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The 35th Emerald Anniversary Regional Conference of MBAs, at Harrah’s Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ, is offering a great program to celebrate 35 years
If you are concerned that your competitors will be at the 35th Annual Regional Conference Of MBAs, you are correct. While that is one good reason not to miss this important event, there are many others as well. Yes, it is a great deal, and you do get more for your money than at most conferences. Consider the unmatched residential conference’s exhibit hall with lunch, a significant program designed to make you more competitive and profitable in 2018, two lunches, two receptions (one in the beautiful pool area), two breakfasts and more. All of this is available for a single, modest fee that is only possible because of the support of our exhibitors and sponsors, including our Platinums.
 
This year, our Conference is more important than ever before given the dramatic changes envisioned for our regulated industry. While we anticipate a reduction in regulation and a change in the manner in which new regulations may be vetted and the way in which guidance may be utilized (for example, the administration has indicated that guidance from federal agencies may not be used as the basis for enforcement), the Conference will provide expert insight on these and related topics.  And the manner in which state regulation may play an increased role will also be discussed at the Conference. 
 
We are excited about our new approach to Thursday’s program (with no increase in cost to Conference attendees!) which provides the time needed to deal with, “A close look at the future of mortgage lending and where you fit in.” Our expert panel includes a current employee of the CFPB and other experts , each of whom are highly regarded and sought after as speakers around the Country (see program at mbanj.com). Each will have the presentation time needed so attendees can fully comprehend the latest information and nuances on subjects such as  the transition/transformation of the CFPB, potential development of QM and ATR, the PHH case and its implications for mortgage originations, HMDA’s revised data points, GSE reform, TRID and much more!
 
And following that important session, we are adding a reception and lunch with a speaker who is dealing on the Hill and with federal regulators on a regular basis who can give you a truly inside view on what is happening in D.C. and how you will be impacted on many of the key issues you are concerned about. You don’t get many opportunities to get this kind of input.
 
We all recognize that a lot is happening that will impact mortgage lenders and others in businesses related to mortgage finance, all of whom should not chance missing this year’s Regional Conference … which will be better than ever! So come and help us celebrate our Emerald Anniversary. We have the Yellow Brick Road as a theme this year for several reasons, one of which is that the Wizard of Oz was born the same year that MBANJ was—1939! The other is to say that while the wizard can’t help you do more profitable business, the Regional Conference can so get on the road to the Regional and we will see you in Atlantic City in March!

E. Robert Levy Esq. is Executive Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey E. Robert Levy Esq. is Executive Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey. He may be reached by phone at (732) 218-1801 or e-mail rlevy@offitkurman.com.

 
Marketing compliance rules in our industry are notoriously tough to get right,
Marketing compliance rules in our industry are notoriously tough to get right, and getting it wrong can have serious consequences for both the loan officer and the lender. Given this tough regulatory atmosphere, it surprised me to learn that it could be as much as half of all mortgage marketing material has not been reviewed by anyone at the company it belongs to. That’s a huge risk!
 
We surveyed 10 mortgage marketers. The consensus among them was that around 50 percent of mortgage marketing is not reviewed for compliance … or for brand adherence, content, grammar or any other reason for that matter. That’s millions of mortgage marketing impressions every year that don't get reviewed by the organizations they represent.
 
Think about this for a minute: Lenders, who are on the hook for the marketing loan officers do, are not reviewing their own loan officer’s marketing materials. Content with the company name on it goes out the door with no one checking whether it violates any laws or adheres to brand standards. Lenders are at risk of being fined millions of dollars, yet a lot of the time they're crossing their fingers and hoping. How did it get this way?
 
This rogue marketing is done by loan officers doing their best to meet expectations. Top producing loan officers are an entity unto themselves. How could they not be? They are responsible for self-sourcing their business, which means their personal brand is everything. After all, they're entrepreneurs, right? They call their own shots. It's up to them to identify Realtor partners, find new customers, nurture existing relationships, and market their brand and unique selling proposition.
 
Marketing compliance rules in our industry are notoriously tough to get right,A loan officer’s ability to connect with people on a personal level is why they can make a million dollars a year. Lenders think, “We can’t tie their hands and require them to market within the rigid lines of the compliant marketing box, right?” So, they look away. They cross their fingers and hope.
 
In a recent interview with Dave Savage from Mortgage Coach, Garth Graham from Stratmor stated more than 54 percent of mortgage lenders still do not have a system in place to manage customer communications. It's 2017 and we still have large lenders, with widely distributed sales forces, who don't have a tool in place to manage marketing content. They’re not even trying to control their marketing content. Or, they have a tiny, understaffed marketing department that can't possibly keep up with the daily demands of a hungry sales force, and the compliance team can't keep up either.
 
It’s an unholy trinity of demand. Sales people demand effective, unique messaging that can be sent "right now." Marketing wants brand consistency, well-formed communications and specific calls to action. Compliance wants boxes checked, disclaimers added and the minutiae covered.
 
It's an impossible situation to manage without a system. A customer relationship and marketing platform, on its own, will not magically solve the marketing compliance issues lenders face, and they do face some real challenges when it comes to getting LOs to take marketing compliance seriously.
 
For one, loan officers look down the street and see other LOs doing things their compliance teams won’t let them do. So, they roll the dice. Technically, they’re liable too, but the risk/reward math is easy.
 
Sometimes the challenge is internal. Marketing approval processes, guidelines and turn times are not clear to the loan officers, or are inconsistent. It’s hard to abide by company marketing standards when the rules are not communicated or the process doesn’t work.
 
These challenges often prompt loan officers to send marketing materials out without approval. Loan officers’ marketing errors can land a lender in hot water, but lenders are giving them practically no choice when they make it hard to comply.
 
Here are just a few recent errors or omissions we have seen on marketing material sent by rogue loan officers:
 
►No NMLS number (individual and/or branch)
►No physical address on an e-mail
►Opt-out mismanagement
►Improperly-sized logos, including the Equal Housing Lender logo
►Trigger terms (e.g., a 30-year fixed must be disclaimed)
 
Any one of these could put a lender in a bad spot and these types of violations happen frequently. That leaves us with one question: What can lenders do to bridge the gaps between sales, marketing, and compliance to make mortgage marketing work?
 
I talked to The Knowledge Coop's Ken Perry about it. Since 2003, he has trained people throughout mortgage organizations large and small on compliance, including marketing compliance. He is in the unique position of working directly with loan officers, marketers and compliance teams, which allows him to hear all the stakeholders’ perspectives. Here’s what Ken has to say:
 
The Knowledge Coop's Ken Perry When I got into the mortgage industry as a loan originator years ago, I understood immediately the way things work around here: Salespeople drive income and operations people try to keep them from burning the company down.
 
The relationship between compliance and loan originators in many companies has become like a parent and child relationship–an overprotective, overreactive parent and a rebellious, trouble-seeking teenager to be more precise. So how do we fix problem marketing in the face of this dynamic? Three things: Training, Monitoring and Consequences.
 
First, lead with training. I talked to a marketing compliance professional who was so frustrated by her “idiot loan officers” (her words, not mine). She was telling me how none of them do it right and all she does every day is say “no” and send the marketing pieces back to the LOs.
 
I asked her, “Have you told them what right looks like?” She seemed confused. I told her that it seems odd that she spends all day telling people when they do it wrong, but gave zero thought to teaching them how to do it right.
 
This industry would benefit immensely from clear, simple training that encourages originators to do marketing right and explains clearly what that looks like. Think about all the time wasted saying “no,” or “that’s wrong.” She’d recoup two hours of her day just by training better.
 
Second, monitor originators. If you don’t know what they are doing, how can you make sure they are doing it right? You can use a third-party for some monitoring, especially social media. For instance, Optimal Blue just released some slick social media monitoring software that could play a part in your compliance monitoring.
 
You can’t stop there though. Every now and then just Google a loan originator’s cellphone number or e-mail. The results will show anywhere they are advertising online. You will find some crazy things so be prepared.
 
Not monitoring is not an option. It’s like me telling my daughter I demand that she cleans her room, but then never checking to see if it is clean. I guarantee you it would never be clean!
 
Third, define consequences. The CFPB is adamant about this one. They want all companies to hold their originators responsible for marketing violations. Think about parenting again. If I give my kids boundaries, and they break them without consequence, I can’t expect them to learn or change their behavior. Teaching LOs what is and isn’t okay must be backed up by a corrective action policy. And you must enforce it.
 
I worked at a company where they were having trouble with employees forwarding inappropriate chain e-mails (remember those?). We had a policy, but no related corrective action. We trained them on the policy, but the e-mails continued to flow. We monitored their activity, so we saw how bad the problem was, but that only made us complicit as the e-mails continued because we knew it was happening but did nothing to stop it.
 
Finally, we rolled out a new zero-tolerance corrective-action policy. We told everybody that if they sent out even one inappropriate e-mail or went to one inappropriate Web site, they would be fired. And we did. We fired one of our top producing loan officers. That was the last e-mail we dealt with. People learned that we were serious.
 
I am not saying you should have zero tolerance for marketing mistakes, but I am saying that people need to know what happens when they violate policies and laws, and that the company will follow through, regardless of the LO’s production.
 
Done right, a marketing compliance system makes your compliance and marketing people a resource who loan officers rely on to help them grow their businesses the right way. They don’t have to be the “Fun Police.” The best thing you can do to grow your marketing presence without adding risk is to incorporate training, monitoring, and corrective action into your marketing system. The choice is yours: invest in marketing compliance now or take a chance and pay the fines (or even go out of business) later.
Brent Emler is Director of Sales and Marketing at Velma.com, a customizable marketing software provider exclusive to the mortgage industry. With a background in business finance, Brent has a unique understanding of the modern lending climate and keeps his finger firmly on the pulse of leading trends. Since diving into the industry in 1998, Ken Perry has been a relentless innovator in the mortgage and real estate world. His company was one of the nation’s first training companies to be approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) to provide pre-licensing and continuing education for originators.

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 
The 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40
In our eighth 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 regulatory 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 2017 and beyond.
 
We’d like to congratulate all of the following individuals named to our “40 Under 40” list for 2017—in no particular order but alphabetical—and thank all the nominees for their participation in our “40 Under 40: The 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40” feature.
 
Ben AndersonBen Anderson
Executive Loan Advisor and Branch Manager
RPM Mortgage, a Division of LendUS
Orange County, Calif.
BenAndersonGroup.com

Ben Anderson is a Branch Manager at RPM Mortgage, a division of LendUS and a top-ranked mortgage professional. He has funded $1.4 billion in mortgages since 2010, including $242 million in 2016 alone. Since 2011, Ben has assisted more than 2,500 families.

Christian BestChristian Best
Broker of Record
Magnum Opus Federal Corporation
Philadelphia
MagnumOpusFederal.com

Christian Best is an award-winning Mortgage Broker, recognized within his industry for exceptional expertise, strict ethical standards and delivering unmatched benefits to his clients. Respected as a leader in his community, he partakes in philanthropic endeavors to advance people of color.

Jay BoandJay Boand
Director of Correspondent Lending
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG)
Corona, Calif.
PRMG.net

There aren’t many who have worked at Countrywide, Bank of America and PennyMac that have achieved as much as Jay Boand. His operations background, combined with his ability to effectively communicate make him a powerful leader.

Kelcey BrownKelcey Brown
Executive Vice President
WebMax LLC
Turnersville, N.J.
WebMaxCo.com

Kelcey Brown spearheads strategic initiatives, acting as the key advisor to the president on critical changes in the competitive landscape and digital mortgage technology market. He has 10-plus years of experience with mortgage and real estate technology. He is a Navy veteran.

Michael CookseyMichael Cooksey
Founder
The Cooksey Team
Dallas, Texas
CookseyTeam.com

Michael Cooksey founded The Cooksey Team, one of Mid America Mortgage’s most successful branches. With 16 years of experience and nearly $1 billion in funded loans with Mid America, Michael understands how to execute a successful mortgage transaction. Utilizing The CORE Training methodology, Michael coaches his staff and other mortgage and RE professionals to become top producers. Cooksey Team LOs average six closings per month (industry average is 2.4) and $250,000 annually. Total expected branch volume for 2017 is $300 million.

Adam CunninghamAdam Cunningham
Area Sales Manager
Carrington Mortgage Services
Anaheim, Calif.
CarringtonWholesale.com

Adam Cunningham focuses on the broker relationship. Training, development and education are what Adam brings to every broker he works with. He has 12 years in the industry … dedication drives his success. Adam is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach and is a Circle of Excellence winner. With his unique approach, Adam effectively and successfully runs Carrington’s top West Coast inside sales team.

Sarah DeCiantisSarah DeCiantis
Chief Marketing Officer
United Wholesale Mortgage
Troy, Mich.
UWM.com

Sarah DeCiantis leads UWM’s marketing, public relations, advertising, social media, creative and CRM that have established the company as the gold standard of the wholesale mortgage industry. Sarah has been a key driver behind UWM's strategic approach to marketing, transforming it from sales support to a driver of sales growth. She spearheaded the launch of UWM’s new industry-changing Web site and introduced the Marketing Toolbox to help brokers.

Mark S. FisherMark S. Fisher
Mortgage Loan Originator
United Northern Mortgage Bankers Ltd.
Bronx, N.Y.
UnitedNorthern.com

Mark S. Fisher has been a great example to the next generation of mortgage professionals. Entering the mortgage business at the age of 23, Mark has consistently seen double-digit growth. At 29, he is on track to end 2017 with $65 million in volume. A 2010 Fordham University Gabelli School of Business Alumni, Mark graduated during one of the worst economic periods of our lifetime. Since then, through his work ethic and strategy, Mark has served countless families achieve their goals of homeownership.

Vanessa FrischVanessa Frisch
Senior Mortgage Banker
Wintrust Mortgage
St. Paul, Minn.
WintrustMortgage.com/Library/Get/Profile/1312/Profile

Vanessa Frisch has been a mortgage banker for 12 years, starting at 20 years of age. Having been with Wintrust for more than eight years, she is the face of Millennial originators, having closed more than $30 million. She was a featured speaker at Sales Mastery 2017 and special nominee by Todd Duncan. She is also a Top President's Club member at Wintrust.

John P. HamamehJohn P. Hamameh
Chief Compliance Officer/General Counsel
Class Appraisal Inc.
Troy, Mich.
ClassAppraisal.com

John P. Hamameh has been in the real estate/mortgage space since he was 16-years-old, and with Class Appraisal since 2012. On top of being a licensed attorney, John is also a licensed Real Estate Broker, which gives Class Appraisal the unique perspective of wanting deals to get closed, but doing so compliantly. John was named Top Corporate Counsel by Dbusiness Magazine and is always centering his focus in on how Class Appraisal can create more efficiency and expediency, but doing so while navigating the legislative confines of a highly regulated mortgage industry.

Kelly D. HaneyKelly D. Haney
Area Manager
Mortgage Financial Services
Flower Mound, Texas
KellyDHaney.com

Kelly D. Haney began his multi-faceted career in the mortgage industry in inside sales. He quickly advanced into loan origination and sales management, which enabled him to gain excellent skills in loan transactions, client relations, team leadership, and training and development.

Colton HansenColton Hansen
Vice President of Business Development
TRK Connection
Salt Lake City
TRKConnection.com

Colton Hansen is responsible for leading TRK Connection’s new business efforts and client/vendor relationship management. Prior to TRK, Hansen was Manager of Vendor Relations for SSM Hub and worked in business development for Salt Lake City-based Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.

Andy W. HarrisAndy W. Harris, CRMS
President
Vantage Mortgage Group Inc.
Lake Oswego, Ore.
VantageMortgageGroup.com

Andy W. Harris, CRMS is President of Oregon-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. Andy strongly encourages all Mortgage Loan Originators to embrace self-education and independent origination. He believes now is the best opportunity in history for the wholesale lending channel.

David J. HostermanDavid J. Hosterman
Branch Manager/Loan Officer
Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC
Denver
CastleCookeMortgage.com/Loan-Officer/David-Hosterman

Recognized as his company’s top-producing loan officer from 2014-2016, David J. Hosterman is currently the top Loan Officer for 2017. In 2016, he closed 288 units for $76,426,994. David has co-managed the top branch for the company since 2014.

Alex JimenezAlex Jimenez
Branch Manager
Hancock Mortgage Partners LLC
Franklin, Tenn.
HancockMortgage.com/AJNashville

Alex Jimenez is focused on serving veterans and helping them navigate through the mortgage process. He has also dedicated himself in training others across the nation as an Instructor for Military Mortgage Boot Camp.

Kyle KamroozKyle Kamrooz
Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Cloudvirga
Irvine, Calif.
Cloudvirga.com

Kyle Kamrooz has 18 years of executive experience in mortgage lending. Before founding Cloudvirga, he was Executive Vice President of Skyline Home Loans. He also founded Sage Credit, which he built into a nationwide mortgage company that processed $7 billion-plus in loans annually.

Erica LaCentraErica LaCentra
Marketing Manager
RCN Capital LLC
Glastonbury, Conn.
RCNCapital.com

Included on last year's list of the "Next 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch,” Erica LaCentra joined RCN Capital in 2013, and her efforts have rapidly expanded RCN’s customer base and elevated the company to a national brand. Erica is a current member of AAPL's Education Advisory Committee which serves as a vital resource, assisting AAPL leadership in the planning, producing and maintaining of comparable and uniform information specific to the private lending industry. She has also had multiple teaching/speaking roles at industry trade shows and events.

Altaf LalaniAltaf Lalani
Account Executive
REMN Wholesale
Newport Beach, Calif.
REMNWholesale.com

Altaf Lalani is one of the most hard-working people at REMN. With every dip the industry takes, he perseveres and thrives. His unique ability to connect to the broker community and help educate them is what makes him so successful. Lalani joined REMN Wholesale in 2015 and quickly rose to be in the top five for sales, two years in a row. Located in Newport Beach, Calif., Altaf's region extends much further to the West Coast and beyond.

William LedesmaWilliam Ledesma
Senior Loan Officer
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group (PRMG)
Doral, Fla.
WilliamLedesma.com

William is a seasoned mortgage professional specializinCg in Florida's ever-changing residential real estate arena. South Florida has been home from the beginning for William, and helping others own their home there is more than a job, it's a labor of gratitude. "Experience should be a resource of wisdom for those around you," this is William's motto. In such regard, he's always willing to help others with challenging files, thus becoming a key contributor within his office and the local lender community.

Steve LevineSteve Levine
Vice President, Divisional Retail Production
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG)
Davie, Fla.
PRMG.net

Steve Levine is one of the most successful retail platform builders in the industry today. He has created a legacy of successful operators, that follow his principles of profitability and efficiency, thus creating a loyal following of colleagues daily. As a former owner of a regional mortgage banker in South Florida, he learned how to run a business. His business acumen, along with his easy-going demeanor, allow him to obtain, train and retain dozens of incredible branch managers.

Cherie LynchCherie Lynch
Marketing Manager
Class Appraisal
Troy, Mich.
ClassAppraisal.com
Cherie Lynch was born and raised in Detroit. She spent many years in the fashion industry, traveling throughout the United States. She returned to Michigan to attend Wayne State University and get her degree in fine arts. Cherie is the engine that drives Class Appraisal's marketing efforts. Cherie does a great job of telling the Class Appraisal story through her posts, articles and blogs.

Benjamin MadickBenjamin Madick
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Matic
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
MaticInsurance.com

Ben Madick is Co-Founder of Matic, a digital insurance agency that helps lenders and LOs better integrate homeowner’s insurance into the lending process. Matic provides bindable quotes from highly-rated insurance carriers in seconds for faster loan closings.

Reno ManueleReno Manuele
President
Neighborhood Loans
Lombard, Ill.
NeighborhoodLoans.com

Reno Manuele serves as President of Neighborhood Loans. As the company continues its emergence in the residential lending community, the vision Reno established has resulted in higher customer satisfaction rates, more educated clients and a foundation for inevitable growth. Reno’s industry contributions include incorporating an intuitive marketing approach by implementing industry leading technologies. This has enabled Loan Officers and Realtors to better service the needs of their customers, clients and referral partners.

Laura MartellLaura Martell
Marketing Manager
Mountain West Financial Inc.
Redlands, Calif.
MWFInc.com

As marketing manager for Mountain West Financial Inc. (MWF), Laura Martell oversees advertising, Web sites, social media and brand development. As an industry veteran, Martell understands everything from retail to wholesale and sales to operations; and earned a bachelor’s in fine arts degree in graphic design from Cal Poly Pomona.

Bob MeloneBob Melone
Loan Officer
radius financial group inc.
Norwell, Mass.
BobMeloneTeam.com

Bob Melone entered the mortgage lending industry 13 years ago. Before joining radius, Bob served as a combat medic in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003. He currently resides in Hanover, Mass. with his wife and two children.

Bryan MillerBryan Miller
Assistant Vice President, National Accounts
United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM)
Detroit
UWM.com

Bryan Miller is United Wholesale Mortgage’s ambassador and key support system to the company’s highest producing clients. His extensive mortgage knowledge and overwhelming success as one of UWM’s all-time top producing Account Executives gives Bryan the tools to successfully assist key account clients daily. Internally, Bryan provides ongoing coaching to UWM’s Account Executives, with a focus on growing their business and creating strong relationships with their broker and correspondent partners. Bryan is well-positioned to help UWM’s clients successfully achieve their business goals because he is a repository of the industry’s best practices.

Brett MillsBrett Mills
Producing Area Manager
Academy Mortgage Corporation
Layton, Utah
AcademyMortgage.com/LO/BrettMills

Brett Mills is a recognized industry leader and Duane Shaw Achievement Award recipient, Academy Mortgage Corporation’s highest honor given for professional excellence and community service. He serves on several industry boards within Utah and is a Falcon in the Air Force.

Andres J. MunarAndres J. Munar
Co-Founder
Keystone Alliance Mortgage
State College, Penn.
KeystoneAllianceMortgage.com

Andres J. Munar started in the industry in 2006. He leads a team of amazing professionals set to close more than 200 transactions in 2017. He and his team share a servant leadership vision which allows them to execute at a high level. As Co-Founder of Keystone Alliance Mortgage, Andres and his business partner have built a company with 20 employees helping, more than 500 families in the past three years.

Aaron NinnessAaron Ninness
Branch Manager
New American Funding
Greenwood Village, Colo.
AaronNinness.com

Aaron Ninness started in the mortgage industry when he was 16. He is a top producer and runs the top branch for New American Funding. He has a balanced life for his family and activities. He is a prolific speaker and has a YouTube channel for educating the consumers on homeownership. He also teaches the mandatory classes that the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) requires for Colorado Realtors.

Jim PaolinoJim Paolino
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
LodeStar Software Solutions
New York, N.Y.
LodeStarSS.com

Jim Paolino founded LodeStar Software Solutions in 2013 at 27-years-old. He is also the Chief Sales Officer at Res/Title, a national title agent, in addition to serving as LodeStar's Chief Executive Officer. He was also a member of 2016's Top 40 under 40.

Katy ParsonsKaty Parsons
Mortgage Advisor
Finance of America Mortgage
Portland, Ore.
FOAMortgage.com/KParsons

Katy Parsons has been originating for five years, and in that time, has made quite an impact on her clients, but also the industry. She instantly brings levity to any situation while representing a level of professionalism the industry desperately needed. Katy revived the Mortgage Revolution conference, which showcases leading mortgage technology while raising money for charity, and coordinates similar industry events around the country. She’s featured on shows like The National Real Estate Post … stay tuned to see what’s next!

Peter PescatorePeter Pescatore
Chief Operating Officer
Jet Direct Mortgage
Bay Shore, N.Y.
JetDirectMortgage.com

Peter Pescatore is an experienced Chief Operating Officer with a 20-plus-year history in the banking industry. Skilled in all aspects of the residential mortgage market, he is a strong business development professional with a bachelor of science from St. Joseph College. Peter is a direct endorsement underwriter and licensed Mortgage Loan Originator. He has been a key factor in the incredible recent growth of Jet Direct Mortgage.

Cari (Burris) PinkertCari (Burris) Pinkert
Chief Operating Officer
Nationwide Appraisal Network
Oldsmar, Fla.
Nationwide-Appraisal.com

Under Cari (Burris) Pinkert’s leadership, Nationwide Appraisal Network (NAN) has emerged as one of the top appraisal management companies (AMCs) in the mortgage business. Cari works to improve performance through technology that drives efficiency and provides a competitive advantage to clients and business partners.

Joe PuthurJoe Puthur
President
Mortgage Coach
Tampa, Fla.
MortgageCoach.com

Joe Puthur’s professional contributions put financial security and affordable homeownership within reach for millions of borrowers across all economic backgrounds, and has propelled hundreds of originators to career success. His charitable efforts have helped alleviate hardships for thousands of individuals nationwide.

Evangeline ScottEvangeline Scott
Certified Mortgage Planner
Finance of America Mortgage
Folsom, Calif.
TeamScottLoans.com

Evangeline Scott is known for outstanding service. You can count on her to look out for your interests and keep you informed throughout the process. Her experience, honesty and hands-on approach shines through with each client she serves.

Laura Kay SheelyLaura Kay Sheely
Vice President of Mortgage Production
MidwestOne Bank Home Mortgage
Iowa City, Iowa
MidWestOne.com

Laura Kay Sheely has worked in mortgage lending since early 2000. Her success has come from being highly professional, personally-driven and by leading teams of producers to reach their own growth goals. She serves on the Iowa Mortgage Association Board as the President-Elect.

John G. StevensJohn G. Stevens
President
NAMB
Highland, Utah
NAMB.org

John G. Stevens is the Vice President of National Business Development for Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG). His LinkedIn profile is in the top five percent viewed worldwide, and he has been awarded Mortgage Professional of the Year by NAMB and the Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP). John is an Honorary Colonel in the PGPD and a Paul Harris Fellow award winner for Rotary.

Ryan StewmanRyan Stewman
Founder/CEO/Hardcore Closer
Break Free Academy
Addison, Texas
HardcoreCloser.com

Ryan Stewman, the “Hardcore Closer,” a five-time best-selling author, podcaster and blogger is infamous for rapidly growing sales via powerful advertising and marketing. A salesman turned Chief Executive Officer, Ryan helps high-net-worth performers adjust their business plans resulting in windfall profits.

Joseph R. VillaniJoseph R. Villani
Senior Vice President of Correspondent Sales
The Money Source
Melville, N.Y.
TheMoneySource.com

Joseph R. Villani arrived at The Money Source with a background in financial services and a client-centric approach. He quickly rose to be a sales leader for one of the fastest-growing Fintech companies by increasing correspondent sales by over 30 percent.

Justin WisemanJustin Wiseman
Associate Vice President and Managing Regulatory Counsel
Mortgage Bankers Association
Washington, D.C.
MBA.org

Justin Wiseman is Associate Vice President & Managing Regulatory Counsel for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He oversees legal/regulatory issues and manages MBA's litigation coordination function. He has been commended for his leadership on the development of the MBA One Mod and TCPA campaigns. Prior to joining MBA, he clerked in Federal District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee. He attended Emory Law School, and previously worked with the Center for Strategic and International Studies on European and Transatlantic security issues.

The Next 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch …
Due to the numerous submissions we received for the “40 Under 40” list, there are those who continue to make waves in the industry who could not be overlooked. They, like those on the “40 Under 40” list, will be leaders in the industry for years to come, so keep an eye out for the following mortgage professionals  as they continue to shape the industry:
►Aaron Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Accumatch Property Tax Intelligence
►Dr. Ian Ashton, Branch Manager, Caliber Home Loans
►Christopher Brower, Senior Mortgage Banker, Jersey Mortgage Company
►Zachary Dawson, Director of Credit Risk, Fannie Mae
►Matt Demorest, Owner, HomeSure Lending
►Chris DeRosier, Mortgage Loan Consultant, John Adams Mortgage
►Michelle Dugan, Loan Originator, Movement Mortgage
►Mike Eshelman, Vice President of Marketing, First Direct Lending LLC
►Derek Fertig, Branch Manager, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
►Corey Gee, President, Perennial Funding LLC
►Michael Gonzales, Branch Manager, Open Mortgage
►Chasity Graff, Owner, LA Lending LLC
►Jordan Higgins, Vice President, Correspondent Sales, Verus Mortgage Capital
►Nick Hunter, Chief Operating Officer, River City Mortgage LLC
►Dan Hutzelman, Chief Executive Officer, River City Home Loans
►Bob Jones, Senior Vice President, Alternative Mortgage Sales Channels Manager, BBVA Compass
►Brian W. Kempf, Vice President-Senior Loan Officer, George Mason Mortgage LLC
►Juliana Krijan, Chief Operating Officer, Jungo
►Eric Kulbe, Regional Manager, Guild Mortgage
►Micaela Lumpkin, Vice President and Head of Term Loans, CoreVest Finance
►Lisa Lund, President, Lund Mortgage Team Inc.
►Jim Mitzel, Branch Partner, Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.
►Stacy Mohr, Senior Vice President of Capital Markets, Mountain West Financial Inc.
►Michael Most, Senior Loan Officer, Chase
►Amber Parr, Mortgage Loan Originator, The Mortgage Firm
►Christopher R. Picone, Owner/President, PRS Capital Group LLC
►Jason Price, Product Manager, ReverseVision
►James Prince,  Vice President of Sales, 1st Financial Inc.
►Hailey Rice, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Village Mortgage Company
►David Spektor, Chief Technology Officer, LodeStar Software Solutions
►Staci Stanley, Mortgage Consultant, Fairway Independent Mortgage
►Ed Stojancevich, Loan Officer, A&M Mortgage Group
►Scott Tennant, Branch Manager, Hometown Lenders LLC
►Jason Turner, Area Vice President, AMCAP Mortgage-North Houston Branch
►Craig Ungaro, Chief Operating Officer, AnnieMac Home Mortgage
►Angie Vance, Mortgage Loan Originator, Gulfside Mortgage Services
►Ariana K. Veloz, Branch Manager, Loan Simple Inc.
►Brandy Whitmire, Branch Manager|Mortgage Loan Originator, HomeBridge Financial Services Inc.
►Troy P. Williams, Branch Manager, Skyline Home Loans
►David Yurovchak, Sales Manager, loan Depot
►Adam Zima, President, Champions Mortgage

 
While we all “hope”2018 will be another good year for the real estate and mortgage business, I think we all realize deep down inside that “hope” is truly not a strategy. As I have coached Originators this year and have spoken around the country, I have found that everyone has goals, but few truly accomplish them.
 
There are many reasons why these goals are not accomplished, and I hope you will read this article to avoid making these same mistakes. Perhaps the main reason for failing is that we don’t have an actual goal. You cannot just say you want to do well … it must be quantified, it must be written down and it must be planned.
 
Go back and re-read the previous entry before you move forward
You cannot just “hope” to have a good year or achieve any goal. Instead, you must clearly state it and create a sound plan to attain it. Maybe, most importantly, you must have a way to track your progress and see if you are on track or if you have gotten off track somehow.
 
Here’s an example … I will earn $100,000 in 2018. Notice I said “will” not “want.” I will get to this subtle yet important distinction later.
My average commission is $2,000 from an average loan of $200,000 at 100bps. I now know that I need to do 50 loans a year or five a month (accounting for fallout) and one per week.
 
Now for the hard part … how?
Unfortunately, many Loan Officers come up with the first part, but never get to the hard part which is actually “planning” where these deals will originate. It’s nice to say that you want to earn $100,000 and that you need 50 loans in order to do so, but now the big question is “How will you generate them?”
 
You need to think of your business as a four-legged chair, meaning you should always have at least three to four marketing methods you are always working on. The reason to think about this as a chair is because a chair with just one or two legs will crumble, but a chair with four legs is very solid.
 
Here’s an example from my own production:
 
1. Realtors
2. Referrals from past clients and other referral sources
3. Publicity, articles, radio, TV and books
4. Direct to consumers: Direct mail, Facebook and Webinars
 
Important note: I did not say 34 … I said three or four marketing methods!
All too often, we find ourselves coming up with the next big idea or the next shiny object and going down a different path. When you try to do everything, you will likely your find yourself doing nothing!
So … let’s talk about the three words no one else mentions that are critical to every Originator’s success. Are you ready? I mean really ready because you cannot simply read this and benefit, but you truly need to ponder and consider, and think and act.
 
►Conceive
►Believe
►Achieve
 
Let me break each of these down for you. They are from the popular book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, who said a person can accomplish whatever they can conceive, believe and achieve. If you miss any one of these key ingredients, you cannot succeed!
 
Step 1: Conceive
We have spent the entire first part of this article discussing how to conceive and actually break it down into steps that are attainable. If you just glanced over that part, go back now with a highlighter and write this plan down.
 
Step 2: Believe
This is going to sound harsh, so get ready for some no BS advice. I have watched Originators for the past 30 years who succeeded when they had everything stacked against them, while others who had every advantage simply withered and left the business.  It’s actually been a topic that has always fascinated me and I have dedicated my life to studying.
 
I want you to write this down …
“You will only achieve to the level of your current self-image.”
 
Ever see someone do really well, better than expected and then melt down? It may have even happened to you?
 
The reason is that the person exceeded their self-image. To put it in our terms, let’s say you want to close $12,000,000 and you have a month where you close $2,500,000. I can bet you that the next few months, you will close $1,000,000 or less because you have performed over your current self-image. Just because you closed $2,500,000 one month does not make you a $30,000,000 producer.
 
“You will act and perform consistently with your self-image.”
Keep in mind … this does not happen consciously, but rather, under the radar subconsciously.
I could and probably will write a book just on this topic, but for now, really take some quiet time to make sure your goals are in sync with your self-image of who YOU are … not who you “want to be,” but who you truly are.
 
Step 3: Achieve
We are now finally at the last step, and while I have quoted a book by Napoleon Hill earlier in this article, I have to also give you a warning: You cannot just Think and Grow Rich. You must actually act.
 
Now, don’t misunderstand me, you must have positive thoughts. In fact, you will act according to your thoughts, whether positive or negative. The point though is that you now have a written goal, you know what you must do to achieve that goal. Hopefully, you even have the time to believe it. But, you won’t achieve without action. Not to sound corny, but it’s true when you hear that you must work your plan and plan your work.
 
Here’s to a great 2018!

Brian Sacks is a nationally-renowned mortgage expert who has career closing of more than 5,924 transactions Brian Sacks is a nationally-renowned mortgage expert who has career closing of more than 5,924 transactions for more than $1 billion. He has trained, consulted and coached tens of thousands of loan officers and company owners over the past 32 years on how to close more loans, make more money, and still have a life. Brian is the host of "Top Originator Secrets," which can be seen weekly on Mortgage News Network and on his blog. You can get more information and grab your free report on "How to Get Agents Chasing You" at TopOriginatorSecrets.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 
If you have been in sales for any period of time, you have heard the expression “Sales Is a Numbers Game"
If you have been in sales for any period of time, you have heard the expression “Sales Is a Numbers Game.” This is said so often to salespeople that most have become numb to this expression. This is similar as to when you were a child, and for some of us even as adults, we have people in our lives that repeat themselves and we just give an auto response by saying something like “I know” or “I understand,” even though there is really no real comprehension of what was said to you. You heard the words, but you did not heed the meaning.
 
I remember when I was growing up, every single night, my mother would yell down from upstairs to make sure that we checked that the toaster was unplugged. Without fail, this was a nightly ritual from upstairs to downstairs. This all stems from when my mom once heard that a toaster caused a house fire. For this reason, my mom would always want confirmation that we had verified ours was not plugged in.
 
However, it got to the point that whether it was myself or my brothers, it was an auto response that either we checked it, or were going to check it. And I’m sure as you read this, you are imagining how many times we went to bed without ever verifying that it was in fact unplugged. My mom had her ritual of calling down to remind us, and we had our ritual of responding that we would take care of it. The reality was that from the perspective of my brothers and myself, we just responded automatically without any real comprehension of what we were being asked to do. It did not matter that we had checked it 1,000 times before, as we grew older, we just became numb to the constant reminder from my mom.
 
In selling, we have managers, company owners, sales trainers and success coaches that all will repeat how numbers play such an important role in the success of great salespeople. However, until an average or underperforming Loan Officer really decides to ask themselves the question, what numbers are they really talking about, the behavior of the Loan Officer will not change.
 
They will not make more sales calls, they will not make more phone calls, they will do little to no additional marketing. The reason is simple … if you don’t know what the critical numbers you need to measure are, then you have no basis to measure your sales performance improvement.
 
You will hear people say that your performance is your paycheck. As true as that is, your paycheck reflects the end result of your actions and performance, but it gives you zero feedback on what you specifically need to change to improve your paycheck. What I mean by this, is if you:
 
►Do not know how many sales calls you make per day.
►Do not know what your lead to loan conversion ratio is.
►Do not know what your pull-through from loan application to closing is.
 
You have no idea where you may be lacking.
 
Many Loan Officers know, in the back of their head, that they need to make more sales calls. However, if they don’t fully understand what it is in the sales calls their already making that is causing them not to succeed at the level that they need to, then they will associate making additional sales calls as to enduring more pain in growing their business.
 
Of course if you don’t make enough critical mass in marketing and prospecting calls, you will not succeed. There is no denying that fact. But if you are making sales calls, and you really dive into what your numbers are as far as calls, appointments, conversion, etc. Then, you are getting feedback on what area(s) you may be lacking in.
 
For example, if you recognize that you meet many real estate agents, but the relationships never seems to go anywhere, then what you are identifying with your numbers is that getting appointments is not where your issue is. Your challenge is converting the meeting into a business relationship.
 
With an understanding of exactly where you are missing the mark on success through the measurement of your numbers, you can then search for the exact strategies necessary to increase your effectiveness in the meeting that leads to moving a relationship forward.
 
One of the most common challenges I hear from the clients I coach is that they have meetings with agents, but most of them never go anywhere. It amazes me to this day when I ask new clients how many appointments have they been on? How many relationships have been established? How many appointments they think went well but nothing came of it? And so on …
 
As I dig deeper into what it is exactly they are doing, I can figure out what it is that is missing from their presentation that needs to be added or modified. Without question, they will experience growth in their relationships from what we discuss. However, if from the beginning they never understood what their current numbers are, then we have no real basis to measure intermittent growth. The only thing we can do is wait for the final scorecard of closed loans.
 
The challenge with this is that the time from implementation of the new strategies, to seeing the actual benefits, can be weeks or even months. For most people, that is too long a period of time to be on sure of how they are actually doing. If you had to guess, what do you think happens to a Loan Officer’s motivation when they are unable to get rapid feedback on their progression? You know the answer as well as I. They stopped doing it because they’re not receiving instant gratification or recognition of progress.
 
Knowing and measuring your numbers in all you do relating to lead generation, lead sources, lead conversion, pipeline pull-through, and anything else which involves your interaction as a Loan Officer in generating business gives you benchmarks to immediately recognize what you must improve, and how quickly you are improving. Getting consistent reinforcement of growth and improvement creates more motivation to improve and grow. It feeds on itself.
Ron Vaimberg is Executive Director and Head Coach for nmpU, a division of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Ron is a leading Trainer and Coach to wholesale and retail mortgage professionals and the Creator of ForAEsOnly.com. Ron can be reached by phone at (888) 979-6678 (nmpu), ext. 801 or by e-mail at RonV@NMPMediaCorp.com.

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

The 35th Emerald Anniversary Regional Conference of MBAs, at Harrah’s Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ, is offering a great program to celebrate 35 years
Residential Lending Program, Tuesday-Thursday, March 27-29
The 35th Emerald Anniversary Regional Conference of MBAs, at Harrah’s Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ, is offering a great program to celebrate 35 years of providing programs and networking opportunities that continue to be “simply the best” offered to the mortgage finance industry!
 
The Residential Lending Program, Tuesday-Thursday, March 27-29, features our highly regarded Industry Leaders Panel that our attendees look forward to each year. This year, Stan Middleman (Freedom Mortgage Corporation), Peter Norden (HomeBridge Financial Services Inc.), Rick Thornberry (Radian Group Inc.), Joseph Murin (JJAM Financial Services LLC and former President of Ginnie Mae), and J. David Motley, CMB (Colonial Companies and Chairman of the MBA) will exchange their insights on how they see loan origination, rate volatility, servicing values, and counterparty risk along with capital and liquidity over the next 12-18 months. 
 
Barry Habib (MBS Highway) will give his views on the New Tax Code’s impact on mortgage originations. He will also address how mortgage lenders can remain relevant in the evolving marketplace. As Barry puts it, he will show you “how to avoid extinction!”
 
The False Claims Act has been the subject of law suits against FHA lenders. If you don’t understand why this can be a serious danger even for smaller lenders, you need to hear renowned attorney Mitchel H. Kider (Weiner Brodsky Kider PC) discuss these cases. He will present a plain language explanation of what the False Claims Act is and how it is used to obtain big penalties for often minor, technical errors in underwriting and processing government-related loans. Learn how you can avoid False Claims Act violations!
 
There is something new at the Regional Conference this year, a Reception/Luncheon and a great speaker during the Residential Conference who will provide the kind of information that only a Washington, D.C. insider can provide on key issues that Mortgage Bankers need to know about. What do our Senators and Representatives really have in mind concerning the regulatory authority of the CFPB? And what direction will the Administration be moving in with regard to the elimination of regulations impacting mortgage finance? These issues and more will be discussed by Duane Duncan, Senior Vice President for Government & Industry Affairs for Genworth Financial, who spends his time on the Hill and with those in D.C. who speak differently to a regular like Duane, the former Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Richard H. Baker (R-LA).
 
This is an opportunity to complete a great Conference with a speaker who will provide insights not readily available that will help attendees in making key planning decisions in 2018 and beyond. Attendees will also enjoy the interplay with colleagues over a cocktail and a delicious luncheon, sponsored by Genworth.
 
And don’t forget the Regional’s great Exhibit Hall, with lunch provided in the Hall. Make your deals with our exhibitors, and then meet with them and your colleagues over lunch. If that networking is not enough for you, there is more to come with two receptions, one in the Exhibit Hall and the other at Harrah’s beautiful pool, sponsored by Absolute Home Mortgage Corp.
 
And all of the foregoing and much more (check the full program at MBANJ.com) at no extra charge … it is all included in the single fee you will pay (and no increase since last year).
 
Commercial Lending Program, Sunday-Tuesday, March 25-27
The Commercial Lending Program features the Lenders Panel, where attendees will hear insights and perspectives on structuring commercial loan transactions. Representatives from Emigrant Mortgage, Sussex Bank, M&T Bank, Republic Bank, UCEDC, Key Bank Real Estate Capital, Community Preservation Corp. and Money 360 will each discuss the lending programs their company has to offer. Ronald M. Shapiro from Rutgers University, will moderate.
The “State of the Commercial Market” will be presented by Jim Hughes, Professor, Rutgers University.
 
Enjoy lunch with our speaker, Ryan Severino, CFA, Chief Economist for JLL, followed by an afternoon panel moderated by Richard T. Carr, Senior Director at Silverthread Capital. Details to follow shortly.
 
The “State of the Retail Market” will be addressed by Lawrence J. Longua, Chairman of the Industry Outreach Committee of the newly formed Fordham Real Estate Institute at Lincoln, Baruch College, NYC; and Shari D. Linnick, VP of Client Services at Trepp LLC. They will provide a review and analysis of the current state of the retail market and the impact of store closings, as well as the effect of the Internet on the traditional business of retailers.
 
A second lunch will be served in the Commercial Exhibit Hall to end the Conference. Commercial Lending Conference attendees are invited to attend the Cocktail Reception that evening, which opens the Residential Conference. There are also two Cocktail Receptions, on March 25 and March 26 for commercial attendees, as well as two breakfasts on March 26 and 27. Lots of networking opportunities and it is all included in the single fee paid for the Commercial Lending Program! 
E. Robert Levy Esq. is Executive Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey E. Robert Levy Esq. is Executive Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey. He may be reached by phone at (732) 218-1801 or e-mail rlevy@offitkurman.com.

 
The real estate industry often provides professionals in the area with exciting rides, and 2018 will be no different.
 
A number of changes are brewing up in the housing sector, and they are going to affect the work of mortgage loan originators and brokers, as well as all other specialists in the field. Most of the trends relate to the housing inventory and pricing and mortgage rates, but legislative changes will also be of importance in 2018.
 
Here is an overview of the six most important factors that are likely to stir up the industry in the next 12 months. 
 
Housing supply to meet the increased demand
The industry has been marked by insufficient supply of housing in the last year. The most wanted homes are the options that buyers choose for their first-ever purchase. The demand is driven by the solidifying economy, which provides better employment opportunities and higher income to many Americans.
 
A number of reasons led to the limited number of housing offers in 2017. One of the factors is the lower homebuilding capacity after the housing bubble burst, as well as builders’ preference for more expensive projects rather than basic level homes. Additionally, investors who own property are not interested in selling it yet, as they are earning more from renting. 
 
According to the chief economist of Realtor.com, Danielle Hale, supply is bound to rise in 2018. The projections point out to a rise in inventory in the fall. It will be mostly due to new construction. It’s likely that the number of available higher-end homes will be first to rise, but it will be soon followed my mid-level and basic options.
 
Price increases to slow down
Housing prices have steadily risen in the last few years. In 2016, they increased by 6.3 percent. For 2017, the increase is estimated at about six percent as well. While this kept the industry going, it also prevented a number of potential homebuyers from affording a house.
 
The price increase that specialists expect in 2018 is about four percent, which means there will be more real estate options for buyers with limited finances. As with rising supply, the pricing changes will be due to increased construction in the new year. Single-family houses are expected to grow significantly. With increased demand and better pricing, mortgage professionals can expect more homebuyers to turn to their services in the coming year. 
 
Mortgage rates expected to grow
As in the beginning of 2017, mortgage rates are predicted to rise steadily throughout 2018. In November 2017, the 30-year fixed rate was at 4.07 percent. According to CoreLogic, this rate is expected to grow to 4.7 percent by December 2018. Specialists see rates reaching their highest points since 2011.
 
Mortgage rates predictions, however, are always tentative. In 2017, they were expected to go only up. However, they decreased a number of times through the year. While they hiked to 4.58 percent in March 2017, they fell to about four percent later in 2017.
 
Still, with the healthy outlook for the U.S. economy, it is likely that mortgage rates will go up. Higher income, lower unemployment and increased mortgage demand are the major factors that will affect the rate hikes.
 
Millennial buyers to affect the state of affairs
As more and more Millennials are looking for housing options, their home expectations will diversify the market. Young homebuyers will drive significant changes in construction and remodeling, as well as the way house sales work.
 
Most notably, many Millennials are opting for tiny homes which is a up-and-coming solution for housing needs in metropolitan areas. They also turn to renting the innovative micro units—small but extremely well-optimized rooms, especially useful in overpopulated cities. Sharing housing with numerous roommates and co-living with friends and family is another trend set by Millennials, which homeowners are already dealing with.
 
The role of Millennials in the housing market becomes ever more important, as their earning power rises with their coming of age. More and more young people are able to obtain mortgage financing, which allows them to buy their first homes. By the end of 2018, this generational group may make up 43 percent of homebuyers who seek a lending option. This means mortgage professionals should prepare to work with a new kind of customers on a regular basis.
 
New tax regulations may decrease sales
The tax reform that is pending in 2018 may complicate home buying for a number of Americans. Most notably, it alters the mortgage interest tax deduction methods. The new law reduces the mortgage debt for which buyers can obtain itemized interest expense deductions when purchasing a first or second house.
 
Previously, the amount was $1 million, but is now decreased to $750,000. If consumers choose married filing separate status, the limits are set to $500,000 and $375,000, respectively. Additionally, the maximum state and local income and property taxes deduction is now set to $10,000, or $5,000 for married filing separate status.
 
The tax law changes are bound to increase costs for homebuyers. Specialists expect these new rules might reduce housing sales, especially for higher-end properties and in areas with higher tax rates, such as California.
 
Legislative changes for mortgage professionals
While there are no large-scale legislative shifts that will impact the mortgage industry, there are a few changes that affect professionals in some states.
 
In Georgia, mortgage specialists have to post higher broker bond amounts as of mid-2017. Previously, brokers had to obtain a $50,000 mortgage broker surety bond. Now this amount has increased to $150,000. As for mortgage lenders, the required bond amount was $150,000, and has been changed to $250,000. The higher bond requirements aim to ensure better security for clients. They can seek reimbursement via a bond claim in case mortgage professionals have failed to follow the law.
 
In New York State, as of July 2017, the Department of Financial Services requires mortgage loan servicers to register and get bonded. Professionals have to meet a number of state requirements, such as obtaining errors and omissions insurance coverage. The minimum bond amount is set at $250,000. 
Todd Bryant is the president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds. He is a surety bonds expert with years of experience in helping business owners get bonded and stay compliant.

 
Robert Padron is a branch manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals
Robert Padron is a Branch Manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and President of the Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this chapter.
Robert Padron is a branch manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals  
How did you first get involved in the Miami Chapter of FAMP? What was the path that led to your leadership role within the Miami Chapter?
I joined FAMP in 2004, but I took about a three-year hiatus from the mortgage industry in 2009. One of the first things I did when I came back was to rejoin the association and get involved. I’ve served the Miami Chapter as Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President before becoming President. My term started in November of 2017.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your part of the state get involved with the Miami Chapter of FAMP?
We fight for all members of our profession by lobbying in Tallahassee over proposed laws and regulations. We also host events with other associations that relate to our industry, including the Realtor and insurance industries. We also provide both credited and non-credited classes, including the eight-hour continuing education requirements for Loan Officers.
 
Let’s discuss Tallahassee for a minute. What role does the Chapter play in state level lobbying?
We go there once a year in February, with an agenda to discuss what is happening in regard to our industry. We work with the other FAMP Chapters, joining forces to meet with our representatives about the bills they may be considering. We helped to re-write Statute 494 [impacting Loan Originators and Mortgage Brokers], and we are continually involved in other new legislation.
 
I believe that it is always a good thing to be politically committed for our industry and have a voice in the process.
 
What do you see as your most important work with the Miami Chapter of FAMP?
I would think it is my work with our trade shows. We host them once a year and bring together lenders and retailers, and all others related to the industry. This year, we are changing the event site to a more hip location: The Watsco Center at the University of Miami. We average about 600 to 700 people for that event. The Miami Chapter currently has approximately 200 members, and we are always trying drive up membership.
 
Speaking of future membership, are you seeing more young people coming into careers in the mortgage industry?
There seems to be. I’ve seen an increasing number of young people joining the mortgage profession today versus three to five years ago. Unfortunately, for some in the younger generation, commission-based work may drive them away to salaried jobs.
 
I believe that the average loan officer is about 53-years-old. Ten to 20 years down the road, we may be a dying industry if today’s youth is not coming in.
 
Robert Padron is a branch manager at 1st Financial Inc. in Coral Gables, Fla., and president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals What is the state of the housing market like in the Miami area?
I haven’t seen it slow down. There is a quicker turnover from pre-approval to taking an offer. Two to three years ago, it took one or two months to come back with a contract. Now, the turnaround is much faster than that.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Tiare Fullerton, President, Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals
Tiara Fullerton is a Branch Manager and Senior Loan Consultant at Mortgage Associates of Hawaii, a division of American Pacific Mortgage, and President of the Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals (HAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the Aloha State’s mortgage trade group.
Tiare Fullerton, President, Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals 

How did you get involved with HAMP, and what was the path that led you to your leadership position within the association?
I got involved in 2007. As a member, I wanted to give back to the industry. It was a long journey to get to the position I’m at now. I started with the Membership Committee, because that’s how you get to know your members. I moved from there to the Legislative Committee, then the Seminars and Events Committee. I served as Treasurer because I thought it was a great idea to learn what our expenses were. I served as President for 2014, 2017 and 2018, and my current term runs through Dec. 31 of this year.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in Hawaii become a part of HAMP?
We currently have approximately 120 members and we try to protect the livelihood of mortgage professionals in Hawaii through education and the monitoring of legislative issues. The collective strength of the association helps to provide the best for its members and for the consumer.
 
We also encourage communication within the mortgage industry, not only amongst Mortgage Loan Officers, but with escrow and title professionals as well. We want to keep those relationships growing.
 
What is the association’s role in the state’s legislative and regulatory environment?
We keep in touch with the State’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and maintain close communication with the Department’s Commissioners. We have a local law firm that monitors upcoming bills and they let us know if there is anything we need to know about. I’ve met with our state legislators and it is a great experience—you get to see how the system works and how you can make an impact for the Loan Officers and the consumer.
 
I’ve also been to Washington, D.C. on two occasions for NAMB events. That is an experience everyone should participate in, because the more voices we have at the legislative levels, the better opportunities there are for our elected officials and regulators to hear what is important for the industry.
 
Tiare Fullerton, President, Hawaii Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsWhat is your association’s relationship like with NAMB?
NAMB keeps its state associations informed through monthly calls. We participate in order to represent our state, although it is a big haul to get to Washington, D.C. every year, but we make sure that we are supporting NAMB, and do our best to keep informed.
 
Do you see a lot of younger people coming out of college and going into the mortgage profession in Hawaii?
We are not seeing that. It is definitely on our radar, and we have talked about how to encourage that. It can be tough with this generation, because they want to see quick growth. We are talking about going into the high schools and colleges, and educating them to understand what it means to be a mortgage professional. They’re exposed to what doctors and CPAs do, but they may not have an idea about what we do.
 
What is the current state of your local housing market?
It varies by island. Our inventory is low and prices remain high, as the median price for a single-family home is $773,500 and it is $405,000 for a condo. We also have a lot of foreign investors who are moving prices up. As a result, we have a lot of families who are living together.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP)
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Scott regarding his work with this trade group.
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP) 
How did you first become involved with WAMP?
Philanthropic services, paying it forward, and volunteering are a part of my core characteristics since I was a kid. I’m always seeking an opportunity to serve. Our corporate office in northern California was building out the Seattle market.
 
Why would a mortgage professional in your state want to join WAMP?
We are their voice in Olympia and in Washington, D.C. We also offer continuing education annually to all originators. If their companies are corporate annual partners, that continuing education comes to their originators for free.
 
We also offer real-time value throughout the year in blowing up their business: Time management, business planning, true sales skills and leadership training. I don’t believe we get true leadership education in schools. We need leadership and knowing how to lead with care and candor. We recently launched the WAMP Leadership Institute, which has tracks to help mortgage professionals gain real life skills in how to grow themselves. That is a value-added to our membership.
 
What role has WAMP played in the legislative process?
Right now, the state legislature is in recess. But we had a very successful year in killing some potential legislation that would have increased the property tax from the current set schedule of one percent to a proposed five percent. That would have taken the young out of the market and potentially decimated the elderly by forcing them to sell their houses because they could not continue to pay property tax.
 
On a national level, we have a bit of an appraisal crisis on our hands. By placing a four-year college degree requirement on appraisers, we could have quite a deficit in that profession. We were able to extract that from the requirement.
 
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP)What is WAMP’s relationship with NAMB?
It’s healthy and has a regained focus. That was part of my mission for 2017. We had a much stronger bond several years ago, but some leadership on our board made a departure from that. I worked to bring back a more united front.
 
You’ve been in the mortgage industry for 37 years. What do you see as your most significant career accomplishments?
In the first half of my career, I had “Empire-it is” … it was all about me. The back half of my career was all about giving back—I coach and mentor young Loan Originators. I’m passionate about homeownership in America, but I also feel all we really own is our time. I see two choices: Squander or invest, and I choose to invest.
 
You mentioned mentoring young originators. Do you see more young people coming into the mortgage profession?
Yes, I do. They are looking at all different careers out there, and they are finding the barrier to entry in real estate and origination is really quite low: An NMLS license. This career also offers income that rivals some of the most prestigious in the country.
 
I tell young people that they should focus on “career” and not on a “job,” because that’s only an acronym for “Just Over Broke.”
 
What is the state of your local housing market?
Seattle is one of the fastest-growing markets in the country. We’re growing up, not out, because we have urban growth boundaries. The building crane is our new state bird!
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.