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Loan Officer Paying an Assistant

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Question: We are an FHA-approved lender with several branch officers. At one of our branches, a loan officer has an assistant, who is not licensed, but helps him close loans. The loan officer pays his assistant directly from his own compensation. Is this arrangement permissible?

Answer: The arrangement described above is not permissible. A loan officer may not pay his assistant out of his own compensation; rather, the lender must bear this expense.Click to continue

Compliance Considerations for Managers of Non-Securitized Consumer Assets

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Post-financial crisis regulatory changes have impacted the financial services industry in various and significant ways. But perhaps the sectors most affected are those that are consumer facing. Mortgage originators and servicers took much of the blame during the financial crisis as loan defaults skyrocketed. The backlash from regulators and politicians was immediate and material with a flood of new regulations and guidelines.Click to continue

Social Media for the Loan Officer of Today

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Loan originators who have a trust relationship with prospects have an easier sale. When a client knows you and trusts you, their decision becomes about which loan to select, not whether to have you do the loan. When you know your clients, you face less rate shopping and less comparison to other lenders.

An alternative is to buy leads, but that means you call as a stranger and will always fight a battle over rates. With refinances all but going away, working leads will not be a viable strategy for most originators.Click to continue

Building a Compliance Checklist

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As the third anniversary of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, aka the Dodd-Frank Act, draws near, lenders and financial institutions are finally getting a clear picture of the total impact of the law. Dodd-Frank dictates 398 rules that must be passed impacting banking, mortgage lending and other financial and non-financial services.

According to New York, N.Y.-based law firm Davis Polk& Wardwell’s monthly Dodd-Frank Progress Report, at the end of April, two-thirds of the required rules had either been finalized or proposed.Click to continue

How to Ensure Lasting Partnerships When Hiring Branch Managers

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Hiring within the mortgage industry is challenging, given that every company is in competition to set itself apart. Hiring branch managers in many ways presents more of a challenge, given that branch management positions require employees who can both maintain autonomy and act as successful brand representatives. The process for hiring such a complicated position, then, cannot simply be about a basic search and initial training. Instead, the hiring process can be broken down into three stages, all of which are crucial when hiring branch managers: preparation, selection, and maintenance.Click to continue

Changing the Paradigm From “Regulatory Burden” to “Competitive Advantage”

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Starting in January 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will formally implement a variety of far-reaching rules that carry substantial non-compliance risks for both servicers and originators. It is important to understand the unprecedented scope of CFPB’s authority in terms of the institutions it oversees and the products it covers. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 gave the CFPB authority to supervise both depository institutions and non-depository financial institutions that were previously only lightly regulated (e.g. mortgage companies, payday lenders and student lenders).Click to continue

The Keys to Peer Leadership: An Unlikely Source

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As a small business CEO observed a window washer at the Atlanta airport one day, she asked what she thought to be a straightforward question, "What's the secret to window washing?" "No secret, ma'am," the window cleaner said as he continued working. "I just focus on keeping on with my tools and my experience. I keep on going."

The master continued working with repeated, slick motions, his tool remaining fixed to the glass, and leaving not one smudge. Then, true to his word, he kept on going.Click to continue

Getting Started on Facebook

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There are more than 1.11 billion active users a month on Facebook and 50 million-plus business pages, according to a 2013 study by StatisticBrain.com. That is just too large a number to ignore as a business. However, it can seem overwhelming when trying to start out on Facebook. There are many options and capabilities, but when you are just starting out, there are a few things you should know. One thing to remember is that Facebook is different for each user.Click to continue

First Home Buyers Are All Going Mobile

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More than a decade ago, the notion of a "new economy" crashed and burned with Pets.com and many of its NASDAQ compatriots. But thanks to the millennial generation, which seems to have been born with a smartphone or tablet in its hand, online commerce is back with a vengeance – and it’s here to stay.Click to continue

Hidden Opportunities in Basel III–Second Edition

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We saw this movie before, at least the rough cut. On July 9, regulators jointly released Basel III: The Final Cut. Large institutions will be required to begin to implement Basel III on Jan. 1, 2014, with smaller institutions scheduled to begin on Jan. 1, 2015. Furthermore, as a compromise for regulators who didn’t think the international Basel III standards went far enough, supplemental leverage ratios were proposed to begin to be implemented for the very largest banks beginning in 2016.Click to continue