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My two cents: Now, I’m angry

Joel M. Berman
Jun 28, 2010

I've sat along the sidelines for the past few years, not taking the time to put my thoughts on paper (or in a blog). I was reading comments this weekend from another industry publication on the final 2,000-page bill that is being dubbed the "Dodd-Frank Act" (or, as I like to call them, Tweedle Dodd and Tweedle Dumber). The comments included statements like "loan brokers could be big losers" and that "NAMB (National Association of Mortgage Brokers) chiefs might have a lot to answer for, namely that brokers became a punching bag (along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) to be punched by ignorant politicians who keep forgetting Wall Street's key role in creating these products, and masking their true risk which lead to the crumbling of our economic system. To say the least, I am shocked by this writer's attack on NAMB and the implication that they didn't put out their best efforts on behalf of their mortgage brokers to counter the negative media accusing mortgage brokers as primary culprits of the mortgage mess. We are in a world today where fixing blame on someone seems to be the primary focus, while developing real workable solutions becomes secondary. There is no question that the mortgage mess is a product of a "cluster of factors" that is too big in its overall devastation to try to blame any single channel of the industry for its existence. Every channel of the mortgage process had a cast of less than desirable characters who that took advantage of the consumer and the entire litany of exotic mortgage products. However, the mortgage broker, for the most part, was just the "messenger" delivering the type of loans that the lenders they were affiliated with could not get enough of. One thing is for sure ... the mortgage broker has been an easy target for the negative portrayal that the media has cast on them because they and their trade association do not have the deep pockets to counter these continuing and prolific attacks. The writer in the piece I'm commenting on was correct in portraying the "ignorant politicians" as part of the problem mortgage brokers have to deal with. However, I have personally seen the sacrifices the NAMB chiefs and the multitudes of other volunteers at the national and state levels have contributed over the past few years to rebut the negative press. At the end of the day, I don't know what impact the 2,000-page final bill will have on the mortgage brokerage industry. I do know one thing for sure is that I am proud of what the NAMB chiefs have done and continue to do with the limited resources they have available, and I am hopeful that the "messenger" and the nation's best and trusted delivery channel for mortgages for the consumer, the mortgage broker, continues to survive and hopefully thrive. Anyway, for whatever it is worth, that's my two cents!  
Jun 28, 2010