Nevada

Joanne Mucino is a Sales Executive with Ticor Title of Nevada and the 2017 President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA)
Joanne Mucino is a Sales Executive with Ticor Title of Nevada and the 2017 President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Joanne regarding her work with this trade group.
 
How did you first become involved with the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association? What was the path that led you to your leadership role in this organization?
About three years ago, one of my co-workers invited me to join the organization. I was brought in on the Events Committee, and after some time, I became Events Vice President. People who have a Vice President position become part of the Board of Directors. From there, I was chosen to become President.
 
What is the length of your term as President of the Board of Directors?
It is a one-year term. But I was talking to the Chairman of the Board of Governors recently to see if it would be possible to make it a two-year term. I feel that I am just getting started. This is really, really fun and rewarding, and I feel that I can do more good work.
 
How does your organization approach the legislative and regulatory environment?
NMLA has a Lobbyist, Marcus Conklin—a former majority leader of the Nevada Assembly—who gives us a voice in fighting for what is acceptable for lenders. The legislative and advocacy agenda is maintained by the NMLA’s Board of Governors. I am on the Board of Directors—you have to be a lender to be on the Board of Governors.
 
What do your duties entail?
I run the day to day operations. I’m mostly responsible for holding events, getting the word out on the NMLA. At some of our recent events, we had the FBI come in to talk about fraud, and a former local broadcaster who is also a financial consultant did an amazing presentation of how lenders have been affected by having Donald Trump as President. A couple of years ago, we did a mixer with candidates who were running for office, and that was a great forum for people to ask direct questions of their current and potential elected officials.
 
Can you tell us about NMLA’s membership?
We used to be two organizations. In January 2015, the Nevada Mortgage Bankers Association and the Nevada Association of Mortgage Professionals merged to become the NMLA. We have three levels of membership: Individual Membership; Affiliate Membership, which is available for all mortgage affiliates and industry providers; and Corporate Membership for residential originators and servicers. There are thousands of voices in our membership.
 
Are you seeing young people coming into the industry in pursuit of mortgage careers?
When I am out at lending institutions, I see a lot of young people. In my field, the title industry, we are very, very diverse. I am happy to see all ages represented there.
 
What is the housing market like in your state?
It is an amazingly active time in the state of Nevada. Overall sales are up, and there is a new housing boom again. I don’t know what the future will bring, but the year 2020 will be exciting when the Raiders will be here.
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC has added 14 branches across the nation in 2017
Castle & Cooke Mortgage has announced the opening of its new Reno, Nev. branch to be led by Jodi Drake, who has 17 years of experience in the industry and is licensed in both Nevada and California.
 
“Opening our first location in northern Nevada affords us the opportunity to address the unique needs of customers in the Reno area,” said Mike Querrey, national sales manager for Castle & Cooke Mortgage. “Jodi’s knowledge of the region, ability to assist customers in both Nevada and California, and extensive industry knowledge make her the perfect person to lead the new branch.”
 
Prior to becoming a loan officer, Drake worked on the quality control and compliance side of the mortgage business.
 
“My extensive mortgage banking background working with some of the industry’s most dynamic nationwide mortgage banking institutions undoubtedly laid the foundation that now enables me to successfully lead our Reno team,” said Drake. “We are focused on simplifying the lending process, packaging deals in a manner that allows for a shorter close of escrow, and educating our clients in a way that warrants their business for life.”

 
Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) continues to grow its footprint in the state of Nevada with the opening of its third branch located in Las VegasPrimary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) continues to grow its footprint in the state of Nevada with the opening of its third branch located in Las Vegas.
 
This new office welcomes a seasoned team of mortgage professionals lead by Branch Manager Bo Crawford and Production Manager Diana Dikes. This team, accompanied by Operations Manager Long Phan and Closing Manager Suzanne Nguyen, has a combined 70-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry.
 
Dikes comes to PRMI with numerous years in the industry. Before joining PRMI, she previously excelled in her roles as senior account executive, production manager, branch manager and business development for top mortgage companies across the country.
 
“There are so many home loan programs out there to support home buyers and most people have no idea they exist,” said Dikes. “We are here to give people in our community the tools and resources they need to help make one of the biggest financial decisions in their lifetime.”
 
Crawford comes to PRMI with years of knowledge and leadership to anchor this branch. Preceded by a tremendous amount of experience in providing top customer service and professionalism to his clients, he most recently served as a top producing Loan Originator for his previous employer.
 
“We have created a team of the best home loan specialists and having the ability to serve our clients by keeping operations and decisions local is incredibly important to us,” said Crawford. “Our community has seen a steady rise for home buying and we are here to provide a positive homebuying experience.”
This year got off on the right foot for the Southern Nevada housing market
This year got off on the right foot for the Southern Nevada housing market, as the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) reported a relatively rare January jump in home prices.
 
According to GLVAR, the median price of existing single-family homes sold during January through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) increased to $238,000, an 8.7 percent year-over-year spike from the $219,000 level set in January 2016. Median home prices saw a relatively sedate 1.3 percent increase from.
 
There was a mixed return for the condo and townhome market: the median price for this sector in January was $113,500, up slightly from December but down 5.4 percent from one year earlier.
 
The total number of existing local homes, condos and townhomes sold in January was 2,675, up from 2,348 in January 2016. When compared to the January 2016 data, last month’s sales were up 14.1 percent for homes and up 13.2 percent for condos and townhomes. Furthermore, the GLVAR reported that a total of 41,720 such properties were sold in 2016. In 2015, 38,577 properties were sold.
 
Even the distressed home sales sector showed evidence of a strengthening local market: 4.2 percent of all local sales in January were short sales, down from seven percent one year earlier, while 6.8 percent of all transactions were bank-owned sales, down from 7.9 percent in January 2016. And 29.8 percent of all local properties sold last month involved cash sales, down from 31.1 percent one year earlier.
​Las-Vegas based mortgage bank Alterra Home Loans is moving toward major growth

Las-Vegas based mortgage bank Alterra Home Loans is moving toward major growth, with a significant expansion in its office headquarters and expansion into several new states, with the recent grand opening of its new Las Vegas headquarters in Tivoli Village, Nev.

In recent months, Alterra has expanded into several new states, bringing its mission of “building wealth through homeownership” into Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and other states. The expansion in office space is one of several strategic growth moves Alterra has made in recent months.

“Expanding our foot print in current and target rich markets is one of our primary goals next year and the development of our new headquarters is a key step in reaching our growth goals in the coming years, both in service to our sales force and production quality,” said Alterra Home Loans President and CEO Jason Madiedo. “Growth for Alterra means growth in underserved homeownership, which has been our goal since the very beginning.”

Alterra’s new headquarters was consciously designed to be a comfortable place for employees. The space includes ping-pong tables for breaks, an outdoor patio, bean bags throughout an open, loft-style space and two zen relaxation rooms with warm lighting and massage chairs.

“It’s all a part of showing that at Alterra, people come first.” Madiedo continued. “Promoting a great culture is a top priority.”

Castle & Cooke Mortgage has announced the launch of its new Consumer Direct team

Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC has announced the addition of a new branch in Henderson, Nev., the company’s second in the state and its the eighth new branch this year. Michael Cornachio will serve as branch manager at the new Henderson office. He attributes his return to Castle & Cooke Mortgage to a number of factors including its leadership, people, products, speed and ability to adapt to market conditions.

In his nearly 15 years in the mortgage industry, Michael has learned all areas of the business from the ground up.

"I love my job and working with people to make their homeownership dreams come true," said Cornachio.

His knowledge, experience and commitment to providing excellent customer service ensure that the new branch will complement the company's existing presence in Clark County.

"Castle & Cooke Mortgage's Las Vegas branch has consistently been one of the company's top producing offices," said Adam Thorpe, Castle & Cooke Mortgage president and COO. "The addition of Michael Cornachio and his team in Henderson will allow us to bring our extensive product selection and world-class customer service to even more home buyers in Nevada."

In what could be the stepping stone for a major change in U.S. law, the Nevada Supreme Court is hearing a case that could determine whether the non-judicial foreclosure process is unconstitutional if it is used by investors and speculators for purchasing homes at a fraction of their value by paying off liens held by homeowners associations (HOAs).

According to a Las Vegas Journal-Review report, the case before the court involves a residence acquired three years ago by Saticoy Bay LLC Series 350 Durango 104 for $6,900 in back association dues and related costs. The foreclosure sale was enacted by the HOA Angel Point Condominiums after the property’s owners fell behind on their association dues. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage loaned the owners approximately $82,000 in 1997, but the foreclosure sale effectively ended the mortgage. Saticoy went to Nevada’s Clark County District Court to assert it was the rightful owner of the property under state law, but the court ruled in Wells Fargo’s favor and declared Nevada’s foreclosure statute to be in violation of both the state and federal constitutions.

The Nevada legislature became involved in this case with a “friend of the court” brief that warned of tumult if the district court ruling was upheld. “Because the invalidated provisions have been effective for 25 years, the panel’s decision could adversely affect hundreds of HOAs and call into question thousands of foreclosures, which could cloud property titles and undermine the stability and vitality of Nevada’s real estate markets,” the legislators said it their brief.

Jon Gedde is a senior mortgage advisor with Las Vegas-based Alderus Funding & Investments. He is the first chairman of the new Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA) and the past president of the Nevada Association of Mortgage Professionals (NAMP). National Mortgage Professional spoke with Gedde about his work in Nevada’s housing industry and the state’s mortgage trade associations.
 
How and why did you get involved in your associations? And can you share the track within your associations that led to the leadership roles?
My involvement with NAMP began in 2011 when the president-elect and a former colleague, Tim Klinger, invited me to participate on the board of directors. At time, the organization was focused on brokers and individual originators. I spent two years serving on the board. In late 2012, I was elected to the position of president-elect for 2013, which led to serving as president for 2014.
 
During 2014, my primary objective became completing a merger with the Nevada Mortgage Bankers Association (NVMBA), which was making a push to reestablish itself after several years of inactivity following the financial crisis. The chairman of NVMBA, Steve VanSickler, and I were able to successfully bring the organizations to find common ground, and the merger was completed effective Jan.1, 2015. At that time, I was asked and elected to serve as the chairman of the new joint organization, NMLA.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join your association?
Members of the mortgage industry—both companies, individuals, and affiliates—should join NMLA for one primary reason … to ensure continued and expanded access to affordable home lending options for all Nevadans. Without affordable credit options, many industries including mortgage lending, title/escrow, real estate, appraisal, construction, and many others, would be significantly impacted.
 
Our voice is critical to ensuring that mortgage lending can continue to be an economic driver here in Nevada. As we saw after the housing collapse, a lack of a strong industry voice can have devastating consequences for industry professionals and homeowners alike.
 
What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
NMLA plays an active role in the legislative and regulatory environments at both the state and national level. We did a lot of work during the 2015 legislative session in Nevada. We also actively meet with and advise our U.S. Congressional Representatives and Senators on all matters involving lending and real estate.
 
Currently, there are two major agenda items we are working on in preparation for the 2017 Nevada Legislative session. The first is what is commonly known as “super priority lien.”  Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) have the right to foreclose on homes for unpaid association dues. We passed significant reform to the process by which this action can occur, which greatly improves the fairness of the process. There is a major problem that remains, however. The foreclosure action extinguishes the mortgage lien.
 
Obviously, this is a concern for lenders, but it is also a concern for homeowners and should be a concern for HOAs as well. The risk posed by these actions has already been identified by Moody’s, which now assigns a risk premium for loans in HOAs where super priority lien laws exist. Working with HOAs to find a solution to both their need to stay solvent and the need to continue the flow of affordable credit to buy homes in those communities is our top priority.
 
Second, there has not been a comprehensive overhaul of the state lending regulations (NRS 645) in quite some time. Over the years, language has become overly complex and confusing, and oftentimes contradictory. Our intent is to work with industry partners and the Nevada Division of Mortgage Lending to update the lending laws and regulations for the state so we have a clear, concise, and comprehensive legal and regulatory framework from which we can operate.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Of all the work I have been a part of over the years with the association, our accomplishments during the legislative session in 2015 were the most difficult, and also the most rewarding. For those reasons, I consider that work my biggest accomplishment. Specifically, our work revising a badly broken Super Priority Lien system. There is work left to be done on that issue, but our progress was significant.
 
As the state affiliate for NAMB, what do you feel that adds to your association and towards the overall agenda for the mortgage profession nationwide?
As the state affiliate for both NAMB and the Mortgage Bankers Association, our goal is to bring local issues to light on the national level, bring national issues to light on the local level, and be an advocate for our profession and our affiliated professions. We add a strong, united voice to issues that affect our industry at the state and local level in a way that our national affiliates cannot, through lobbying efforts and relationship building with legislator, regulators, industry partners, and the community.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
To bring more young people into mortgage careers, the industry needs to turn the page on old business models. We need to develop strong “ground up” training programs to bring in talent directly out of college. The barriers to entry have increased dramatically over time, and the industry as a whole has not done enough to bridge the gap from talented prospect to knowledgeable employee.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
The southern Nevada market is stable for the first time in quite a few years. From a huge wave of massive appreciation in the mid-2000s, to an even bigger crash in the late 2000s, then a sharp period of double digit appreciation from 2011-2014, I can finally call our market stable.
 
Housing affordability is right in line with a healthy, balanced market. Inventory levels are stable and balanced. We are all very excited to be in a market that is functioning normally and had opportunity for all.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
Las Vegas-area home prices rose 6.4 percent last month as more homes sold in 2015 than in 2014, according to new data from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR)

Las Vegas-area home prices rose 6.4 percent last month as more homes sold in 2015 than in 2014, according to new data from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR).

GLVAR reported the median price of existing single-family homes sold during December in Southern Nevada through its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $217,000, a 6.4 percent increase from December 2014. For 2015, this market saw a combined total of 38,578 single-family home, condominium, townhome and high-rise condo sales, up from the 2014 total sales figure of 35,806.

However, inventory continues to be a problem in this market. The total number of single-family homes listed for sale on GLVAR's MLS in December was 11,827, 4.4 percent lower than one year ago. A total of 3,094 condos, high-rise condos and townhomes were listed for sale on this MLS last month December, down 5.7 percent from one year ago.

Nonetheless, 2016 GLVAR President Scott Beaudry believed last year was a success for this market.

"I think 2015 will be remembered as the year the local housing market stabilized after the roller-coaster ride we had been on during the past decade or so," said Beaudry, adding that he expected more success in 2016, “but hopefully with an increase in our inventory.”

Coby Baker has been responsible for a Lazarus-worthy resurrection, bringing back from the dead a pair of defunct mortgage trade groups in Nevada and then combining them into a new potent force, the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association (NMLA). Baker, who is also president and CEO of Las Vegas-based Alderus Funding & Investments, spoke with National Mortgage Professional Magazine about his work in launching a new chapter in Nevada mortgage trade association activity.

How and why did you get involved in your association? And can you share the track within your association that led to your leadership position?
Coby Baker: I got involved because we were in desperate need of an advocacy voice in Carson City. A lot of regulations needed to be addressed after several years of no regulatory activity. Our bankers association was defunct for several years, and so was the association for mortgage professionals. My main goal was to get involved, resurrect both associations, raise some advocacy money and get a viable association in the state again.

We were able to consolidate the mortgage professional association and the mortgage bankers association at the end of 2014. I was president-elect of the professional association and on the board of the bankers association.

Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join your association?
For one, this is sort of a decimated state. Nevada was hurt very hard by the Great Recession. We needed a unified voice to deal with the state legislature.

On an industry level, we do a lot of education and training. We also focus on company involvement–we have single membership charge covering all Nevada staff, and we also have individual memberships.

Are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
The super-priority lien issue is one of the main things. We were able to get action on this to ensure equitable rules favoring lenders prior to the stripping of liens by homeowner associations (HOAs). [Editor’s Note: Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a law in May that reversed a Nevada Supreme Court ruling from last September that said an HOA foreclosure sale could extinguish a first deed of trust]. In terms of state oversight and overlays on services, we have been able to loosen regulation on wholesale lenders that have physical presence in Nevada.

What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Both of the earlier trade organizations had a bad name when they went away–the mortgage professionals association thought more of as a social club. Put together, we have come out swinging and were able to raise nearly $100,000 in six months.

As the state affiliate of NAMB, what do you feel that adds to your association and towards the overall agenda for the mortgage profession nationwide?

We’re also the state affiliate of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Having affiliations with both associations gives us the opportunity to reach the entire lending community. At this point in time, almost all issues are unified–it is not brokers versus bankers.

In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
This is a necessity. We see numbers all the time about aging professionals. We have to show younger people that the mortgage profession is a viable, honorable professional, and not a group of used car salesmen.

How would you define the state of housing in Nevada?
We’ve had acceleration in the purchase business and price appreciation and an uptick in builder activity. I anticipate seeing some growth over the course of 2015.

But we’re still dealing with a pretty high number of underwater mortgages. One of our concerns is how to handle “Boomerang Buyers.” From an inventory standpoint, we need to be able to find the properties for people that have been out of the market for five years and want to get back in.



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