasen was named a Five-Star Mortgage Professional by Seattle Magazine in both 2011 and 2012. When he is not managing his branch Jasen enjoys reading, cooking and traveling the world with his wife Donna. NIMA OREIZY Chief Technology Officer Platinum Data Solutions • Aliso Viejo, Calif. www.platdata.com Nima Oreizy is chief technology officer for Platinum Data Solutions, where he oversees all of the company’s technology initiatives. As chief architect of Platinum Data Solutions’ scalable platform, Nima has significantly contributed to Platinum’s development and success. He has worked with Apple on pioneering mobile technology and was a Performance Team member for MSN.com. He acted as the lead architect for both the First American Data Trace B2B title services platform and the Prieston Group B2C mortgage fraud insurance platform. Nima also leveraged next generation web technologies to architect a high volume social networking site for Brand Affinity Technologies and has led development teams for eBuilt Inc. on projects that include The Capital Group, United Healthcare, and Toshiba. DUSTIN OWEN Regional Sales Manager Waterstone Mortgage Corporation • Winter Park, Fla. www.waterstone-fl.com After years as a retail mortgage banker, Dustin Owen jumped at the opportunity to be a part of something great when he joined Waterstone Mortgage Corporation in 2008. Dustin’s management focus entails sales training, sales support, marketing, recruiting, branding and overall company growth. Dustin is a top originator for Waterstone Mortgage, closing more than 100 mortgage transactions a year and consistently makes Waterstone’s President’s Club. Dustin started in the industry through HomeBanc Mortgage Corporation and their Professional Sales Development Course. He has also held sales manager roles with American Home Mortgage and Countrywide Home Loans.
CHRISTOPHER R. PICONE President PRS Capital Group LLC • Bohemia, N.Y. www.facebook.com/pages/PRS-Capital-GroupLLC/253007186139 Christopher Picone is president of PRS Capital Group LLC. He telemarketed for a lender for a year as a freshman in college and then was promoted to night manager at the age of 19. He was manager there for two years. His superiors then left the bank to form their own mortgage brokerage and asked him to go with them. He was trained as a junior loan officer for a year, then graduated college in 2000. He started right away as a senior loan officer and stayed with the firm until 2007. He then opened his own successful brokerage and has been running it ever since. PHILIP RASORI COO Mortgage Capital Trading Inc. • San Diego, Calif. www.mct-trading.com Phil Rasori has years of experience in capital markets operations serving lenders in the residential mortgage banking industry. At MCT, he manages the company’s day-to-day operations and a team of traders and analysts that provide hand-held support and coaching to clients. Phil pioneered MCT’s mortgage pipeline hedging algorithms, which form the foundation of the company’s highly regarded HALO (Hedging And Loan sales Optimization) Program. Notably, he has consulted with GSE agencies and the U.S. government on hedging best practices for community banks. Under Phil’s strategic guidance and leadership, he has been instrumental in helping MCT earn a spot on the Inc. 5000 list in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the company impressively was catapulted to Inc.’s 500 list. DAVID B. RICKETTS Area Manager Bank of England d/b/a ENG Lending • Denver, Colo. www.boedenver.com David B. Ricketts has been in the mortgage/finance industry since 1999, a career that started with Norwest Financial upon conclusion of attaining his management degree at Indiana University Bloomington. Currently an area manager for Bank of England, David has quickly ascended to one of the firm’s top area managers in the country. David was recognized in 2011 by the National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 2011 “Next 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch” and has continued his pursuit to serve the Rocky Mountain Region with efficient, quality standards. RENE RODRIGUEZ CEO Volentum • Minneapolis, MN www.volentum.com Rene Rodriguez is chief executive officer of Volentum, a consulting company specializing in the areas of leadership development, employee engagement, sales training and influence. He is a sought-after speaker at all major industry events, a contributing author to industry publications and a faculty member for Mortgage Market Guide and LoanToolbox. Rene continues to challenge the mortgage industry to implement the best practices of professional selling, influence and taking full responsibility for success and failure. EVANGELINE SCOTT Certified Mortgage Planner Big Valley Mortgage • Folsom, Calif. www.teamscott.net Evangeline Scott began her lending career in the late 1990s with The Money Store. When the The Money Store closed, she was recruited in to the financial planning field. She had the opportunity to work with a top producing real estate firm in California for about two years and obtained her brokers license. As a professed numbers geek, she realized her love for the industry was in lending and joined Summit Funding where she was consistently one of their top producers, and numerous times, their number one producer nationwide. She was with Summit Funding for approximately seven years when she made the transition to Big Valley Mortgage, under American Pacific Mortgage, in September 2011 where she has been their top producer.
SHASHANK SHEKHAR CEO and Founder Arcus Lending • San Jose, Calif. www.arcuslending.com Amazon.com best-selling author Shashank Shekhar is a loan originator with Arcus Lending. He is a national speaker and an avid blogger. Shashank’s articles have been featured on some of the top publications and his own Lending Expert Blog. He has been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and other national media networks. With more than four years in the business as loan originator, he is now one of the top originators in the country. He has achieved this through unconventional marketing and extreme focus on customer service and education. Shashank was earlier named “Top 40 Under 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals” for the year 2011 and “Top 25 Most Connected Mortgage Professionals” by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. TYLER SHERMAN Co-Founder and CEO Motivity Solutions • Denver, Colo. www.motivitysolutions.com Tyler Sherman, co-founder and CEO of Motivity Solutions, has developed business intelligence and management software, the Movation Platform, that has changed the use of data of mortgage banking firms by incorporating true business intelligence into mortgage origination and servicing. Motivity’s software includes real-time scorecards and dashboards that apply analytics and a statistical component to origination and servicing data, giving executives a thorough understanding of their company’s performance and staff productivity. Before founding Motivity Solutions, Tyler was co-founder of Watermark Financial Partners. Under his leadership Watermark became the seventh largest FHA lender in the country.
ANDREW WEISS-MALIK Chief Operating Officer 360 Mortgage Group LLC • Austin, Texas www.360mtg.com As chief operating officer of 360 Mortgage, Andrew WeissMalik has created and implemented a live underwriting chat system, through which mortgage brokers can communicate directly, in real-time, with 360 Mortgage underwriting staff. Andrew’s experience in capital markets, operations and technology has allowed him to implement leading operations technology that drive 360 Mortgage’s productivity ratios to as high as 500 units to one employee in certain departments. Andrew is also the founder of On The Go Technology, which in April 2012 introduced the industry’s first iPad-based loan origination system (LOS). JONATHAN YOSHA Vice President Matchbox LLC • New York, N.Y. www.matchboxllc.com Jonathan Yosha graduated with a finance degree from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. After spending four years running the secondary marketing/capital markets department for a $1 billion-plus lender, he became vice president of Matchbox LLC. He has more than 10 years of mortgage banking experience, and while his core focus is in secondary marketing, he also has the unique ability to see how back end procedures and decision making impact every step of the origination process. His belief utilizing technology to improve workflow, execution and management of departments has allowed clients to recognize tremendous revenue growth.
AXHIRA SULLIVAN Founder and CEO Source Appraisal Management • Safety Harbor, Fla. www.sourceam.com As founder and CEO of Source Appraisal Management, Axhira Sullivan’s unique insight to the swelling tide of issues in the valuation sector powered her organizations’ growth from “startup” to trusted partner—in over 32 states, in less than four years. Axhira’s keen acumen was recognized by her industry peers with inclusion as a founding member and a seat on the board of directors, for the recently-formed trade organization, the National Association of Appraisal Management Companies (NAAMC).
ERIC TISHAW Chief Operating Officer Hometown Lenders • Huntsville, Ala. www.hometownbranch.com Eric Tishaw is chief operating officer of Hometown Lenders and the author of The Net Branch Survival Kit, an industry report designed to help mortgage professionals uncover and avoid the potential pitfalls of making a transition to a new employer (12,700 copies downloaded to date). Recognized as a leader in the mortgage industry, Eric frequently writes articles for major industry publications, including National Mortgage Professional Magazine. With more than 13 successful years in the business, an MBA, and a lifetime of working around the mortgage business, Eric enjoys teaching others how to reach their next level of success in this industry.
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ADAM P. SMITH President The Colorado Real Estate Finance Group Inc. Greenwood Village, Colo. www.corefinancegroup.com Adam P. Smith is president of The Colorado Real Estate Finance Group Inc., a commercial and residential real estate finance firm. During his career, Adam has helped thousands of clients, both individuals and corporations, in their goals regarding real estate finance, as well as both personal and corporate finance and has personally written billions of dollars in mortgage and finance deals.
JOHN GLEN STEVENS Area Manager Bank of England d/b/a ENG Lending • Draper, Utah www.engutah.com John Glen Stevens is the Utah area manager for Bank of England, with branches in Draper and St. George Utah. He currently serves as the chairman for NAMB National, as well on the Board of Directors for NAMB, and on the Board of Directors for the Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP). He was president of UAMP in 2010. He currently serves as president of the Pleasant Grove, Utah Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors of the Pleasant Grove Kiwanis Club. John is the chairman of the Pleasant Grove Utah Planning Commission, as well as a Planning Commissioner for Utah County, Utah.
MICHAEL SMALLEY Florida Regional Manager Waterstone Mortgage • Winter Park, Fla. www.waterstonemortgage.com Michael Smalley has been a loan originator since 2002, owned his own company from 2004-2008, and since 2008, has been a manager for Waterstone Mortgage’s Florida territory. He and his two partners have grown their region from one office with six employees, to seven offices with 48 employees over the last four years. In that time, their loan production has increased 650 percent. Personally, Michael is consistently ranked in the top two of all producers for Waterstone Mortgage nationwide. Outside of the office, Michael is also a frequent industry speaker at events such as Sales Mastery, LoanToolbox Business Plan and Mortgage Revolution. Prior to his mortgage career, he was a professional baseball player in the Atlanta Braves organization.
BRIAN SWANSON Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer BofI Federal Bank • San Diego, Calif. www.bofifederalbank.com Brian Swanson began his career in consumer direct lending with e-Loan as a retail loan officer a decade ago. He has held senior leadership roles with two top five mortgage lenders, most recently with Bank of America prior to joining BofI Federal Bank in 2010. At the age of 32 and In his current role, Brian is responsible for the growth and development of the retail, wholesale, correspondent and warehouse lending divisions as well as mortgage operations and secondary marketing. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from San Diego State University, an MBA from California State University Eastbay and a CMB designation with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
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Tom Hurst, President StreetLinks Lender Solutions BY DAVID J. COSTER
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Each month, National Mortgage Professional Magazine will focus on one of the industry’s top players in our “Mortgage Professional of the Month” feature. Our readers are encouraged to contact us at email@example.com to be considered for a future “Mortgage Professional of the Month” feature article. This month, we had a chance to chat with Tom Hurst, president of StreetLinks Lender Solutions. Tom joined Superior Appraisal Services in 2002 as senior operating officer after leaving the aviation industry. Tom was instrumental in the rapid growth of Superior with his involvement in strategic planning, marketing and sales. Upon the formation of PipeFire Lender Services, his focus shifted to creating the operational support and infrastructure needed to implement the appraisal fulfillment services. Tom was responsible for securing PipeFire’s first AFS customer and continues to focus on sales growth at StreetLinks. Tell me about your background and how you chose the mortgage industry? It is definitely a unique path. I didn’t choose it—it chose me. My background in going to college and right out of college is in aviation. I was a double-major in business and aerospace administration and was also a professional pilot. I came out of college and was a flight instructor. I flew traffic watch over Indianapolis for about six months building up my hours to move to a career in the airlines. In June of 2001, I got married and bought a house. I was ready to move on and start pushing my resumes to the airlines when the September 11th tragedy happened. Certainly, the effect that day had on my life was nowhere near what it was on thousands upon thousands of people, but I quickly realized that I have a new wife, a new house and responsibilities. By about November of 2001, it became apparent that the likelihood of me moving to the airlines any time soon was dwindling. Tony Ebeyer was the owner of Superior Appraisal Services in Indianapolis. We had become good
“We focused on quality and service rather than price and speed. I think singular focus on profitability is a road to failure in service-oriented businesses.”
friends. I had actually sold him an airplane. He said, “Hey, I have never had anybody market and sell my local appraisal company; would you want to come over any do that?” I said, “Sure”, thinking with 100 percent certainty that that was going to be a temporary gig. So, I took a crash course on appraisals and mortgages. I was the guy who, in the middle of buying a home a few months earlier, bought a car. I knew nothing. I opened up the phone book and started calling people. How did the company evolve into StreetLinks? We grew Superior Appraisal Services at our peak to 28-29 appraisers that worked just for us in central Indiana. We prided ourselves on delivering service and quality. The technology platform we were using was proprietary—back then, there wasn’t anything you could go out and buy that
allowed people to order online and track online. Today, someone would laugh if they couldn’t do these things! We had orders coming in from all over the country for our central Indiana appraisal company. We started getting questions like, “Your service is great … Your technology is great … Would you consider handling our orders in all these other areas?” You only have to hear that a few times, particularly as uniquely positioned as we were. We had worked for 12 of the appraisal management companies (AMCs) that existed at that time. We knew many of the major faults, we had this technology and we had a belief that we could create a better product. We built PipeFire d/b/a StreetLinks on the foundation that still exists today, not knowing how revolutionary it was at the time. For us, it was simple: Treat appraisers with respect and loyalty, don’t set their fees, assign on
the right criteria — not fees, have the right people on staff to give great service, and perform a quality control review every file. We took our first order for StreetLinks in June of 2006 from Oak Street Mortgage. They ended up being purchased by NovaStar Home Mortgage. In 2008, NovaStar came in and said, “Are you guys interested in capital and some infusion of leadership?” Their idea was, “Put some capital, leadership and experience behind this phenomenal idea you guys had and see if we can create what everybody believes can be created.” That’s exactly what happened, and we started growing like gangbusters. We did 385, give or take, appraisals in January of 2009, and last month, through both our LenderPlus and LenderX divisions, we completed just shy of 53,000 appraisals. It’s definitely a great story of everybody committing to doing things the right way and really succeeding. What are your business philosophies? Where can you bring value, and where can you develop long-standing partnerships and relationships? That’s the philosophy that works for us. It drives our entire culture. We work hard to make a difference. I feel like we led a revolution, even before regulation pushed for it, in the AMC industry. We focused on quality and service rather than price and speed. I think singular focus on profitability is a road to failure in service-oriented businesses. Most others have moved toward a settlement services concept. People say, “You do 50,000 appraisals a month, do you realize the money you could make if you just got 10 percent of that in title?” But for us, the philosophy is to do one thing and do it better than anyone else. What marketing strategies do you employ? When it boils down to what really makes a difference in marketing, I believe it’s our people. The best marketing we have is the people that we have on the phones in our operations.
They “market” our company every day. In this industry, you are only as good as your reputation — word of mouth and referrals are the absolute strongest marketing tools you have. Bring value and differentiation to fulfill what your employees need, so in turn, they can fulfill what your clients need, so they’ll fulfill what the consumer or customer needs, and they’ll tell other customers.
Are there any mentors you would point to as influencing your management style? A mentor of mine would be would be Steve Haslam, the former president and COO of StreetLinks. He is currently the COO of Novation, our parent company. Steve really took me under his wing and mentored me without me knowing I was being mentored. Through a unique and unobtrusive way, he taught me the aspects of being a great person and through that, a great leader. He believed in me and he pushed me. He didn’t dictate. I owe a great deal of my personal success and certainly of StreetLinks’ success to Steve’s mentorship, guidance and caring. The other role model for me has been the one who identified right and wrong from the very beginning. Faith is the belief in the unseen. My belief in the Lord is the center point for me. Even though I fail every day in my efforts to mimic the kind of example He has set, He has always been there
for me to lay out a path for me and give me guidance. What changes do you see coming for the industry? I think you are going to see the need for more efficiency. I think politics will play a big role in what the industry looks like in the next few years. What happens to the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) will define the industry. I still think that we are on the precipice of having private money coming back into the mortgage market. Given the lessons that were learned previously, I think that will drive the need for quality and service, which bodes very well for StreetLinks. Any final thoughts? I am very blessed to be where I am personally and to be surrounded by the people who surround me at StreetLinks. We have a magic inside our organization. Our folks want to make a difference, and that’s what keeps my engine lit every day. David J. Coster is senior editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (919) 559-2171 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What would you consider is your greatest accomplishment of your career? My greatest accomplishment is when I had this realization, this enlightenment of understanding that people are business. It would be very easy to get caught up in the success of StreetLinks, of going from no appraisals to 50,000 per month, from no clients to 500 clients, from zero employees to over 600 employees. But when I really think about it, the bottom line is that our success is tied to people. Whiz-bang technology or great marketing will never take the place of a group of people who care about a mission or a goal.
At this point in my life, I’ve learned that the same formula for success exists in all facets of life, whether its business or marriage or friendships … it’s caring.
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Was the industry behind in its development of resources that allowed underwriters to focus on the appropriate areas of risk? We are really focused on providing the right tools to lenders to help them and enhance their ability to review collateral. This is the most subjective, yet important of any information within a loan file. Many underwriters today are using tools, such as a very generic rules engine, that are very linear, that provide no depth or logic in the analysis of the appraisal. The AVMs that they are using put massive amounts of data through regression models to drill down to a value on a property. An example … an AVM may use tens or hundreds of properties in a single evaluation, ranging in value from $50,000, $90,000, $100,000 all
What sort of industry-related issues keep you up at night? Nothing keeps me up at night. It would be very easy to get caught up in all the emotion of the roller-coaster that is the mortgage industry today, but I am grounded in my faith and it helps me get through those twists and turns. I truly believe that if we do all we can do, every day, on every file, the right way, we will succeed and will accomplish our mission and goals. That belief and the faith foundation of that belief allows me to sleep at night. The only thing that keeps me up right now is my four-week old baby! It’s certainly not the mortgage industry!
“We built PipeFire d/b/a StreetLinks on the foundation that still exist today, not knowing how revolutionary they were at the time.”
How important is technology to what you do? First and foremost, technology put us on the map … it was our enabler. If it wasn’t for the idea to create this proprietary technology to manage our business, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. We are a very technology-driven organization, but the way we state it is that we are technology-driven and human enhanced. The other area where technology is going to continue to drive us is with our new StreetLinks Automated Examination and Valuation Division. For years, we have looked to resell somebody else’s AVM or someone else’s rules engine. But when we started peeling back the layers to get a look at what was actually there, “astonished” is the only way to describe our reaction. We want to really enhance and drive an underwriter, an appraiser reviewer, maybe even an appraiser themselves to focus their expertise, via this technology, on the areas of risk where they should be focusing. Many underwriters spend 25, 35, even 45 minutes reviewing an appraisal, looking at the address, looking at the legal and looking at all these things. Meanwhile, most business owners want to pay an $80,000 underwriter to tell them, “Are the comps the best?” “Is the value there?” “Tell me about the construct?” But unfortunately, due to the volume in the industry, underwriters are trying to do that with a blindfold and one hand tied behind their back. There are just not products on the market today that focus on meeting that need.
the way up to well over $500,000 in their advanced regression analyses. They believe that they can reconcile all of the differences among all of these properties to say that your property is worth, say $167,000. When we really got in deep and started understanding what was happening, we called foul because underwriters are trying to compare appraisals to AVMs. If an appraisal ever provided comps in a $400,000 range of valuation to tell you a property was worth $167,000, the appraiser would be kicked off the lenders approved list so fast they couldn’t see straight. To us, that was astonishing and offensive. This new technology is infused by lenders and by appraisers with appraiser-based logic to drill down to value. Our goal is to provide products and services that assist the process and allow underwriters to focus on areas of risk in an appraisal. We want not only to show them, but also to provide directives, with the data to back them up. What should be done to mitigate the risks? Many products on the market today just say, “Well you have risk here and you have risk there.” But if you have 80 underwriters in an organization, each one of them is going to look at that situation differently and is going to make different decisions on a per file basis. As a business leader, you can’t stomach that. You need consistency, you need transparency and you need accuracy. I think we are going to revolutionize and redefine that industry for the first time in many, many years.
Marketing in 2012: Fall Tips to Maximize Your Marketing Dollars Follow the Trends The names in the business are HARP 2.0 – FHA Streamline – VA IRRRL. Spending your marketing dollars on what is working is always a safe bet. The public is well aware of all the changes in the mortgage industry, and is keeping up on buzz words like STREAMLINE and HARP. Try to find a marketing campaign that works for you and your budget and go to work. Even if it means you have buy leads. Just do something. Business is still picking up nationwide and those that aren’t moving with it are being left behind.
The Invisible Hand By Casey Cunningham
Maximize your return Go for the low hanging fruit, the easiest loans that close the fastest. These days that’s Refinance Business. Get to the people that can refinance today. Once you’ve got that angle covered, then go after purchase. Purchase business is great, but it’s time consuming. Keeping a mix of both purchase and refi is a safe plan to keep up with the competition.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel Your competitors aren’t going to tell you what’s working for them so try calling a national marketing firm that can tell you what’s working in your area and for your specific loan types. One that follows the trends so you can follow them yourself. The market will always show you how to best offer your products.
Test, Measure, Test again
Don’t think your first campaign is going to be the best one. In fact, in most cases, the first campaign is only the beginning. Campaign 3-4 is where they really start paying off. Many people start a marketing campaign with a new company and think that they should be setting records right away. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
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Fall tips for closing out 2012 strong Direct mail responses are up. If you haven’t done direct mail in a while, it might be time to give it a try again. Yes it’s expensive but it works. If your nervous about losing money on direct mail, Google “Guaranteed Direct Mail” and you’ll find some safe options. Live transfers are a thing of the past unless you incorporate direct mail. With as much as 90% of the population on the DNC, telemarketing just isn’t what it used to be. But, since direct mail is working, you can find success putting the two together. VERY QUALIFIED CALLS. New data files are available specifically for the mortgage industry specific for HARP – FHA – VA and REVERSE. Data is the number one most important aspect of your campaign, make sure your working with someone who understands your needs and knows how to effectively target your demographic. Mail houses typically won’t be the most knowledgeable but good marketing firms will. FHA, HARP, VA, and Reverse are all responding very well to marketing right now. November and December are always BIG refi months. People LOVE extra cash around the holidays and skipping a mortgage payment can help out a lot so plan on spending some money on marketing and finishing the year strong. 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 Tagquest.com.
Business advice is delivered so frequently and repetitively that sales people tune out the majority of what they hear. Common truths run the risk of becoming cliches and cliches are more often times than not, simply dismissed. The purpose of this article is to share with you one critical business truth I’ve discovered, in a manner that resonates with you like never before. You will have indeed heard the message that follows. My goal is to deliver it as no messenger has before, seeking to “flip a switch” that connects. When I founded XINNIX in 2002, one of my favorite sayings was “There are no shortcuts to excellence.” I’d also frequently mention during the course of selling our services to industry professionals, “We don’t offer any ‘magic pixie dust’ that will make you successful.” I’ve been blessed to work with tens of thousands of industry professionals and I have enormous learnings from my relationships. What I’ve observed throughout my long career in sales, leadership and business ownership is this; nothing replaces hard work. However, there is one key “ingredient” that acts like yeast, one that is almost universally successful in expanding the size of one’s success. The purpose of this article is to share with you what is perhaps the single closest thing to “magic pixie dust” I have discovered. If I were to offer you something for nothing, you’d most likely discount my offer as either a “gimmick” or worse, something worth exactly what you paid for it: Zero. Understanding this risk, I will give this my best effort. One business discipline, virtually every time it is executed, works like an “automaticpilot” within a salesperson. This one business discipline works on both the conscious and sub-conscious level of not only the sales person, but each and every individual within the sales person’s sphere of influence. This one “magical” discipline is most consistently present among successful loan officers that I’ve encountered. This “magical discipline” requires personal courage. A courage to dream. A courage to overcome a fear of failure. Resulting from
this courage, they become brave enough to expose themselves to failure. They become willing to be measured, judged and evaluated. Most importantly, I have discovered that most top sales professionals are humble enough to constantly seek advice and support. They have open minds and a eagerness to never stop improving. Top producers keep score. My advice to every loan officer and sales professional in our industry is this. Be bold, courageous and humble enough to dream, to put your dreams and goals into words, commit these words to a plan and then, share your plan with those you trust to help, encourage and ultimately, hold you accountable. There is a transformative, magical process that immediately begins to operate within a person that is willing to formally share their goals and dreams with others. A weird combination of fear, relief, anxiety, excitement, focus and energy occurs when we become vulnerable to failure, open to criticism, and humble enough to seek help. The closest thing to “magic pixie dust” in sales in the discipline of business planning. Upon creation of a plan, the decisions, judgments and influences of all those aware of your plan begin to reorder in constructive ways, from the obvious to the invisible. From your sleep patterns to your diet, from better time management decisions to seeking wiser business relationships, the net effect of thousands of decisions will combine to ultimately help achieve the clearly defined objectives defined in a written business plan. The process of business planning does not require complexity. No sophisticated business degree or professional expertise is required to begin the process. Indeed, it is counter productive to even attempt writing a business plan that is so complex that all variables, sales, expenses, and relationships are defined. The number one reason (excuse) I hear from sales professionals that fail to embrace the business planning discipline is, “it’s just too complicated.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A plan is a personal document that broadly, publicly and courageously continued on page 58
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regulatory compliance outlook
continued from page 8
Flow chart CFPB’s visual depiction of the complaint process.
Step-by-step procedures The following is a brief, step-by-step outline of the way the Portal’s functions for the CFPB. (The brackets contain the entity responsible for each step’s actions.) Step 1: Complaint is filed with the CFPB. [Consumer] Step 2: Complaint sent to the company. [CFPB] Step 3: Company attempts to resolve the complaint. [Financial Institution] Step 4: Company reports resolution to CFPB for review. [Financial Institution] Step 5: Complaint status emailed to consumer, Portal updated. [CFPB]
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Consumer Response has sent approximately 16,250 (84 percent) of mortgage complaints to companies for review and response. The remaining mortgage complaints have been referred to other regulatory agencies (seven percent), found to be incomplete (two percent), or are pending with the consumer or the CFPB (six percent). Companies have already responded to approximately 13,930 complaints or 86 percent of the complaints sent to them for response.
Company response The response to a complaint is obviously a critical concern and should be handled promptly, diligently, and comprehensively. This is not only a procedural matter because, beginning in December 2011 and consistent with section 1034(b), 12 U.S.C. 5534(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB must require a company to provide, at a minimum, a response with the following elements within 15 calendar days of the complaint being forwarded to the portal. 1. Steps taken to respond to the complaint. Detail the substance of the response, including a description of communications with the consumer, and attach copies of all responsive written communications to the consumer. The Company response should be to provide a detailed description, outlining the substance of its response. The description should include—and be able to document - a description of the Company’s communications with the consumer. (It is possible to attach copies of all responsive written communications to the consumer.)
2. Communication(s) from the consumer. Describe communications received from the consumer in response to the steps taken and attach copies of all written communications received from the consumer in response. 3. Follow-up actions or planned followup actions. Describe any follow-up actions that are being taken or plan to be taken in a continuing response to the complaint. 4. Category that captures your response. Select the category that summarizes your response. Options include: Closed with relief, Closed without relief, In progress, Incorrect company, Misdirected, and Alerted CFPB.
Monetary relief As defined by the CFPB, “relief” is the objective, measurable, and verifiable monetary value to the consumer as a direct result of the steps a company has taken or will take in response to a complaint. Based on the CFPB’s own announcements, the median amount, not the average amount,of monetary relief reported was approximately $410 for the nearly 600 mortgage complaints where companies reported such relief. Consumers have disputed approximately 3,020 company responses (23 percent) to mortgage complaints.
Specifying relief and status These are the primary levels of relief: Closed with Relief: The final responsive explanation to the consumer, indicating that the steps taken or to be taken to provide objective, measurable, and verifiable monetary value to the consumer. If relief has been or will be provided, the relief should be described and the dollar amount of that relief should be entered. Closed without Relief: The final responsive explanation to the consumer, indicating that the steps a company has taken or will take do not have objective, measurable, and verifiable monetary value to the consumer. For purposes of categorizing the response, this choice is selected if the steps taken or to be taken do not include relief as defined by the CFPB (as I’ve indicated above).
In progress The interim responsive explanation to
the consumer and the CFPB, indicating that the complaint could not be closed within 15 calendar days and that a final responsive explanation to the consumer will be provided through the Portal at a later date. This option is only available for complaints on the Active tab within 15 calendar days after the complaint was sent to a company. If the Company selects In Progress, the complaint will remain on the Active tab awaiting a response until 60 calendar days from the date the complaint was sent to the company in order to allow it the opportunity to close the complaint with an accompanying explanation to the consumer of Closed with Relief, Closed without Relief, Alerted CFPB, Incorrect Company, or Misdirected. If no response is provided within 60 calendar days from the date the complaint was sent to a company after selecting In Progress, the status of the complaint will become No Response, resulting in prioritizing that complaint for investigation by the Consumer Response team, which concomitantly moves the complaint to the Under Review tab.
Alerted CFPB Action cannot be taken for reasons such as suspected fraud, a pending legal matter, or a complaint filed by an unauthorized third party. This response is reviewed by a Consumer Response Specialist and appears in the Review history section of the Case details. However, neither the response nor the category selection is forwarded to the consumer or displayed in the consumer Portal.
Government portal The CFPB gave a Webinar in September 2012. The purpose of the Webinar was to review the features of the database compiled by the CFPB. During the course of the Webinar, the CFPB announced its plan to launch a “government portal” which will permit the CFPB to exchange all of the consumer complaints information within the CFPB’s jurisdiction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), state Attorneys General, federal regulators, state regulators, and others. Actually, this has been expected for some time. I like to think of the CFPB and its relationship with state regulators and Attorneys General, and others, by visualizing a mnemonic image. Imagine a capital “H” and turn it on its side. The bottom axis is the opportunity for state regulators to share consumer complaints (and other information) between one another and Attorneys General. The vertical axis is the CFPB’s ability to sit in on and/or obtain information gathered in the bottom horizontal axis. And the top horizontal axis is the information sharing (subject to specific constraints of privilege and confidentiality) with federal regulatory agencies and regulators. The image isn’t perfect, but it comes close to the range of capacity now available to the CFPB, federal and state agencies and regulators, and Attorneys General.
Requesting access To request access to the portal, e-mail CFPB_FIassistance@cfpb.gov with the following information: Company name, your name, telephone number and email address of the company’s “point of contact.” Consumer Response will review your request and follow-up with your company’s point of contact.
Log-in After Consumer Response has set up a company’s access, the point of contact may log-in to the Portal. Go to: https://secure.consumerfinance.gov. Use the initial e-mail address, when access was requested, as the user name.
Viewing complaints Once the point of contact has logged into the Portal, it is possible to view all of the company’s complaints. The list of complaints displays the following information about each complaint: Case number: The unique 12-digit number assigned to the complaint. Name on account: The name on the account as listed in the complaint. Account number: The account number provided in the complaint, if available. Issue: The issue that is the subject of the complaint as reported by the consumer. Status: The status of the complaint. Sent to company: Date and time the complaint was forwarded to your company via the portal. Respond by: Date by which a response is requested. Product: The product that is the subject of the complaint as reported by the consumer. Note: To view the details of a complaint, click on the case number. Once it is clicked, the link will no longer appear in bold in the list. Complaints that have not yet been viewed appear in bold. Updates to the Portal are in Eastern Standard Time.
Technical assistance If technical assistance is needed, e-mail CFPB_FIassistance@cfpb.gov and provide the following information: Browser type (including the version number). Operating system/screen shots relevant to technical problem. Associated complaint case numbers (if applicable). Contact information. 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 email@example.com.
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heard on the street
continued from page 10
lender to service its own loans. Instead of simply selling loans to the secondary market, Fannie Mae’s approval will allow RFC to nurture its relationships with its customers for the life of their loans. “Receiving this approval is another stage in our growth plan and gives RFC the flexibility to meet the financial needs of even more consumers,” said David Stein, senior vice president and general counsel at Residential Finance Corporation (RFC). “We are glad to be able to offer a full range of loan products to borrowers throughout the United States. Building a servicing portfolio strengthens our commitment to help consumers rebound in these tough economic times and will allow additional avenues of business for RFC in the future.”
AVMetrics Selects Veros to Distribute Its AVM Offering
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Lenders and other mortgage stakeholders looking to stay compliant with their regulators’ requirements governing the use of automated valuation models (AVMs) will find the task easier with the selection of Veros Real Estate Solutions as the distributor of ComplianceTRACK by AVMetrics. ComplianceTRACK is the industry’s most inclusive “cascading” preference table combining the expert analysis and validation of AVMs into logical ordering rules, and is complete with documented due diligence, user reporting and validation required to meet regulatory expectations. Simi Valley, Calif.-based AVMetrics, renowned for its comprehensive testing, validation, auditing and documentation of all commercially available residential AVMs, selected Veros as its distributor after a lengthy RFP process which drew responses from AVM distributors throughout the industry. Veros, a provider of collateral valuation management software and tools for the real estate and mortgage markets, will distribute the AVMetrics offering via a Web-based interface, system-to-system XML integration or portfolio (batch) order. In order to maintain the necessary objectivity of the preference table, Veros, also an AVM developer, remains completely removed from the AVMetrics evaluation, maintenance and rules management processes. “The validation of automated valuation models, including those of our competitors, is good for Veros and good for the industry,” said Veros CEO Darius Bozorgi. “ComplianceTRACK is exactly the kind of tool the industry needs to satisfy the requirements of regulators for independent testing, analysis and monitoring of AVMs,” he notes, “and without the often prohibitive additional expense of supporting internal departments and other compliance-related measures that
many mid-size and small lenders simply cannot afford.”
NewDay USA Moves Into New HQ and Launches Training Center
NewDay USA LLC has announced that it will move into a new 60,000-square foot facility in Fulton, Md. The new facility will support the launch of NewDay USA University, an educational and training center created for new and established mortgage banking professionals. The company expects to complete the move in early 2013. NewDay USA has seen rapid growth as the company continues its leadership in helping past and current members of the armed services, seniors and other homeowners throughout the nation to achieve their financial and housing goals. The company estimates that its workforce will reach 1,000 employees by the end of 2013. “Through NewDay USA University, a state-of-the-art educational program, our goal is to train the next generation of mortgage bankers, which we believe will be our company’s lasting legacy,” said Rob Posner, CEO of NewDay USA. “To reach this goal, we needed a facility that enabled us to create a training center that would provide a strong learning environment for new recruits as well as current employees.” The NewDay USA University training center will provide programs for: New hires, who undergo an eight-week training program that teaches best practices in the mortgage industry; current employees, who receive continuing education that includes professional development as well as instruction on regulatory and agency changes that impact the mortgage industry; and continuing to build NewDay USA’s VA and reverse mortgage programs to further help veterans and seniors attain their financial goals.
First American Title Insurance Joins ClosingCorp’s Service Provider Network
ClosingCorp has announced that Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American Title Insurance Company is the newest member of the company’s Service Provider Network. As a member of this network, First American is providing title insurance rates and closing cost fees from the First American Comprehensive Calculator (FACC) for use with ClosingCorp’s SmartGFE Service and SmartGFE Calculator. In addition, ClosingCorp is providing its lender
clients with access to First American’s current title insurance rates and closing fees. “Lenders are relying on our SmartGFE tools to deliver the most accurate closing cost data possible. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to work with the industry’s key leaders to integrate their rates and fees into our technologies,” said Paul Mass, president of ClosingCorp. “Now, lenders leveraging the SmartGFE Service and SmartGFE Calculator do not have to leave the system to access up-to-date title insurance rates and fees from First American Title Insurance Company. This contributes to the time savings that all lenders need and helps eliminate tolerance cures for inaccurate data.” The SmartGFE Service provides lenders with a one-click solution to capture Good Faith Estimate (GFE) data that is compliant with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). This data includes actual closing costs from more than 12,000 residential real estate service providers who are members of ClosingCorp’s Service Provider Network. Accurate recording fees and transfer taxes are also included with the SmartGFE Service.
LPS Collaborates With Equifax to Expedite the Loan Process Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) and Equifax have announced that lenders can automatically order Equifax Verifications of Employment (VOEs) through the LPS Loan Quality Gateway, expediting the loan origination process. The LPS Loan Quality Gateway is an open platform that provides the integrations, data management, decisioning and workflow management required for current and emerging loan quality programs. Through this platform, lenders can automate the ordering of Equifax VOEs to reduce the time and errors associated with manual VOE-ordering processes. This new value-added service streamlines VOE-related tasks required for processing, underwriting, quality assurance and closing. Current employment and income information via The Work Number—Equifax’s proprietary database of more than 210 million employer-direct payroll records—or a Fannie Mae Form 1005 and supporting documentation are provided with each VOE order, helping lenders reduce rework at underwriting and closing. The VOE solution also helps to reduce loan buyback risk by using third-party verification to identify errors and borrower misrepresentation. Using best-in-class workflow processes tailored for compliance with regulatory requirements, Equifax VOEs are uniformly conducted and meticulously documented to stand up to quality assurance reviews and rigorous underwriting guidelines.
“The integration of Equifax’s VOE capabilities with LPS’ Loan Quality Gateway offers lenders the technological power, flexibility and quality needed to deliver industry-leading verifications to close loans with greater speed and confidence,” said Michael Kuentz, senior vice president of Equifax Verification Services. The VOE service is offered by LPS’ subsidiary RealEC Technologies, which powers the LPS Loan Quality Gateway, and Equifax’s Workforce Solutions, a leader in services to human resources, payroll and tax departments in all industries, as well as the public sector.
Envoy Mortgage Expands With Addition of Builder Division Envoy Mortgage has expanded its business with the launch of its new National Builder Division platform. The independent mortgage lender seeks to capture opportunities to reach and serve the resurgent homebuilder market segment by offering targeted products and services to meet the specific needs of builders and their buyers. “Everyone knows the economy has been struggling and that pain was especially felt in the new home construction segment,” said Suzanne Schakett, appointed senior vice president of the National Builder Division at Envoy. “Those struggles did not necessarily have to do with homebuilders mishandling their business in any way, but rather with cash flow constraints from the banks and their inability to acquire interim construction financing, among other factors. Today, however, there is a renewed energy being felt in the industry and homebuilders are excited for the first time in several years.” The National Builder Division will partner with large and small homebuilders and, guided with construction market research and expertise, will focus on helping builders expand their footprint in new construction communities nationally. Through its new division, Envoy hopes to “think outside the box” by serving as an extension of the builder’s sales team through on-site coverage, co-branding and co-marketing efforts, and customized solutions to help generate traffic within the new home communities it serves.
Mortgage Professionals to Watch David Colwell has been named vice president of corporate strategy for LendingQB. Hammerhouse LLC has announced the additions of Lisa Medeiros as recruiter/strategic growth partner and Brandi Floyd as recruiting coordinator. Craig Williamson has been named southeast regional manager for American Mortgage Network, the wholesale channel of Bexil American Mortgage Inc.
national sales manager of LenderLive Settlement Services.
Inlanta Mortgage has announced the additions of Mark Coder as loan officer, Danielle Rollins as junior processor, Michael Lewis as loan officer, Kyle Sommer as processor, and Melissa Dickinson as post-closing supervisor. Residential Finance Corporation (RFC) has named Michael Timms as its new director of capital markets and Betty Ann McCloud as director of operations.
Mark A. Treichel has been named executive director of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Jim Meleones has joined Clayton Holdings LLC as senior managing director of commercial real estate services. Doug Beaty has been named executive vice president of national sales for FirstClose. LenderLive Network has named Len Franco as senior vice president and
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.
Does your Direct Mail & Data vendor have both a clean track record, and experience spanning over a decade?
Indecomm Global Services has announced the addition of Jeff Burrus as vice president of the company’s Lending Solutions Group. ICON Residential Lenders has announced the addition of Jeffrey Liusinicchia, CPA as chief financial officer and ICON has also announced that Sue Anthony has joined the company as senior vice president of service management.
This could mean the difference between your company’s success and failure.
Kenny Deen has joined 360 Mortgage Group as an account executive in the company’s Nevada territory.
Mike Squire has been named director of mortgage lending operations for Kinecta Federal Credit Union where he will be responsible for Kinecta’s Chicago Wholesale Operations Center.
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Brooke Aguilar has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing for Platinum Data.
IMARC has announced the promotions of David Kittle, CMB to executive VP of the Quality Control Division and Kate Simpson to director of client services.
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Calyx Brings Mobile Apps to iPhone and Android Users
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Calyx Software has announced the launch of Calyx Mobile for iPhones and Android smartphones. Calyx Mobile Apps offer loan officers the convenience of on-the-go productivity and business oversight anytime, anywhere. Mobile productivity is at the top of the list for professionals in every industry. It’s necessary to deliver the consistent high levels of service to customers needed for a competitive edge. Loan officers need the ability to take new borrower applications and check the status of their pipeline no matter where they happen to be. At an extremely affordable price, mobile apps from Calyx give loan officers a convenient way to take their efficient business processes wherever they need to go. The Calyx Mobile Apps are available for download by searching for Calyx in the Google Play Store or the Apple store. With the Calyx mobile apps, authorized users will be able to start an application from scratch or by selecting a contact from their phone list. They can view their pipeline, obtain instant status reports on specific loans, or add to their list of necessary tasks. All data is securely transferred back and forth from either PointCentral or Point and synchs are automatic, adding efficiency to the already streamlined workflow for which the Calyx LOS platforms are known. Business owners have complete control over user access to Calyx Mobile through the MyCalyx online management tool or the PointCentral administrative site. Mobile apps offer users the ability to generate new sales and increase revenue without being tied to their computers or the office. “Mobile apps are a definite win for our growing clients,” said Jody Collup, director of marketing at Calyx Software. “We know that for them to be successful in this industry, customer service and efficiency are must-haves; with Calyx Mobile, we give them the opportunity to rise above the competition in both areas.”
United States Appraisals Delivers Weekly Appraiser Payment
United States Appraisals has announced
that it will begin paying appraisers on a weekly basis. The rollout of their new technology platform provides the process improvements necessary to achieve this rapid pay cycle. Payments will be made weekly for assignments completed in the previous seven days. “We know appraisal management companies [AMCs] put a lot of pressure on appraisers to complete their assignments quickly,” said David Turner, chief corporate appraiser for United States Appraisals. “We hear about many of those same AMCs paying slowly. United States Appraisals will pay for completed reports that pass our quality review on a weekly basis. By shortening the pay cycle, we provide an incentive to complete our assignments faster by providing the appraiser with an immediate reward for their hard work.” United States Appraisals’ quality review process, which includes an automated review of over 2,000 data points prior to a manual review by a certified residential appraiser, ensures that underwriter-ready reports are delivered to its clients. With a shorter pay cycle, these quality reports will be delivered even quicker. “We believe this move underscores our commitment to the appraiser community,” said Aaron Fowler, president of United States Appraisals. “Speed and quality are critical to the mortgage industry. Delivering high quality reports faster, while rewarding our appraisers, provides a win-win situation.”
New Penn Announces Jumbo Offering
New Penn Financial LLC has announced the addition of its Shellpoint Select jumbo mortgage to the company’s product portfolio. Backed by the financial strength of parent company Shellpoint Partners, New Penn Financial has recognized the void left by many lenders who abandoned jumbo products, as well as the need in the marketplace for very competitive rates and fast turnaround times. The new mortgage delivers those benefits to qualified borrowers across the country who want to finance more expensive homes. Shellpoint Select is a fixed-rate jumbo mortgage available for both the purchase and refinance of owner-occu-
pied homes. The loan features: Competitive fixed-rates with 30- and 15year terms; a streamlined process; faster turn-around times; and up to $1 million loan amounts. “While remaining one of the few lenders in the country to offer jumbo loans, we enhanced what has driven our success, namely, very competitive rates, a fast loan process and responsive customer service,” said New Penn President and CEO Jerry Schiano. “One of our mantras is to serve the needs of more borrowers, and the niche jumbo market is another way we achieve this goal.” Shellpoint Partners intends to securitize the prime-quality, non-agency loans originated by New Penn in the private capital market, and has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in this regard.
Comergence Releases New Appraiser Watchdog Tool
Comergence has announced the launch of its due diligence and surveillance service for the appraisal industry called Eagle Eye, a powerful new solution for the management of background checks on appraisers. Comergence has simplified and lowered the expense of the appraiser due diligence process by providing lenders and appraisal management companies (AMCs) with a system that will allow them to make more informed decisions on the appraisers with whom they are doing business. Eagle Eye also provides constant surveillance for compliance regulations and sends alerts to all clients related to the appraiser. “At the request of our lender clients, we’ve extended our third party originator compliance service to the appraiser,” said Greg Schroeder, president of Comergence. “More and more lenders are requiring AMCs that they entrust with the order of their appraisals to perform a thorough background check on these appraisers. The management of this process is a huge task for most AMCs and lenders.” Eagle Eye spreads the burden of costs out amongst all subscribers, bringing them down to a minimum, but with better information than most could aggregate on their own. The Eagle Eye system optimizes the process of aggregating appraiser data into a central repository. For appraisers, Comergence can help them obtain more orders from AMCs and lenders. Once an appraiser is approved by an AMC or lender, their profile is kept current and available for quick approval by all other AMCs and lenders in the Comergence consortium. An appraiser can apply to other AMCs and lenders as many times as needed with a few clicks of the mouse. Comergence also uploads and stores appraiser information electronically in the cloud, which keeps all of personal data far more secure than sending applications by courier, mail or fax,
where applications can sit for hours before being picked up or stolen. Comergence makes applying to multiple AMCs and lenders easier and far more secure, and make everyone’s job easer and more fail-safe by greatly facilitating the filing and storage of documents and even sending out missing item reminders.
Global DMS Launches Global Unity to Revolutionize Appraisal Ordering
Global DMS has announced the official introduction of Global Unity, a product that seamlessly integrates its solution with leading loan origination systems (LOS). Global Unity provides lenders, banks and credit unions with 100 percent control over their entire collateral valuation process—with zero risk. Global Unity is an industry-wide technology undertaking that will transform the way appraisals are currently ordered, tracked, audited and returned back to a lender’s LOS. With the click of a button using Global DMS’ eTrac platform, lenders are provided with ease of access to all of their valuation needs—without ever leaving the application they are accustomed to working in—their LOS. The project has already resulted in partnerships with LOS vendor titans that are committed to simplifying the appraisal process. “We have been intensely focused on the Global Unity project for quite some time in an effort to enable LOS vendors to gain access to our new middleware hub using Web services that we developed,” said Matt McHale, chief revenue officer at Global DMS. “This project is a huge benefit to our LOS partners, which can now offer their clients the ability to compliantly and cost effectively order appraisals from within their system. We have significant interest from LOS vendors and several are already in the midst of completing integrations. Global Unity is destined to change the fashion in which appraisals are ordered, and we have plans to partner with the majority of the leading LOSs in 2013.” Global Unity also utilizes the company’s MISMO Appraisal Review System (MARS), which provides lenders, investors, mortgage insurance companies and appraisers with a turnkey solution by which to automatically extrapolate and analyze data from a PDF’d appraisal report, mitigating risk and ensuring compliance. The extracted data from the report is then compliantly delivered to either the GSEs’ mandated Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) or to institutional investors using per their specific guidelines. Global Unity’s automated system-tosystem transaction processing platform dramatically speeds up the ordering process for lenders by eliminating redundant data entry, thus eliminating continued on page 47
When did we forget that mortgage brokers are the face of each home loan?
NationalMortgageProfessional.com DECEMBER 2012
www.FGMCwholesale.com (800) 296-2275
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In our crazy world of mortgage securitization and lender portfolios, it’s sometimes easy to forget that most homebuyers buy homes from people, not logos. For decades, the mortgage broker has been the trusted advisor to millions seeking the American Dream. FGMC hasn’t forgotten that, and we’re providing our brokers the widest range of loan products and the most efficient lending processes possible to ensure your clients are getting into new homes ... and that you’ll be the one handing them the keys.
Agent Vetting is Here to Stay because members were reluctant to share the information, possibly for fear of lawsuits. Finally, association membership encompasses only a small portion of the entire closing community, and resources are limited; therefore, the ability of any one association to effectively manage the day to day activities of the wide spectrum of individuals who conduct closings is just not possible.
By Stanley Friedlander
There is a noticeable outcry arising in the title industry, about the need for vetting closing professionals. Some of the concerns are real, many are exaggerations fueled by an understandably emotional response to more supervision and management in a highly regulated industry, and a few are downright silly. Nonetheless, it is important to examine all these concerns in light of what is clearly a shift in the industry. Having been in the title industry for almost 50 years, serving as president of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), among other roles, my initial skepticism turned to support, and I have come to appreciate the importance of independent vetting as a risk management tool for banks, as protection for consumers, and as a method to elevate the title and escrow community. Quite frankly, I believe that independent vetting is important, is necessary, is beneficial, and in the long run is inevitable.
What’s in it for agents?
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Fraud in the title and escrow community is rising The facts don’t lie, and recent studies by law enforcement agencies clearly reflect that there is a problem in managing risk of loss associated with closings. Between 2011 and 2012, the FBI estimates that losses from mortgage fraud will grow from $11 billion to $13 billion. What is new about these reports, is that historically the fraud numbers were never broken out for losses attributed to the title and escrow community, they were simply hidden among the overall figures. One need only take a look at errors and omission insurance premiums, which have skyrocketed in the past four years to realize that a part of that fraud may well be attributed to the title and escrow community. Of course the numbers only paint part of the picture. Clearly, the vast majority of closing professionals are just that—professionals. However, a small minority of bad actors cause the majority of fraud. They operate in an environment that is not designed to deter or detect fraud. As much as the title and escrow community may want to point fingers at mortgage banks and brokers as the culprits for the financial industry meltdown and the resulting surge in regulations, we now know that not all fraud losses were due to loan originators. There is evidence of fraud losses attributable to escrows and closings as well. We can understand that
banks are under pressure, from regulators, shareholders, investors, consumers, and rating agencies to address losses. It is this environment that has created the call for third party risk management of all service providers, including closing professionals. This need has existed well before April 2012, as stated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Bulletin, and will not go away through efforts to limit the Bulletin’s reach.
Licensing, insurance and association membership are important … but they are not risk management Licensing is not vetting. Licensing bodies, even those with stringent education and insurance requirements, do not and cannot actively monitor a licensee’s activity. Licensing bodies may, if notified and if enough evidence is presented, take disciplinary action against bad actors after they fail to meet licensing rules or engage in fraud. When a misuse of trust funds is reported, by then it is too late. Licensing is critical to establish minimum standards for entry to a profession, but it is not designed to be a risk management tool. The insured closing letters, where available, cover theft of funds after the fact. They are not preventative but reactive.
They are also not insurance, and are not a guarantee that banks and consumers will be made whole. E&O insurance is also reactive, it is not risk management, and comes into play after an event. No lender monitors E&O policies today, which means that if an agent fails to pay a premium or cancels the policy, there is no coverage. In addition E&O insurance does not cover intentional acts. I am a strong advocate for association membership. Associations are critical for advocacy and lobbying efforts to advance common goals of association members. They also provide access to resources, such as educational programs, that can assist in advancing the skills of those members who choose to use the resources. Associations cannot and do not monitor an entity and individual risk; they do not share data regarding members to nonmembers, nor do they have the power or authority to stop fraud or discipline bad actors. When I was president of ALTA, I was well aware that we could educate, but we could not supervise and rate our members for risk. There were several efforts made during my tenure at ALTA to create a watch list or exclusionary list compiled with data shared among ALTA members, but even that rather limited approach to addressing risk management failed
Well, you might ask, if vetting is here to stay, what is in it for me? The answer is simple: Better risk management weeds out the bad actors, the small percentage of whom cause the majority of claims. By doing so, the closing profession is elevated, business opportunity grows for the agents who remain, insurance premiums eventually are reduced and level off, and trust among banks and consumers rise so that the industry benefits as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, there are issues that remain unanswered. How many vetting companies will emerge? Will there be a uniform and standard approach to vetting? Will banks recognize all the vetting companies or will we have to be vetted more than once? These legitimate questions, as well as others that may arise, are not unusual when an industry change is taking place. There is a normal amount of uncertainty as the new processes, players and rules are settled into place. However one thing is certain in my mind, there will be no turning back. The closing professional risk management model is here and we all need to work collaboratively to iron out the issues and have a say in the end result. Ultimately, I am sure that none of my colleagues want a risk management process imposed upon us from Washington, but would rather embrace one that emerges from within the industry and work it to meet everyone’s needs. In conclusion, contrary to some articles I have read, agent vetting is not a “game,” but rather, a necessary risk management process needed in our industry. As the title and escrow community, we need to stop to worrying about risk management and see this movement as an opportunity to prove our professionalism and justify confidence in our services to banks and consumers. Stanley Friedlander is past president of ALTA, the American Land Title Association, where he was chair of the Education Committee and the Agents Section. Friedlander has also served as president of the Ohio Land Title Association. He now serves as a non-paid industry expert on the Board of Advisors of Secure Settlements Inc.
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
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A Landmark Victory for the
Reverse Mortgage Lending Industry
By T. Steven Gregor Esq.
Disclaimer: The information provided within this article is presented for general educational purposes only. It does not constitute, nor should it be construed as, specific legal advice.
Financial Elder Abuse
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This claim was the backbone of a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed in 2008 by Sandy Jolley and Julianne Keegan, daughters of Patricia and Richard Hickerson, and trustees of the Hickerson Estate, after they discovered that—several years earlier and unbeknownst to them at the time—their parents had taken out a reverse mortgage on their home. In addition to Financial Elder Abuse, the lawsuit alleged five further causes of action: Rescission, Negligence, Unfair Business Practices, Fraud and Constructive Fraud. These claims were brought against Pacific Reverse Mortgage Inc., d/b/a Financial Heritage (PRM), the lending institution that processed the Hickerson’s loan; one of PRM’s reverse mortgage consultants (the consultant); and Financial Freedom Senior Funding, to which the loan was later assigned. In effect, the Hickersons’ daughters asserted that their parents were victims of a predatory lending scam and were negligently and fraudulently induced by PRM and the mortgage consultant into signing a reverse mortgage loan agreement which they lacked the mental capacity to understand. Over the course of the following three-and-a-half years, the case was heard before the state court and the court of appeal before it was ultimately tried before a jury. From the first filing of their original complaint in January of 2008 through August of 2011 when the case finally went to trial, the plaintiffs were given every opportunity by the court to marshal their evidence and present that evidence to a jury of their peers. After making several rounds of amendments to their allegations, the plaintiffs filed their fourth and final amended complaint in August of 2011. Despite the fact that the trial court had previously granted summary judgment
in favor of the mortgage consultant, and summary adjudication on all causes of action, except for rescission, in favor of PRM—a ruling which should have applied equally to Financial Freedom, a mere assignee of the reverse mortgage loan agreement—the court permitted the case to be tried on all six causes of action. Nearly four years after filing their initial complaint, the plaintiffs had their day in court, and took a full month to put on their case. The defense presented its case in approximately one week. On Sept. 29, 2011, the jury returned a 10-2 verdict for the defense, finding that all parties—including the mortgage consultant—had acted in good faith and that there was nothing unlawful, unfair, misleading or fraudulent about the reverse mortgage transaction. The jury further found that none of the defendants intended to defraud the Hickersons, attempted to conceal any facts about the loan to the Hickersons, or made any false representations to the Hickersons about the loan. Significantly, the jury also found that, although Mrs. Hickerson had some mental deficiencies and Mr. Hickerson had a host of physical ailments at the time they took out the loan, they did not—as the plaintiffs had alleged—lack the mental capacity to understand the nature of the loan agreement. Additionally, with respect to the plaintiffs’ rescission claim, the judge found that the reverse mortgage loan offered to the Hickersons was carried out in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations; that there was nothing fraudulent about any of the defendants’ conduct; and further, that the sales presentation given by the consultant, acting as an agent of PRM, was balanced and thorough. To quote directly from Judge Henry Walsh’s Statement of Intended Decision: “The court finds that the reverse mortgage transaction offered to the Hickersons was done in compliance with all applicable regulations. The conduct of the defendants was not fraudulent [and] there were no portions of the transaction which were unfair, unlawful or fraudulent within the meaning of California Business and Professions code 17200.” The evidence in this case further established that the Hickersons not only
had the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of their reverse mortgage, but also that their decision to take out the loan was well thought-out and calculated. Approximately three months passed between the initial meeting with the Hickersons and the consultant and the date they actually signed the final loan documents. During this time, the consultant met with the Hickersons on numerous occasions, both at their property and over the phone, explaining in detail what a reverse mortgage is, how it works, and the variety of loan options available to the borrower. The Hickersons also completed mandatory counseling with an independent, governmentapproved third-party reverse mortgage counselor as required by HUD. Further, the consultant—believing it was important to understand the unique needs of each borrower—went the extra mile to understand why the Hickersons were interested in this type of loan. Patricia and Richard Hickerson were in a position that a growing number of aging Americans now find themselves in: They worked hard throughout their earning years to purchase their home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where they lived for nearly 30 years and raised four children. When after retiring they were met with unanticipated economic challenges, including being denied long-term care insurance, they concluded that their home was their biggest financial asset and that they could use this asset as a means to care for themselves in the future. Mr. Hickerson—having been diagnosed with cancer and knowing that he may not survive his wife—also sought the loan as a way to ensure that, in the event that something were to happen to him, the burden of making a monthly mortgage payment would not fall upon his wife. The Hickersons’ reverse mortgage loan accomplished precisely what they had intended: It paid off the existing mortgage on their home, relieved them of the obligation to make any further mortgage payments, and gave them a substantial tax-free sum of cash to use or not use as they saw fit. It was, after all, their home, their equity and their right to decide what to do with it. The Hickersons’ story underscores some of the financial benefits that reverse mortgages can provide to seniors; information that will become increasing-
ly relevant over the next 20 years, as more than 70 million Americans reach the age of retirement. According to a fact sheet published by AARP, more than 660,000 Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) have been entered into since 1989—three quarters of them in the most recent five fiscal years—representing an upward trend that is likely to continue. “A person’s most valuable asset is their home,” notes Barbara Stucky, a vice president at the National Council on Aging, “And people will tap it one way or the other.” The facts and evidence on record in this case proved that there was no elder abuse perpetrated by the consultant; Pacific Reverse Mortgage Inc., d/b/a Financial Heritage; or Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation, thereby dispelling any notion that the Hickersons were swindled out of their hard earned money by some faceless financial intuition.1 As defense counsel who represented PRM and the consultant in trial court and in the Court of Appeal during the time this case was pending, it is clear that the jury and both the trial and appellate courts reached the right decisions. The outcome in this case represents an important victory for reverse mortgage lending institutions and for the insurance companies that insure them; indeed, a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs could have set a dangerous precedent that may have spawned a multitude of similar claims in the future. Fortunately, however, all three defendants—although needlessly put through the time, expense and hardship of defending these claims— were vindicated in the end. T. Steven Gregor Esq., a founding member of Dorazio & Gregor LLP, has more than 16 years of experience litigating complex business, insurance, lending, corporate and real estate matters. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (858) 759-3800.
Footnote 1—Notably, a February 2012 article featured in the L.A. Times reported the findings of a March 2009 study, conducted jointly by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the MetLife Mature Market Institute, and the Center for Gerontology. About 60 percent of the financial abuse cases substantiated by adult protective services, the study concluded, involve an adult child.
new to market
continued from page 42
errors, saving time and reducing costs. In addition to the platform being open to LOS providers, it will also be utilized by additional technology companies that have a need to integrate and access Global DMS’ appraisal management solutions. Those integrations will be announced as new partners join the Global Unity network.
LPS Launches New REO Solution
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a la mode inc. has announced the launch of Mercury Network’s new
continued on page 51
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a la mode Steps Up Appraisal Quality Management With New Module
ated with the collateral value. Clients also have clear guidance and individual AQI scores for each of the five factors separately. AQM leverages the expertise of human underwriters and compliance officers, along with the appraisers themselves, instead of hopelessly attempting to automate the review process without them or burying everyone in productivity-killing checklists. It’s a holistic system that recognizes that the communications and revisions process linking vendors and staff together is as critical as any analytical capability in the complex report/review/revise cycle.
Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS) has announced the release of a new real estate-owned (REO) technology that supports servicer efforts in the management and disposition of REO assets. The Web-enabled REO Workspace application combines the client-specific workflow functionality and data required to support the full life cycle of an REO asset, including additional functionality for tenant management within a property. REO Workspace provides a rich set of features and capabilities including: A customizable rules engine to reflect each client’s unique business needs; a repository for all files and documents related to the loan assets; paperless handling of each loan asset from a single location; and support for integration with a servicer’s third-party suppliers, which helps servicers to more efficiently manage their REO properties. The REO Workspace application allows servicers to easily integrate with asset management vendors and exchange information on assigned properties in a controlled, secure environment. Property data is centrally stored, and reports are generated from various types of information to support asset-level decisioning. “LPS’ new REO Workspace technology is a viable tool to help servicers efficiently manage their increasing REO volumes within a single solution,” said LPS Chief Information Officer Joe Nackashi. “We developed this technology to address the unique needs of servicers that want to manage REO activities in-house as part of an overall, end-to-end loan servicing process.” The REO Workspace application is designed to deliver greater transparency in the loan life cycle, support servicer efforts to efficiently dispose of real estate assets and reduce losses. It is the first of several LPS technology applications being deployed for the mortgage servicing industry that combines LPS’ MSP and LPS Desktop core systems with a user-, dataand workflow-centric focus to deliver integrated, process-driven functionality.
Appraisal Quality Management system (AQM). The AQM service, available only on Mercury Network, guides underwriters to the issues in each appraisal with actionable recommendations, and produces investor-ready loan files with the goal of dramatically reducing repurchase risk. AQM is the result of lengthy collaboration between a la mode and MasterServ Financial and AXIS Appraisal Management Solutions. The system automates first-level quality analysis on appraisal reports, provides
intelligent underwriting recommendations, deploys a powerful automated revision request system for communicating with appraisers, and automatically packages associated due diligence documents with the loan file for use by investors or auditors. With AQM, risk assessment and investor preparation is transparently integrated with standard collateral valuation workflow. Essential results are returned along with an overall Appraisal Quality Index (AQI) score compiled from analysis of five intelligently weighted risk categories in the appraisal report, consisting of property risk, market issues, completeness of the appraisal report, accuracy of the findings, and the risk associ-
Choosing Appraisal Business Partners
What you need and what you need to avoid B Y
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The recent conversations I’ve had with lenders and appraisal management companies (AMCs) are not about how to comply with the latest regulation. If there’s one thing we all know by now, it’s to plan for potential future changes, instead of constantly playing catch up with what you’re facing now. The appraisal industry has undergone tremendous change and there’s likely more on the horizon. Whether it’s HCCC, AIR, UAD or UMDP, the pace of change has been furious with federal and state regulations piling on top of each other, not to mention individual investor requirements changing almost daily. To say it’s been a rough couple of years is an epic understatement. In this climate, most of you have been tempted to over-invest in compliance officers and internal training and systems, or to simply sit back and hope to avoid an audit. I think we all know at this point, the latter is no longer an option. With this being said, I can tell you from experience: There is a way to safely navigate these rising waters. In the valuation arena, whether it’s BPOs, appraisals, or AVMs, there’s not a lot in Dodd-Frank (or any other regulations for that matter) that can’t easily be addressed by a comprehensive collateral valuation strategy. In other words, many lenders don’t have a compliance problem, they have a workflow problem. This cannot be stressed enough—the workflow of collateral valuation, if properly designed, easily accommodates Dodd-Frank and all the other regulations. The key here is to engage the right experts in your decision. A prime example of this would be the numerous times I’ve seen lenders having problems with an existing AMC (for whatever reason), and think the
C H R I S
S U L L I V A N
solution is to add multiple AMCs to let you test out the product in a realspread out the pain. More often than world environment. I am always leery not, this only compounds the existing of this policy and firmly believe the problem and turns into a vicious circle product should sell itself. Watch for that could go on for months (if not anything that has you signing a contract before you see the service in action, years). But don’t get me wrong. Your expert and definitely don’t lock yourself into can indeed be an AMC, and there are any long-term commitments. I cannot some excellent options out there. You tell you how many times I’ve heard, can also choose one of the many tech- “We aren’t at all happy with the service, nology platforms available that help but our contract isn’t up for six more lenders maintain in-house compliance. months.” Maybe I’m missing something Up-to-date compliance can be a moving here, but the only business advantage I target, but quality valuation manage- can think of for any company to adhere ment doesn’t have to be. Focus on the to this policy is to protect the vendor’s revenue if/when you decide you latter and the former will automatineed to make a change. cally resolve itself. On the flip side, Finding the right “Up-to-date watch out for compartner is easier said panies tailoring than done, of compliance can be pricing policies course, but I’ve outlined three a moving target, but quality around clients walking away. If critical criteria valuation management they’re giving to keep in mind when selecting doesn’t have to be. Focus on you “half-price” for the next year the right comthe latter and the former because you’ve pany or platbeen so unhappy form. will automatically with the service, nothing’s really Due diliresolve itself.” changing but the price. gence: This might make some Try before you sense in the short-term, but it’s not buy a real solution and chances are you’ll I can tell you from experience that the full company and their history definite- regret it. ly matters, and this decision is far too important to simply trust a salesper- Solid history, solid son’s word. Make sure you request a reputation: It’s all about thorough demonstration of the service, who you know or even a pilot period to get a true sense As mentioned earlier, another red of how the service will actually improve flag to watch for is a limited compayour operations, enhance your apprais- ny history. First and foremost, the al quality, and ease your compliance AMC or software you choose needs to burdens. Some vendor management have a solid industry reputation. Ask platforms or self-management software for client references, ask your indusapps don’t have trial periods or a way to try peers, check online message
boards, and do your due diligence on the company’s overall reputation. Some companies have popped up in the last few years and say all the right things, but ultimately can’t deliver when you need them the most. They may not be prepared to support you during large-scale industry changes, leaving you in the cold when another change they can’t support pops up. You should find a partner with significant experience, and the longevity and stability that result from solid business practices. Second, the software or AMC you choose should be able to integrate with the software and services you already use. This includes integrations with your LOS provider so that loan officers can compliantly order appraisals from the LOS or an online portal, or quickly and easily place orders with the AMC. Flexible APIs and modern technology make all of this (and much more) possible, and it’s a far better solution for your long-term efficiency. Make sure your partner is innovative, responsive to your unique workflow, and has established business relationships in the industry enabling you to connect everything your mortgage lending team needs into one efficient, compliant solution. Third, check their client list. If your prospective partner can handle the volume and complex requirements of other industry leaders, you’re likely in good hands (assuming those industry leaders aren’t getting “half-price” this year—that one kills me). Rest assured, those large companies have done extensive due diligence and there’s no shame in leveraging their work to make your decisions a little easier. continued on page 58
nmp news flash
continued from page 19
FHFA and CFPB Agree to Partner on National Mortgage Database
Q3 Commercial/Multifamily Originations Down Seven Percent From 2011
continued on page 50
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Commercial and multifamily mortgage origination volumes during the third quarter of 2012 were seven percent lower than during the third quarter 2011, 17 percent lower than during the second quarter of 2012 and up 15 percent year-to-date from
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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have agreed to partner on the creation of a National Mortgage Database— the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information. The database will primarily be used to support the agencies’ policy-making and research efforts and to help regulators better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends. “This partnership between FHFA and CFPB will create a unique resource that benefits the government and public as we seek to answer important questions about how the housing finance market is evolving and changing,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “This collaborative effort is a great way to pool
expertise and leverage resources for the benefit of regulators and the public.” The National Mortgage Database will include information spanning the life of a mortgage loan from origination through servicing and include a variety of borrower characteristics. Specifically, the database will include loan-level data about the mortgage including: The borrower’s financial and credit profile; the mortgage product and terms; the property purchased or refinanced; and the ongoing payment history of the loan. Data will be updated on a monthly basis and track as far back as 1998. Additionally, this database fulfills an FHFA requirement under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) to conduct a monthly mortgage market survey. “In order to understand what is going on in the mortgage marketplace and develop appropriate consumer protections, we must have the best facts and data,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “This database will be a valuable tool for regulators and researchers and we look forward to partnering with FHFA on this important work.” The agencies will build the database by matching a nationwide sampling of credit bureau files on borrower’s mortgages and payment histories with informational files such as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database, property valuation models, and other data files to create a comprehensive picture for each mortgage. The database will not contain personally identifiable information and appropriate precautions will be taken by the agencies to ensure that individual consumers cannot be identified through the database or through any datasets that may be made available to researchers or the public. Construction of the National Mortgage Database will be a complex undertaking. The agencies have signed an Inter-Agency Agreement (IAA) establishing terms for developing, maintaining and funding the database. Development of the dataset is currently underway and the agencies expect early versions of the full dataset to be complete in 2013. FHFA and the CFPB are committed to exploring ways to share database information with other federal agencies, academics, and the public once the database is complete.
have improved in the areas of clearly explaining loan options and ensuring customers understand them; following up with customers in a timely manner after they complete their application; and proactively updating customers on the status of their application. “When you empower and inspire people, they instinctively want to give their very best,” said Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. “We have the best technology tools and systems in the industry, but at the end of the day, this three-peat is all about our 8,000-plus team members and their overwhelming understanding that they are the driving force behind our company’s success.” Further, there is a strong relationship between satisfaction with the origination process and the rates of customer consideration and usage of the same lender for refinancing. Among loan customers who have refinanced in 2012, only 40 percent cited price as their main reason for selecting their lender. Other reasons commonly cited for selection include an existing relationship; previously being a customer; and referrals. “Given the recent challenges across financial services, the highest-performing lenders in the 2012 study have reduced customer uncertainty and apprehension with greater transparency and communication regarding what to expect in the origination process,” said Craig Martin, director of the mortgage practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “This increase in satisfaction is particularly impressive given the increasingly expanded origination time lines during the past year.” The 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 3,500 customers who originated a new mortgage. The study was fielded between July 31 and Aug. 27, 2012.
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properties and a seven percent decrease for industrial properties. Among investor types, year-to-date 2012 versus the same time period in 2011, loans for commercial bank portfolios saw an increase in loan volume of 44 percent, loans for GSEs saw an increase in loan volume of 39 percent, originations for conduits for CMBS increased seven percent and loans for life insurance companies decreased by six percent.
greater transparency and efficiency to the mortgage lending markets and help reduce risk. The FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic is more accurate than the prior FICO Score in identifying the riskiest loans improving lenders ability to discern consumer credit risk at origination. For applicants identified as the riskiest 10 percent of the lending population (those most likely to become past due on their mortgage loan), it identified 10 percent more seriously delinquent mortgage loans—loans 90 days or more past due.
Study Finds Alternative Credit Data Could Increase Homeownership
Ginnie Mae Reports More Than a Half-Billion in 2012 Net Income
CoreLogic has announced the results of a report by CEB TowerGroup analysts that indicates using alternative data, such as unsecured credit, payday lending and property history in consumer credit report analysis, can help safely increase mortgage lending. The report finds that this new data is relevant as consumers have changed their debt payment behavior. As a result, lenders can adjust their credit risk evaluation policies to better assess each applicant. The report, titled “Enhanced Credit Data and Scoring: Deeper Insight into Mortgage Applicants,” notes that consumers used to pay mortgage debts first, but because of the recent financial crisis some consumers now treat paying other debts, such as credit card bills and car payments, as a higher priority to maintain personal financial liquidity. “Traditional credit data and analytics continue to be relevant, but are not sufficient to satisfy the consumer credit reformation of today,” said Craig Focardi, CEB TowerGroup’s senior research director. “As a result of the changes in consumer behavior, lenders cannot revert back to their prior mortgage underwriting policies. Too much damage has already been done to the market, consumers, shareholders and investors.” CEB TowerGroup evaluated data from a joint analysis conducted by CoreLogic and FICO that compares the FICO Score used by most lenders today with the FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic, a new score launched in July. The FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic evaluates the traditional credit data from national credit data repositories and the unique alternative credit data contained in the recently launched CoreScore credit report. Key findings in the report include: Alternative credit information can support loan applicants with newly established credit files with good credit, those with minimal information in their traditional credit files but with good alternative credit payment histories, and long-time renters with no serious payment issues. More complete loan applicant, property and related information will bring
Ginnie Mae has reported Fiscal (FY) 2012 revenues of $1.246 billion, up from $1.064 billion in 2011. Net income reached $609.6 million in FY 2012, down from FY 2011 net income of $1.184 billion. Retained earnings continue to grow, rising to $16.4 billion from $15.7 billion. Ginnie Mae guaranteed $388 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in FY 2012 and $110 billion are multi-class securities. The corporation has an outstanding MBS balance of $1.34 trillion. “Ginnie Mae has once again had a successful year, generating a profit for the U.S. Government for more than 20 consecutive years, clearly proving that our business model and securitization platform work effectively for American taxpayers,” said Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer. “Our lower net income in FY 2012 is attributed to an increase in provisions for losses, which is part of our risk management approach and demonstrates another way that we protect the American taxpayer.” Ginnie Mae has been instrumental in maintaining the flow of capital from global financial markets to the nation’s housing markets in the wake of the economic downturn. In FY 2012, Ginnie Mae financed nearly half of all homes purchased in America. “Ginnie Mae’s unique securitization platform has allowed us to deliver nearly $1.7 trillion of liquidity into the U.S. housing mortgage finance market since the crisis began, providing homeownership and housing opportunities for more than 6.3 million households,” said Executive Vice President Mary Kinney. “This success also clearly demonstrates the importance of the countercyclical nature of our business, allowing Ginnie Mae to step up when the private market retreats.”
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last year’s year-to-date levels, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations. “Commercial and multifamily mortgage borrowing slowed in the third quarter,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research. “Even though low interest rates continue to make borrowing extremely attractive, a moderate pace of commercial property sales transactions and a continued drop in the volume of commercial mortgages maturing limited the overall amount of commercial mortgage loans originated.” The seven percent overall decrease in commercial/multifamily lending volume, when compared to the third quarter of 2011, was driven by decreases in originations for retail and office properties. The decrease included a 35 percent decrease in the dollar volume of loans for retail properties, a 24 percent decrease for office properties, a four percent increase for hotel properties, a 19 percent increase for industrial properties, a 19 percent increase in health care property loans and a 30 percent increase in multifamily loans. Among investor types, the dollar volume of loans for life insurance companies decreased by 32 percent over last year’s third quarter. There was an eight percent increase for commercial bank portfolios and a 30 percent increase for Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). There was no change in volume of loans originated for conduits for CMBS. Third quarter 2012 commercial and multifamily mortgage originations were 17 percent lower than originations in the second quarter of 2012. Compared to the second quarter, third quarter originations for retail properties saw a 43 percent decrease. There was a 29 percent decrease for office properties, a 25 percent decrease for health care properties, a 12 percent decrease for hotel properties, a seven percent increase for multifamily properties and an eight percent increase for industrial properties. Among investor types, between the second and third quarters of 2012, loans for conduits for CMBS saw a decrease in loan volume of 55 percent, loans for life insurance companies saw a decrease in loan volume of 37 percent, originations for commercial bank portfolios increased six percent and loans for GSEs increased by 14 percent. Year-to-date 2012 commercial and multifamily mortgage originations were 15 percent higher than originations during the same time period of 2011. Compared to 2011, year-to-date originations for health care properties saw a 33 percent increase. There was a 30 percent increase for multifamily properties, a 24 percent increase for retail properties, an eight percent increase for hotel properties, a seven percent decrease for office
Nearly 30 Percent of Refis Shorten Mortgage Term During Q3 In the third quarter of 2012, 29 percent of borrowers who refinanced an existing mortgage chose to shorten their loan term, based on the Freddie Mac Quarterly Product Transition Report. Further, refinancing borrowers
clearly preferred fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixedrate. Of borrowers who refinanced during the third quarter of 2012, 29 percent reduced their loan term, while 68 percent of borrowers kept the same term as the loan that they had paid off; three percent chose to lengthen their loan term. More than 95 percent of refinancing borrowers chose a fixed-rate loan. Fixed-rate loans were preferred regardless what the original loan product had been. For example, 82 percent of borrowers who had a hybrid ARM chose a fixed-rate loan during the third quarter, the highest share since the second quarter of 2010, while the remaining 18 percent chose to refinance back into a hybrid ARM. “Compared to a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate on a 15-year fixed was about 0.7 percentage points lower during the third quarter,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “For borrowers motivated to refinance by low fixedrates, they could obtain even lower rates by shortening their term. Further, a shorter-term, fully amortizing loan reduces the loan balance faster and builds home equity sooner.” Those borrowers who refinanced under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) were more likely to take out a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage. For example, 25 percent of HARP borrowers shortened their loan term when they refinanced during the third quarter, compared with 31 percent of borrowers who refinanced outside of HARP. Further, of those borrowers who were refinancing out of an ARM, if they refinanced under the HARP program then more than 95 percent chose a fixed-rate mortgage; in contrast, of borrowers that had an ARM, but did not refinance through HARP, about one-half opted for another hybrid ARM. “Fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.55 percent for 30-year loans and 2.84 percent for 15-year product during the third quarter in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, well below long-term averages and the lowest quarterly averages recorded in our survey,” said Nothaft. “The Bureau of Economic Analysis has estimated the average coupon on singlefamily loans was about five percent during the third quarter of 2012. It’s no wonder we continue to see strong refinance activity into fixed-rate loans.”
Your turn National Mortgage Professional Magazine invites you to submit any information on regulatory changes, legislative updates, human interest stories or any other newsworthy items pertaining to the mortgage industry to the attention of: NMP News Flash column Phone #: (516) 409-5555 E-mail: email@example.com Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.
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Interthinx Launches MERS Compliance Audit Service
Interthinx has announced the availability of its new MERS Compliance Audit Service, the latest addition to the Interthinx suite helps MERS members avoid sanctions, penalties or revocations that could result if they are ruled to be out of compliance with the new MERS requirements. Revised MERS Quality Assurance Standards now require all MERS general members to have an independent, third-party review of the members’ quality assurance plan annually. Since 2012, all MERS members must also conduct reconciliation of their portfolios on a monthly or quarterly basis to meet the new data integrity requirements. “We understand the critical importance for servicers and lenders to remain MERS compliant, but we also understand the difficulties they face trying to implement a MERS quality assurance system with internal resources,” said Michael Zwerner, senior vice president for Interthinx. “As a MERS preferred provider, Interthinx has leveraged its industry leading compliance expertise to develop its MERS Compliance Audit Service to help MERS members meet the
new requirements.” The Interthinx MERS Compliance Audit Service uses a three-pronged strategy covering independent, third-party, annual reviews; monthly or quarterly portfolio reconciliations; and document reviews and validations. Knowledgeable operational risk auditors conduct the annual review through an on-site review at the member’s facilities. Results are captured on an executive summary that outlines variances and recommended best practices for remediation when filing the plan with MERS at audit conclusion. Reconciliations feature “real-time” remediation of variances directly with MERS while capturing variances for robust reporting and trending of data integrity issues. If required for the recommended three-way validation, document reviews may also be conducted by Interthinx quality control mortgage professionals annually or monthly according to MERS specifications.
eLynx Releases Expedite Inbox Portal eLynx has announced the release and general availability of its latest offering under their Expedite platform, the Expedite Inbox, a centralized experience for consumers
Mortgage Network Announces Enhanced Customer Online Interface
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced the launch of an enhanced option, Perfect Connection, allowing customers to start the loan process inside their proprietary Loan Operating System (LOS), accelerating their loan approval process. Perfect Connection offers a guaranteed, secure option for borrowers to begin their loan processes in a timely and efficient manner. This efficiency will result in less steps and touches, resulting in greater data integrity and better communication. “We are very excited to offer this convenience to our customers,” said Brian Koss, EVP of Mortgage Network Inc. “We have taken our technology a step further than most by customizing it and building it out internally to ensure a Perfect Connection between the customer, our origination system and operations platform. This realtime integration eliminates uploads and updates so that we don’t depend on others to move quickly and adapt. We are confident that our platform is fully built to support our growth plans for many years and homebuyers to come.” continued on page 59
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that can exist across all lines of business and lending products. The Inbox can also be branded and integrated with a bank’s existing Web presence. All document actions, such as reading, signing, printing, downloading and returning are supported in this consumer-focused portal. “Trying to get a loan can be a confusing and even frustrating experience for today’s consumers, who have high expectations for interactive, unified experiences,” said eLynx President and CEO Sharon Matthews. “They must often navigate multiple user interfaces without certainty they are correctly completing requests from their bank. It was important that we support twoway document exchange for consumers, so that they could both receive and send documents from one system.” According to Laura Venerable, senior product Manager at eLynx, this release is the culmination of extensive collaboration with an advisory board of several banks and an outside design firm. “The input from the advisory board really guided and validated the direction of this offering,” said Venerable. “We feel confident that it meets an array of needs for lenders, while providing a platform that fosters a more personalized experience with their on-thego customers.” The Inbox can be used by consumers on most Internet-enabled devices, including tablets such as iPads, and soon on a variety of mobile phones.
Three Questions to Ask Yourself About Your 2013 Strategic Plan By Gibran Nicholas
Question one: What’s my mission and purpose?
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Every plan starts with a mission … a reason why. For example, if your mission in 2013 is to make $200,000 in income, you would conceivably do anything and everything to achieve that goal, regardless of whether your actions are healthy or unhealthy for you, your business or your relationships. It becomes easy for you to lose focus, and engage in daily habits that meet your immediate needs for money at the expense of your long-term needs for money and growth. That’s why making money is not a sufficient mission and purpose. The reality however is that most people get into the mortgage business for the sole purpose of making money. Think back to how you got started in this business. Some friend or relative probably told you the money was good, and suggested that you “give it a try,” so you did, and here you are, 10, 20 or even 30 years later. Your mission and purpose hasn’t really changed. You’re still in this business because it makes a good living for you and your family. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if your only goal in life is to make a good living, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article right now. You want more than that. I know you do, because I do too. We all want more than that. It started when we were kids. We all wanted to be a hero or something … an athlete, a super-dad, a super-mom, a movie star, a rock star, and the list goes on. We wanted to live more than just an average life. We wanted significance. We wanted awesomeness in every sense of the word. But somewhere along the way, we just kind of gave up on those “kid” dreams and decided that “adults” need to make money. So we got into the mortgage business and never looked back. I’m asking you to look back. December and January are good months to look back and think. Think about what you’ve done and where you are. Think about what you haven’t done and what you still want to do. During that process of thinking, you’ll realize that you still want more. You still want significance. You still want awesomeness in every sense of the word. There’s just one slight problem: Awesomeness, significance and more,
requires more. It requires more than you just thinking that you’re awesome or significant. It requires other people thinking that you’re awesome and significant. However, the only way they’ll think that you’re all that is if you REALLY ARE all that … TO THEM! Otherwise, you’ll just be another cocky arrogant fool of a loan originator … like so many of your competitors. That’s why your mission and purpose should be focused on very simple question: How am I making someone else’s life better? That’s the key to awesomeness and significance. While the “Average You” would be content to have a mission and purpose of “making money,” the “Awesome and Significant You” might have a mission and purpose to “help financial and real estate professionals improve their life, business and relationships through [name your unique talents and skills].” If that was your mission and purpose, your 2013 plan could be drafted in such a way as make you awesome and significant to financial and real estate professionals. Of course, this would probably result in you making a lot of money along the way. Or, the Awesome and Significant You could have a mission and purpose to “make the experience of buying a home extraordinarily pleasurable for clients and strategic partners by [insert your unique talents and skills].” Again, that’s a mission purpose worthy of you and your potential. That brings us to our second question.
Question two: How does my strategic plan result in making someone else’s life better? All of sales, in fact, all of business, is about solving a problem for somebody. It’s about making someone else’s life better. So, once you draft your mission and purpose, the next step is to write down how exactly you’re going to solve a problem for someone or make his or her life better. For example, borrowers today have these problems (and more that you should think about, ask about and solve): Very complicated and very unpleasant loan process Lack of communication or misinformation from loan originators
Lack of strategic guidance around the largest debt and/or largest investment of their life
course of 90 days. Out of those 96 meetings, don’t you think at least five of them would lead to a great partnership that generates at least two purchase loans Real estate agents have per month? (If not, you these problems (and more should seriously consider that you should think getting some training or about, ask about and write coaching in the area of down): strategic partnerships.) Lack of qualified buyer Alternatively, let’s say leads you already have existing Poor time and energy “…your daily habits strategic relationships that management should be focused on you want to take to the Complicated deals doing something next level. You could make to deepen your a habit of scheduling at Financial advisors have relationships and least one lunch every two these problems (and more achieve your mission weeks with each of your that you should think about, and purpose.” current strategic partners. ask about and write down): At the lunch, your mission and purpose Lack of referrals from current clients Too much time spent on low-impact, would be to ask lots of good questions to uncover problems and challenges that low-revenue clients Lack of value received or reciprocation your strategic partners are facing. Once you uncover these underlying needs and from current strategic partners problems, you could create solutions and Therefore, your 2013 strategic plan take your relationships deeper. Either way, your daily habits should be should be drafted in such a way that helps focused on doing something to deepen you: 1. Discover the problem of your target your relationships and achieve your misaudience (start asking people what they sion and purpose. And I’m not talking need and what would make their life about marketing. Lots of loan originators waste so much time marketing to thoubetter) 2. Paint the pain of your target audi- sands of people that they forget to pick up ence (if people don’t know they have a phone and make a sales call to the few problem, or if they don’t see their problem people who really count. Would you as a BIG problem, they won’t pay any rather spend your minutes, hours and days marketing yourself to close two or attention to you or your solution) 3. Present a clear and simple solution three purchase loans per month, or would to the problem(s) of your target audience you rather spend your minutes, hours and (make it simple, easy and obvious that days building deep relationships with a doing business with you will solve a spe- handful of people that will result in you cific problem for your client and/or strate- closing 10, 20 or 30 purchase loans per month? The choice is yours. gic partner) The result you get in 2013 is 100 perQuestion three: What daily cent dependent on the choices you make once you ask and answer the three queshabits will I engage in to tions that we’ve talked about here. Best of implement my plan? Your plan is completely worthless unless success to you as make your choices, and you implement it. The key to implementa- let me know if I can help in any way! tion is to break down your plan into daily habits. For example, let’s say your plan is Gibran Nicholas is a speaker, trainer and to establish five solid strategic partner- coach to more than 7,000 of America’s top ships that each generates two purchase entrepreneurs and trusted advisors. He is loans per month. You could break this the founder, chairman and chief executive down into a daily habit of making five out- officer of CMPS Institute and Strategic bound phone calls each day to potential Relationship Academy, an elite performstrategic partners for the purpose of ance training and coaching program for top scheduling a conversation to see if there producers. He may be reached by phone at 606-0200, by e-mail at may be a fit. If only 30 percent of these (734) people schedule a meeting with you, you firstname.lastname@example.org or visit will have met with 96 people over the http://GibranNicholas.com.
Shaping Your Business in 2013 By Barry Habib The year 2013 could bring changes within the interest rate environment. While it is highly likely that interest rates will remain relatively low, even a small but sustained rise in rates could affect origination levels. Recent surveys indicate that a 50-basis point rise in rates, if sustained, could reduce production by about 30 percent. The Fed has indicated that it will keep rates low until 2015, yet there are many contributing factors that could cause some bumps in the road for mortgage interest rates. For mortgage companies to be able to withstand the effects of that happening, they need to ensure that their business plan resembles that of a “superstar” CEO, the type of leader who looks beyond current issues and accordingly fortifies his or her organization so it can withstand market shifts. To develop this kind of vision, mortgage strategists should first consider some of the factors behind today’s historically low rates:
Expanding regulations, increasing deficit
In conclusion, if 2013 is indeed to be a year of great change, you need to prepare for it just like the superstar CEOs would. Successful mortgage professionals look at the right and left tail of the bell curve and plan for both. They examine the current environment, and they project going forward. I have learned one thing: There is only one thing that does not change, and that is change itself. If we know things will change, why assume the current rate environment will remain the same? That is like driving by looking in a rear view mirror. Unfortunately, it seems that’s how some people run their businesses. So ask yourself: What is the most likely outcome? Then plan and hedge for the right and left tail risk. This means looking at a very favorable outcome for the industry and determining how to maximize that, while also planning for the very negative outcome, which would be interest rates increasing significantly. Then ask yourself: Am I prepared for that, both with my business and my personal portfolio? If there are more regulations, do I have the staff needed, as well as the right business model? These are the things that the smart superstar CEO will be focused on in order to succeed in 2013. Barry Habib is chief market strategist for Residential Finance Corporation (RFC). Before joining RFC, Barry was the founder, creator and CEO of Mortgage Market Guide, which helps to interpret and forecast activity in the mortgage rate and bond markets. Barry has also enjoyed a long tenure as a market expert on FOX and CNBC Networks, including his Monthly Mortgage Report, which can be seen on Squawk Box. Follow him on Twitter @barryhabib.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) will play a larger role in many organizations with increased regulatory oversight. As a mortgage professional, here are the questions you need to ask: Is my company prepared for more CFPB oversight? What steps are we taking in anticipation of such changes? Is our legal department adequately staffed to address the increase in review and input required? Is our company prepared for the enormous cost of compliance?
There is only so much that we can add to the Fed’s balance sheet before the bond market becomes concerned. The U.S. credit rating has already been downgraded. As previously mentioned, the current deficit spends stand at 43 percent—and is growing. Traditionally, the bond market says “no more” when the deficit spending rises 50 to 65 percent. This is known as the “Bang Moment,” the moment that causes interest rates to rise dramatically over a short period of time. We have seen this time and again throughout history, but most recently in countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In one year, Greece saw interest rates rise on a 10-year bond note from six percent to 30 percent. Portugal saw interest rates on their 10-year bond go from four percent to 12 percent—again, all in one year. Spain went from three percent to more than seven percent; now the rate is at six percent. If the U.S. continues the need to borrow, we will have to pay higher rates. This means the return on bond investments
How are superstar CEOs planning for this “Bang Moment?” They are hedging. Think about it. As human beings, we hedge everyday by preparing for life events. For example, what happens if we get into a car accident? We have auto insurance. What happens if we get sick? We have medical insurance. What happens, heaven forbid, if we die? We hedge against that by trying to minimize financial distress with life insurance. Consequently, although we hedge in our everyday lives, we often don’t hedge in our business behaviors. If interest rates decline, we should expect business opportunity to rise, and we should be prepared to handle that influx of transactions. In addition, our marketing efforts need to be at their best so we can reach out and capture possible clients while the opportunity is ripe. On the other hand, what if rates rise? In that case, we need to hedge within our business by developing relationships and capturing more leads from real estate agents, attorneys and accountants, whose leads are less sensitive to interest rates when compared to refinance opportunities. More importantly, mortgage professionals need to hedge their individual finances. When you ask a mortgage professional where he or she has invested his or her own money, many say, “Well, I’m conservative, and my assets are in bonds.” While that might be a good idea for someone who is not in the mortgage business, a person who is already in the industry has a high stake in the mortgage bond market. This is because improving bond prices means improving business conditions, while adverse bond market conditions most likely results in adverse business con-
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This confluence of factors has led to a perfect storm making interest rates attractive. While rates may remain low for another year, the bond markets may eventually not like what they see from any of these issues.
Foreshadowing the “Bang Moment”
Planning like a superstar Hedging for change
The Fed is purchasing mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The economy, while showing signs of recovery, continues to struggle. The “Fiscal Cliff” debates continue, threatening another U.S. recession if unresolved. Geopolitical uncertainties remain a wild card.
The economic challenges affecting the mortgage industry include the aforementioned fiscal cliff. Although an unresolved fiscal cliff can be a short-term plus for the interest rate environment, a long-term lack of resolution would be negative. Conversely, should the fiscal cliff be averted, there is a strong possibility that a stock market rally will ensue with a sell-off in the bond market to provide the cash to fuel it. This could result in rising rates. Additionally, it is highly likely the deficit will continue to grow. Currently, the amount of deficit spending stands at approximately 43 percent. This means that for every $100 that the United States government spends, $57 is collected from revenue and the remaining $43 must be borrowed. As of now, the government is able to borrow that money at a very low rate on open markets—and the bond market continues to support that. In fact, the United States is providing those funds. The Federal Reserve has been buying a great deal of those Treasury bonds; 61 percent during the past year. This concerns a lot of people because the Fed’s balance sheet is becoming bloated.
ditions. By adding their will decline, which may lead personal portfolio to the to an increase in mortgage mix, mortgage professioninterest rates. als are at risk of putting all, The bond market in the or certainly most, of their U.S. will likely allow our “eggs” in one “basket.” country the better part of Instead, it might be wise 2013 to get on the right to structure your portfolio so track. But it if becomes that you can personally apparent that little to no profit when interest rates progress is being made and rise. As a savvy mortgage the U.S. Debt situation conprofessional, you should tinues to worsen, there look to leverage that situacould be a rapid change in “How are superstar tion with some of your perinterest rates. Mortgage CEOs planning for companies, mortgage prothis ‘Bang Moment?’ sonal investments. Your financial advisor can easily fessionals and consumers They are hedging.” direct you to the many tools have become accustomed that can accomplish this goal. to low rates. However, those low interest rates will not—and cannot—last forever.
Developing a 2013-Style Communications Strategy for Your Mortgage Company By John & Pat Seroka
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In yesteryear, your customers had a much easier time of shopping for a mortgage because the options were fewer and there weren’t as many programs to review. Now, there are thousands of mortgage companies and hundreds of different programs to choose from. The task has become quite daunting for those who are not lucky enough to be cash buyers. So, the question becomes, how do you make sure your mortgage company stands out? For this reason, I feel compelled to make sure a digital content strategy is part of your overall 2013 integrated communications strategy. I’m focusing specifically on the digital content aspect of your plan because of the importance it plays in generating awareness of your mortgage company among both consumers and business referrers. Let’s start with a definition. A content strategy is a framework within which lenders can manage the content being published about their brand and products/services online in order to ensure that they are seen as authorities in their industries and that their content is easily searchable. Digital content development has never been more important. Your audience is in full consumption mode now more than ever due to hand-held devices like the iPad and smartphones which they go to bed with and wake up with and make it easy for them to consume information anywhere and anytime. Your audience wants to learn. They look for reasons to come to you instead of your competition … or go to your competition instead of you! Consider these statistics: Sixty-one percent of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and they are also more likely to buy from or work with that company. (Custom Content Council) Social media sites and blogs reach eight out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users and account for 23 percent of
all time spent online. (Content Marketing Institute) Ninety percent of consumers find custom content useful and 78 percent believe that companies providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (TMG Custom Media) Blogs give Web sites 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links. (Content+) B2B blogging generates 67 percent more leads per month on average than non-blogging companies. (Social Media B2B) Given these statistics, it’s safe to say that having a digital content strategy in place for your mortgage company is important for your brand and profitability. Recently, however, an indepth study was released by Outbrain in partnership with Econsultancy. According to this study, only 34 percent of companies have dedicated budgets and only 46 percent have dedicated individuals for content marketing. I’ll bet the stats are worse in our industry. This study was conducted during the months of July and August of 2012. What the stats should tell you is that right now is a great time to integrate a digital content marketing strategy into your overall strategic plan for 2013. It will give you a significant competitive advantage while others try to play catch-up. Here’s an overview of how to develop your digital content strategy: 1) Make sure your brand promise and positioning statement are clearly defined. Ensure that when prospects and business referrers are driven to visit your Web site, they understand exactly why you’re in business and what your company stands for. Do you stand for world-class service? Experience? Quick and easy? Or do you provide a specific area of specialization, such as reverse mortgages or FHA financing? Assistance for those who’ve gone through foreclo-
sure or have poor credit? The goal is to make sure that people who visit your website know what you’re all about.
should rank and consider to be your online destinations as well.
4) Develop a list of topics of interest to your 2) Set the objectives for target audience. There your content marketing are several good ways to strategy. The obvious do this. One is to review objective is increasing your competitors’ social originations. Of course, media destinations to that’s the goal at the end discover what topics are of the day, but as we all “ it’s a good idea to set driving the most interacknow, nothing happens interim objectives that tion. For example, from a overnight and before you quick search I discovered are measurable and increase originations, you a blog post by Quicken attainable that will need to get people to see then drive interaction Loans entitled “Is an FHA you, follow you and recLoan Right for You?” and ultimately ognize you have somereceived a lot of action. originations.” thing of value for them. Another way is to set up —Pat Seroka So, it’s a good idea to set Google Alerts for various interim objectives that topics having to do with are measurable and mortgage lending so that attainable that will then you’re constantly alerted drive interaction and ultito the latest news that mately originations. For you can then share. For example, an interim example, a recent news objective could be to start item identified that a following on Facebook Ogden, Utah is one of the with a 1st quarter goal of top 10 most affordable obtaining “X” number of cities for homebuying likes. Or, it could be to according to a recent increase the number of report on CNN Money. subscribers to your “The heart and soul of Accordingly, if you’re a YouTube channel by 30 your content strategy mortgage lender in Utah, percent. Also identify you might want to let is consumer focus.” what the mix will be of your audience know this —John Seroka business referrers, those with an update on your who’ve closed a mortgage with you Twitter stream or Facebook page and (who can provide referrals to their net- provide a link to the full article. work) and those who have yet to do business with you will be. Determining 5) Organize your hot topic list into a this mix will play a role in the type of publishing schedule spanning the content you disseminate to your respec- next three months, identifying both tive audiences and how you find them. the frequency of publishing and what venues you will focus on. 3) Conduct a competitive review of Develop this schedule on a quarterly the companies you find to be your basis and keep it flexible. This flexibilitop three to five competitors. I find ty will allow for new hot topics that many mortgage companies I work with come on your radar to be incorporated have a hard time defining this group into your schedule. because there are so many. So, here’s an idea … conduct a Google search for 6) Drive business referrers, past mortgage companies using keywords clients, prospective clients and that your target audience would likely prospective business referrers to use to find a company that “looks like” your content. This can be accomyours. Once you’ve identified these plished with a creative combination of companies, your job is to identify all of tactics including direct mail, email their social online destinations where blasts, lobby signage, handouts, content is published (Twitter, Facebook, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, banner ads blog, YouTube, Vimeo, Google +, etc.). on relevant sites, contests and more. These are the destinations that you Your signage, blasts, ads and other
communications activities should be organized to allow for A/B testing so that you can determine what works for your company and what doesn’t to ensure the best possible ROI. The heart and soul of your content strategy is consumer focus. This means delivering high quality content in the right venues that is designed to engage and motivate your audience to build a relationship with your mortgage company and consider you as a financing alternative. What you should stay away from is any blatant self-promotional activity in your content marketing strategy as this will turn people off. You want your audience to view you as a trusted expert in
the field of mortgage lending, so alert them to and give them information designed to assist them. They will come to see you as a trusted expert which ultimately translates to higher origination volumes. John Seroka is a brand strategist and principal in the Los Angeles office of Seroka, a full-service brand development, marketing, public relations and social media firm that serves a nationwide client base. He can be reached at email@example.com and linkedin.com/in /johnseroka. Pat Seroka is president of Seroka and works out of it’s Waukesha, Wis. office. Pat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and linkedin.com/in/ patseroka.
Changing Technology Mindsets for Growth in 2013 By Todd Mobraten
As originators work to identify ways that they can attract new business in a
Times have certainly changed from when
Lead generation … a buzzword
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A different real estate world
lenders could depend on real estate agents representing buyers to provide loan leads. At the same time, the need for potential buyers to contact agents, who once held all necessary information in their MLS books, is long gone. Agents are not a buyer’s immediate go-to resource anymore. Now, a vast majority of consumers investigate the market and their loan options on the Internet long before they engage an agent or lender. Prior to the establishment of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in the 1970s, agents were offered incentives by referral fees paid by lenders for customer recommendation. Aimed at protecting consumers, RESPA ended this practice and receiving fees or kickbacks of any kind for referrals was deemed illegal. Over time, lenders have instead had to find other ways to market their loan products and generate leads. While rules are growing and regulations are becoming tighter than they ever have been, technology and the proliferation of real estate information on the Web gives mortgage companies new options and additional channels for exposure.
A huge question for mortgage companies in 2012 that will remain in 2013 is: “How does one grow in a challenging and unpredictable market?” To answer this, we first need to examine the growth strategies of the past to uncover why the continuation of these tactics, instead of adjusting to the market’s needs, has become problematic for many organizations. From there, we can then evaluate how a mortgage company can best expand its reach and maintain relevancy, even in an exceedingly difficult economic and regulatory environment. Keeping up with the times takes on several meanings when it comes to the mortgage industry. It refers to modifying services and processes to accommodate a constantly changing market. It also means taking advantage of the tools and technology available to improve a business’ internal operations and external exposure. To achieve 2013 growth objectives, mortgage companies must alter how they view technology and focus on gaining attention from prospective homebuyers by embedding themselves within the technology that consumers use and where transactions already occur.
all services conducted rebounding market convoonline, which closely corluted by regulations, “lead relates with consumers’ generation” remains a use of online mortgage common buzzword. And lending and brokerage today, lead generation services, increased from often refers to using tech5.9 percent in 2007 to 9.4 nology and the Internet. percent in 2012. The firm Many third-party Web sites credits favorable changes have been developed solein consumer preference ly to help organizations for online mortgage servreach potential borrowers. ices for driving overall Countless mortgage comindustry growth over the panies have engaged “… the percentage past five years. There are search engine optimizaof overall services countless websites that tion (SEO) experts to conducted online, allow consumers to handle improve their Web traffic, which closely part, if not all, of the mortand while beneficial, this correlates with gage transaction. Many strategy proves costly and consumers’ use of potential buyers start their its results are often imposonline mortgage sible to measure. Of the lending and brokerage mortgage search online to weigh their options, many online platforms services, increased research lenders, evaluate that have been created, from 5.9 percent in prices and use mortgage several are launching new 2007 to 9.4 percent calculator tools, and Web features to serve as lead in 2012.” sites like RealtyTrac let generation tools and some them easily search foreclosed homes and now even offer their own competitive gather important stats for any market. To loan programs. Additionally, mortgage companies remain relevant, originators must make often invest heavily in online advertising, themselves a part of this critical initial or pay-per-click advertising, to drive phase by incorporating their businesses prospects to their Web sites. The success with organizations that are online, engagof this method frequently depends on ing prospective buyers from the onset. hiring a specialist to research keywords and phrases, which can become expense Go where the and often does not lead to desired customers go results–more Web site traffic does not There are two ways for a mortgage company to expand its business: The first is to necessarily translate into viable leads. Instead of relying on Web advertising market itself and create opportunities for other Internet marketing tactics, origina- any consumer who might be interested in tors need to entirely redefine how they obtaining a loan for a property. A better view technology as a solution. While in way for an organization to achieve growth the past using technology primarily is by including itself where consumers indicated leveraging the Internet for already go and where deals take place no advertising, exposure through technolo- matter what, which can be accomplished gy now extends far beyond purchasing through strategic technology partnerships. By forming a relationship with a techbanner ads and click through rates. Originators must gain a new perspective nology provider or well-established real on what technology truly offers and estate portal that already enables comunderstand just how much consumers munications and transactions, a company embrace the Internet as a means to can get in front of consumers who are ready to negotiate a deal, not just those transact. In any business, it is crucial to possibly considering a home purchase. As remain aware of your customers’ pref- originators look toward growth, they need erences and understand how those can to find a partner that makes them a part change over time. For mortgage compa- of a network, placing their businesses nies, this means knowing prospects’ within an online forum where transacpreferred method of researching tions are already active. A strategic partproperties and handling the purchase nership allows them to remain focused on process—and today’s consumers their core business while gaining a techabsolutely favor online services. nology provider’s in-depth understanding Industry research firm IBISWorld recentcontinued on page 56 ly reported that the percentage of over-
changing technology mindsets for growth of how consumers want to interact. Buyers are now better informed and tech-savvy, so they are motivated by the convenience of online services, which they already receive from companies like Amazon. Only by associating with a technology partner can originators truly include themselves amidst today’s active homebuyers.
Attracting customers, providing a positive experience
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Originators must identify technology partners that help them capitalize on new deals for minimal referral fees, connecting them with the agents that bring hot leads. In the real estate-owned (REO) space, software can also serve as a lead generation tool when the bank owner requires a cross qualification. Cross qualifications are growing in prevalence, as they provide a way for the seller to ensure a candidate can afford the property, while providing borrower incentives, such as paying the closing costs. And, using technology for cross-qualifications can further drive business by delivering buyer contact information, as well as consent for contact. A technology partner can facilitate this process, sending notifications for prequalification requests and allowing buyers to complete and send applications online.
Looking ahead Originators must to take their marketing and business development strategies to a new level. They can no longer view tech-
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nology simply as a tool for online advertising and improving Internet searchability. These tactics do have merit; however, the current marketplace requires mortgage companies to take a fresh look at technology and take full advantage of its ability to improve business processes and drive additional and continual exposure among viable buyers. Technology and online services are completely embraced by consumers, and the more potential buyers use the Internet for mortgage research and demand online tools and transactions, the more vital it is for originators to insert themselves within these channels, tying their businesses with companies already interacting with serious buyers. Mortgage companies that remain in an antiquated mode will continue to lose out on business to originators that integrate themselves through online networks and technology outlets to connect with agents, other industry organizations and most importantly, potential borrowers. So, looking ahead to a brand new year is the perfect time for a mortgage company to assess how it views technology and then identify the strategic partners that enable the connections that generate growth even in an unpredictable market. Todd Mobraten is president and chief operating officer of Lake Forest, Calif.based USRES Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, RES.NET Inc. He may be reached by phone at (949) 598-9920 or email at email@example.com.
Fostering Growth in the Wholesale Channel in 2013 By Cathy Blaszyk The wholesale channel has undergone quite a shakeup in the past year. With large banks exiting the market altogether, now is the time for smaller and mid-sized wholesale lenders to evaluate what this means for their businesses moving forward. There remains significant viability in the wholesale market; however, wholesale lenders need to transform how they operate to position themselves for growth in 2013 and success far beyond.
This situation is common among wholesale lenders today, as they are overwhelmed like the rest of the industry with compliance requirements. However, accounting for hundreds of thousands of dollars annually as a cost of doing business is certainly not a recipe for success, especially as regulatory obligations and subsequent fines grow.
“ … wholesale lenders need to transform how they operate to Revamping the position themselves lender/broker for growth.”
Two types of wholesale lenders Wholesale lenders currently fall into one of two categories, neither of which operates optimally. The first uses a very methodical, yet painstaking time- and labor-intensive quality control (QC) process. They spend countless resources on personnel to ensure rates are accurate before accepting a broker file and the liability that comes with it. This comes at a cost, as they make huge sacrifices to their efficiency and productivity. On the other hand, many wholesale lenders use an extremely minimal QC process, and some use none at all. Lenders usually cite a lack of manpower as the primary reason for skipping this vital step–they know fines are inevitable and simply consider these a cost of doing business. I recently spoke to a wholesale lender with very high volume that did not have the personnel for a formal, upfront QC process, and instead, accepted every file, well aware that inaccuracies were leading to costly fines. A careful assessment showed that between 10 and 15 percent of this lender’s files contained incorrect data. Understanding the money that was flying out the window and seriously affecting the company’s bottom line was finally motivation enough to make a change.
Wholesale lenders need to revitalize their systems and how they communicate with their brokers, and they should make improving the workflow between themselves and brokers a key focus. Currently, if a broker sends a file to a lender that does not meet their requirements, whether it relates to formatting or fees disclosed, the lender will reject the file and business is lost. This is inefficient for everyone. Wholesale lenders want to support the brokers they work with in getting correct fee data, and many are successfully doing so and improving outcomes for everyone (the lender, broker and the consumer) by engaging technology. Technology to manage workflow as well as provide accurate, timely data for Good Faith Estimates (GFEs) is giving proactive wholesale lenders the ability to improve efficiencies and best manage their relationships with brokers. As regulations tighten, so do the practices of many wholesale lenders. While the broker typically creates the GFE package, many wholesale lenders now prefer to eliminate risk by taking full control of this process. However, wholesale lenders that want this task to remain a responsibility of the broker can use technology that allows them to configure rules behind the scenes based on specific requirements, such as when a pest inspection or land survey is required. This allows them to retain
ultimate control without taking on the added workload. Tools are available for wholesale lenders that assure brokers have the correct fee components and can even direct from which service providers a broker can choose. Beyond delivering precise GFE data, wholesale lenders should be using technology to better communicate and establish a streamlined and clear workflow with their brokers. When there is a change in circumstance, a workflow system provides essential, immediate alerts to the party designated to handle the re-disclosure, whether it is the broker or the lender. Changes in recording fees or a local taxing jurisdiction fees should be addressed immediately. Too often these disclosures simply do not go out, a situation that can be avoided altogether with the right system in place to ensure tasks are managed and create a detailed audit trail.
Technology: A win-win situation
A healthy wholesale market A wholesale market that is healthy and competitive allows consumers to shop while also keeping the entire channel strong. Now is the time for wholesale lenders to capitalize on recent changes in the market with big players no longer a part of the environment. Wholesale lenders will miss the opportunity in front of them for significant growth if they continue to either waste resources
on outdated QC processes or make the conscious business decision to disclosure inaccurate rates to get a file closed and knowingly incur fines. This year is an opportune time to grow a wholesale lending business, so take the time to identify the tools that aid in data communication as it is presented to consumer. Leverage modern systems that reduce overhead and origination costs, which eventually trickles down to the consumer, boding well for business growth and the market overall. Cathy Blaszyk is vice president of lender services for La Jolla, Calif.-based ClosingCorp Inc., a provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technologies for mortgage lenders, real estate professionals and consumers. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 57
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More regulatory changes are inevitable. Additional rules on the horizon from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will bring whole new level of accountability to wholesale lenders. Additionally, it is likely that more affiliated relationships will be held to zero tolerance, creating even more risk for the lender. Due to these enormous changes and growing amounts of risk, the intercession of technology is no longer an option for lenders–it is a must. To realize the benefits of this changing wholesale market and grow their businesses, wholesale lenders must apply technology that lets them reduce the number of touches that occur from the moment a broker file is received. Antiquated and manual methods no longer support QC and compliance. Those that continue to match up templates and tables (if they perform QC at all) or accept every broker file and hope for the best will not be able to stay afloat in today’s challenging environment. Technology makes achieving more with fewer resources and less manpower possible, and the positive effects of establishing bidirectional communication with brokers leads to fewer fines, a stronger bottom line and creates a chain reaction benefiting brokers and consumers. Wholesale lenders must understand that their brokers cannot afford to continue waiting on responses from providers–they need accurate rates instantaneously to do their jobs properly. Giving them access to technology that delivers the data they need, when they need it, is an incredible value add for brokers. This is where they experience the huge cost savings and an immediate return-oninvestment (ROI) on any technology
investment, as it is where they eliminate the costly fines they have become used to paying on behalf of broker errors. Major efficiencies are gained by everyone when using a solution that acts as a system of record, tracking all activities and changes from the initial GFE through the end of a transaction.
Brokers are well aware that changes occur constantly, and typically they do their very best to keep up. However, many brokers do not even know when they continue using incorrect data, especially as it relates to transfer taxes and recording fees. The old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” rings true with some brokers. Wholesale lenders can support brokers, and in turn improve their own businesses, by implementing technology that calculates rates based on statutory and customary practices and ensures brokers consistently follow their particular rule set. Following the housing market’s decline, brokers were heavily criticized for their role in the industry’s collapse. By enlisting tools that support the work of brokers, wholesale lenders can help them gain credibility among consumers and rebuild the broker market as a whole. Technology can be the key to this by empowering brokers to provide consumers with precise estimates upfront and ensuring everything goes smoothly when they arrive at the closing table. Many brokers today still attempt to alleviate challenges at this final step by inflating their initial estimate, telling the borrower to trust in them that the final costs will be lower. This is not a good practice for anyone. Strong lend-
ing mean providing accurate information for a mortgage in that local jurisdiction based on the unique transaction. Wholesale lenders must ensure there is no reason for their brokers to overstate estimates to consumers. By helping the broker to become a higher level professional, a wholesale lender can create a better experience for the borrower, which leads to more referrals and a stronger reputation in the lending industry.
choosing appraisal business partners Buyer beware: Sense before dollars Everyone makes money on the process somehow. Make sure you know upfront how your prospective partner gets paid. It sounds like a simple concept, but this is a significant factor in judging the overall value of the solution. Here are examples of situations to avoid:
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typically isn’t necessary, especially in today’s competitive environment. If they have to develop your solution, and want an implementation fee upfront, you should question their experience. Testing and launching custom implementations is a long-term project fraught with unforeseeable delays and expenses, and it’s rarely a good experience for the lender. Don’t foot the bill for someone to develop a new solution, unknowingly playing the guinea pig. If it’s new, it most likely hasn’t been tested, and there are plenty of solutions out there that have been, so you don’t need to risk additional upfront expense.
Avoid AMCs that take a large cut of the appraiser’s fee. There’s usually a reason the appraiser is working for a lesser fee and if the AMC’s profit margin is dependent on how low they can get the appraiser to go, and how high they can get you to go, there’s a definite problem. I used to ask “You know what you’re paying for the Finding a long-term partner is any appraisal, but do you know what realm is a tough decision, but in this the appraiser is actually being regulatory environment it’s absolutely paid?” Trust me—it matters. essential. As a lender, you need to focus Beware of bait-and-switch scenarios. on origination and service, and rely on Sometimes full service AMCs offer a valuation workflow experts to help you “self-managed” solution based on with specific workflow operations. With less expensive, tech-based services. the right partner you can weather any Sometimes choosing between an regulatory storm and continue moving AMC and a self-managed technology forward. Always remember to keep the platform seems like an either/or long term goals of your organization in choice, and a vendor offering both mind; otherwise you may be making solutions can be perceived as a safer this same decision again sometime option. However, once a client is soon. Hopefully these guidelines help hooked, the vendor has a financial you make the best choice for your incentive to guide them to a more organization. costly solution regardless of their actual needs. If you choose to go Chris Sullivan oversees the national sales with the vendor’s technology plat- team for Mercury Network, and supervisform and have a customer support es Mercury’s largest, key strategic question, you might be escalated to accounts. He has been with a la mode higher priced AMC services. Make inc. for 11 years, building invaluable sure you’re not getting baited on a expertise in vendor management operaless expensive solution, only to find tions and appraisal compliance concerns out later you’re being sold on the with the largest lenders and appraisal more expensive AMC services you management companies in the nation. Chris has been instrumental in the thought you wouldn’t need. growth of Mercury Network, powering Also watch out for implementa- more than 20,000 compliant appraisal tion fees and upfront costs. deliveries a day. He may be reached by Whether it’s a software platform phone at (800) 434-7260, ext. 708 or eor an AMC, paying upfront fees mail email@example.com.
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identifies goals that you hope to achieve. A plan opens its’ author to measurement, feedback, judgment and most importantly, a far greater opportunity to succeed. I am offering, to any and all willing to listen, my highest and most valuable advice. Adopting this business discipline will yield enormous benefits in both your professional and personal life. Demonstrate the courage to create a business plan and submit your plan to those you trust. Risk falling short of your goals. Expose yourself to critique,
accountability and the support of others. Your business plan will act like an invisible hand, offering you non-stop direction, guidance and inspiration. And it will cost you nothing but the time invested in writing your plan. This is the closest thing I’ve discovered to “pixie dust” in my almost 30 year career. Casey Cunningham is president of XINNIX, a provider of mortgage sales and leadership development programs. She may be reached by phone at (678) 3253501 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating Compliant ABAs and MSAs By Joseph Cilento
To remain viable beyond the refinance boom, lenders must reduce their reliance on refi loans. Every mortgage lender would like to establish connections with direct referral sources such as real estate agents. Fortunately, there are identified acceptable, lawful means for agents and brokers to work together through compliant ABAs and MSAs.
ABAs and RESPA Section 8 An ABA, an affiliated business arrangement, consists of a profit-sharing arrangement between two settlement service providers (SSPs): Businesses or individuals who help to close a residential real estate transaction and/or conduct a residential mortgage loan. Settlement service providers include lenders, real estate agents, attorneys, closing agents, title agents, home builders and developers, credit and appraisal companies, home and flood insurance companies, surveyors, home inspectors and home warranty firms. When setting up an ABA, you must be aware of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a rule preventing the acceptance of any fee as “part of a real estate settlement service involving a federally related mortgage loan …” However, the rule does provide one exception to “permit payment for goods actually furnished or services performed.” But you must understand that a referral is not a compensable service. You are not allowed to compensate a business partner for sending you a referral. For an ABA to qualify under RESPA Section 8, you must pay a reasonably equivalent value for services rendered.
Compliant ABAs An ABA differs from an MSA because it has a specific expressed statutory basis. It’s right in RESPA, and RESPA states you can refer business if you properly use this method. Some of these requirements include: You must disclose the existence of the ABA, and in the written disclosure, you must provide an estimate of the charges. RESPA contains a promulgated form you can use. You cannot require a consumer to use your ABA. The only value you may legally receive is a return on an ownership interest in the form of a dividend or a distribution of some sort. Payment cannot be related to volume. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) also addresses the proper nature of the participants in an ABA to ensure it is compliant. Its list includes capitalization, staffing, independent management, separate offices, core settlement services, outsourcing of services, relationship with the outsourced service provider, value and payment for outsourced services, active competition in the marketplace, and exclusivity with interest owners.
Compliant MSAs Unlike an ABA, a MSA (marketing service agreement) is not addressed on a specific statutory basis. However, HUD pointed out a few red flags to avoid. The areas of concern include direct consumer solicitation, a transactional fee paid on a per-loan basis, direct receipt and transmission of consumer information, and exclusivity between the parties. MSAs employ two basic types of fee arrangements: A fixed-fee and a transactional, or per-loan, fee. The fixed fee involves fewer compliance risks. You need to be very careful with–even avoid–the transactional fee situation. When using marketing services agreements, you should ensure the agreement clearly spells out what the parties are going to do; it is structured on a fixed-fee basis related to the value provided; and the relationship is disclosed to the consumer.
Conclusion Government regulations specifically limit how ABA/MSA business may be conducted. In addition, individual states often enact local rules stricter than federal ones. Individual companies should provide well documented written policies and procedures about establishing and conducting business with referral partners, including periodic evaluation. But with adequate care to ensure compliance, ABAs and MSAs can play a very positive role in your business. Joseph Cilento is director of business affiliations for Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company. Founded in 1992, Guaranteed is a licensed mortgage banking firm comprised of more than 300 mortgage professionals lending in 28 states. He may be reached by phone at (914) 696-3400.
new to market
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Zillow Launches New Mobile Zillow Mortgage Marketplace App Zillow has launched its free Zillow Mortgage Marketplace App for iPad, a personalized mortgage research and shopping app designed especially for the iPad’s interactive, multitouch capabilities. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace provides a one-of-a-kind transparent lending marketplace where borrowers can connect with reputable lenders to find personalized loan options and get a variety of competitive mortgage rates, instantly. The Zillow Mortgage Marketplace App for iPad combines access to this innovative loan shopping experience with easy-to-use calculators and animated charts that allow consumers to understand and engage with every stage of the mortgage process, in one simple interface. “Shopping for a home loan can be complicated, cumbersome and not very much fun. Not to mention, a borrower could leave thousands of dollars on the table by choosing the wrong loan,” said Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. “Zillow Mortgage Marketplace for iPad takes a complex process and makes it easy to understand,
engaging and visual to help borrowers understand their options and find the best loan and lender for them.” Unique to the iPad app, use the “Get Pre-Approved” section to connect with preferred Zillow lenders who can preapprove borrowers for loans before they start shopping for a home. This is an important feature for buyers wanting an edge in today’s competitive housing market.
Ernst Releases New GFE Search Engine Upgrade Ernst Publishing Company has released a new version of its closing cost data search engine, Smart Query II. The new fully-customizable tool provides guaranteed-accurate fee and tax data with integrated geocoding, client-specified defaults and built in monitoring available via browser or any mobile device all for a single price per loan regardless of the number of searches. It’s the easiest to use and most affordable solution available on the market today providing the information lenders need to populate the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and title providers need in creating the HUD-1. “This is the next generation of GFE fee calculator and it includes everything a loan originator needs to provide accurate
third party closing cost information to borrowers at the Point of Sale and any point thereafter, up to and including the closing table,” said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. “Industry regulators have made it clear that the days of not providing completely accurate loan information to prospective borrowers where and when they want it are behind us. This new offering removes compliance risk, increases a lender’s ability to attract and maintain loan applicants through the closing process and is easier to use than ever.” Smart Query II allows lenders to work smarter by getting the right data in seconds or less with the same accuracy, reliability and guarantee but requiring less information, reducing data input time. Integral geocoding allows Smart Query II to choose the right jurisdictions automatically, making every search faster and more accurate than ever before. Each search comes with Ernst’s data update protection, allowing users to know immediately if anything changes before the deal is closed. Smart Query II provides guaranteed fee
data for Blocks 4 through 8 of the GFE, for the preparation of the HUD-1 and with its new data sets, it can also provide information for the preparation of deeds, appraisal reviews, title reports and more. Ernst Publishing, which processes more than 120,000,000 transactions annually, has always had flexible pricing plans allowing lenders to search multiple times on the same loan for a set price. That policy will continue for this new product.
Your turn National Mortgage Professional Magazine invites you to submit any information promoting new “niche” loan programs, new products or any other announcement related to the introduction of a new program, to the attention of: New to Market column Phone #: (516) 409-5555 E-mail: email@example.com Note: Submissions sent via e-mail are preferred. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of the month prior to the target issue.
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Accounting and Audit
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The Bond Exchange www.bondedwithnamb.org (501) 224-8895
Hometown Lenders (888) 606-8066 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hometownbranch.com
LOWEST-COST STATE MORTGAGE LICENSE BONDS Support NAMB in supporting you!
"WE HELP YOU GROW YOUR BRANCH AND SKYROCKET YOUR INCOME!"
Online surety bond applications, instant underwriting approval, and credit card payments administered through The Bond Exchange NAMB's exclusive partner provider for state license surety bonds.
Appraisal Management Company
The Bond Exchange is a national surety agency specializing in servicing mortgage license bonds for thousands of mortgage professionals across the country. Low prices and fantastic service. You really can have them both at the same time!
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We fund your start-up costs Corporate Recruiting Team that puts producers in your branch Direct Connection with the branch managers who are crushing it Proven "Marketing Maps" that will double your business "Next Level Support" to help keep you growing Get a BPS payback from our volume incentive, or build a margin for yourself into your rate! Full capability to control your loan officers' pricing. Create, Customize and Optimize your branch's compensation plan. Full Eagle Lender and In-House Underwriting, Closing and Fundings Currently looking for high-quality producers in: TX, CO, NC, SC, NJ, OH, GA, AL, TN, FL, MS, LA, KY
StreetLinks Lender Solutions (800) 778-4920 www.streetlinks.com email@example.com
StreetLinks Lender Solutions provides an innovative and comprehensive suite of valuation and service solutions used by lenders, servicers and appraisers nationwide to improve everyday business operations.
America’s Choice Home Loans www.achlonline.com 713-821-9750
Meadowbrook is hiring Branch Managers and Loan Originators. We are licensed in NY, CT, PA, NJ, MD, FL, MA, NC, pending in SC, NH, and RI. Meadowbrook is an FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and VA endorsed lender.
Finally - the freedom to originate! America's Choice gives you the tools you need so you can Originate, Close and Get Paid!
United States Appraisals World-Class Service. Nationwide Coverage. Discover Confidence in Your Appraisal Partner! www.UnitedStatesAppraisals.com | (866) 562-0123
We work as hard as you to be America’s Choice for consumers needing a home loan, and we work just as hard to be America’s Choice for top branch managers, loan originators and mortgage professionals. Call Jonathan Fowler, Director of National Production at 713-821-9750 to learn how you can have a better, more rewarding career.
United States Appraisals combines nationwide coverage with personalized, world-class service. From fast turn-times to rigorous quality assurance and delivery guarantees, we bring much needed confidence to the valuation process. Fast Turn Times – We guarantee it! Underwriter-Ready reports – the first time! 100% Compliance with all regulations and guidelines Customary and Reasonable Fees and a weekly pay cycle Cutting-Edge Technology provides real time reporting and full integration for a seamless business process Call us at (866) 562-0123 for a free consultation. Or visit www.UnitedStatesAppraisals.com to learn more.
Call 516-409-5555, ext 4, to register your company.
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Mortgage Brokers Network Corp, Inc. 1-888-589-7048 The Mortgage Industry’s Matchmaker http://mortgagebrokersnetwork SSIONAL
Meadowbrook loan originators make 33% more money with Meadowbrook than with any other company they worked for. Enjoy the benefits of a low compare ratio, a lead management system with an endless supply of leads, A tier investors, and much more.
NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
StreetLinks industry-leading products include LenderPlus™ full-service appraisal management, LenderX™ lender-executed appraisal management software and SCORe™ appraisal reviews and a series of valuation analysis tools for services. Our commitment to quality and service, embodied by our partnership approach to clients and appraisers, continues to set us apart as the nation’s premier lending solutions partner. For more information, visit www.streetlinks.com.
Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers 1-888-MEADOW8 (632-3698) www.mortgagesalesjob.com
If your ad was here, you would be seen by 191,181 Mortgage Professionals looking for resources to help them in their business.
• Mortgage Branch Employment Opportunities • We work with some of the top mortgage branch companies in the industry! • With hundreds of branch employment opportunities out there, making a choice on who to sign up with is not an easy task! We are here to help! • Hiring Licensed Mortgage Originators for branch management and loan origination. • Bank and Broker status to choose from, multi-State lending and more... Visit our site or call us today to speak to one of our representatives.
Compliance Consultants (Contâ€™d)
Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company, Inc. Headquarters: 108 Corporate Park Drive Ste. 301 White Plains, NY 10604 (888) 329-GHMC | Recruitment@GHMC.com Immediate investment in your business. We pay licensing, initial marketing, more. Next Day Payâ„˘. Total support. Easy transition. Full suite in-house products. Mortgage banker & top-level broker 28 states|20+ years|On Inc.500 list of fastest-growing companies
LENDERS COMPLIANCE GROUP 167 West Hudson Street - Suite 200 Long Beach | NY | 11561 | (516) 442-3456 www.LendersComplianceGroup.com The first full-service, mortgage risk management firm in the country, specializing exclusively in mortgage compliance.
â€œA Full Service Lending Information Companyâ€? A/E: Jeremy â€œJudgeâ€? Honor 877-MFI- DATA Jeremy@MfiCreditSolutions.com www.MfiCreditSolutions.com Credit reports â€˘ Rapid rescore â€˘ Reissue â€˘ Supplements IRS & Social verification â€˘ VOE / VOI â€˘ Title â€˘ Flood Appraisals / BPO / AVM â€˘ Fraud alerts â€˘ Red Flag â€˘ LQI MOST AGGRESSIVE PRICING!
Pioneers in outsourcing solutions for mortgage compliance. Our Compliance Team Will: Leverage your existing employees. Improve your productivity. Collaborate on projects. Make the most of your current technology. Bring innovation to your company. Be a strong cultural fit. Free you to focus on your core competencies. Give you access to world-class expertise. Lower your total operational costs.
TagQuest www.myharpleads.com TagQuest.com 888-717-8980
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NMLS approved 20 hour Prelicensing Education NMLS approved Continuing Education Live Classroom Instruction, Web Delivery and Private Events The SAFE-Smart ExamCram, Powerfully Innovative Test Prep
TagQuest is a full service marketing firm created specifically for the ever changing mortgage business. We have tested and proven campaigns for FHA -VA - HARP - CONVENTIONAL loan types. TagQuest knows what it takes to generate quality leads whether through direct mail marketing, telemarketing, internet leads, data lists, tracking systems, or any combination thereof. TagQuest will brand your company, prepare targeted marketing campaigns that generate interest in your company, and most importantly, show you how to turn sales leads into repeat customers.
Abacus Mortgage Training and Education PO Box 780 Summerfield, NC 27358 888-341-7767 â€˘ www.GetYourEd.com
BROKERS COMPLIANCE GROUP 167 West Hudson Street â€“ Suite 200 Long Beach | NY | 11561 firstname.lastname@example.org www.BrokersComplianceGroup.com Division of Lenders Compliance Group, BCG is the first and only mortgage risk management firm in the U.S. devoted to supporting the unique compliance needs of residential mortgage brokers.
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FHA guideline news to keep you updated FHA Marketing tips and downloads that are easily customized Personal development tips to help you develop your character Full access to all previous FHA marketing downloads!
No contracts so sign up today and give yourself the tools to brand yourself as The FHA Expert in your marketplace.
Leveling the Playing Field for Mortgage Brokers Low Cost Monthly Membership Includes: â€˘ Free Weekly Hotline â€˘ Access to Subject Matter Experts â€˘ Policies and Procedures â€˘ Webinars
Cost: Only $19.95 per month per physical office location. Watch for our 8 Hour NMLS Continuing Education Course
Titan List & Mailing Services, Inc. 1020 NW 6th St Suite D, Deerfield Beach, FL. 33442 (800) 544-8060 www.TitanLists.com Titan List and Mailing Services, Inc. is a direct marketing agency that offers a complete range of advertising and design services. The firm specializes in data lists (mail/phone), printing, direct mail, graphic and website design as well as internet and SEO marketing. Starting in 1998, the company has, since then employed highly skilled individuals who have considerable experience regarding marketing trends. The company manages the complete in-house campaign themselves including Design, Data Lists, Printing, Postage, and Mailing.
The Lykken on Lending Radio Program Sign-on weekly at nmpmag.com/lykkenonlending
*Special Pricing* â€˘ Quality Control â€˘ Exam Readiness â€˘ Licensing â€˘ Legal Reviews
NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
Mortgage Seminars MortgageSeminars.com 248-403-8181 Jeff Mifsud, a former FHA Direct Endorsed Underwriter trained by HUD and an FHA Originator for over 15 years, is publisher of The FHA Originator, a monthly marketing newsletter which gives youâ€Ś
Loan Origination Systems
Robertson | Anschutz 800-343-7160 email@example.com www.radocs.com/info.html
Calyx Software 800-362-2599 firstname.lastname@example.org www.calyxsoftware.com
Veros Real Estate Solutions 2333 North Broadway, Suite 350 • Santa Ana, CA 92706 (866) 458-3767 www.veros.com • @verosres (Twitter)
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.
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.
8520 Macon Rd. Ste 2 Cordova, TN 38018 email@example.com | 615-477-7118
Icon Residential Lenders (888) 247-4207 www.iconwholesale.com
MCMF developed My Guide, a Premier Credit & Financial Education Magazine that you can customize with your LOGO and Ad Pages to feature your organization as well as provide your borrowers a go-to-guide for credit and financial resources, empowering them to make the most informed financial decisions.
Icon Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grand Bank N.A., is one of the nation’s leading Conforming, 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.
Mortgage Loan Closing Document Preparation & Compliance Services Fulfillment Services Including Pre-Funding Review & Post-Closing Interfaces with Leading Loan Origination Software Systems Foreclosure – Loss Mitigation Services
Document Preparation (SaaS)
Docs on Demand 800-343-7160 firstname.lastname@example.org www.docsondemand.info
Mortgage Loan Closing Document Preparation & Compliance Software Loan Documents and Compliance – Web-based/SaaS – Easy to Use Intuitive – Secure and Reliable – Integrates with Leading LOS Free Setup and Support – Extensive Compliance Audits
This 16 page, full color, quarterly publication, provides financial literacy tools in a concise, unbiased, easy to understand format.
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Direct Access to Underwriters Competitive Pricing Innovative Technology Paperless Solution Bank Funding
Contact me today to learn more about this one of a kind opportunity!
NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012
My Guide is offered in traditional magazine print, as well as our newest electronic flipbook version, bringing “flipping through a magazine” experience right to your desktop
HomeBridge 5 Park Plaza, 10th Floor Irvine, CA 92614 www.homebridgewholesale.com HomeBridge is a national wholesale lender offering both conventional and government products. We are committed to providing the highest value to our clients through competitive pricing, unique product offerings, superior customer service, and state-of-the-art technology.
Leads TagQuest ................................................................888-817-8980 CUSTOMIZE YOUR CAMPAIGNS! FHA - HARP - VA Leads, Loan Modification, Debt Consolidation, Direct Mail, Data List, Live Transfers, Internet Leads – tagquest.com
Wholesale Lenders (Cont’d.)
Wholesale Lenders (Cont’d.)
CBC National Bank 3010 Royal Boulevard South, Ste. 230 Alpharetta, GA 30022 888-486-4304
Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. www.remnwholesale.com 866-933-6342 REMN has FHA, USDA, 203k, VA and Conventional solutions to fit the needs of your customers. But, at REMN, our most valuable product is our people. The REMN Sales and Operations Teams give you - and your loans - the time and attention that you deserve. Even better, at REMN, same-day approvals are guaranteed.* You can rely on us to get the little, yet vital, things taken care of on time. Interested in joining our Wholesale Division? Send your resume to email@example.com
United Wholesale Mortgage 800-981-8898 www.uwm.com UWM has a full set of mortgage products to meet all of your lending needs with Conventional, FHA, USDA (Rural Development), VA, Jumbo, HARP 2.0 and DU Refi Plus. With UWM’s ELITE program, you will receive the most aggressive conventional rates and pricing in the industry for your elite borrowers! Discover Lending Made Easy with United Wholesale Mortgage!
CBC National Bank is one of the nation’s fastest growing wholesale lenders offering Conventional, FHA, VA, and USDA. The most important aspect of being a leader in today’s market is the ability to build and maintain a meaningful relationship with each customer. We understand that these meaningful relationships coupled with competitive pricing and efficient technology are the pillars of today’s lending environment. We are hiring Loan officers in the Southeast. GA, FL, AL, TN, NC,SC. Contact Gabe Santiago our Corporate Recruiter at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. Big Enough to MATTER…Small Enough to CARE
NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2012
NATIONAL MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL
calendar OF EVENTS
Calendar of Events, please e-mail the details of your event, along with contact information, to email@example.com. DECEMBER 2012 Friday-Monday, December 7-10 NAMB National 2012 MGM Grand 799 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, call (972) 758-1151 or visit NAMB.org.
Tuesday-Friday, February 19-22 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2013 National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center 1501 Gaylord Trail Grapevine, Texas For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
Wednesday, March 13 Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals Broward Chapter 2013 Annual Trade Show “It’s Mardi Gras Time” Broward County Convention Center 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For more information, call (954) 205-0022 or visit www.browardfamp.org. Wednesday, March 13 2013 Maryland Association of Mortgage Professionals Annual Conference Maritime Institute 692 Maritime Boulevard Linthicum Heights, Md. For more information, call (410) 752-6262 or visit www.mdmtgpros.org.
Wednesday-Thursday, April 24-25 National Advocacy Conference Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill 400 New Jersey Avenue Northwest Washington, D.C. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
OCTOBER 2013 Sunday-Wednesday, October 27-30 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 100th Annual Convention & Expo Walter E. Washington Convention Center 801 Mount Vernon Place Northwest Washington, D.C. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
MAY 2013 Sunday-Wednesday, May 5-8 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2013 National Secondary Market Conference & Expo New York Marriott Marquis 1535 Broadway New York, N.Y. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org. Sunday-Wednesday, May 19-22 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2013 Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference Arizona Biltmore 2400 East Missouri Avenue Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
RTGAGE PRO O M
FEBRUARY 2013 Sunday-Wednesday, February 3-6 2013 CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 1 Market Place San Diego, Calif. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
MARCH 2013 Wednesday-Saturday, March 6-9 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2013 Mid-Winter Housing Finance Conference The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch 130 Daybreak Ridge Avon, Colo. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
Sunday-Wednesday, April 14-17 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2013 National Fraud Issues Conference Westin Diplomat 3555 South Ocean Drive Hollywood, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
Sunday-Wednesday, May 19-22 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 2013 Legal Issues/Regulatory Compliance Conference Boca Raton Hotel 501 East Camino Real Boca Raton, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
PENNSYLVANIA MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
JANUARY 2013 Monday-Friday, January 14-18 MISMO January 2013 Educational Summit & Workshop One Ocean Resort 1 Ocean Boulevard Atlantic Beach, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
Thursday-Saturday, February 21-23 Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) National Short Sale and REO Summit 2013 Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center 1501 Gaylord Trail Grapevine, Texas For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
APRIL 2013 Sunday-Wednesday, April 14-17 2013 National Technology in Mortgage Banking Conference & Expo Westin Diplomat 3555 South Ocean Drive Hollywood, Fla. For more information, call (800) 793-6222 or visit MortgageBankers.org.
To submit your entry for inclusion in the National Mortgage Professional