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Question: Our bank is undergoing an internal review of its human resources department. I know you conduct such reviews and would like to know some of the primary regulations involving human resources compliance. There are experts in this kind of compliance; however, they seem to be mostly interested in handling litigation issues, while we are looking for a way to draft policies and procedures. What are some important federal regulations involving human resources? What review issues should we consider in our policy statements?
 
Answer
Human Resources (“HR”) compliance is a specialization that very few risk management firms offer. Ours does! Unfortunately, the legal community tends to focus on the litigation arising from compliance failures involving human resources, rather than providing reasonably-priced, compliance reviews of the HR function. Our firm actually has a Director of Human Resources Compliance, an expert in the regulatory requirements of human resources. We focus on guidance and reviews that seek to prevent litigation!
 
HR is the term that describes individuals who comprise the workforce of an organization. Human resources compliance, or "HR compliance," or sometimes colloquially referred to as "HR," is the term that applies to the department and functions within an organization, the administrative responsibility of which is charged with implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals associated with the organization.
 
In many ways, human resources compliance is a central feature of a financial institution’s overall compliance function. This is intuitively obvious, given that local, state, and federal employment laws all play a role in human resources. Indeed, HR must be familiar with a wide array of different statutory and regulatory authorities to effectively and lawfully deal with company personnel.
Here are just two of the many federal regulations that affect HR compliance. Local and state statutes should also be included in any HR policy statement.
 
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): This is a federal statute that applies to employees engaged in interstate commerce or employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce (unless the employer can claim an exemption from coverage).
 
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), sometimes called the Wagner Act, which, as amended, is known as the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).
The foregoing regulations are but two of the vast array of regulations, at all levels of government, that involve HR.
 
HR compliance takes into consideration virtually all work functions amongst an institution’s rank and file. For instance, HR’s responsibilities in an institution include overseeing and managing duties related to hiring, firing, employee benefits, wages, paychecks, and overtime. 
 
A compliance review of the HR function should include how its many authorities extend to the oversight of workplace safety, privacy, preventing discrimination, prohibiting harassment, minimizing legal liability in the hiring and firing process, worker complaints, job protection, compensation, benefits, pensions, employee training, and labor relations.
Jonathan Foxx is managing director of Lenders Compliance Group, the first and only full-service, mortgage risk management firm in the United States, specializing exclusively in outsourced mortgage compliance and offering a suite of services in residential mortgage banking for banks and non-banks. If you would like to contact him, please e-mail Compliance@LendersComplianceGroup.com.

 
 
Question: We are drafting a new policy and procedures for providing a copy of an appraisal to the consumer. Would you please outline the most important requirements that we should include in it?
 
Answer
Under Regulation B, the implementing regulation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), there are specific requirements for providing a copy of an appraisal and other written valuations developed in connection with certain mortgage transactions. [See § 1002.14, Regulation B]
 
There are four requirements that should be outlined in a policy sections with respect to providing a copy of an appraisal to the consumer.
 
As a creditor, the procedures sections should:
 
►Require creditors to notify applicants within three business days of receiving an application of their right to receive a copy of appraisals developed.
►Require creditors to provide applicants a copy of each appraisal and other written valuation promptly upon its completion or three business days before consummation (for closed-end credit) or account opening (for open-end credit), whichever is earlier.
►Permit applicants to waive the timing requirement for providing these copies. However, applicants who waive the timing requirement must be given a copy of all appraisals and other written valuations at or prior to consummation or account opening, or, if the transaction is not consummated or the account is not opened, no later than 30 days after the creditor determines the transaction will not be consummated or the account will not be opened.
►Prohibit creditors from charging for the copy of appraisals and other written valuations, but permit creditors to charge applicants reasonable fees for the cost of the appraisals or other written valuations unless applicable law provides otherwise.

Jonathan Foxx is managing director of Lenders Compliance Group, the first and only full-service, mortgage risk management firm in the United States, specializing exclusively in outsourced mortgage compliance and offering a suite of services in residential mortgage banking for banks and non-banks. If you would like to contact him, please e-mail Compliance@LendersComplianceGroup.com.
 
Eddie Hilliard is executive vice president of business development at Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.-based Mainsail Mortgage and president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)
Eddie Hilliard is executive vice president of business development at Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.-based Mainsail Mortgage and president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with Hilliard regarding his involvement with his state’s trade group.
 
When did you first get involved with Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals, and what was the path that led you to a leadership role within the association?
I’ve been in the mortgage industry for 24 years, but I did not have my broker’s license until 2010. Jody Barry, who was past president of FAMP, wanted me to become more involved, and I wanted to give back to a group that gave me so much over the years. I started showing up at meetings, and I later became chairman of the Membership Committee. From there, I moved up the ranks. My current position started in August 2016 and will expire at the end of July.
 
Why should members of your state’s mortgage profession join FAMP?
It is important to be part of a group that is trying to move our profession forward. We’re very serious about making sure that our members know what is going on education-wise and compliance-wise, as well as bringing in new lenders to talk about their programs.
 
How is FAMP involved in shaping legislative issues?
We like to bubble up our information for Tallahassee to Valerie Saunders, our state chairwoman. We are also involved in raising money for the FAMP PAC, and we participate in the Legislative Day activities in April, when we connect with legislators so they can know who are and how they affect our industry. On a federal level, we hand that off to Valerie Saunders and NAMB.
 
What has been your most significant accomplishment within the association?
Making sure that our monthly meetings have content for our members, so when they leave they can say that they’ve gotten something out of it. Also, ensuring that we bring relevant education to the table.
 
What is the synergy between FAMP and NAMB?
Our relationship is not the way it was in years past, when there was automatic joint membership. But we still get a lot of information from NAMB and we are appreciative of what they are doing for the industry.
 
In your professional opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
The FAMP Education Foundation has “boot camps” that bring in people right out of college and introduces them to the basics of what our industry is doing, while showing them what they need to know about what it takes to be successful in our business. We have some great schools here, but I don’t think we’ve done a good job in marketing to them. There are so many people who are scared of the real estate industry because of what happened from 2007 to 2009, so being part of this industry is not high on their list.
 
What is the housing market like in your state?
It is taking off. We are seeing huge growth in all areas. Builders are buying up lots and putting infrastructure in place. The market is busy as we saw great growth in the third and fourth quarters of last year.
 
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Constance Griggs Lazzeroni is vice president of operations for Fresno, Calif.-based Elite Mortgage & Financial Services and current president of the Central Valley Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP)
Constance Griggs Lazzeroni is vice president of operations for Fresno, Calif.-based Elite Mortgage & Financial Services and current president of the Central Valley Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the state’s trade group.
 
When did you first get involved with the California Association of Mortgage Professionals, and what was the path that led you to a leadership role?
I got involved many, many years ago—CAMP dwindled in our area about eight years ago. When it was back, I was interested in the Government Affairs Committee because I wanted to understand what was coming out in terms of regulations—and I did not want to find out what was going to be implemented a week before it came out. I got on the board after hearing Fred Kreger, current NAMB president who was CAMP president at the time, speak about getting involved. We had low attendance in the Central Valley and I along with others on the CAMP Board have worked hard to promote CAMP and it’s benefits over the last few years.
 
A couple of years ago, I was nominated to be president, and it was my main intention to grow our chapter. The last few years, we have more than doubled our event attendance.
 
Why should members of your state’s mortgage profession join CAMP?
For starters, we are represented by lobbyists who fight on our behalf … one strong voice is better than many scattered voices. Also, we are serious about promoting ethics and education. My chapter promotes cross-education—and I speak at escrow and title events and have them speak at our events along with the leaders in the realtor chapters.
 
How is CAMP involved in shaping legislative issues, at both a state and federal level?
We are only involved on a national level to some degree. Right now, we are focused within the state on some real estate code clean-up, a bill dealing with personal income tax deductions, and several dealing with affordable housing. There’s going to be one on Property Assessed Clean Energy loans like last year and a bill to move the Bureau of Real Estate out of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
 
california associaiton of mortgage professionalsWhat has been your most significant accomplishment within CAMP?
Rebranding CAMP’s image and getting CAMP back in action again. Over the last three years, our membership and attendance have been increasing. Right now, our chapter has about 60 members, and a couple of hundred people showed up at our last event. We are one of the smaller CAMP chapters in terms of membership numbers, but we have better event attendance.
 
What is the synergy between CAMP, NAMB and other trade groups?
NAMB and CAMP are very closely related. We basically coincide with each other. With the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women, we have the same objectives, but we don’t cross with each other very often.
 
One of our objectives for 2017 is to reach out with other mortgage groups, as well as with the Realtor associations, the Young Mortgage Professionals Association, and the California Escrow Association.
 
What is the housing market like in the state of California?
We are definitely seeing values increasing. But we are short on inventory. In January, we noticed a slowdown for just a little bit. But overall, we’ve had healthy growth and movement in the market. Within the state, the Bay Area is strongest market, but our part of the state is also moving pretty quick.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
We are redrafting on consumer complaint policy and we’re getting stuck on how to handle the early stages of complaint resolution
Question: We are redrafting on consumer complaint policy and we’re getting stuck on how to handle the early stages of complaint resolution. Can you provide some practical guidance with respect to starting the complaint resolution process? 
 
Answer
The Board of Directors or Senior Management should delegate the responsibility of monitoring and responding to complaints to a manager. Some companies give this individual the title Complaint Resolution Officer or CRO.
All written complaints initially would be directed to the appropriate department and functional area, or, if there is any uncertainty, instead to the CRO. The appropriate personnel will draft responses to consumers and/or regulators, and cross copy the CRO. If the company is small, the initial complaints would be sent directly to the CRO.
 
Generally, the CRO will keep a central file of complaints and responses. The Board and Management should meet, at least quarterly, to review new complaints and responses. Senior management would determine if certain complaints must be brought to the attention of the Board more often or if the response to the consumer and/or regulator should come from the Board.
 
Once a complaint is noted, institution personnel may be interviewed individually by the functional department manager or designated CRO if they are involved in the consumer’s complaint or comment. Explanations of the occurrence can be requested during the interview process, and copies of any written instructions furnished to employees about the allegation would be reviewed and discussed during the interview process.
 
A written report should by written by a department manager or CRO, presenting the facts and information in a clear, objective manner. The report should:
►Summarize the facts in a chronological order;
►Detail the precise claims of the complainant;
►Express the resolution desired by the complainant; and,
►Indicate management’s response to the claims of the complainant.
 
The report should include the recommended course of action or corrective procedures and comments on whether the complaint represents an isolated case or a pattern or practice that needs to be corrected.
 
Complaint resolution must follow a timed response process. Unless otherwise required by regulation for different timely response criteria, the following general guidelines should be followed regarding responses to complaints:
►Complaints should be acknowledged within 15 days after receipt of the correspondence, oral, telephonic, or electronic notification of a complaint;
►Inquiries, comments, or objections should be answered or information provided within 15 business days after receipt;
►Complaints not involving an on-site investigation should be fully processed and responded to within 30 days after receipt; and,
►Complaints involving an on-site investigation should be resolved within 45 days after receipt.
 
Jonathan Foxx is managing director of Lenders Compliance Group, the first and only full-service, mortgage risk management firm in the United States, specializing exclusively in outsourced mortgage compliance and offering a suite of services in residential mortgage banking for banks and non-banks. If you would like to contact him, please e-mail Compliance@LendersComplianceGroup.com.
 
 
There has been a lot of talk recently about how the mortgage industry needs to figure out ways to attract the next generation of loan officers. It is often stated that the average age of people who work in the industry are in their 50s. As the younger generation enters and takes over the housing market, will we also see them become the future workforce and leaders of our aging industry? Experience counts, but having the ability to relate to the things that are important to the borrower may be even more important.
 
Mortgage companies and managers are at a crossroads at a time when Millennials are demanding more out of their work. How do we accommodate that and groom the next generation of loan officer?
 
While trying to find a way to streamline the workflow and improve business efficiencies at my own mortgage branch, I came to the realization that technology may be one of the keys to meeting Millennials where they want to be in their jobs and careers. I’m not talking about the latest customer relationship management system (CRM) or cool flyer-making tool. I’m talking about building a business that has technology at its core and allows loan officers flexibility and information in an instant.
 
In my branch, we use technology that pulls information on leads and accounting, as well as information from CRM systems and loan operating systems, into one understandable digital dashboard. In other words, we can check the status of any loan we are working on at any time, from anywhere, as long as we have a smartphone or tablet.
 
I recently hired an originator who falls into the Millennial age range. During the interview, she saw this technology that we have available to our loan officers, and immediately asked if she could get it on her phone and if it will send her notifications. I answered, “Of course.” We hired her and she later told me she felt like she was leaving the stone age behind. She had just left another mortgage branch and had only been in the industry for a few years. This tool won’t close loans for her, but it will certainly give her more visibility and allow her to serve her clients and referral partners easier and quicker. No more being bogged down by diving into spreadsheets or waiting on someone else to do it.
 
Essentially, I am able to use technology that was created to help streamline my business to recruit young originators who are just as excited about the technology as I am.
 
But that’s just the beginning.
 

Here are four things Millennials want out of their jobs and how mortgage technology can help fulfill those wants.

Making a difference
I have been a mortgage branch manager since 2006. I love the pace of the industry and what service you can provide. It’s an amazing career that allows you to help people realize their financial situation and achieve the dream of homeownership.

 
I don’t believe the mortgage industry will be so streamlined that you will be able to just “push a button” or “pull a lever” and get a mortgage. It takes a lot of human interaction and the loan approval process is a long one with many regulations along the way. Consumers often don’t understand the different steps of the loan process. Traditionally, if something goes off the rails during the process, loan officers may not know about it for two to three days, which could delay the approval of the loan or cause it to miss critical deadlines. Meanwhile, that consumer could be living in a hotel waiting to purchase their new home. Technology allows us to help make sure everything is on time and turned in properly, thus increasing the chance of a timely close of a loan. Loan officers, real estate agents and banking operations now have tools that help track and communicate critical milestones to make sure people get in their new homes quickly and smoothly. As a result, the Millennial loan originator gets more people into homes with a positive experience and is more fulfilled by that.
 
Schedule flexibility
With the technology I have implemented in my mortgage branch, I have been able to save myself 15 to 20 hours per week because I am no longer sifting through spreadsheets to get updated on loans and the pipeline. Because of that, myself and many members of my team don’t have to work ourselves to death managing a pipeline of loans. We are able to spend that time on higher value activities, like business development, training and recruiting.
 
It has also has opened up more time for me to spend with my family and go to the gym.
 
My whole team can check how their workflow is going from their phones. They aren’t chained to their desks. This industry far too often sees people sacrifice the one commodity they will never get back: Time with family and time for personal growth or personal health. We, on the other hand, have chosen to create an environment that has transparency and accountability using technology. The byproduct of that is more time without the added stress that comes with too little time in the day.
 
Work that is challenging
Don’t be afraid to take a long hard look at your business practices and systems. We have an open-door policy for all of our employees and have a culture that encourages collaboration on system improvement. Your biggest asset is your people, and we as branch managers need to listen to make improvements to move the needle.
 
When branch managers do finally get their data and systems under control and are able to step back and look at how their business is really doing, they find out that things are a mess. If you don’t properly manage your data input, you won’t get great results. Once you know what you need to do in order to clean things up and you use an algorithm to do it, you and your team will be able to set goals and properly forecast. In my branch, this has allowed us to have healthy (and accurate) competitions that are about more than just closing the most loans in a month (not very original). We have competitions that revolve around the quality of the loan submission and with a scoreboard in the office that accurately lets everyone know where they are at all times. It creates a sense of excitement and challenge, something Millennials embrace.
 
Active on mobile
Let's face it, a lot of people, especially Millennials, are online and on their smartphones nearly all day. In fact, a recent study states that 39 percent of Millennials interact with their smartphone more than anything or anyone else every day. Yep, that said “anyone.” So go back and think about the story of the young originator who joined my team and did so partly because of the loan tracking dashboard that I have in my office. The industry needs to have mobile tools available that Millennials can use for their work because they want to be on their phones. If they are able to enjoy their job and feel like they are on the cutting edge while making a difference, then they will work harder and that will trickle down to the consumer.
 
The mortgage industry at its core has some of the things that Millennials value in a career–flexible hours and the ability to be inspired by helping borrowers achieve homeownership. The mortgage industry is also filled with fractured systems that don’t interface, but are required to exist in today’s highly regulated world. This creates a clunky experience for the loan officer and borrower. These types of challenges baffle and aren’t acceptable to Millennials.
 
So why in a production industry like ours are we having trouble attracting the next generation of loan officers? It’s because the longstanding mantra has been, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” It is broken though because young people aren’t seeking out careers in our industry. I believe that technology can help us pull more Millennials into the mortgage industry and fix a problem that may soon catch up to all of us. We need to be ready for a fresh set of eyes looking at long-standing industry inefficiencies and allow them to be part of the solution.
 
Dustin Sheppard is the branch manager of Securus Group, a division of American Pacific Mortgage, in Roseville, Calif., and the CEO of Special Agent X, a fintech startup company that has developed the X-Ray dashboard. X-Ray transforms massive amounts of data warehoused in a variety of different systems into easy-to- understand, easily accessible analytics that drive top-level decisions for mortgage professionals. Dustin may be reached by e-mail at DSheppard@SpecialAgentX.com.
 
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 
Question: On a purchase money transaction, the lender issued a Closing Disclosure which set forth a 30-year term, as opposed to the 15-year term the borrower wanted. The error was discovered while the borrower was at the closing table. The lender issued a corrected CD reflecting an APR increase of more than 0.125%, thus triggering a new three day waiting period. The lender did not give the settlement agent a “clear to close”. However, for whatever reason, the settlement agent thought he had funding authorization and proceeded to consummate the transaction, including the disbursement of funds to the seller. It appears that the settlement agent closed on the initial CD, as that is the CD, signed by the borrower, that he returned to the lender. The following day the lender learned that the transaction closed and now seeks to “cure” the regulatory violation through the issuance to the borrower of a corrected CD within 30 days of consummation in accordance with 12 C.F.R § 1026.19(f)(2)(iii). Does doing so, in fact, cure the situation?
 
Answer
You are correct, that under the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID), the lender must issue a revised Closing Disclosure (CD) if any of the fees reflected therein become inaccurate at or before consummation and, if such revisions result in an increase in the APR of more than 0.125%, consummation must not take place sooner than three business days following the issuance of the corrected CD. [12 CFR § 1026.19(f)(2)]
 
As to the regulatory violation described in your question, there is no “cure” for failing to comply with the three day waiting period rule. Regardless of what actions the lender takes now, the lender can still be cited for this violation. 
 
As to the 30-day post consummation cure period, under the regulation, a revised CD must be issued within thirty days of consummation if two criteria are met.
 
1. “An event in connection with the settlement of the transaction occurs that causes the disclosures . . . to become inaccurate”, and
2. “Such inaccuracy results in a change to an amount actually paid by the consumer from that amount disclosed under paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section . . . “ [12 CFR 1026.19(f)(2)(iii)]
 
In the Section by Section analysis (78 FR 79878), the Bureau sets forth its position that post-consummation redisclosures should only be made if a subsequent event results in a change to a charge paid by the consumer.
 
“The final rule requires redisclosure only for post-consummation events that change an amount actually paid by the consumer. The Bureau does not believe consumers would benefit from revisions to the Closing Disclosure due to post-consummation events that do not affect charges imposed on them . . . Thus, the Bureau believes a redisclosure to the consumer after consummation should be required only if a subsequent event changes a charge actually paid by the consumer and not for any change to the transaction."
 
So the question is, what is the post-closing event that caused the disclosure to become inaccurate?
 
The lender learning that the settlement agent consummated the transaction using the incorrect CD? That does not appear to qualify as a post-consummation event, as the event was the consummation of the transaction, not the lender learning of the error.
 
The second question is, what charges did the consumer actually pay? Those charges disclosed on the incorrect CD or those disclosed on the corrected CD? If the former (assuming they are less), I would suggest the creditor simply eat the difference in fees. If the latter, consider looking to the cure provisions under 15 USC § 1640(b); notify the consumer of the error and refund the lesser of the charge actually disclosed or the dollar equivalent of the APR disclosed on the incorrect CD.
 
Additionally, if on a good faith analysis, the charges disclosed on the corrected CD exceeded the amounts set forth on the Loan Estimate beyond permissible tolerances, the corrected CD must be issued together with a refund for excess to the borrower within 60 days of consummation. [12 C.F.R. § 1026.19(f)(2)(v)]
 
Joyce Wilkins Pollison is director of Legal & Regulatory Compliance for Lenders Compliance Group.
Tony Blodgett is the regional vice president for the Northwest at New American Funding and president of the Washington Mortgage Bankers Association (WMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Tony about his work with his state’s mortgage trade group.
 
When did you first get involved with Washington Mortgage Bankers Association? What was the path that led you to a leadership role within WMBA?
WMBA is a fairly new organization. I was a member of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association for the past 20 years. Through networking and attending events and talking to people in leadership positions, I let them know that I was interested in being more involved in the organization. This led me to being on the board. This was about five years ago. Soon after, our treasurer resigned and we needed someone to fill that position. I was nominated, which got me into an executive leadership role.
 
There was a unique situation that same year–the merger of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association and the Washington Mortgage Lenders Association. When the organizations merged, I was asked to remain as treasurer for a second year. From there, I became vice president and then president. My term as president began in September of 2016 and runs for a year.
 
Why should members of your state’s mortgage profession join WMBA?
There are a number of benefits that someone gets from being a member of WMBA. There are networking aspects–where you can gain knowledge from other lenders. We are a statewide organization that has a full-time lobbyist and good communication with the legislative community. Companies that join us have a voice and can be part of influencing change.
 
How is WMBA involved in shaping legislative issues, at both the state and federal levels?
We have our chairman of the board focusing exclusively on legislative initiatives related to our industry. We work very closely with our local legislators. Each year, we participate in a Legislative Day, where we go to Olympia and meet with important legislators who work with the mortgage and banking industries. We also have good relations with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
 
At the federal level, a number of us represent the association at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Advocacy Conference where we meet with federal legislators in Washington, D.C.
 
What has been your most significant accomplishment within the association?
Supervising the merger between the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association and the Washington Mortgage Lenders Association required a lot of support from both organizations. It took a lot of effort to get those groups aligned, and we grew even stronger from the mortgage professionals in Washington State.
 
What is the synergy between WMBA and the national MBA?
Part of what we did in the merger was to become a member of the national Mortgage Bankers Association. That offered an additional benefit to our members and it gives us very close communications with the national MBA. We work pretty closely with them on anything happening with our local legislators. We may not always agree 100 percent, but we try to work with the MBA in representing the same positions on a national level, as well as a local level.
 
In your professional opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
There are not a lot of young people coming into the industry. What could help would be if more companies had programs in place to bring in entry-level people. It is difficult to get a job in mortgage banking, because the typical company wants people with experience, especially on the sales side. It is also difficult for people to earn a living while learning the business. That could be helped by a program where we bring on junior mortgage originators and maybe salaried positions to come in and learn the business.
 
What is the housing market like currently in the state of Washington?
We have a very strong housing market, led by good strong employment and growth. The challenge is a lack of inventory. It is harder to find a home and that drives home values up due to the lack of supply in the market.
 
Also, we are something of a seasonal market. The listings of homes are typically lower through the winter months, and then increases in the spring and summer months.
 
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
Michael Kellman is senior vice president of consumer lending at North Shore Bank and president of the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association (WMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with his state’s mortgage trade association.
 
How did you first get involved with the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association? Can you share the path that led you to your leadership position?
I got involved with WMBA because I was beginning to participate more within our mortgage side of the business. I had been involved in consumer lending at North Shore Bank, and as my management of mortgage lending grew, I gravitated to the WMBA to gain more knowledge and meet people.
 
I originally contributed as a member of the Single-Family Production Committee and ended up chairing that committee. I had success with that and was then placed on the executive path that led me to secretary, treasurer, vice president and president. My term runs from June 2016 through June of 2017.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in your state become members of WMBA?
As a member of WMBA, you are a part of the only organization dedicated solely to the mortgage profession. Our goal is to strengthen the mortgage lending industry in Wisconsin through education, networking and political activism amongst all stakeholders. I have learned so much from the people in the organization–there are dozens of people who I can call and get real answers to many questions.
 
How is your association involved in shaping legislation at both the state and federal levels?
WMBA has a lobbyist employed to assist with legislative issues within the state. One issue we were involved in was the referendum changing the fee payment structure with the DFI for NMLS licensing fees for loan officers in the state of Wisconsin. Historically, the lender had to pay annual dues for NMLS state licensing fees; these annual fees are due and payable Dec. 31.
Full due fees were required to be paid upon licensing and not prorated if the licensing took place in November and December, then due and payable again in full for the Dec. 31 renewal. Employers were hesitant to hire during that period, since they would have to pay full fees for November or December and again a full fee Dec. 31 for the new year. Now, if they register in November and December, they are licensed for a 13-14 month period and not required to pay twice within a few months.
 
Additionally, WMBA contributed to the passing of Wisconsin Act 376, a new foreclosure bill signed into law. Effectively, the new law reduced the redemption periods involved in foreclosure, and furthermore, it addressed the issue of abandoned properties under Wis.Stat. 846.102
 
At a federal level, we encourage our membership to take an active role and join the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA). They are kept abreast of federal legislation that may impact our industry and trade and they have an opportunity to speak directly to their members of Congress and state legislators about the impact of proposed legislations or regulations.
 
What has been your greatest accomplishment within the association?
I am proud to have played a part in WMBA becoming the clearinghouse for mortgage-related issues and for helping people find ways to solve problems. Many of our meetings are educational. We have several large financial institutions in Wisconsin, but we also have a huge number of smaller, community banks, mortgage banks and brokers that do not have the staff in place to sift through 1,000-page regulations. WMBA gives them the information to do their job legally and correctly.
 
What is the synergy like between your association and the national MBA?
Members of the WMBA may or may not be members of the national Mortgage Bankers Association. We try to cooperatively align ourselves with the national group because they obviously have a broader reach and more staff to help us stay on top of important issues of the day and solve problems.
 
In your professional opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
We recently completed our second year of the Best in Business Awards at WMBA. One category was the Rising Star, a recognition award for Millennials positively affecting our industry. To allow for Millennials to have a greater say in the direction of our organization, we formed a committee made up of our Rising Stars Award finalists. We are excited to receive and implement their input and observe the outcome of their leadership within our organization.
 
This is the hardest demographic to attract, yet the industry is perfectly suited to Millennials because it offers flexible schedules, pays very well, and allows them to help people. The industry is also going greener as we are moving to a paperless environment. We recognize that for us to gain and retain Millennials in our industry, it is vital that we get the word out and take into account their interests while enlisting their participation.
 
What is the housing market like in the state of Wisconsin?
With house prices back to where they were before the Great Recession and the attractive rate environment, our housing market is on the rise. Inventory is still somewhat limited, but we see construction lending now coming into play. Consequently, this is a strong and rising environment.
 
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
 
Lisa Newman is regional manager at SecurityNational Mortgage Company in Lake Mary, Fla., and is president of the Central Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)
Lisa Newman is regional manager at SecurityNational Mortgage Company in Lake Mary, Fla., and is president of the Central Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Newman regarding her work with FAMP.
 

How and why did you get involved in FAMP? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role in the Central Chapter?
I initially got involved with FAMP for the networking possibilities it provided amongst my colleagues. I quickly learned that if I wanted to have a voice in the ever-changing mortgage industry, I needed to become more involved. I’ve progressed through the Central Chapter as a chapter director, state director, vice president and now as president of the chapter.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join FAMP?
I feel members of the mortgage profession join our association for the education and networking opportunities we provide. Education in this changing regulatory environment is key to being successful. FAMP members have access to articles, information, CE classes, trade shows, monthly meetings, and more to stay informed in our industry.
 
What role does your association play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We participate annually in Florida Legislative Days. Leadership and members are encouraged to attend this two-day event, where we have the opportunity to meet legislators, one-on-one, to share about our profession and any legislation that could affect our industry, either positively or negatively.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
When I was membership chairperson in 2016, the Central Chapter received the most improved award amongst the state for retention and receiving new members. I am also privileged to have shared the benefits of FAMP with our industry professionals.
 
What is synergy between your organization and NAMB?
Each quarter, the state directors of FAMP come together for a joint meeting. FAMP has several people that also are on the board with NAMB. They bring their knowledge and information to each of these quarterly meetings to share with the group, so that we can all be more involved and share the information with our members.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Career outreach is very important. There are a wide variety of positions that are not solely commission-based that can be used to get talent into the industry and seeded to grow.
 
How would you define the current state of the Florida housing market?
We are excited about Florida’s housing marketing and have seen an improvement from last year. According to Florida Realtors, residential market sales activity for Florida in December 2016 saw 22,232 single-family closed sales with a median sales price of $226,000. One year earlier, there were 22,193 single family closed sales and a median sales price of $206,265.
 
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.