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Because non-QM loans have performed so well since they were first offered four years ago, Angel Oak and other alternative lenders are expanding the number and types of products
Because non-QM loans have performed so well since they were first offered four years ago, Angel Oak and other alternative lenders are expanding the number and types of products. These new products enhance the benefits available to several types of homebuyers. They also enable originators to offer attractive options to their customers. The mortgage marketplace needs these responsible new products to grow and meet the needs of all creditworthy consumers.
 
Consumer choices were severely limited after the mortgage market collapsed nearly 10 years ago. Prime borrowers have mostly faced a one-size-fits-all environment. The self-employed, retirees, investors and those experiencing a credit event were usually turned down. With the advent of non-QM lending in 2014—spurred by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) ability-to-repay rules—innovators like Angel Oak began to enable more diverse consumers to obtain home loans.
 
From the beginning, we knew that market growth demanded responsible development of new products. But, we had to walk before we could run. Our first offer was the Non-Prime Program. Although it was nothing like the pre-recession sub-prime loans, the marketplace often confused them. The Non-Prime Program was a tremendous success. Rates and terms were reasonable and defaults low. More importantly, the data we acquired enabled us to expand the product offerings so that qualifying criteria and rates were appropriate for borrowers with differing circumstances.
 
Angel Oak now offers seven distinct programs. Each one allows borrowers to obtain the non-agency loan that aligns best with their income, equity and credit situation. Our newest product, Platinum, represents a refinement of programs that qualified borrowers based on bank statements and following a credit event. With information from investors on Wall Street and originators in the field, we identified a large group of potential borrowers with credit scores high enough to warrant a new slot on our pricing matrix. These borrowers can now acquire loans with rates just above those for agency loans. Previously, borrowers best served by Platinum would have been placed in either our Portfolio Select or Bank Statement programs with higher rates.
 
Moving forward, responsible new product development and market growth will be driven by richer performance data and insights gleaned from broadening relations with originators who work with and understand the needs of their customers. As the current $5 billion non-QM mortgage business is just a fraction of a $100 billion-plus potential market, we expect that market maturation will result in more diverse products featuring better terms for consumers.
Tom Hutchens is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Angel Oak Mortgage SolutionsTom Hutchens is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, an Atlanta-based wholesale and correspondent lender leading the non-QM space for four years and licensed in more than 35 states. Tom has been in the real estate lending business for nearly 20 years. He may be reached by phone at (855) 539-4910 or e-mail Info@AngelOakMS.com.

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

 
With the New Year just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to take stock of what the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) accomplished in 2017 and underscore just how important it is for people in the real estate finance industry to stay engaged with MAA, MBA’s free grassroots advocacy network. MAA provides a quick, free and easy way to advocate directly to elected officials on issues that affect mortgage professionals’ day-to-day lives on issues including licensure, regulatory relief, and reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)—just to name a few of the issues that our advocates have spoken up about this year.
 
It became easier than ever to participate in MAA this year with the release of the MAA App. It’s a one-stop-shop for MBA Advocacy where users can join MAA, connect with elected officials, respond to Calls to Action and learn about MORPAC, all from your mobile device. You can download the app at MBA.org/MAAapp.
 
The numbers show how active MAA members were throughout 2017:
 
►Sent more than 30,000 letters and tweets to elected officials on Calls to Action, a 218 percent increase from last year.
►Ninety-eight percent of senators and 94 percent of representatives were contacted by advocates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through MAA’s advocacy platform.
►There are now a total of 23,002 MAA members, a 46 percent increase over 2016.
►Seventy-five companies ran MAA campaigns.
 
MAA’s Second Annual Action Week took place the first week of October this year. Action Week is a week-long event dedicated to helping real estate finance professionals learn how to become more engaged in political advocacy that supports our industry. This year, 63 companies participated in Action Week, up from 58 last year. The work of these companies resulted in 4,500 new MAA members, which was 84 percent more than last year and put us ahead of our membership goal for the year. One thousand, three hundred and twenty-two advocates downloaded the MAA App during Action Week, surpassing our goal of reaching 1,000 downloads.
 
We like to say that MBA is the ‘One Voice’ of the real estate finance industry. MAA amplifies that voice by helping industry professionals contact their elected officials directly to let them know how legislation can impact local businesses in their communities. I encourage everyone in the mortgage industry to join MAA if you haven’t already by visiting MBA.org/JoinMAA. Your voice matters.
 
Finally, I would like to thank all MAA members for speaking up for our industry in 2017, and wish everyone a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year.
MBA.org/ActionWeekGene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

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

 
FAMP is excited about the new year! As you may have noticed, we have a new logo, which represents our commitment to our association and its future while still preserving our rich heritage as being the oldest mortgage trade association founded in 1960.
 
FAMP is excited about the new year! In 2018, there are legislative bills that we will work with our state and national legislators to affect the outcome positively for our industry. We will continue our successful monthly Webinar series that benefit the mortgage loan originator.
 
FAMP will be working to implement a strategic plan than will assist the association in its continued success.
 
Our new management company, NAMB Association Services, has already proven to be a great asset and, in 2018, they will work hand in hand with us to benefit our members and grow our association.
 
The FAMP Executive Committee has been working hard this year to support all Mortgage Loan Originators and consumers in Florida and improve FAMP and its services and will continue to do so in 2018.
 
As we close 2017 and I reflect on FAMP's past 57 years, I am reminded that FAMP has been and will continue to be the voice of Florida's mortgage lending community, as well as for the protection of Florida's consumer throughout the lending process.
 
Thank you to all of our members for your support of FAMP and I ask, if you are not yet a member, please join us and be a part of an exciting 2018 and great future with FAMP.
 
I wish you and yours a Happy and prosperous NEW YEAR.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the author’s employer or any organization with which the author may be affiliated.

Kimber White, CRMS is President of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (954) 306-3500 or e-mail President@MyFAMP.org.

 
Homeowners with mortgages have collectively seen their equity increase 11.8 percent year-over-year during the third quarter, representing a 12-month gain of $870.6 billion, according to new data from CoreLogic
A new bill that came into force this summer changes the licensing requirements for Georgia mortgage brokers and lenders. Mortgage professionals in the state are required to comply with a mortgage broker bond requirement to ensure adherence to state regulations. The new legislation increases the bond amounts.
 
Georgia House Bill 143 was passed on May 1, 2017 and has been in effect since June 1, 2017. The most significant change that it introduces is that it increases the bond amount for brokers to $150,000 and to $200,000 for lenders.
 
Another important alteration that it brings to mortgage professionals in the state is that it allows the electronic cancellation of old bonds via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). This change aims to make the process of switching to the new bonds easier.
 
What should mortgage brokers and lenders in Georgia know about the legal changes? Read on.
 
The new bonding amounts
Previously, mortgage brokers had to obtain a $50,000 to meet state requirements for licensing. HB 143 increases this amount threefold-to $150,000. As for mortgage lenders, the old bond amount was $150,000, which has now been raised to $200,000. Whether you’re a lender or broker, you may need to post another bond amount if the licensing authority deems it necessary.
 
Getting bonded is one of the main criteria that the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance imposes on mortgage professionals. Surety bonds are a security instrument whose goal is to protect the state and its citizens. They provide a safety net against potential misuse and fraud that brokers and lenders may engage in.
 
If a mortgage professional transgresses in some way their legal obligations, they can face a bond claim. Potential reasons for claims include intentional failure to provide correct information to customers, knowingly offering unsuitable mortgage products to consumers, and any other fraudulent activities.
 
In such situations, a claimant can ask for a financial compensation for suffered damages. The maximum penal sum is the bond amount of the broker or lender - which now are $150,000 and $200,000 respectively. As this illustrates, affected parties can now ask for higher reimbursements from mortgage professionals who have breached the law.
 
Other changes introduced with the new bill
Besides the bond amount increase, House Bill 143 brings a number of other new rules for mortgage professionals in Georgia. Most notably, the new legislation allows brokers and lenders to cancel their previous surety bonds directly in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry, rather than with the surety provider.
 
All mortgage professionals undergo the licensing and bonding process through the website of the NMLS. The period before a bond is effectively cancelled remains 30 days. The purpose of this change is to make the process easier for mortgage professionals.
 
According to the new legislation, the Department of Banking and Finance can now conduct examinations of licensees’ offices without prior notice. The bill also alters the definition of ‘net assets’ and ‘statutory capital base’ that mortgage professionals should use.
 
Additionally, it changes the procedure for cases when a lender or broker fails to or refuses to obey an order or a subpoena. Furthermore, mortgage lenders can now charge customers a convenience fee for the electronic payment of the regular charges.
 
The impact of House Bill 143
Due to the bond amount increase, one of the immediate impacts of the new legislation for Georgia mortgage professionals is that their licensing costs have risen. The surety bond price depends on the bond amount that needs to be posted, which often means that brokers and lenders have to set aside more for their bonding.
While this is true in the general case, you can also exercise a higher level of control over your bond price by improving your financial stats. Your bond premium is determined on the basis of factors such as your credit score, business finances, and assets and liquidity. It can be as low as 1% of the bond amount if your profile is solid. In the same time, the price can go as high as 10% if you have problematic credit.
 
Since most mortgage professionals would naturally prefer a lower bond price, the bond amount hike may urge a number of them to put effort in ameliorating their financial situation. More financially stable brokers and lenders can have a positive effect on the industry as a whole.
 
Additionally, the higher bond amounts mean potentially bigger bond claim compensations. In this sense, the new legislation may help reduce fraud and misuse leading to claims, as such cases have become much more costly.
 
Besides this, the increased bond sums offer a stronger guarantee for consumers that a mortgage professional is safe to do business with. While this is beneficial for the industry as a whole, brokers and lenders must make sure they are staying on top of all laws and regulations affecting their business, so they can stay out of claims.
 
What are your thoughts about the changes brought by the new Georgia bill? How are they affecting mortgage professionals in the state? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Vic Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates. He is a surety bond expert who helps mortgage professionals get licensed and bonded. Vic’s phone number is (877) 514-5146 and his e-mail is info@suretybonds.org.

 
Question: We are a lender with a question about the list of settlement service providers. We permit our borrowers to shop for settlement services. Since we permit shopping for settlement service providers, do we have to provide any written list for these companies?
 
Answer
A creditor is required to provide a written list of the settlement service providers for which the creditor permits the consumer to shop for providers. Furthermore, a creditor may permit a consumer to shop for a settlement service provider if it permits the consumer to select the provider of the service, subject to reasonable requirements.
 
But, the written list requirement does not apply if the creditor does not permit the consumer to shop for any of the settlement services.
 
If a creditor permits a consumer to shop for a settlement service it requires, the written list must identify at least one available provider of that service and must state that the consumer may choose a different provider for that service. [TRID Rule under RESPA Regulation X; see TILA Regulation Z § 1026.19(e)(1)(vi)]
 
The CFPB has clarified that the creditor who permits a consumer to shop for settlement services must identify the settlement services required by the creditor for which the consumer is permitted to shop. The purpose of this revision was to clarify that the disclosure need not include all settlement services that may be charged to the consumer, but must include at least those settlement services required by the creditor for which the consumer may shop. [Revised Comment 19(e)(1)(vi)-2, July 7, 2017]
 
The CFPB also clarified that the creditor must identify settlement service providers, available to the consumer, for the settlement services required by the creditor for which a consumer is permitted to shop. For instance, if a creditor requires a consumer to purchase lender’s title insurance and the creditor permits the consumer to shop for lender’s title insurance, the creditor must disclose the lender’s title insurance on the Loan Estimate and at least one provider of the required settlement service, on the written list, capable of coordinating or performing the services necessary to provide the required lender’s title insurance. The list must include sufficient information to allow the consumer to contact the provider, such as the name under which the provider does business and the provider’s address and telephone number. [Revised Comment 19(e)(1)(vi)-4, July 7, 2017]
 
The creditor may identify on the list providers of services for which the consumer is not permitted to shop, provided the creditor clearly and conspicuously distinguishes those services from the services for which the consumer is permitted to shop. The list may accomplish this by placing the services under different headings.
 
It is worth noting that the Federal Register preamble to the July 2017 (supra) amendments states that a creditor is not required to provide a detailed breakdown of all related fees that are not themselves required by the creditor but that may be charged to the consumer, such as a notary fee, title search fee, or other ancillary and administrative service needed to perform or provide the settlement service required by the creditor. The same principle applies to the disclosure of services on the Loan Estimate.
 
The CFPB believes that a complete breakdown could lead to information overload and hinder the consumer’s ability to shop. However, a creditor must be sure that these fees, if excluded from the Loan Estimate, do not cause the sum of all charges subject to exceed the 10 percent threshold. [See § 1026.19(e)(3(ii)]

Jonathan Foxx, Ph.D., MBA is Chairman and 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.

 

 

Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)
Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with the Chapter.
 
How did you first get involved with FAMP’s Jacksonville Chapter, and what was the route that led you to your leadership role?
I’ve been a mortgage broker since 1995. People who were involved at the time with FAMP tried to get me involved, but I did not become involved … I didn’t see the big picture. I finally got involved in 2015. The Chapter President at the time, Howard Dyal, was a former business partner of mine. He contacted me and said that he needed my help. I saw that he was actively involved and I thought, “If Howard is involved, I don’t mind helping.” I started as Jacksonville Chapter Secretary and worked my way up.
 
Why should a mortgage professional in your market get involved with FAMP?
That was my question when I came on board. We try to bring in speakers who give good information and provide useful resources. We also have sponsors that offer discounts to our members. And if you run into problems and don’t think that you can get help, we are here to help.
 
What is the Chapter’s current membership totals?
We have about 100 members at the moment. There are approximately 1,300 brokers in the Jacksonville area; however, we are always looking to add to our Chapter and are always looking for ways to improve our membership.
 
What role does the Jacksonville Chapter play in the legislative process?
Every February, we visit our state capitol in Tallahassee for Lobby Day. If there are any bills on the floor or bills that need to get to the floor, we discuss them with our legislators. We let them know that we are here if they need our help.
 
During your years in the mortgage profession, what has been your most satisfying accomplishment?
I would say that owning my mortgage company and being successful at it has been my greatest accomplishment. When I got into the business, I was at a small bank and my goals were to become a Loan Officer. Then, being the Department Manager was my vision. I had little knowledge that someday I’d own my own mortgage company. I had been a Training Officer in the military, and I kind of enjoyed the training aspect of the role. Today, I enjoy training Originators on how to create phone calls, and not just take them.
 
Allen Touchton is Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations at Mainsail Mortgage in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and is the President-Elect of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)What is the state of the synergy between FAMP and NAMB?
We are all volunteers. We take time away from originating to give back to our industry. We get a lot of feedback from Valerie Saunders, NAMB’s Executive Director, as we are lucky she’s local and very involved in what we’re doing.
 
In your market, do you see young people seeking out careers in the mortgage profession?
I’ve seen some young people try to break in. Some are better than others. Those younger folks who come in on the Mortgage Broker side are usually at a shop with industry veterans who are grooming them.
 
What is the housing market like in your region?
Oh boy … it’s booming! There is a lot of new construction, and it is a seller’s market. You just have to poke and probe in a nice way and stay glued to your referral sources—that’s where the business relations come in.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
How time flies … it has been 90 days since I became FAMP President. When I was installed, my theme was “The Year of the Member.” At that time, I set three goals for the year:
 
1) Offer tools to educate the consumer and the mortgage loan originator;
2) To advocate on behalf of all Floridians in Tallahassee; and
3) To enhance member benefits and grow our membership.
 
I am happy to say that FAMP is off to a great start in accomplishing these goals. Below is a recap of our accomplishments since August …
 
Starting Nov. 1, 2017, your Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals contracted with a new management company, NAMB Association Services. This company has the ability to uniquely address tasks and administrative services associated with the needs of the membership and the mortgage industry.
 
In October, 2017, the FAMP Board voted to migrate our current membership management platform to a new, more interactive and user-friendly site. Currently, the MyFAMP.org Web site is being retooled to provide members with relevant services and events not only for our Florida Chapters, but also nationwide.
 
FAMP has also taken steps to “re-brand” in order to enhance our professional image. Look for a brand new logo, updated advertising and more by January of 2018.
 
In an effort to provide resources and tools to our members that are readily accessible, FAMP held its first in a series of Webinars in November, 2017. The association joined with Class Appraisal to present the Webinar titled, “Appraisal 101: AMCs and Accurate Reconsiderations.” Look for additional Webinars covering topics such as the required Anti-Money Laundering Training and revisions made to the FAR/BAR contract and how they can affect your mortgage transaction.
 
Lastly, FAMP has moved their corporate office to a new location in Tallahassee. We are now located closer to the capitol building and the hub of state legislative activities. Our new office address is 113 South Monroe Street, 1st Floor, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Our telephone number, (850) 942-6411, remains the same.
 
For those of you who are members, we thank you for your membership and for supporting YOUR FAMP. And, if you are not a member, please click the link below and join us. FAMP’s future is bright and we look forward to you being a part of the exciting times we have ahead of us!
 
Click here to join ...
Kimber White, CRMS is President of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (954) 306-3500 or e-mail President@MyFAMP.org.

 

"You take the Blue Pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the Red Pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."–Morpheus"You take the Blue Pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the Red Pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."–Morpheus

Since 2009, I’ve been writing about an important industry topic where I predict the future of the residential mortgage market, primarily pertaining to the wholesale lending channel. I believe this is the most important message anyone can share in our industry, and I feel responsible to do so from what I know. As I’ve said before, when reading this, please keep an open mind and clear your head rather than quickly getting defensive if you are employed by one retail lender. Just think about competition a little harder using common sense. I believe everything I share here are facts supported by math and unwavering statistical data. This message simply needs to be heard by Mortgage Loan Originators who are influenced by the special interests of one retail lender.
 
So what is “The Mortgage Matrix?” In 2008, following the mortgage meltdown, retail and correspondent lenders (of all kinds) across the nation jumped on the opportunity to influence Independent Mortgage Loan Originators to feed their direct revenue streams. The goal was to build walls, influence by fear, and create a false reality that embraces originator ignorance to retain loan volume. This monopolizing behavior allowed lenders to more easily recruit and directly employ Mortgage Loan Originators in the retail space. If they did not succeed, they would have to continue to compete for business with less margin and control. When mortgage professionals lose their independence, it forces the consumer (their client) to be steered toward one lender which was the objective.
 
This simulated new of world of dependent originators with revolving resumes steering one lender is called “The Mortgage Matrix.” Retail lenders have invested millions to harvest and manipulate the minds of thousands of Mortgage Loan Originators across the country and they have ‘aggressively’ succeeded at our own fault. What’s worse is that those inside The Matrix all believe their employers (at any given time) are superior, yet they are inside an inferior simulated bubble compared to real life independent origination. When you think you know something you do not know, it becomes a dangerous combination of ignorance and arrogance. This is a huge issue for our industry when good originators do not seek self-education. More importantly, it’s very bad for the consumers they are meant to serve.
 
People inside The Matrix understandably refuse to believe it exists. They jump from company to company, selling the message they are told to from the lender that influences them at the time. Listen, there are some great companies that have good people and cultures. Don’t get me wrong as this is not to come across negative, but when originators steer a borrower and lender competition is absent, the ethical foundation is broken. They (again, many are good originators making bad decisions) are accountable. The ‘best’ lender for each unique scenario can only be uncovered through competition and choice, without exception. Iron sharpens iron and the changes our industry faces are often and significant. Steering is never an acceptable practice under the special interests and manipulation inside The Mortgage Matrix.
 
Retail origination is fictitious selling when wholesale origination is factual telling. Leave retail to the new, temporary or call center-type originators. Independence is for the experienced, local, career-minded experts. There was a healthy time when Mortgage Loan Originators had control and independent origination dominated the market. The good news is we see this behavior growing again in wholesale market share. Mortgage Brokers are gaining in numbers, but we need a bigger movement to take back the unhealthy volume seen in the retail channel. We, as originators, shape the future. Residential mortgage lenders must earn our business by competition and execution, not manipulation and expectation.
 
Warning: Those who created The Mortgage Matrix and all the non-producing managers will do all in their power to keep you influenced and controlled by it. So, how does one know if they are inside The Mortgage Matrix? Here are a few signs you may not see:
 
Inside the Mortgage Matrix (Dependent Mortgage Bankers)
►Since 2008, you have several (retail/correspondent) mortgage employers on your resume. You have unknowingly embraced and sold all kinds of their senseless motivational drivel as if you’re a robot they’ve created.
►You are motivated by short-term dissolving incentives versus long-term prosperity, being stuck in an entry-level position (although you may not see it).
►You actually believe you have more control over the mortgage process than Independent Mortgage Brokers, which is the opposite of reality.
►You are influenced somewhat easily, without seeking exterior self-education and are informed only by your interior influences at any given time.
►You’ve spent a lot of time on marketing your business and getting referrals which is great, but you have spent little to no time in industry-specific knowledge and education relating to federal regulations, origination channel changes, and the significant changes from resources outside of your company.
►Your employer controls your rate sheet. Retail and correspondent lenders significantly manipulate SRP (Service Release Premium), and you will never have clarity on margin. You steer your clients to these higher rates and fees as you repudiate facts through the inability to understand or compare.
►You believe you have a really good team and customer service, but don’t realize that is the rule today, not the exception. All must be excellent, but your foundation is broken inside The Matrix and must be fixed.
►You think you can still broker loans effectively. If you’re employed by the lender, you cannot with manipulation on margins and sending to odd program investors.
►You are unable to comply with anti-steering or fair lending (in my opinion), as The Mortgage Matrix specifically forces violating both without independence.
►You confuse marketing ‘experts’ as compliance experts, which they are not.
►You have a sense of narcissism toward Mortgage Brokers due to your defensive nature of not understanding the channel today. You are stuck with assuming it was the Mortgage Broker of the past, which it is not, or you have no experience at all with independent origination.
►Your employer provides a nice office with bells and whistles. Great meetings, motivational speakers and all kinds of perks. These shiny objects are available as an independent as well, but they are provided by your employer to influence you away from outside resources.
►You believe you can close your loans faster than Independent Mortgage Brokers and you believe your co-workers are more experienced (sorry, I threw up a little in my mouth when typing this).
►You believe that you are a direct lender and sell this term, along with in-house underwriting as if they are accurate or a benefit in which they are not.
 
What are the signs of those outside of The Mortgage Matrix? This is the small, yet growing and thriving, independent sector of the primary mortgage market:
 
Outside the Mortgage Matrix (Independent Mortgage Brokers)
►You embrace competition and put your clients before one lender, which gives you control.
►You are aware the wholesale lending channel is the best it has been in history, with banks and non-banks performing at service and speed levels never seen before.
►You have a consistent resume and foundation through lender choice. If you need to make a switch, you simply click a mouse versus changing your employer and sending the dreaded “I’ve Moved” (again) message to your database and referral partners.
►You have access to market-leading technology, speed, software, pricing and processes quicker and easier through choice and competition.
►You understand all channels are third-party to the agencies and investors that buy, insure or guarantee residential mortgage loans. As a result, you don’t use or sell false titles, even if more direct to the agencies than self-proclaimed ‘direct’ lenders.
►You understand wholesale offers the greatest benefit to your clients, with access to the most innovative programs and systems without overlays.
►You have a macro view of the entire industry and not just one small micro view as those who are inside The Mortgage Matrix.
►You understand and appreciate that the most experienced people in the industry (your team members in and outside of your company) are in the wholesale mortgage channel where The Matrix does not exist.
►You have access to the lowest rates and fees possible in the country and embrace a universal pricing engine for comparison and choice.
►You are not influenced by pressure from those inside of The Mortgage Matrix, even when nearly 90 percent of the industry is.
 
The longer you wait to get self-educated and embrace independence, the more power and resources you directly feed these retail and correspondent lenders to monopolize. In order to embrace independent origination and see what advantages it can provide you today, you must seek self-education and the truth. Reach out to a reputable local Mortgage Broker in your community or understand what it takes to start your own independent practice if you feel that you are called to be a leader and business owner. Talk with wholesale lenders. Keep a close watch on the technology of the future. Margins will be restricted and the best position is to be nimble and have access to this technology and the best pricing under the independent wholesale origination channel.
 
Mortgage Brokers (Independent Originators embracing choice and competition) need to unite and educate those stuck in The Matrix. We need to help them see what we see and expose retail and correspondent lenders for how they are taking advantage of the primary mortgage market. I call on others to feel this responsibility. We need a healthy balance, and need to expose The Mortgage Matrix for what it is. Our industry can only be corrected by Mortgage Loan Originators changing how and where they send business, and enforcing competition. The consumers we serve will be much better for it. The best of the best will rise to the top by earning and competing for the business. Independent Mortgage Originators must come together and focus on building and growing the wholesale lending channel.
 
I’ll leave you with this … there are great Mortgage Loan Originators stuck in The Mortgage Matrix. That is what frustrates me so much personally. They don’t realize what they are doing not just to their clients, but to their careers. The band Muse released a single called “Uprising” in 2009 (amazing coincidence with the year it was released). When asked what it was about, lead singer Matt Bellamy explained: “I wanted to write a song that summed up that feeling like you’ve been done over by people you’re supposed to trust.” You may feel this way after stepping outside of The Matrix as I do, but when you open up that third eye you’ll be amazed by what you’ve been missing.
 
Muse-Uprising
The paranoia is in bloom, the P-R
Transmissions will resume
They'll try to push drugs
That keep us all dumbed down and hope that
We will never see the truth around
(So come on)
 
Another promise, another scene,
Another package lie to keep us trapped in greed
With all the green belts wrapped around our minds
And endless red tape to keep the truth confined
(So come on)
 
They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious 
(So come on)
 
Interchanging mind control
Come let the revolution take its toll if you could
Flick a switch and open your third eye, you'd see that
We should never be afraid to die
(So come on)
 
Rise up and take the power back, it's time that
The fat cats had a heart attack, you know that
Their time is coming to an end
We have to unify and watch our flag ascend
(So come on)
 
They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious
(So come on)
 

The choice is yours. What will you do? 
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the author’s employer or any organization with which the author may be affiliated. 
Andy W. Harris, CRMS is President and Owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and Past President of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431, e-mail AHarris@VantageMortgageGroup.com or visit VantageMortgageGroup.com.

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

 

Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP)
President, Utah Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsTrent Hendry is a Vice President and Escrow Officer at Salt Lake City-based Mountain View Title and President of the Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this association.
 
How did you get involved with the UAMP? What was the track that led you to the association’s leadership role?
I got involved to serve and help out my fellow mortgage people. I began serving on the UAMP Board in 2013, and became President because they asked me serve. I was flattered that they would regard me so highly and I gladly accepted the appointment.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in Utah join UAMP?
UAMP helps our mortgage originators get the necessary education needed to be better loan officers. This includes the NMLS continuing education requirement for licensing, as well as other educational topics to improve their marketing and ability to close loans. On the advocacy side, legislation is a big part of what we do. We work in the state capital to keep an eye on the legislature, while giving a voice to the mortgage industry. We help protect consumers and make the lives of the originators a little easier. We have Capital Day, where many UAMP members gather and talk about current legislation and issues that we feel need to be dealt with. We also work on a national level, going to Washington, D.C. for the Annual Legislative & Regulatory Conference.
 
Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP)How many members are currently in the UAMP?
We currently have about 70 members. We started the year with 50 members, and we are projecting to have 120 by the end of the year.
 
There was recently a bit of drama involving your Annual Expo. What was the story behind that?
Our Annual Expo is our biggest event of the year. This year, a company came into the state and held a similar expo. It did created some confusion initially, but in the end our Board was able to work hard to clear up the confusion and we had a great Expo, one of our best attended Expos ever. In fact, we have one of the best attended Expos in the nation here thanks to the great mortgage people in our state.  We are lucky to have a lot of amazing mortgage experts in our state.
 
What is the UAMP’s relationship with NAMB?
We are the state affiliate for the national association, NAMB. When people become members of UAMP, they are automatically enrolled as a member with NAMB. We feel it is equally important because NAMB is a big part of what we can do on a legislative front in Washington, D.C. There is power in numbers, and NAMB provides that amongst many other benefits for our local members.
 
In other parts of the country, there is concern that not enough young people are coming into the industry. Is that a problem in Utah?
It was from 2008-2012. I’ve seen a little bit of an increase over the last year or two. I think the Millennial generation may have been scared off during the recession, but now we see more young people come in, not only as originators, but also in the title insurance sector where I work as well on the Realtor side. It is exciting to see their enthusiasm for our great industry.
 
What is the state of the Utah housing market?
Booming. It is extremely busy. But we are dealing with a supply and demand issue–there is a lot of competition, and offers are being accepted in record times.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage and recently concluded his term as President of the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA)
John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage and recently concluded his term as President of the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this trade group.
 

How did you join the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA)? What was the track that led you to your leadership role?
My path began as a member of the Portland Chapter of OMA. I joined because they believe in doing business in an ethical, professional and profitable way, and they put a high standard on the industry. I became a Board Member of the Chapter, and later on, I became Statewide President of OMA in August 2015 for a two-year term.
 
Why would a mortgage professional in your state want to join OMA?
OMA is the best association for someone who wants to gain insight from other professionals. We have member-only events that allow you to network with other like-minded individuals at the highest level. You can talk with top-producing loan originators in our market, and their insight can help you gain knowledge. OMA is also providing NMLS continuing education classes to professionals in the mortgage industry.
 
How many members are currently in the OMA?
We now have about 80 members. In the past, we have had up to 140-plus members.
 
Is OMA actively involved in the legislative and regulatory environment?
We defer to NAMB and follow their lead. NAMB talks to the state of Oregon and, when needed, we jump right in. We do not have our own lobbyist, nor do we pay for a Political Action Committee in Oregon.
 
John Forsythe is a Regional Vice President at Portland, Ore.-based Plaza Home Mortgage What do you see as the association’s most significant achievement?
Within each of our markets, we contribute to local charities. If we do an event–say, a mixer in Bend, Ore.—any money above our expenses goes to a charitable group in that market. These non-profit organizations look up to OMA because we give back to the community.
 
What is your relationship like with other industry trade groups?
We host events with the Oregon Realtors Association. We’ve put on an annual golf tournament in Eugene with them for a number of years. That is a huge event that turns out more than 150 people every year. We also do an annual Toys for Toys with the Eugene Association of Realtors in December, coordinated in conjunction with the U.S. Marines Corps.
 
Do you see young people in your state seeking careers as mortgage professionals?
We do. We have two OMA state Board Members who were recently featured in National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 40 Under 40. We also have a number of professionals in our organization who are in their mid-20s and mid-30s.
 
Describe the current state of the housing market in Oregon?
It is better than most others. There is a problem: Because of all of the people moving to Oregon, we are seeing inventory drop and prices going through the roof. We see multiple offers from buyers on a property that was only listed for one day. And we have seen prices on houses going up, up, up.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.