At the recent NMLS Annual Conference held in Austin, TX, I attended a break-out session conducted by SRR officials Pete Marks and Rich Madison. Also presenting was Tammy Scruggs, a Director in the Kentucky Division of Financial Institutions and Vice-Chairperson of the Mortgage Testing and Education Board. (MTEB)
How and why did you get involved in FAMP? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role within your chapter?
Initially, I joined FAMP because I had just moved to Florida, and I was looking for a way to network and make connections with other people in our industry. It was such a great decision! Not only was I able to meet the kind people I was looking for, but a lot of those connections that I made years ago are now great friends and people I continue to do business with today.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join FAMP?
Our industry has been ever-changing, and with change, we need to have a unanimous voice so we can make sure our input is heard and considered when decisions are made. Mortgage professionals absolutely must join our association to help protect this incredible industry. As members, they can also take advantage of top tier education and networking events. It is such a small investment with such a huge return.
What role does your association play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We are very fortunate because FAMP has a very good relationship with the Office of Financial Regulation. We are able to communicate effectively and work together because of the professionalism on both sides. There is a mutual respect that comes from experience, and our association has been working at this for more than 55 years.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
We support each other, and I can tell you first-hand that absolutely nothing happens because of one single person. I have been part of the FAMP Broward Chapter since my first day of membership, and I am very proud of our chapter. Am I biased? Absolutely, but come to our Trade Show and see what our board and volunteers have accomplished together. The FAMP Broward Chapter Trade Show is right in the middle of the highest number of licensees within the state, and we always have a great turnout with lots of relevant education for our members.
What is the synergy that exists between FAMP and NAMB?
I truly believe we need each other to effectively represent our industry. While we are very successful at working with our legislators, we only represent a single state. Having the ability to join forces with all the states and come together with one voice is very powerful and necessary. In fact, some of our current and past FAMP leaders have roles in the NAMB today.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Over-regulation is obviously an obstacle and makes it difficult for a novice licensee to know how to get started. The education requirements for licensing have absolutely nothing to do with the real world—and while we are trained and tested on regulations, there really is no hands-on step-by-step training that we are required to do. That comes from experience and from mentoring from more seasoned mortgage professionals. We need to have more education available specifically for these new licensees.
How would you define the state of the Florida housing market?
Florida has such a diverse housing market. One neighborhood can include low-income housing and a few blocks away, you may find multi-million dollar condos and homes. Condos and co-ops have large footprints in South Florida, and with our beautiful coastlines, we attract many retirees, investors and foreign nationals. We really have a unique market, and frankly, we need to offer more loan products and loan types because of this.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
We’d like to congratulate all of the following individuals named to our “40 Under 40” list for 2016—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.
Neighborhood Loans ♦ Lombard, Ill.
Web site: NeighborhoodLoans.com
Tony Ameti serves as Neighborhood Loan’s vice president. His industry expertise, coupled with his keen ability to translate market expansion strategies into an aggressive yet feasible fiscal plan, is evident in the immense success Neighborhood Loans has experienced since its inception. Providing true leadership is contingent on continuous evaluation of short and long term strategic financial objectives; it is this very leadership embraced by Tony that has ensured Neighborhood Loans’ exponential growth. Tony oversees the company’s financial operations, including timely financial planning and analysis, financial reporting, financial forecasting, banking and warehouse lines, funding/sale of mortgage notes, internal audit, tax and treasury.
Chief Administrative Officer
Mortgage Capital Trading ♦ Santa Rosa, Calif.
Web site: MCT-Trading.com
Chris Anderson is an experienced public and private sector executive with expertise in regulatory compliance, organizational development, project management and technology integrations. Chris joined MCT in 2012 to organize and grow MCT’s Outsourced Lock Desk Division. After successfully establishing the Division as the industry standard for outsourced lock desk services, his responsibilities grew to include overseeing all technology integrations and administrative operations. Chris is a member of the MBA’s Residential Mortgagee Curriculum Advisory Committee, the CMBA’s Technology & Marketing Committee and holds a BA in public policy from the University of California, San Diego.
Founder/SVP of Mortgage Partnerships
Best Rate Referrals ♦ Clearwater, Fla. & Las Vegas
Web site: BestRateReferrals.com
Raymond Bartreau founded Best Rate Referrals (BRR) in 2005 and has grown the company into one of the leading marketing agencies for the mortgage industry. Best Rate Referrals has provided profitable marketing campaigns for thousands of mortgage brokers and banks, large and small, such as live transfers, Internet leads, direct mail and targeted list services. Raymond and BRR have been honored multiple times by Inc. Magazine, including the magazine's 2010 list of the nation's 500 fastest-growing companies. Raymond has also been honored multiple times by National Mortgage Professional Magazine for his contributions, and is the “go to” premier marketing mind in the mortgage industry.
Sales Manager/Senior Loan Officer
Summit Funding ♦ Plano, Texas
Web site: TheJBowenTeam.com
Jenay Bowen graduated with a BBA in both finance and real estate and has been in the industry since 2003. Before entering into the mortgage business, she spent several years in the banking industry. Therefore, crossing over from banking to loan origination was an easy task and helped build a solid foundation in permanent lending. Jenay has extensive underwriting experience with all types of mortgages. This experience allows the opportunity to help determine which loan is the most beneficial in meeting individual needs. Her commitment, knowledge, and expertise will help make the loan process as simple and stress-free as possible.
Senior Software Architect
Quandis Inc. ♦ Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Web site: Quandis.com
Mona Bowerbank has been in the industry for more than 16 years. As senior mortgage software architect at default management technology provider Quandis Inc., Mona has developed enterprise-class software solutions with a focus on the servicing side of the mortgage business. Mona has helped automate complex workflows for business functions such as foreclosures, valuations, short sales, default technology and more for servicers, lenders, banks, GSEs, foreclosure attorneys, and third-party providers. She also worked on LenStar’s Web-based attorney referral system, which is still widely used today. Previously, Mona worked for London Bridge Group, later acquired by Fair Isaac (FICO).
BRIK Home Loans ♦ San Diego, Calif.
Web site: BRIKLoans.com
Starting as a loan officer at the age of 19, Andy Brikho has had more years of experience than much of his competition. This wealth of experience and his strong relationships opened the door to make his dream of founding his own mortgage bank, BRIK Home Loans, a reality. As a first generation American, he is proof that hard work, dedication and integrity allow anyone to achieve the "American Dream." BRIK Home Loans strives to provide the best home loan experience for its clients and partners. The continuous referrals and repeat clients are proof that BRIK is the local lender that people trust.
Jersey Mortgage Company ♦ Parsippany, N.J.
Web site: ChrisBrower.JerseyMortgage.com
Chris Brower began his career five years ago during one of the worst recessions we have seen. He credits Jersey Mortgage for grooming him to double his business every year since he started. Chris is a member of the Passaic County Board of Realtors and a member of the Young Professionals Network for New Jersey. These organizations have increased his business tremendously. Chris feels that, by far, the greatest reward of this business is the look on his clients' faces when they reach the closing table.
EVP, Portfolio, Pricing & Products
Parkside Lending ♦ Buffalo, N.Y.
Web site: ParksideLending.com
William J. Chudy, CFA joined Parkside Lending LLC in February 2013 as an executive vice president. He has more than 15 years of industry experience managing credit, liquidity, interest rate risk, capital markets, pricing, and loan production. Prior to joining Parkside, William was the asset liability manager at M&T Bank in Buffalo, N.Y., with responsibility for managing interest rate risk and the mortgage portfolio. Originally from Buffalo, William graduated from the University of Buffalo. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and member of the CFA Society of Buffalo. He lives in Western New York with his wife and four children.
TagQuest ♦ Seattle, Wash.
Web site: TagQuest.com
James Cullens joined TagQuest in 2012 as marketing director, leading the industry in direct marketing trends. James is a key player in the mortgage marketing world and is instrumental in the success of TagQuest and their clients, while keeping to the top performing marketing trends of the time. He is passionate to help others grow their business and stay at the head of the mortgage industry. He has more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and finance. TagQuest is a full-service marketing firm dedicated to mortgage companies reaching their goals. James lives in Seattle with his wife, Sarah and daughter, Clara.
Senior Account Executive
CIC Credit Reports ♦ Palm City, Fla.
Web site: CICCredit.com
Jason Dickinson has been an account executive at CIC Credit for close to 12 years in the Florida, Georgia and Carolina markets. Previously, he worked at Equifax for five years. He is proud to be a board member of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals Broward Chapter. Also, he is a member, and past board member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of South Florida. Jason graduated from the University of Florida, with a masters in international business and a bachelor’s of science degree in business, focusing on marketing. Jason loves spending his free time with his wife and two young daughters.
AnnieMac Home Mortgage ♦ Flanders, N.J.
Web site: Annie-Mac.com
Kevin R. Dolan is a 13-year veteran of the mortgage industry and currently co-manages one of AnnieMac's top branches in the country. Kevin's leadership and high level of performance is backed by experience with a mentality that you must be all in to be at the top. Having been in many seats in his career, Kevin is able to offer a well-rounded and knowledgeable approach to his clients, referral partners and team. Kevin believes in being consistent and providing an experience you can rely on. Personally, Kevin enjoys spending time with family, cooking, fishing, boating and traveling.
Senior Loan Officer
Starkey Mortgage ♦ Charleston, S.C.
Web site: StarkeyMTG.com
Matt Dorsey has a strong commitment to the community he serves. With 13 years of lending experience and an MBA from the Citadel, Matt has helped thousands of clients realize the goal of homeownership and is a top performer at Starkey Mortgage. Additionally, he heads up an annual toy drive benefiting Toys for Tots, was named 2015 Man of the Year for the Charleston Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, volunteers with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the South Carolina Aquarium Ocean Alliance and partners with MARSOC Foundation. Matt and his family live, work and serve in Charleston, S.C.
Senior Vice President, Loan Origination & Marketing
Citadel Servicing Corporation ♦ Irvine, Calif.
Web site: CitadelServicing.com
William Fisher leads all loan origination (wholesale, retail, correspondent) and marketing operations at Citadel Servicing Corporation (CSC) with 13-plus years in the mortgage finance industry. Armed with a background in marketing and track record of introducing new products to market with quantifiable success, William possesses a comprehensive foundation of building sales teams with winning cultures critical to success. Before joining CSC, he led business development at Poptent, an online crowd-sourced video marketing content start up. Prior to the deep dive back into marketing, William developed his loan craft and team management skills at First Street Financial, Equifirst and LendingTree Loans.
Chief Operating Officer
Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group ♦ Ann Arbor, Mich.
Web site: GoldStarFinancial.com
AJ Franchi, chief operating officer for Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group defines meteoric rise. From intern to director of retail operations, then CIO, and now COO at the age of 30, AJ has oversight over all business efficiency, ensuring Gold Star’s continued sustainable growth. A pioneer in automating workflows resulting in off-the-charts improvement in loan process, secondary, marketing and communications, AJ is considered a thought leader in innovation technology-now consulting nationally on behalf of Ellie Mae. Industry awards won by AJ over the years include: Ellie Mae’s Hall of Fame-Outstanding Loan Origination Process (2013); Efficiency and ROI 2014; Tech Savvy Lender Mortgage Technology Magazine (2013); MPA’s Young Guns (2014) and MPA’s Hot 100 (2015).
United Shore ♦ Troy, Mich.
Web site: UnitedShore.com
Andrea Frank’s drive fueled her early journey into the industry to now leading one of UWM’s largest operational teams. “Everything can be done faster, better, more efficiently … everything in the world,” Andrea said. Under Andrea’s leadership this year, her teams have increased output by more than 25 percent, due to enhanced tools, resources, and training, ultimately benefiting mortgage brokers immensely by cutting turn times by hours and increasing service levels to all-time highs. “In this industry, the one thing that’s constant is change,” said Andrea. “I view change as growth, a necessity to always getting better, learning and being the industry leader.”
Senior Mortgage Banking Consultant
Wintrust Mortgage ♦ Eagan, Minn.
Web site: HomeLoansByVanessa.com
Vanessa Frisch has been a mortgage professional for 10-plus years, and is a top-15 female mortgage originator for units at Wintrust Mortgage, one of the largest mortgage firms in the United States. She is a senior mortgage banking consultant for Wintrust Mortgage, owned by Wintrust Financial, headquartered in Rosemont, Ill. Vanessa is also a member of Cindy Ertman's Mortgage Mastermind, an exclusive team of next generation mortgage professionals, and one of the top mortgage originators in the United States who is 30 years of age and under.
Mortgage Financial Services ♦ Flower Mound, Texas
Web site: KellyDHaney.com
With a focus on increasing sales volume and improving business processes, Kelly D. Haney is currently a branch manager and RMLO with Mortgage Financial Services LLC. His responsibilities include supporting the sales and operations teams, managing the client database, and training mortgage loan originators on products and processes. Additionally, he provides first-rate mortgage products and complete support to customers before, during, and after their closings. Kelly is 2016 president of the North Texas Association of Mortgage Professionals and an active member in the Bankers Association and other trade organizations. Kelly enjoys providing up to date education to agents/clients on current trends.
Founder & Managing Partner
314 Capital ♦ Washington, D.C.
Web site: 314CapitalPartners.com
Justin Hill is an entrepreneur and started in residential mortgage lending at the age of 19. He launched the private finance firm, 314 Capital, in 2015 to address the lack of financing available to residential real estate investors and developers for acquisition, renovation and construction, which has grown from three (Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia) to now 16 states across the nation. Later in 2015, they added financing for small balance commercial properties up to $5 million to their product line. For 2017, they will be launching a new product line for commercial properties up to $30 million.
Director of Compliance
Castle & Cooke Mortgage ♦ Salt Lake City, Utah
Web site: CastleCookeMortgage.com
Ashley Hutto-Schultz’s consumer financial services career began in the aftermath of the recession at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she worked on matters related to people facing life-changing financial crises. Later, she worked as a law firm attorney helping consumer financial services companies navigate regulatory compliance matters in the wake of Dodd-Frank. These roles provided her with a sense of understanding and responsibility regarding parties on each side of the mortgage transaction; today, that perspective drives her work to develop and implement comprehensive and practical compliance solutions as director of compliance at Castle & Cooke Mortgage.
GSF Mortgage Corporation ♦ Brookfield, Wis.
Web site: GoGSF.com
As president, Chad Jampedro oversees the operations, direct marketing, production and secondary marketing departments of GSF Mortgage Corporation. His exposure to the multiple aspects of the lending industry at a high level has contributed to his unique perspective and the ability to associate the duties and objectives of each department into a service level design and operational plan. Chad is interested in the exchange of ideas that develop insight and transparency in relation to the mortgage finance industry’s products, policies and projections. Chad’s specialties include direct personnel management, service level design and results tracking, secondary marketing management, pipeline hedging, consumer-direct marketing, along with technology training and implementation.
Regional Sales Manager
REMN Wholesale ♦ Newport Beach, Calif.
Web site: REMNWholesale.com
Noshin Khoja is currently regional sales manager for REMN Wholesale. She also has her real estate and NMLS licenses. She has years of experience in the mortgage industry in senior leadership, including RSM for Maverick Funding (currently Home Point Financial), Pacific Mercantile and Pacific Banc. She has served as chairman of the western region for the Aga Khan Foundation USA since 2015. She was vice chairman since 2012. Noshin has a bachelor's of economics degree from the University of California, Irvine.
First-Time Homebuyer Specialist
L’Altrella Lending Group ♦ Shelton, Conn.
Web site: LLGSite.com
Daniel L’Altrella is a hard-working and very driven loan officer who has been in the mortgage business for 12 years. He treats every client like they are family and meets 95 percent of all his clients, striving to give each client the Disney World experience. He is always a phone call away, and prides himself on honesty and hard-work. “I am a 100 percent referral company who does not pay for leads or use billboards for business,” said Daniel. “All of my business comes from past and present clients and word of mouth. That is why I am so successful.”
Neighborhood Loans ♦ Lombard, Ill.
Web site: NeighborhoodLoans.com
Reno Manuele serves as president of Neighborhood Loans, an FHA-direct endorsed residential mortgage lender headquartered in Chicago. Since Neighborhood Loans’ inception, Reno and his partner, Tony Ameti, have incorporated an intuitive marketing approach by implementing industry leading technologies. Having realized the effectiveness of targeted marketing campaigns, Reno has since built out an in-house marketing department. This team enables loan officers and real estate agents to become top producers, while always keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind. This initiative has resulted in higher customer satisfaction rates, more educated clients and a foundation for inevitable growth.
Team Lead, Senior Account Executive
United Wholesale Mortgage ♦ Troy, Mich.
Web site: UWM.com
A relationship-driven mortgage professional with a proven track record of helping mortgage brokers elevate their business, Danny Marogy has become United Wholesale Mortgage’s All-Time Top Sales Producer. While he may be young, Danny runs his business like a seasoned veteran. He is valued by clients and UWM team members for his extensive industry knowledge, candor, mutual respect, and time he invests in them. Danny was recently recognized internally as a UWM Pillar Award winner for being “Relationship Driven, Not Transition Driven” because of his elite client service.
LenderPrice ♦ Pasadena, Calif.
Web site: LenderPrice.com
Ly Kao Nhiayi moved to the U.S. from France in 2004, where he graduated with a degree in computer science. He has worked in consumer electronics and transitioned to mobile and cloud development before joining forces with his two partners, David Alimi and Ly Kou Nhiayi and founding Cre8tech Labs, an umbrella company to LenderPrice (a Pricing and Product Eligibility and analytic platform for the mortgage industry). As a chief architect, he helped develop a platform to provide loan officers, brokers, lenders, retail/wholesale to compete not only in terms of technology, but also in terms of market intelligence.
Chief Executive Officer
LenderLogix ♦ Buffalo, N.Y.
Web site: LenderLogix.com
A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Patrick O’Brien spent 15 successful years as a mortgage lender with M&T Bank. Always passionate about bringing innovative solutions to the mortgage business, in 2016 Patrick and his partners founded LenderLogix, a software company which uses data and analytics to help mortgage lenders more efficiently engage with their real estate partners. LenderLogix automates relationship management tasks and provides constant actionable business intelligence, allowing loan officers to cultivate their most high value relationships. Leveraging LOS integrations and mobile apps, LenderLogix brings best in class technology into the hands of the modern loan officer.
Inlanta Mortgage ♦ Greenfield, Wis.
Web sites: Inlanta.com & LoansByJeremy.com
Jeremy Page started as an assistant at 18-years-old, and he has held just about every position in the industry, working his way up to where he is today. He currently runs Inlanta Mortgage’s Greenfield, Wis. office with nine employees and they are the fourth highest volume branch for Inlanta year-to-date. He has been awarded MPA's Young Guns award consecutive years and he’s also received Milwaukee Magazine Five-Star Mortgage Professional Award and was been nominated again this year. “I love what I do and being able to help people achieve the American dream or accomplish their financial goals,” said Jeremy.
Chief Executive Officer/Founder
LodeStar Software Solutions ♦ Hoboken, N.J.
Web site: LodeStarSS.com
After growing up around the mortgage and title industries, Jim Paolino founded LodeStar Software Solutions in 2013 at 27-years-old. Since that time, Jim has grown the company into a national provider of innovative compliance technology for the mortgage industry. Hundreds of banks, credit unions and mortgage companies utilize LodeStar on a daily basis to accurately disclose closing costs to their consumers. LodeStar has recently become part of Lenders Integrated Solutions, a provider of title and technology services. Through this affiliation, Jim hopes to provide an even wider range of services to lenders anywhere in the country.
Finance of America Mortgage ♦ Portland, Ore.
Web site: FinanceOfAmerica.com/macadam
Katy Parsons not only is one of the most brilliant minds the industry has ever seen, but she instantly can bring levity to any situation while representing a level of professionalism the industry has so desperately needed. Katy was instrumental in reviving the Mortgage Revolution conference, which has raised more than $50,000 for charity, while showcasing some of the industry's leading edge technology and best practices. You can expect to see a lot more of this industry dynamo in the years to come!
PRS Capital Group LLC ♦ Bohemia, N.Y.
Christopher R. Picone started as a telemarketer in college, was promoted to manager at 19, learned the business and has been running his own successful brokerage for close to 10 years. He believes the key to longevity in the mortgage industry is personal service. Processing all his loans from start to finish, he still finds the time to meet, sit down and discuss all documentation face-to-face with his clients. Chris was a member of 2012's Top 40 Under 40 edition, and 2014 and 2015 Next 40 Under 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch list.
Owner Operator/Managing Partner
Modern Mortgage ♦ Austin, Texas
Web site: ModernMortgage.com
Heather Harlan Price, managing partner of Modern Mortgage, has helped put thousands of people into homes and considers it one of the greatest joys in her life. She served for three consecutive years as vice president of education for the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women (NAPMW) where her talents were used in the mortgage community in Austin from 2012-2015. Heather was also nationally recognized and awarded as an Education Innovator in Mortgage in 2012-2013. She also founded the Modern Mortgage “Flintstone Loan," where a portion of the proceeds from every loan send hundreds of thousands of Flintstone Vitamins to Honduras.
Senior Mortgage Banker/Partner
VIP Mortgage ♦ Tucson, Ariz.
Web site: RobPurvis.VIPMTGInc.com
Rob Purvis’s mortgage banking career began in 2007 after seven years pitching for the Chicago White Sox. His love and passion for helping others catapulted him very quickly to the top as one of the country’s top mortgage originators. Centered on Rob’s small-town, Midwest upbringing and philosophy, Rob repeatedly asks, “How can I help you?” Not, “How can you help me?” Applying this philosophy to the entire MVP Team has enabled them to earn and grow relationships with realtors, business owners and customers because of the level of trust they each put into the team’s beliefs.
Mortgage Coach ♦ Irvine, Calif.
Web site: Mortgagecoach.com
Joe Puthur, president of Mortgage Coach, has more than 16 years of experience as a proven mortgage technology pioneer. Led by his philosophy that everyone deserves the insight and transparency to make a confident mortgage decision, Mortgage Coach was recently ranked first of the five must-have real estate apps by USA TODAY. Every day, 34 percent of the nation’s top one percent of producers deliver clear advice with Joe’s help. Ensuring access to affordable homeownership remains obtainable, Joe’s mobile innovations help lenders and real estate agents nationwide modernize their mortgage experience to educate millions of families about the benefits and total cost of every home loan option.
Vice President, Private Client Division
Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers ♦ Garden City, N.Y.
Web site: MFMBankers.com
Rajin Ramdeholl is vice President of the Private Client Division of Meadowbrook Financial Mortgage Bankers. Rajin oversees the daily operations of a thriving team and has to his credit, a series of successes in building dynamic mortgage lending teams throughout his career. He formulates and implements new marketing strategies and meets with brokers real estate agents and other prospective new clients on a regular basis. He specializes in working with major real estate agents builders and investors who are seeking expert help, but he also enjoys originating mortgage loans as well. With his educational, professional and financial background, Rajin is respected and trusted by his clients.
Mortgage Geek LLC ♦ Los Angeles
Web site: MortgageGeek.Technology
Jason R. Richardson specializes in referral partner marketing strategies and founded marketing technology vendor Mortgage Geek in 2011. Mortgage Geek has quickly become a preferred marketing provider for real estate companies and nationwide mortgage lenders including Mid America Mortgage, where Jason currently serves as the national marketing director. Jason recently became a founding member of the eCorrespondent Division at Mid America Mortgage. The Division is pioneering a complete digital mortgage process for independent mortgage bankers that includes eClosings with electronic promissory notes. Jason is actively seeking independent mortgage bankers looking to increase their efficiencies with a complete eMortgage process.
Get A Rate ♦ Elmwood Park, N.J.
Web site: GetARate.com
Michael I. Sema is an industry visionary and trailblazer, who started his career in 2004. In 2012, Michael’s fundamental belief in living a better life gave him purpose to transform and innovate the banking industry. By eliminating extrinsic motivating factors and providing honest, un-incentivized advice, he figured out a way to empower clients to make the right decision. Michael’s transparent Web site offers robust tools that finally reveal how much home to buy, not can buy. His vision to elevate the banking industry benchmark by servicing, supporting and protecting clients with a new standard of ethical lending has started a movement.
Mortgage Loan Originator
United Northern Mortgage Bankers ♦ Long Island, N.Y.
Web site: UnitedNorthern.com
Empowering those around her to achieve their dreams and goals of homeownership, Jacqueline Sendra is passionate about her career as a mortgage loan originator. With more than a decade of experience, Jacqueline is working to develop other top producing loan originators with the understanding that success has everything to do with helping others. Believing the future holds only the best of what's to come for the mortgage industry Jacqueline is excited to see what the next generations of originators will bring into the profession.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Class Appraisal ♦ Birmingham, Mich.
Web site: ClassAppraisal.com
Since helping to launch Class Appraisal as its first employee in 2009, Jon Tallinger has played several key roles throughout the company. His primary focus now is planning and leading the company's growth initiatives. In 2016, Class Appraisal has already doubled their 2015 volume. By building seamless integrations and creating advanced solutions, Class Appraisal has built a reputation for offering the industry's fastest turn times and highest service levels. Jon and his team have recently added several of the top lenders in the country as business partners, and are now working with 12 of the nation's top 25 non-bank lenders.
Loan Simple Inc. ♦ Las Vegas
Web site: ArianaMortgageLoans.com
Ariana Kay Veloz has been in the real estate and mortgage industry just over 20 years. As a branch manager and professional mortgage advisor, she focuses on client satisfaction. Her business is about service and she is not happy until her clients are happy; the service that she and her team provide is second to none. Ariana has experience in both the sales and operations sides of the industry. This knowledge enables her to provide her clients with a great understanding of what's needed to create smooth efficient flow and quicker closing on their purchase or refinance home loans. “I truly love what I do,” said Ariana.
Licensed Mortgage Advisor
Angel Oak Home Loans LLC ♦ Atlanta
Web site: WesWoodruff.AngelOakHomeLoans.com
Wes Woodruff joined Angel Oak Home Loans LLC in December 2011. He is an Atlanta native and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in finance and real estate. He has received numerous awards as the monthly, quarterly and annual top producer. He has also been a member of the 2013-2016 Leadership Council. Wes is a current member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia (MBAG). Wes lives in East Cobb, Ga. with his wife Lindsey and daughters, three-year-old Ella Reese and one-year-old Annie. He attends Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and enjoys playing tennis, golf and basketball, as well as working on projects around the house.
Due to the numerous submissions we received for the “40 Under 40” list, there are those who are making serious 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:
|Katrina Cole||Business Development||Inlanta Mortgage|
|Joel Davis||Senior Vice President||Freedom Mortgage|
|Brian Dietderich||Marketing Director||Class Appraisal|
|Scott Dubnoff||Vice President||American Financial Resources Inc.|
|Eric Egenhoefer||CEO||Waterstone Mortgage|
|AJ George||SVP of Correspondent Lending||CMG Financial|
|Amy Goldstein||Senior Loan Officer||BMIC Mortgage|
|Andy Harris||President||Vantage Mortgage Group Inc.|
|Kelly Hendricks||Vice President||Delmar Financial Company|
|Jason Holter||Producing Branch Manager||Premier Nationwide Lending|
|Matt Humphrey||Co-Founder and CEO||LendingHome|
|Vincent Ingui||SVP of Retail Sales||AnnieMac Home Mortgage|
|Erik Janeczko||Head Coach/Business Development Strategist/Speaker||Maximum Acceleration|
|Shane Johnson||Owner||Booyah Mortgage|
|Matthew Jolivette||Owner/President||Associated Mortgage Brokers|
|Tim Kelly||Branch Manager||Highlands Residential Mortgage|
|Scott D. Kriss Esq.||President/CEO||Kriss Law/Atlantic Closing & Escrow|
|Erica LaCentra||Marketing Manager||RCN Capital|
|Laura Lawson||Chief People Officer||United Shore|
|Erika Macias-White||Co-Founder and SVP of Operations||HighTechLending Inc.|
|James MacPherson||President||Academy Mortgage|
|Casey McGovern||President and Chief Production Officer||Bay Equity LLC|
|Bryan Miller||AVP, National Accounts||United Wholesale Mortgage|
|James Morin||Senior Vice President of Retail Lending||Norcom Mortgage|
|Matthew Moubray||National Sales Leader||Polaris Home Funding|
|Tim Nguyen||Co-Founder & CEO||BeSmartee|
|Joshua Nieves||Senior Mortgage Loan Officer||Residential Mortgage Services|
|Tom Pasckvale||Managing Partner||Top Vine Mortgage Services LLC|
|Erik Richard||CEO||Landmark Network Inc.|
|Joy Sinegar||Mortgage Loan Officer||US Bank|
|Ed Stojancevich||Residential Mortgage Loan Originator||A&M Mortgage Group|
|Shaun Talbot||Branch Manager||Finance of America|
|Ali Vafai||President||The Money Source|
|Trishul Vaghani||President||Bluestar Mortgage Inc.|
|Chris Wash||Senior Loan Officer||Guild Mortgage|
|Kimberly Weintraub||Executive Mortgage Banker||Atlantic Residential Mortgage|
|Serena Yang||Director of Marketing||Civic Financial Services|
|Ron Zach||President||NRL Mortgage|
Mark Harmon is the mortgage retail division manager at Birmingham, Ala.-based Renasant Bank and president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama (MBAA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with him regarding his work with his state’s mortgage trade group.
How and why did you get involved in the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama (MBAA)? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I began my career in the wholesale/correspondent space and initially got involved in our state association as an account executive looking to make business connections. Alabama is fortunate to have one of the strongest state associations in the country, and I was honored to be nominated to participate in our Future Leaders program for the 2010/2011 year. It’s a tremendous program that invests in three to four candidates each year and exposes them to the framework of MBAA service and leadership. Very often, we select committee chairs and board directors from these graduating classes. I began service on the board in 2012 and have progressed up to the president of our association for the 2016/2017 term.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join MBAA?
I’m very passionate about the value proposition MBAA adds to its members. We commit to engaging our members through value-added networking, thoughtful and relevant education, and forums to discuss topics affecting all aspects of the industry. We regularly have nearly 100 attendees at our monthly education seminars and luncheons, and nearly 400 at our annual convention, and those numbers are growing as the economy improves.
What role does your association play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
One goal of my term as president was to “Tell Our Story” to our members, consumers and legislators. We still have to battle a reputational hurdle stemming from the financial crisis and our position on legislative and regulatory issues is relevant and needs to be shared. We send delegates to Washington, D.C., to meet with our legislators each year during our National Advocacy Conference and we are creating a state version of this in the 2017 legislative session. I’m really excited to help see this initiative through next year during my tenure and support it as an ongoing initiative of the MBAA.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
I’ve worked hard on our branding, to provide mediums for internal and external marketing of who we are and what we represent. The updated logo can be seen on our new Web site at MBAAL.org, and in campaigns we use in various forums. We partnered with a local company, State Traditions, to promote our brand through apparel and it has created a lot of positive momentum and pride within our association.
We are also exploring new formats for education to expand our participation base (Web-based, roundtables with past presidents) and I think that was overdue. I’m extremely proud of our engagement to attract youth to our industry as well as our Legislative Day initiative in Montgomery.
I’m very proud of the officers, board members and committees we have put together—they are passionate, engaged, active and committed to our objectives, and that makes my job of service a very enjoyable one.
What is the MBAA's relationship with the national Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and with other trade groups?
We are very active with the national MBA and try to honor the “One Voice” initiative when communicating internally and externally. David Stevens, MBA president and CEO, has done such a tremendous job with his team in D.C. and we leverage those resources. We cooperate regularly with the Alabama Realtors, Alabama Home Builders and other state associations to try to partner together on education and legislative agenda items.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
A second initiative of my term as president is to “Build our Bench.” The average age of the work force in our industry is over documented, but relevant. As an association, we are looking to bring youth into our industry though a few key initiatives. One is our Internship Program—last year in our pilot year, we placed 12 employees on paid two-month internships with companies in our association. We partnered with state universities, marketed our program and our industry, accepted applicants and placed them. Many of these interns were hired on at the end of the internship, and we have great momentum heading into a second year.
We also partnered this program with our long-standing scholarship program, where we give cash donations to selected candidates with hopes of encouraging them to remain in our industry. Finally, we have created a CMB Society of Alabama, with a goal to partner candidates with mentors to expand the number of mortgage bankers who earn the premier educational designation of our industry. I am currently sponsoring four candidates in the program.
How would you define your state's housing market?
Competitive, but healthy. With the recent run-up in rates in the post-election period, purchase money transactions will be a bulk of the activity in the first quarter of 2017, so I believe that all of our members are observing that closely to see how we perform. Values are increasing, housing starts are up in both markets, but long-term economic growth is really the solution to sustained activity in housing.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
falseRob Arthur is president of the Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association (VMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with the state’s trade group.
How did you become involved with the Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association?
I became involved because I felt that mortgage professionals needed an advocacy force to ward off threats to our industry. My term began in October and it runs for one year. Before that, I was president-elect, vice president and a general board member.
Why should mortgage professionals in your state join VMLA?
They need to protect their turf. Look at how the Realtors get through their advocacy efforts—they’re strong because they have a huge, huge voice on Capitol Hill. We need that on a more micro-level in the Virginia General Assembly. We need more active members—those who don’t participate are eating from the table without doing any of the cooking.
What is VMLA’s level of outreach on a state and federal level?
We are not in front of the state legislators as much as we need to be. We do a “Day on the Hill” event, but we need to get our members to see their legislators throughout the year, so they know what we’re dealing with at a street level.
At the moment, there are no pressing matters on a state level. In terms of federal lobbying, I have not gone to Capitol Hill yet, though I plan to go this year with the Mortgage Bankers Association. I feel that, in terms of regulation, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. Yes, we were too lax in what we did [prior to 2008] in getting people a loan. But now, it is nuts. A lot of people are saying we’re in the compliance business while doing mortgages on the side.
What do you see as your most satisfying accomplishments with the VMLA?
Our convention set a record number for attendance the last two years, averaging 250 to 260 people. Our vendors tell us it is one of the best conventions they attend. We are also involved in a lot of educational outreach. We’ve had people from affiliated industries, including appraisers and home builders, at our panel discussions.
falseWhat is the VMLA doing to build its membership base?
We are not the Virginia Mortgage Bankers Association. We are the Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association. I would like to strengthen our relationship with the brokers and have more of their input. We are looking for new members across our industry. Because of bank mergers and acquisitions our industry is shrinking. Compounding the problem; not many new banks or mortgage lenders are coming online. We would love to have the brokers join our group and work with us in order to help them be successful.
In your professional opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
That might be the biggest challenge we face. It is a constant discussion because not a lot of people are coming into the industry. The average age for a loan officer is 56- or 57-years-old. It is tough to get young people to become a commissioned loan officer if they are carrying student loan debt.
I believe that our industry needs to start thinking differently. There are few people coming out of college that say, “I want to be a mortgage lender.” We need to do a better job communicating with Millennials about career paths in our industry. And mortgage lending is not for the faint of heart … it can be cyclical. A lot of people look at what top loan officers make and are intrigued, but the top 10 percent of loan officers are making 90 percent of the money. Many enter the industry and leave in relatively short periods of time.
What is the state of housing in Virginia?
We don’t have the final statistics in yet, but I can say that it was a good year. Of course, all real estate is local, so it depends on the market you are looking at. Northern Virginia, Tidewater, Southwest Virginia and central Virginia all have different economic drivers. Generally speaking, we had excess inventory at the height of the recession, but now in some areas where the economy is growing there is a shortage of homes available for sale. In addition, the lack of affordable housing, especially related to new construction, for the first-time homebuyers continues to be a problem.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
Question: We originate loans almost exclusively through E-Sign procedures. Recently, we were cited for not providing proper disclosure to consumers regarding our E-Sign policies. What are the proper disclosures that we must provide consumers in order to ensure compliance with E-Sign?
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) provides a general rule of validity for electronic records and signatures for transactions in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce. The E-Sign Act allows the use of electronic records to satisfy any statute, regulation, or rule of law requiring that such information be provided in writing, if the consumer has affirmatively consented to such use and has not withdrawn such consent.
Prior Consent is required from the consumers in order to implement the E-Sign Act procedures. Prior to obtaining their consent, financial institutions must provide consumers, a clear and conspicuous statement informing the consumer:
►Of any right or option to have the record provided or made available on paper or in a non-electronic form, and the right to withdraw consent, including any conditions, consequences, and fees in the event of such withdrawal;
►Whether the consent applies only to the particular transaction that triggered the disclosure or to identified categories of records that may be provided during the course of the parties’ relationship;
►That describes the procedures the consumer must use to withdraw consent and to update information needed to contact the consumer electronically; and
►That informs the consumer how the consumer may nonetheless request a paper copy of a record and whether any fee will be charged for that copy.
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.
At the end of the day, all we want to know is how to succeed. We want to know how to meet our sales goals, how to exceed our investors' expectations, and how to gain more market share over the competition. Since this is inevitably the end game in business, we tend to seek solutions toward that end. We want to know secrets, tips and tricks that can directly contribute to success. The problem, though, is that I don't think success is that linear. Success, for a business, is much like happiness for the individual—you cannot get at it directly; rather, it comes as the inevitable result of doing other things.
In my consulting business, I place an enormous amount of focus on helping organizations define and develop their core values. In the tradition of Simon Sinek's Start With Why, I work with organizations to uncover their ultimate purpose—the reason that they exist in the marketplace. Why do I do this? What does it have to do with the success that all organizations ultimately seek? Well, it is my belief that the strength of the purpose driving an organization is that very thing that must be properly refined before success can even be possible.
Trying to achieve success without understanding your purpose is putting the cart before the horse. It's like wanting to build the ornate roof of a skyscraper for everyone to see before you've even bothered to build the foundation. The fundamentals make everything that comes after possible. In the mortgage industry, people approach me all the time with questions about how to succeed? In my mind, these folks are asking the second question first. The primary question that should be asked is, "What is my purpose?" Once you've clearly understood and articulated the answer to that question, everything else should fall into place. Here are six questions to get you started in that journey of discovery that inevitably leads to success.
1. Why do you exist?
2. What are your values?
A second important question to ask yourself is, “What do you believe?” This sort of question can lead to developing your own internal "code of ethics." This, of course, is above and beyond what is necessary for compliance. Great leaders are accountable not only to regulators, but also to their own high moral standards. Knowing what your values are takes much of the risk out of doing business. As long as you are sticking to the guidelines you've laid out for yourself, you'll know that you aren't cutting any corners. If, on the other hand, you don't have any clearly defined values, then you never know where you might end up.
3. How do you work?
After you've gotten the basics of why you exist down, the next step is to move on to how you work. When you ask this question, you are asking about your process. How do you go about carrying out your mission? What systems do you have in place that guide the day-to-day operations of your business? All too often, organizations work in a haphazard manner. There is no rhyme or reason to the process—it sort of just arises spontaneously. If you want to increase your chances for success, you've got to be more deliberate about how you get there. Take a look at your processes and see what could use some tweaking.
4. What do you offer?
The next question you might ask is often the question people start with, “What is your product?” What do you sell? What is it that your customers want that you can provide? Before you know what you sell, you should definitely know who you are. Why you are in business and how you operate should come first but, let's face, without a product you don't really have a business. At the end of the day, you need to have something to sell. What are the products that you can offer within the context of the mortgage industry? On one level, everyone will have relatively the same product, but you can be creative in what you offer in such a way that makes it unique? Oftentimes, the package is the product? How are you packaging what you sell?
5. Who is on your team?
A fifth question for you to ask if you want to know that fundamentals on which you will build success is this: “Who do you have working with you?” Business is a team sport. You might have coaches. You might even have star players, but success only happens when everyone crosses the finish line. How invested are you in developing your team? Too many organizations give little attention to this question. Of course, everyone says that they want the best people, but few are willing to really devote the resources required to hire and retain them. In the mortgage industry, one great employer is worth at least five mediocre ones. The industry can be complex on both an intellectual and social level, and you need to employees that can balance both. That means hiring the best for the job and then training them to be even better. So, what about you? Have you paid enough attention to the quality of your team?
6. What makes you different?
Even after you've ironed out your purpose, process, product and people, you are still left with a quandary when trying to compete with other organizations in the mortgage industry. When seeking to clarify a worthwhile purpose that serves as the foundation for success, you must ultimately ask the question, “What make us so special?” What are you doing that no one else is doing? What do you bring to the table? Of course, you believe you are unique, but is that fact obvious to those on the outside? Do investors see you any differently than any other organization in the industry? What about customers? It's not enough to be different; you also need to look different. This last question you must ask is how you differentiate yourself—how you refine your image to reflect a competitive advantage against others in the industry.
There are, of course, many more questions you could ask to help you understand your core purpose. Moreover, having solid answers for these questions won't necessarily give you success. It will, however, make success possible. When you can understand fully who you are, how you work, and what you do, you will have the necessary building blocks to work toward success. It may end with meeting sales goals, exceeding investors' expectations, or achieving the highest market share in your niche, but always remember … it all starts with why.
David Lykken, a 43-year veteran of the mortgage industry, is president of Transformational Mortgage Solutions (TMS), a management consulting firm that provides transformative business strategies to owners and “C-Level” executives via consulting, executive coaching and various communications strategies. He is a frequent guest on FOX Business News and hosts his own weekly podcast called “Lykken on Lending” heard Monday’s at 1:00 p.m. ET at LykkenOnLending.com. David’s phone number is (512) 759-0999 and his e-mail is David@TMS-Advisors.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.
How many things do we have at our disposal today that would have seemed absolutely preposterous if they had been described to us 10, 15 or 20 years ago? Walkie-talkies were once a big deal, but today we can call anywhere in the world, check video monitoring of our homes remotely, and do a million other things on devices that fit in our pockets.
Quantum leaps get bigger and more frequent in the technology realm, but things don't move quite that fast in mortgage banking. Mortgages don't get invented, redefined or completely overhauled the way gadgets do; our product doesn't change much. But the way we sell and deliver it must. With the rise of the digital mortgage and the fact that the lending industry is still a political football, the only constant the mortgage industry can count on going forward is change. How well companies fare in the future will depend on their ability to embrace and adapt to it.
There are two types of change in the mortgage industry: Inherent and imposed.
The cyclical nature of the economy, housing and other markets are inherent changes and companies and mortgage loan officers alike regularly adjust to shifting conditions to maintain and grow production and profit. Other changes are imposed by outside forces, such as government, and must also become an integral part of the mortgage industry. But these are not as readily accepted or dealt with skillfully because they're required for survival rather than promoting success.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is the most sweeping imposed change in the history of the mortgage industry, imposing a compliance grip that takes hold before consumers even become clients and creating a minefield that originators and their companies must navigate all the way through closing. Though it's understood that fines for compliance violations can incapacitate and close entire companies and end careers, mortgage companies nationwide struggle to manage all aspects of today's requirements from marketing to closing. Resistance comes from inside and out, with in-process staff frustrated with system changes and producers who want control and variety in their marketing.
Technology has made its way into the mortgage business both as a friend and a foe. Today’s demanding regulatory climate has brought forth many systems and products to help the mortgage industry comply with marketing, disclosure, archiving and other requirements. The majority of today’s compliance solutions require adjustment to work process, pattern and flow, as well as infrastructure, and the solutions can seem as daunting as the compliance challenges themselves. However, the multitude and intricacy of rules that apply to all aspects of a mortgage transaction make them necessary and indispensable.
Technology has also become "the competition" with the rise of digital mortgages. Global consulting firm Accenture has been particularly diligent about chronicling the ascent of digital lenders, juxtaposing the amount of market share they're gaining against the losses suffered by traditional lending sources. It uses the term "Convergent Disruption" to describe what the mortgage industry must deal with to survive and succeed.
In its report, “Convergent Disruption in the Credit Industry: A Roadmap to Achieving Sustainable Competitive Advantage by 2020,” Accenture lists what lenders must do today to succeed in the Era of Convergent Disruption:
►Proactively invest in initiatives that will build the business rather than reactively respond to regulations, competitors and industry changes.
►Fundamentally shift from a product-oriented organization to a customer-driven organization.
►Rebuild bank reputations.
►Embrace and integrate new technologies, channels and strategies.
This is not necessarily news to companies and MLOs who have been implementing technology in varying degrees for years. Mortgage industry leaders regularly mobilize to combat obstacles in order to preserve and increase business. But enthusiasm and execution diminish exponentially when effort and attention are required to deal with conditions that don't support or enhance the company's bottom line. Producers and staff understandably get cranky when they must alter their routines. Changes necessary for regulatory compliance not directly tied to production or profit are dull at best; at worst, they are debilitating and costly on many levels.
Technology is no longer just a tool to increase efficiency, it's an essential safety net for survival.
The best way to mitigate implications of requirements imposed on the industry by lawmakers unfamiliar with the process is to take control at the company level and deploy an enterprise solution that can be managed and monitored by leadership so that the company's interests are protected and exposure is minimized. Additionally, it's critical to maintain the ability of originators to produce and remain driven in a climate where common business practices of the past have become financially-crippling compliance violations, while simultaneously avoiding logjams that overwhelm support staff.
Consolidating marketing along with in-process data and managing disclosure checkpoints enable companies to satisfy regulators along with their own operational and financial needs and goals. Streamlining marketing and in-process activity into a centrally-monitored system will eliminate mistakes and free originators to produce and assist internal staff in adhering to disclosure and timeline rules. Watchdog agencies are hungry for headlines that inflame the public and fines that fill their coffers—and they’re all too eager to audit your company to get them.
While technology is a solution, it’s also a change and generally not a small one. There is an abundance of information, analysis and opinions on why change initiatives fail, and two major reasons repeatedly appear: Communication by and resistance within the organization. Leadership is essential to make a successful, sustainable change in an organization, and it must begin, be monitored and be consistent from the top. Communication plans must be made almost simultaneously with decisions to make and implement change.
Understand what management and your organization as a whole will be facing as you craft your message and communication plan: Resistance to change must be understood in order for it to be overcome. Just as coughing and sneezing are symptoms of an underlying illness, questioning, resisting and avoiding change are indicators of underlying concerns such as:
►Anxiety from disruption of comfortable, mastered routines.
►Embarrassment in needing to ask questions about new processes or technology.
►Discomfort with one’s ability to do the job in current and/or new conditions.
►Confusion amid mixed signals from superiors about change and the future.
Communicating to achieve a desired result requires anticipating, acknowledging and addressing the reactions of those being charged with accepting, adopting and sustaining change. The Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study exposed a significant gap here, finding that about nine out of 10, or 87 percent, of organizations train on how to manage change, but only one in four managers say the training is effective.
Too many companies implementing change initiatives assume that their directives will be accepted and that the reasoning behind them is sound. As a result, they fail to anticipate objections and how to overcome them. Resistance triggers must be addressed at the inception of a change initiative and factored into all training and communication checkpoints throughout implementation.
We never know the full extent of inherent change in the mortgage industry until after the fact. For example, we can't pinpoint when interest rates will bottom out in a particular cycle until they have climbed back up and vice-versa. However, with imposed change such as government regulation, we are given the guidelines as to what is affected and when, what is required and what consequences are to be expected for non-compliance. The only unknown with this type of change is what the impact will be on operations and production.
Success in any business requires more than merely staying afloat. The mortgage industry will always be subject to the inherent change of market fluctuation and competition, but it doesn't have to be dragged under by consequences and difficulty of imposed change. Effective, sustained change does not occur without planning, understanding and addressing resistance, monitoring, in-process adjustment and consistent communication through all company channels. Especially in cases of imposed change, leadership must first own the solution in order to get organizational buy-in and the desired result. Change is unavoidable; how it is managed determines the degree of your longevity and success.
Sue Woodard is president and chief executive officer of Vantage Production, a provider of technology and services supporting the sales and marketing of mortgage products, as well as the professional development of mortgage loan officers. She can be reached by e-mail at SWoodard@VantageProduction.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.
Does anyone remember the ‘dot-bombs’ from the late 1990s and early 2000s? CEOs right out of college with an MBA in their hand offered to revolutionize mortgage loan origination processes only to see their bubbles burst not long after the turn of the century.
With the explosive growth of originations and securitization markets in the early 2000s followed by the Great Mortgage Recession, whole loan trading technology remained an “uninvested” area, continuing as a back-office function dominated by “tape crackers” and personal relationships.
We learned some lessons about dot-com technology in the mortgage space, but despite the fallout in online technology, some of the tools, policies and procedures behind online mortgage origination, servicing and secondary market trading remain relevant to this day. MISMO data standards, for example, are a constant presence in online mortgage technology not only for loan originations and mortgage servicers but for tomorrow’s secondary market technology.
We continue to make progress with data standardization because industry players recognized early the necessity for different systems and software to speak the same language.
Thanks to recent technology innovations, the time has finally arrived for online automated whole loan and bulk mortgage trading. And it’s not a minute too soon, given the greater volume and complexity of loans and the need for greater compliance. Several organizations are beginning to think so, as new trading platforms are being launched and pilot programs are underway with multiple associations and banking groups.
Standardizing loan data “tapes”
Before whole loan trading goes mainstream and online, however, some basic things need to be established. We need a standard process and a standard set of data. If the names of the data fields on a loan are different from one company to the next, there is no way for parties to effectively share information via a common platform.
In the mortgage business, we “crack tapes” to map column headers and data formats, with the most common difficulty around loan program names. Technology can certainly facilitate loan trading, but the industry will have to adopt a common data standard first.
What about the fields that are required to trade loans? It would seem that we need a slightly different set of data depending on what type of loan is being traded, whether it be a plain-vanilla agency loan or a non-performing mortgage. While those different standards are generally understood by market participants, they’re not published or enforced. Newcomers need to learn them, and everyone is translating (“mapping”) data to get things into their individual format.
This less than optimal situation is being magnified by the growth in whole loan trading relative to other delivery options. Not only is trading volume rising and expected to keep growing, but the variety and complexity of loan types is also expanding. While pay-option loans may not make a comeback soon, non-QM lending, expanded criteria loans, and the growth of the second-lien market all suggest product innovation is increasing. The secondary market will grow along with them, but only if the technology is in place to keep pace.
It seems, then, that for technology to facilitate loan trading, standardized data sets by loan product will be necessary, along with common formatting of particular data fields. And if the data does become standardized, what else do we need for technology to streamline loan trading?
The MLPA offers a starting point for commonality
There have been numerous efforts, by both industry trade groups and large financial institutions, to take this task on by themselves, by standardizing a single version of the Mortgage Loan Purchase Agreement (MLPA). Loan sellers would love for this to happen, as it would open up more trading options with less time spent in obtaining counterparty approval. But buyers, not surprisingly, aren’t as enthusiastic, since it could mean increased risk on their part. Buyers may also look at this as driving towards common fee schedules, reducing their flexibility in negotiating with potential counterparties.
After reviewing many MLPAs, it seems obvious that there is some level of commonality. Buyers and sellers frequently talk about creating a single standard document that would simplify the legal process and increase liquidity for both large and small participants. There seem to be enough common areas that, if structured broadly, might lead to a consensus to a standard document.
Importantly, however, the MLPA will still need to be a one-to-one relationship, meaning each buyer to each seller. There is consensus that a multi-party agreement will not work, but a common document for each counterparty pairing might.
So, then, if we are getting closer to a standard MLPA, what’s the next step? How will technology facilitate online whole loan mortgage trading as a result?
Here are six benefits we can expect from a technology-driven mortgage loan trading platform made possible by standardized data:
1. Greater efficiency: Standardized data and a common MLPA would dramatically increase the efficiency of the loan trading process. Technology would support this with embedded code for “tape cracking,” and document signing would become a function of the trading process.
2. Enhanced security: E-mailing spreadsheets is not a secure way to trade whole loans, yet many still do it. In a trading platform, that risk is largely removed by encryption technology. Data and documents are stored in a secure, password-protected environment. Just like any other financial system, it removes the unknowns and dangers in transferring data and documents via unsecure e-mail.
3. Improved communication: Rather than communicating via e-mail or telephone, buyers and sellers communicate in real-time directly through the platform, facilitating safe and transparent communication. Traders on both the buy and sell sides view the same data at the same time, and can notify each other of loans and pools they wish to trade via “chat” functionality. They can exchange loan data, documents and pricing information and settle transactions, all without exiting the platform.
4. Wider search options: Sellers will be able to create pools from their inventory by searching multiple criteria to create offered pools. Buyers can search by loan criteria, seller or pools and create their own pool reflecting their investment criteria. If they choose to do so, they can ignore the seller’s pool and focus on an investment strategy across pools. Buyers can also create an “axe,” which is a defined search criteria that continually looks for any of the loans posted on the platform that match what the buyer wants.
5. Automated best execution in real-time: Best execution will help the seller determine the best delivery for every loan, whether that is standard delivery options or a bulk bid. One buyer might want the entire pool, another might want just a portion, while yet another might want to pick and choose. Calculating which results in the best return for the seller in a spreadsheet is tedious. A platform provides best execution automatically and in real time so traders spend more time making good decisions rather than running math scenarios.
6. More system integration: Online trading platforms enable users to directly integrate their pricing engines, loan origination systems and service providers.
Secondary market trading technology, like the technology widely in use in mortgage loan origination and servicing, has finally arrived. Its widespread adoption by the industry is not a matter of “if,” but of “when.” In order to get where we need to be, we need to adopt proper procedures for standardizing data. Eventually, we’ll be able to increase transactional speeds so that buyers and sellers can continue to increase liquidity in the marketplace.
Trading platforms will soon become an important intersection for everyone in the secondary market. Already, dozens of major players—banks, servicers, investors, hedge funds and others—are trading thousands of loans through a platform. The day of inefficiently using an Excel spreadsheet to track whole loan trading will soon be long gone. Two cheers to that.
John Ardy is chief executive officer of Resitrader Inc., a Calabasas, Calif.-based provider of whole loan mortgage trade management software. He can be reached by phone at (310) 469-1640 or by e-mail at John.Ardy@Resitrader.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.
Mortgage denials aren’t just a problem for homebuyers. When mortgage denials are up the entire mortgage industry stands to lose.
Every time a consumer is denied a mortgage loan, it sets off a chain of events that impacts all of us. The loan officer doesn’t get paid, the lender doesn’t make money, the realtor is at a loss and the industry’s reputation is maligned. All have long-term effects that could cost you future customers. Consumers who are denied a mortgage loan often end up feeling dismayed, disconnected, and discouraged. They may then take their mortgage and banking business elsewhere. This is particularly harmful when cross-selling opportunities arise.
Among minorities, mortgage denials are an even greater problem. Black and Latino homebuyers are less likely to be approved for mortgage loans than their White counterparts. Research has shown that with the number of minorities continuing to rise in the United States, Black and Latino consumers will be the homebuyers of tomorrow. How will you expand your customer base when customers feel alienated by being denied a loan?
What the industry can do to decrease denials
Since everybody loses when a mortgage loan is denied, we can all benefit from the work of strong counseling organizations who can help stop mortgage denials in their tracks. Counseling organizations work with consumers to assess their readiness for homeownership and if they’re not ready, we work with them until they are.
Borrowers need more than mere information and advice. They need a step-by-step personal mortgage-ready plan, and a system designed to monitor and motivate them so they stick to that plan. According to a study by the Federal Reserve Board, 47 percent of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 if a financial emergency struck. I’ve come across people whose lives were turned upside down because they needed new tires, got a divorce, had high student loan debt and could not save a dime.
When people don’t get the pre-purchase financial guidance they need, challenging circumstances can turn into financial disasters. When borrowers aren’t equipped to make wise financial decisions on a daily basis they are more likely to have credit challenges yet many expect to be approved with a 500 credit score. The health of the mortgage industry depends on getting people financially prepared and approved for sustainable homeownership.
The impact of denials is great, but counseling organizations can mitigate some of those denials and maximize closings. HomeFree-USA has looked at a multitude of mortgage programs and we understand what borrowers must do to be prepared for certain mortgage products. Our job is to ensure that homebuyers are financially ready to buy a home before they come to you. With us, homebuyers are more likely to be approved and successful in their quest to buy a home.
In a world with more mortgage approvals, lenders are happy, real estate professionals are happy and most importantly your homebuyers are happy. Successful homebuyers believe that the lending community is working with them and not against them. When that happens, all of us win.
Marcia Griffin is founder and president of HomeFree-USA, a leading homeownership organization with 68 results-oriented culturally and ethnically diverse non-profit partners nationwide. HomeFree-USA has offices in Washington, DC, throughout Maryland, Atlanta, and South Florida.