California

Bay Equity Home Loans has named Mike Rooney as new Area Sales Manager for the company’s Santa Rosa, Calif. branch
Bay Equity Home Loans has named Mike Rooney as new Area Sales Manager for the company’s Santa Rosa, Calif. branch.
bayequityhomeloans.com
“We are thrilled to have Mike join our team,” said Bay Equity Home Loans Regional Manager George Adair. “His extensive knowledge of the area and strong leadership skills will generate more referral and repeat business.”
A lifetime resident of Sonoma County, Mike lives in Windsor and is involved in youth sports and education.
 
“It’s my goal to make sure clients have the very best customer service experience possible,” Rooney said. “Family comes first, and our borrowers are like family.” 

 
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) has expanded its footprint in California by announcing the opening of a new brick-and-mortar branch in Pleasanton, Calif.
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) has expanded its footprint in California by announcing the opening of a new brick-and-mortar branch in Pleasanton, Calif., under the management of Branch Manager Jason CanepaPrimary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) has expanded its footprint in California by announcing the opening of a new brick-and-mortar branch in Pleasanton, Calif., under the management of Branch Manager Jason Canepa. Canepa comes to PRMI with 21 years in the industry, and before joining PRMI, he was a Mortgage Sales and Operations Manager. As Branch Manager, he will be responsible for the overall management of the branch, recruitment and assisting individuals with their home loan needs.
 
“I believe that the key to success is constant communication and putting others first,” said Canepa. “Communication combined with professionalism, experience, strong ethical behavior, and quick response time has played a vital role in my success, allowing me to assist hundreds of families with their dreams of homeownership.”

 
loanDepot has announced the grand opening of its next generation lending center in Palm Springs, Calif.
loanDepot has announced the grand opening of its next generation lending center in Palm Springs, Calif.
 
‘We’re excited to open loanDepot’s first next gen lending location in Palm Springs,” said loanDepot Branch Manager Ron Stowers. “While our borrowers and referral partners continue to drive a lot of the online experience loanDepot is developing, they still value the personalized service we deliver when they visit our locations across the country. The Palm Spring community has been just great in welcoming us to the neighborhood, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to our newest lending location”
 
The loanDepot Palm Spring team of lending professionals includes Jon-Eric Lehman, Eric Wolf, Kenny Jacques and Sheldon Hecht, all who deliver excellent customer service and flexible financing options from loanDepot including home purchase and refinance, personal and home equity loan products.

 
Castle & Cooke Mortgage has announced the opening of its newest branch in Escondido, Calif., to be led by industry veteran and San Diego County local Leslie Thomerson, who has 28 years of experience in the mortgage industry
Castle & Cooke Mortgage has announced the opening of its newest branch in Escondido, Calif., to be led by industry veteran and San Diego County local Leslie Thomerson, who has 28 years of experience in the mortgage industry.
“The opening of our Escondido branch is a great opportunity for Castle & Cooke Mortgage to address the particular needs of our clients in the San Diego area,” said Art Della Rocca, Regional Manager for Castle & Cooke Mortgage. “Leslie has lived and worked in the region for many years, and maintains an outstanding professional reputation within the local real estate community. We couldn’t ask for a better person to lead our Escondido team.”
 
Prior to joining Castle & Cooke, Thomerson was a Sales Manager for both Freedom Mortgage and Stearns Lending. Her extensive background in the mortgage business has prepared her to lead the Escondido branch with professionalism and skill.
 
“My team and I are very excited to be part of the community on Grand Avenue in Escondido,” said Thomerson. “We are looking forward to meeting our business and local real estate neighbors, and are eager to share our expertise.”

 
Michael O’Connor is a mortgage specialist at Thousand Oaks Mortgage and Lending and president of the Greater Ventura Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with his local CAMP chapter.
 
How and why did you get involved with CAMP? Can you share the track within CAMP that led to your leadership role in the Greater Ventura Chapter?
I have been involved in CAMP since around 1992 when the Chapter was formed in our area. Why? I thought that being involved in an organization like CAMP that was trying to improve the professionalism and lobby for better mortgage guidelines were good goals and I wanted to help achieve those goals.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join CAMP?
First, not too many members of the mortgage profession join the association. Why? First, they are too busy just making money. Second, they are not aware of the goals of CAMP. Third, it costs money and takes some time to be an involved member.
 
What role does CAMP play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments? Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We play a big role in federal and state regulatory process. For the last four years, I have traveled to Washington, D.C., with our Government Affairs Representative representing the Greater Ventura Chapter of CAMP to lobby for better guidelines for the average mortgage borrower. This last year, there were approximately 128 attendees at the NAMB event—28 were from California and a large contingent was from Texas. We spent a long day learning about issues and economic conditions, then we tackled the talking points.
 
Let me give you an example of one talking point regarding the three-percent rule. For a borrower to buy a home valued at $200,000 or less, that person will pay more of an interest rate because the amount of money at three-percent for a $200,000 home does not cover the closing costs. So, the borrower has to borrow at a higher interest rate and get a rebate to cover the costs. We have been trying to change this technical flaw in the Dodd-Frank Act, for the last three years. Rep. Brad Sherman, a centrist Democrat, addressed our group on the Tuesday morning before we hit Capitol Hill and told us the Dodd-Frank Act is sacred scripture to Democrats and the three-percent rule will not be changed.
 
We also travel locally to Sacramento each year to lobby for issues involving borrowers in California.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with CAMP?
I see two major accomplishments. First, the fundraising that we do on a local level. Second, the lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. and in Sacramento.
 
As a Chapter, we just did a Lender Fair on May 18. We had 23 lenders and approximately 135 LOs visiting the sponsor exhibits. As far as my most significant accomplishment, I serve as the president of the Chapter and feel an obligation to provide the leadership.
 
One other thing I would like to mention that has been a major point of satisfaction in my career has been the fact that I have been on the board of Many Mansions since 1999. For those individuals who can afford to buy homes, I help them finance them. This goes for low-income, very-low-income, disabled, veterans and homeless. I feel if I can help people who can afford to buy home, then I should spend my charitable time helping those less fortunate.
 
What is synergy between CAMP and NAMB?

There is not a lot of synergy at the Chapter level, but a very good amount at the state level. Currently, a Californian, Fred Kreger, leads NAMB, and California has provided the leadership for many tenures.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Exposure. We need to show them the satisfaction you get when you put a young couple in a new home. Plus, it is a financially rewarding career.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
We are not building new homes at a rate to keep up with the demand. It is very expensive to build a single-family residence in California, so builders are now doing apartment construction. 
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
San Francisco is such an expensive property market–pause for reader to ask aloud, “How expensive is it?–that a 90-square-foot storage locker was recently acquired for $160,000
San Francisco is such an expensive property market–pause for reader to ask aloud, “How expensive is it?–that a 90-square-foot storage locker was recently acquired for $160,000.
 
According to a Yahoo Finance report, the residents of the Lumina luxury condominium in the city’s South of Market section got into an aggressive online bidding war regarding 53 storage units at the development. While the nine-square-foot lockers sold for between $4,300 and $5,100 each, the 90-square-foot locker was acquired for $160,000, or $1,777 per square foot. In fact, the price-per-square foot for that locker was more than the price-per-square-foot for a two-bedroom, two-bath condo listed for sale in the Lumina.
 
“It sounds like a lot money, but that’s the economics that go through people’s minds,” explains Paul Hwang, principal at the San Francisco-based Skybox Realty and the owner of a Lumina condo unit. “You have also have to remember that the guy spending $160,000 probably isn’t your average person. It is a lot money, but it’s not like he’s throwing his money away. He’d prefer to have his stuff in the building than at a storage locker a block away. He wants his golf clubs, his Christmas tree, or bike downstairs.”
 
In comparison, the previous record-breaker for a storage space, a 36-square-foot storage unit in New York City sold for $75,000 in 2014, is the storage equivalent of affordable housing!

 
The California legislature passed bills yesterday designed to ratchet up construction to ease the state’s affordable housing shortage
The California legislature passed bills yesterday designed to ratchet up construction to ease the state’s affordable housing shortage.
 
According to an Associated Press report, the Senate voted 23-12 to pass SB35, which removes some development restrictions in cities that fall behind on their housing production goals. The Senate also voted 30-9 to put a $3 billion bond for affordable housing on the ballot. Over in the Assembly, a 46-19 vote saw the passage of AB73, which rewards cities for streamlining the approval of housing, particularly for developments near public transportation.
 
"We need a comprehensive solution to address the housing crisis," said Assemblyman David Chiu, a San Francisco Democrat who authored AB73.
 
However, the legislature also created a new construction blacklist: the Senate voted 23-16 to ban the state from contracting with companies that bid to build President Donald Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico. 

 
The CAMP Orange County Summer Sales & Mortgage Yacht Mixer will be held Thursday, June 22 at the The Royal Princess Yacht, 2901 West Coast Highway in Newport Beach, Calif., 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
 
Join us for a special mixer complete appetizers and drinks and a cruise throughout the harbor! Come mix it up with your fellow mortgage professionals with a portion of proceeds donated to Meals on Wheels–Assisting Home-bound Seniors with nutritious meals.
 
Click here for more information, or contact Melanie McAllister by phone at (949) 468-2614 or e-mail melanie.mcallister@occamp.org.

 
 
The City of Los Angeles suffered a legal setback when a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city failed to make a case against alleged mortgage lending discrimination
The City of Los Angeles suffered a legal setback when a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city failed to make a case against alleged mortgage lending discrimination by Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
 
According to a Los Angeles Times report, the court found that Los Angeles failed to prove its allegation that the banks engaged in predatory lending practices against non-White borrowers in the years leading up to the housing bubble meltdown. While the city argued that both banks offered generous incentives to loan officers for encouraging borrowers to take out larger home loans, the judges stated that the city failed to prove those incentives specifically targeted non-White borrowers, adding that the employee incentives and the marketing materials used to promote these loans “would affect borrowers equally regardless of race.”
 
Tom Goyda, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, praised the Circuit Court’s ruling “to uphold the district court’s thoughtful ruling and confirm the dismissal of the Los Angeles city attorney’s mortgage case against Wells Fargo.” Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Grayson added, “We are pleased that the court found that the city failed to articulate a viable legal claim and affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit.” Rob Wilcox, a spokesperson for Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, said the city is reviewing the 9th Circuit’s ruling and will determine how to proceed.

 
Debbie Reinhardt is mortgage planner and central branch manager at American Pacific Mortgage and president of the Greater Sacramento Chapter of the California Association of Mortgage Professionals (CAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the state’s trade association.
 
How and why did you get involved with the California Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track within CAMP that led to the leadership role in your chapter?
I served as vice president of the California Association of Residential Lenders (CARL) in San Jose for two terms in the late 1980s, and then relocated to the Sacramento area. We had a very active and vibrant chapter of CARL then, but weren’t very involved in legislative issues … of course, we didn’t have too many legislative issues back then.
 
I decided to become involved in CAMP in 2010 after Dodd-Frank was signed into law by President Obama, because of the unintended consequences on our ability to do business in the best interest of our clients. Unfortunately, when government steps in and tries to “fix” issues, not having a thorough understanding of the lending industry, it can and often does hamper and actually harm a buyer/borrower in a real estate transaction. I estimate that the additional costs incurred by lenders to satisfy the burdensome rules of Dodd-Frank have added an additional 0.50 percent to 0.75 percent to the interest rate for borrowers, while the benefits realized by borrowers are nebulous at best.
 
I joined the board of the Greater Sacramento Chapter of CAMP and served first as secretary, then chair of the Membership and Education Committees. I was asked to stand for president last year and agreed to run for the 2016-2017 year. We received the award for Large Chapter of the Year at the end of 2016.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join CAMP?
Some join because they realize that CAMP advocates on their behalf and for their borrowers, at the state level as well as in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with NAMB. We would be able to accomplish more if we had more members. It would give us a larger voice in legislation being drafted and/or considered because there is power in numbers when it comes to politics.
 
When I’ve participated in Legislative Days at the state capitol, one of the first questions I’m usually asked is: “How many members does your association have?” Considering there are several thousand loan officers in California, it is disappointing that CAMP’s membership statewide is only a little over 2,000 members. We plan to increase our membership by 10 percent each year.
 
I think most join to take advantage of the educational and networking events CAMP hosts monthly. I believe that we do a good job of educating our industry about changes that our members need to be aware of. We also have joint networking events with many professional real estate groups, such as the WCR (Women’s Council of Realtors), YPN (Young Professionals Network), NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals), AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America), and the local real estate associations.
 
It is our goal to let more loan officers and mortgage brokers know about the additional benefits they can gain from membership, like discounted continuing education; Web site and CRM set up; Market Focus, an automated marketing service; Constant Contact, PRO mortgage origination software; a review management system; and UPS shipping services. Also included with membership is a free half-hour of legal advice every month from Herman Thordsen. A variety of medical and dental plans, plus a vision plan, are available through CAMP.
 
What role does CAMP play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
CAMP is dedicated to watching the state laws that affect our industry, in conjunction with any federal laws that affect us. We attend Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. in April, followed by our own State Lobby Day in Sacramento in May. We take these opportunities to talk to legislators, and educate them to think about how their votes affect our industry’s ability to serve their constituents and perhaps how changes to proposed legislation might be beneficial. We advocate or oppose legislation based on how it might ultimately affect a homeowner or borrower. The legislation might deal with property taxes, interest deductibility, disclosure of loan terms such as with PACE or HERO loans, compliance issues, licensing requirements, flood insurance availability and cost, and any other issue that might affect our industry and thereby affect our clients.
We support HR3393—The Mortgage Fairness Act. This bill would make a technical correction to the Dodd-Frank Act, allowing low and moderate income borrowers and homebuyers some flexibility in the loans they choose so that they can have better cash flow at the time of closing.
 
We also support licensing, continuing education and NMLS registration for all originators in order to increase professionalism in our industry. We are advocating support for including veterans as a protected class under ECOA, helping end discrimination against VA loans, and increasing lending limits (eligibility) for VA loans.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
We are systematizing the marketing of our educational and networking events to ensure timely and frequent notification of our members and future members to achieve maximum attendance and enlist new members. We are also in the process of revamping our Web site to make it more user-friendly for joining CAMP, registering for an event or learning about all the benefits the association has to offer and how you can become involved.
 
We increased our membership by more than 10 percent last year and intend to equal or surpass that increase this year. The officers and committee chairs being installed in July will have written descriptions of their duties and responsibilities, which will help them more successfully satisfy the requirements of their offices and committees.
 
What is the synergy between CAMP and NAMB?
NAMB is the good “Big Brother,” always watching out for all the states, as their representatives go to The Hill almost every day to advocate for legislation affecting all the states. California, as the most populous state, works hand in hand (conferences, Webinars, outreach programs) with NAMB and other interest groups for the betterment of our profession. Membership in NAMB keeps one abreast of developments on a national level, whereas CAMP focuses on the state level.
 
How would you define your state’s housing market?
I think inventory is a problem in almost all areas of California. Many homes are receiving multiple offers and selling very quickly at or above the listed price because there just aren’t that many homes for sale. Appraisers, having borne the brunt of some of the blame for the housing crisis, are not using time adjustments to increase value, so some appraisals are coming in below the agreed upon selling price. Frequently, this necessitates re-negotiating the sales price at or near the appraised value. This is having some effect on moderating price increases.
 
Even in the new home arena, builders have been somewhat slow to re-engage so we are lagging quite a bit behind in the number of housing units needing to be built to satisfy the new household creation. This trend is continuing to increase prices, although not as rapidly as last year. As interest rates slowly rise, hopefully this will act as an additional damper on price increases or many first-time buyers may find themselves priced out of the market.
 
We still have some areas with some homes that are underwater due to maxing out their equity during the boom times, but in most areas values are back or close to where they were before the meltdown. We are anticipating another good year in the mortgage business, although more from purchase business as refinance volume has dropped significantly due to the slight increase in interest rates.

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