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At Ocwen Financial Corporation, Lola Oyewole, Director of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer; Barbara Holmes, Director of Internal Review Group; and Toni Harrigan, Chief Market and Credit Risk Officer, are three of the leaders of Ocwen’s Global W
Across corporate America, discussions about gender inequity, diversity, and inclusion are dominating conversations.
 
At Ocwen Financial Corporation, Lola Oyewole, Director of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer; Barbara Holmes, Director of Internal Review Group; and Toni Harrigan, Chief Market and Credit Risk Officer, are three of the leaders of Ocwen’s Global Women’s Network (OGWN). OGWN, which is part of the company’s global diversity and inclusion initiative, is a company-wide affinity group aimed at empowering women and encouraging diversity and inclusion. Ocwen’s global diversity and inclusion initiative was launched in 2015.
 
National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently had a chance to catch up with Lola, Barbara and Toni to hear about OGWN and the positive impact it has been having across the company.
 
Barbara Holmes, Director of Internal Review Group, Ocwen Financial CorporationThank you for making the time to speak with National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Can you please start by offering our readers some background on the Ocwen’s Global Women’s Network (OGWN)?
Barbara Holmes: OGWN provides members with an environment that promotes mentoring, professional development, workplace flexibility, and representation of women at all levels of the company. The group is a platform for sharing information and ideas and accelerating employee skills and knowledge through networking.
 
OGWN is open to all Ocwen employees worldwide. One year into this important initiative, the network has more than1,000 members—both women and men—representing more than 13 percent of the company’s global full-time workforce, and our numbers continue to grow.
 
Launched in January of 2017, OGWN is celebrating multiple accomplishments from its first year during which the group sponsored programs and events in the United States, India and the Philippines. Educational and networking activities are planned and carried out in each global location at least once a quarter.
 
Toni Harrigan, Chief Market and Credit Risk Officer, Ocwen Financial CorporationWhy is OGWN so important?
Toni Harrigan:
For many women in the financial services industry, gender struggles have been a way of life. There are incredibly smart and well-qualified women who need to be at the leadership table. Unfortunately, there have been very few seats available to women. Our leadership team has recognized that diversity and inclusion isn’t just a politically-correct thing to do—it’s a business imperative. In the first quarter of 2015 the company launched a global D&I initiative. Today, Ocwen’s “gender evolution” is well underway thanks to the commitment of our leadership team, anchored by Phyllis Caldwell, one of the few female Board Chairs in the financial services sector, and Ron Faris our Chief Executive Officer.
 
Lola Oyewole, Director of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, Ocwen Financial CorporationCan you give our readers some background on diversity at Ocwen?
Lola Oyewole:
Women represent 42 percent of Ocwen’s global workforce of more than 7,500 team members, and people of color represent 41 percent of the company’s U.S. employee population. The rising number of female employees in key positions in the company is a testament to Ocwen’s investment of time and resources in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
 
What would you say is OGWN’s key accomplishment in year one?
Oyewole:
The true measure of OGWN’s success is the very real progress being made by women in the company. Since January 2017, 50 percent of leadership promotions at the director and above level in the U.S. have been females, 25 percent of the employees hired into U.S. leadership positions at director and above were female, and 50 percent of hires into senior manager roles in the Asia-Pacific region have been females. 
 
After just one year, we see membership in OWGN empowering our female colleagues to take on more responsibility and build out their skills with greater confidence. And we have gained a better understanding the unique challenges facing our female employees—especially those in overseas offices—and how we can best help them overcome these challenges through cultural improvements.
 
Can you share with us some of the programs undertaken across the OGWN network this past year?
Harrigan:
It has been amazing to see the diversity of programming and unique ideas teams from every location have brought to the table. Programs have included everything from informal coffee sessions and panel discussions with senior executives, to “Dress for Success” clothing drives, self-defense classes, a fundraiser for colleagues affected by Hurricane Maria, and seminars to encourage screenings during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In observance of International Women’s Day in March, OGWN hosted “Be Bold for Change” events across the globe, in which attendees discussed the actions they could take to become responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment. These actions were documented and posted in break rooms as a daily reminder of the goals they set for themselves.
 
At Ocwen Financial Corporation, Lola Oyewole, Director of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer; Barbara Holmes, Director of Internal Review Group; and Toni Harrigan, Chief Market and Credit Risk Officer, are three of the leaders of Ocwen’s Global WTo recognize OGWN members who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made a meaningful impact on the organization, the group has created an annual OGWN Leadership Award to be presented in January of each year. The award recognizes the honorees for their outstanding leadership and efforts to make a difference in the lives of other team members across the company. We hope that by celebrating these women’s accomplishments, many more will be inspired to join and dedicate themselves to OGWN’s mission.
 
Is there anything else you would like to cover?
Holmes:
Fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effort, carefully crafted plans, and an ability to recognize that the best ideas may come from someone in an office thousands of miles away. This collaborative spirit and group effort is not only helping women at Ocwen feel more empowered, it is helping make the company—and our industry—better. As OGWN gears up for 2018, it is clear to see change is in the air, and it is inspiring. 
This article orginially appeared in the March 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 
Ray Williams is Vice President of Business Development at MortgageBanc, a branch of Fairway Independent Mortgage in Birmingham, Ala., and current President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama
Ray Williams is Vice President of Business Development at MortgageBanc, a branch of Fairway Independent Mortgage in Birmingham, Ala., and current President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama (MBAA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Williams about his work with this trade group. Ray’s mortgage career began in 1996 with Transamerica. Prior to joining MortgageBanc he has held the position of Loan Officer, Producing Branch Manager, Inside Wholesale AE, Systems Admin, SVP of Production and Operations, and even some consulting work.
Ray Williams is Vice President of Business Development at MortgageBanc, a branch of Fairway Independent Mortgage in Birmingham, Ala., and current President of the MBAA 
How and why did you get involved with the MBAA? And can you share your track within the association that led to your leadership role?
In 2010, I really had a desire to get involved somewhere where I could help make a difference in our industry and obtain more knowledge as well. I found out that the MBAA held monthly education seminars and is well-known as an association that “Encourages among its members, sound and ethical business practices,” and is also involved in the communities with education events, Salvation Army Christmas Angels, and the Habitat for Humanity.
 
Here is my track record within the association: In 2017-2018, served as President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama; from 2016-2017, was Vice President of MBAA; in 2015-2016, served MBAA as Secretary/Treasurer, Convention Committee First Chair, and Convention Entertainment Chair; in 2014-2015, served as MBAA Convention Committee Co-Chair, Convention Entertainment Chair, Board Liaison for Membership Committee, Future Leaders Committee member, Golf/Recreation Committee member; in 2013-2014, was Membership Committee Chair, Spring Convention Committee member, Convention Entertainment Chair, Future Leaders Committee member, and Golf/Recreation Committee member; in 2012-2013, was Spring Convention Committee member, Convention Entertainment Co-Chair, Future Leaders Committee member, Golf/Recreation Committee member; and from 2011-2012, I served the association as Spring Convention Committee member, Legislative/PAC Committee member, and Golf/Recreation Committee member.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join MBAA?

We offer an extensive education calendar with professional designations for our members (ALAMB), networking opportunities and other events, like our annual convention, to meet with our members. We coordinate our efforts with the national MBA to strengthen our association. We work with other trade associations as well because we often share common goals and concerns. We offer a Future Leaders program, an intern program and continuing education sessions. We bring real value to being a member. It affords them instant credibility that they are a professional in our industry.
 
What role does MBAA 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 take an active role with the national MBA on addressing both state and federal legislative and regulatory issues. Our involvement is the only way to influence lawmakers and regulators. We recently co-sponsored a state legislative reception with the HomeBuilders Association of Alabama, and that shows we are working together and demonstrates our strength in numbers. One issue that we would like to see addressed is the eNotary issue. As we advance into the digital age, this will be even more important.
 
Ray Williams is Vice President of Business Development at MortgageBanc, a branch of Fairway Independent Mortgage in Birmingham, Ala., and current President of the MBAAWhat do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
One was being honored and invited to become an Officer on our Board, which eventually lead to me becoming President of the association. Other accomplishments while I was a Board Member: suggesting updates to our logo, an increased social media presence, a new more user-friendly Web site, the new designation name Alabama Accredited Mortgage Banker (ALAMB), when I was the Convention Committee chair I had one of the most successful conventions on record. Also, the first committee I was ever appointed chair to, the Membership Committee, we helped grow our membership by almost 20 percent.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I would encourage mortgage companies to develop a rookie program that educates, encourages, and mentors young professionals into our industry. Also, our local association started an internship program where, we work with colleges around Alabama, and ACRE (Alabama Center for Real Estate), to find college students with an interest in our industry, that are willing to be hired as interns over the summer, which exposes them to the entire workings of the mortgage process, as well as some classroom work.
 
How would you define the current state of Alabama’s housing market?
I see our housing market as rapidly growing, especially with all the new industries moving into our state. As a matter of fact, most of our metropolitan areas are now starting to face a housing shortage because of the wonderful growth our state is experiencing.

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

 
Nicholas Monardo is Vice President of Wholesale Lending at CNN Mortgage in Scottsdale, Ariz., and President of the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association (AMLA)
Nicholas Monardo is Vice President of Wholesale Lending at CNN Mortgage in Scottsdale, Ariz., and President of the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association (AMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Nick regarding his work with AMLA.
Nicholas Monardo is Vice President of Wholesale Lending at CNN Mortgage in Scottsdale, Ariz., and President of the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association (AMLA) 
How and why did you get involved with the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association?
I have been in the business for 20 years, and decided four years ago to get more involved, and joined my local AMLA with the encouragement and support of company owner, Ned Kneadler.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state should join AMLA?
For the same reason I joined: To become more involved with the profession I love. In addition, AMLA is a great resource for networking and education with peers in the business.
 
What role does AMLA 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 involved on a federal and state level. As a chapter of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), we follow and support solutions to national issues that affect our industry. The MBA does a great job of informing the state chapters of any issues we should be aware of and speak to our local legislators on. In fact, to help with this, we also employ a lobbyist to monitor legislative issues at the state level. We also attend the MBA’s National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. every spring.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
I feel my most significant accomplishment within AMLA has to be promoting and encouraging our members to become more involved in participating in our Leadership Group Program. We need more participation, across the board, especially from the younger generations in our industry.
 
As the past and current year president, my focus continues to be educational and leadership opportunities for our members and their employees. With the help of our Board and our Vice President of Education Sherry Olsen, we used our standing as an approved NMLS provider to provide continuing education to approximately 900 Loan Officers last year.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I feel we need to reach out to the younger generation earlier, at the high school level, and promote our industry. The MBA and its local chapters can provide educational affordable housing opportunities for the underserved in our communities.
 
Nicholas Monardo is Vice President of Wholesale Lending at CNN Mortgage in Scottsdale, Ariz., and President of the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association (AMLA)How would you define the current state of Arizona’s housing market?
The housing market here in Arizona is very stable and strong. We just need more housing inventory!

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

 
As of June 2018, Pennsylvania non-bank mortgage loan servicers have to get licensed in order to operate in the state
As of June 2018, Pennsylvania non-bank mortgage loan servicers have to get licensed in order to operate in the state. The changes are introduced by Senate Bill 751, which makes alterations to the Pennsylvania Mortgage Licensing Act (MLA).
 
The bill sets licensing requirements for mortgage servicers, such as meeting surety bond requirements, as well as posting a fidelity bond. Licensees will also need to meet fixed level of net worth criteria.
 
The bill was signed on December 22, 2017 by Governor Tom Wolf. It is now known as Act 81. Here are the essential facts about the new legislation that you need to know if you want to run a mortgage servicing business in Pennsylvania.
 
The changes with the new bill
In most states across the country, mortgage servicers have to obtain a license prior to conducting their activities. With Senate Bill 751, Pennsylvania becomes the next state that introduces a regulatory procedure for this type of mortgage professionals. In this way, it aims to guarantee better compliance of mortgage servicers with federal and state laws.
 
By amending the state’s Mortgage Licensing Act, legislators aim to bring legal clarity and ensure higher safety standards for the general public. The new legislation comes as a legal answer to cases of consumer complaints from servicers in Pennsylvania.
 
As of June 30, 2018, most servicers will need to be duly licensed and bonded. Exempt from the licensing will be lenders who serve only loans that they own or have originated, as well as banks, credit unions and attorneys. No license will be required of servicers who serve less than four loans per year as well. You can review the full list of regulations here.
 
For offences committed by servicers, the current MLA fines of $10,000 per occurrence apply as well. Servicers’ licenses can also be revoked and suspended, if deemed necessary.
 
Besides the licensing criteria, the new bill also introduces important definitions of key terms and sets disclosure rules. It creates a wholesome legal framework for mortgage servicers in Pennsylvania.
 
The licensing requirement for PA mortgage servicers
With the introduction of the bill, the Department of Banking and Securities becomes the regulatory body that oversees non-bank mortgage loan servicers in the state. It takes over the responsibility to ensure that mortgage servicers comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulations at 12 CFR, Pt. 1024.
 
License applicants will have to submit their documents through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), similarly to most other mortgage professionals in the U.S. You will be able to file your application starting April 1, 2018.
 
The licensing process for non-bank mortgage servicers will entail obtaining a $500,000 surety bond. You will also need to get a fidelity bond in a sufficient amount set by the authorities, and the bond should be approved by the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.
 
Mortgage servicers will also need to maintain a minimum of $250,000 net worth at all times during the licensing period. You will have to cover licensing fees as well. Initial licenses cost $2,500 for the first office and $1,250 for each additional branch. For renewals, the fees are $1,000 for the principal office and $500 for additional ones.
 
Meeting the bonding criteria
One of the major licensing requirements you have to comply with if you want to run a mortgage servicing business in Pennsylvania is to obtain a $500,000 surety bond. The bonding functions as an extra layer of security for the state and consumers.
 
For example, if a customer is subjected to any damages as a result of your actions as a mortgage servicer, they can file a claim against you. On proven claims, affected parties can receive a compensation that is up to the bond amount you have posted. In the case of Pennsylvania mortgage servicer bonds, this is $500,000. 
 
In order to get bonded, you don’t need to cover the whole required amount. You only have to pay a small percentage of it, which is often between 1% and 5%. This is called the bond premium and is determined on the basis of your personal and business finances. The better your overall profile is, the lower your bond cost is likely to be.

Todd Bryant is the President and Founder of Bryant Surety Bonds. He is a surety bonds expert with years of experience in helping business owners get bonded and stay compliant.

 
 
Brent Rasmussen is President of Mortgage Specialists LLC in Omaha, Neb. and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)
Brent Rasmussen is President of Mortgage Specialists LLC in Omaha, Neb. and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this trade group.
 Brent Rasmussen is President of Mortgage Specialists LLC in Omaha, Neb. and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)
How did you become involved with the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB) and what was the route that took you to its leadership role?
We had a state association, but it dissolved in 2003. I went over to the Iowa association because they were offering education classes, and I got involved with their activities. I brought new leadership to rebuild a Nebraska association and worked to create a new Board, write new By-Laws and recruit new members. The new association launched back in October of 2008.
 
I have been President of NEAMB twice, from 2009 to 2010 and again last year. I am now a Co-Chairman on the Board of Directors.
 
Why should mortgage professionals in Nebraska get involved with NEAMB?
We keep our members posted on educational information in the industry, and we offer opportunities for networking. We have a major conference in the fall and events throughout the year, which gives them the ability to network with their peers and see what the competition is doing.
 
What role does NEAMB play in the legislative and regulatory process?
On a state level, we have a Legislative Committee, and we talk with the state as much as we can. At the moment, there is not a lot of state oversight activity in the mortgage industry. But we do stay on top of things in case something happens, and we have contracted with a lobbyist to work on our behalf if something comes up.
 
On a national level, we try to send board members to NAMB’s national conferences. We haven’t done so in past couple of years, but we would like to this year.
 
In the course of your career, what do you see as your most significant accomplishments?
I came to the industry in 2001, and started my own company in 2004. We’re a very small company, with two originators and a processor, but we have been able to become a warehouse lender and fund our own transactions. With the association, I consider bringing education to the mortgage professionals so they can meet their industry requirements a significant accomplishment.
Brent Rasmussen is President of Mortgage Specialists LLC in Omaha, Neb. and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Mortgage Brokers (NEAMB)
What is the synergy between NEAMB and NAMB?
We abide by the national association’s Code of Ethics, and anyone who signs up to become a member of the state association also becomes a member of NAMB.
 
Are you seeing more young people come into the mortgage profession in Nebraska?

I am seeing some young people join the mortgage profession, but not a lot—I could probably count them on one hand. We need to find new Loan Officers because this is an aging profession.
 
There is still a big stigma with commission-based careers, which can make it very difficult to pay your bills. A lot of young people are not comfortable with a 100 percent commission income and they go work at banks, where they have a regular paycheck.
 
What is the housing market like in Nebraska?
It is a big sellers’ market—there are a lot more buyers than sellers. Also, not enough houses are being built. We have an exorbitant amount of land in Nebraska, as far as the eye can see, but most of the houses being built are about $300,000 per home, and not everyone can afford a home at that price.

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

 
Foreclosure filings were reported on 676,535 residential properties in 2017, down 27 percent from 2016
A great deal of what is involved in a mortgage centers around credit. Help that can fix credit issues long-term is available at little or no cost within the HUD-approved housing counseling industry.
 
In June 2016, I was appointed to the HUD Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC). This is a 12-person Committee comprised of three members each from the real estate community, the mortgage industry, the housing counseling agency (HCA) industry and three consumers. Since joining HCFAC, I have learned a great deal about education and services that HUD-approved HCA’s can offer consumers. Most services are free, on a sliding scale basis or are a fee for service.
 
Looking at credit and getting consumers “mortgage ready” is a big part of HUD-approved housing counseling. And if in-depth credit counseling is needed, housing counselors can refer consumers to agencies with credit counselors trained specifically to help with credit. The National Foundation for Credit Counselors (NFCC.org) is a main organization that certifies and then recommends credit counselors that empower consumers to take charge of their finances through one-on-one financial reviews that address credit card debt, student loans, housing decisions and overall money management.
 
In 2017, an effort was started with the help of the NFCC.org to assist past short-sellers who continue to have a foreclosure code applied to past short sale credit. This problem is often learned of mid-contract and results in the loss of a new home contract, changing to an FHA mortgage, or changing to a portfolio conventional loan with both a higher interest rate and downpayment … instead of the Fannie or Mae Freddie Mac conventional loan applied for. There is a workaround in Fannie Mae, but none exists for Freddie Mac. This effort was started as a pre-purchase measure to ensure that past short-sellers had this erroneous credit issue cleared up before they attempted a new purchase when eligible to purchase again. The fix is available at ForeclosureCreditFix.com.
 
Because of my interaction with this effort, I learned of how much credit help is provided with HUD-approved housing counselors and of more in-depth help that can be provided by certified credit counselors. And counselors can help those who need to establish credit … a common need among Millennials.
 
Mortgage professionals specifically trained to originate loans could certainly use the services of HUD-approved housing counselors and certified credit counselors for clients with credit needs. Often, consumers come to us with credit issues that can affect their ability to get a mortgage or the best interest rate. Many of these consumers have been to credit repair companies that apply methods that temporarily hide credit, and mortgage professionals must often undo these measures (such as a dispute) to get the consumer a mortgage. What the credit repair industry has made clear is that there are many clients in need of repairing their credit! Housing counselors can assist consumers to correct their credit and at a far lower cost (if any).
 
A new effort has started to show Realtors and loan originators how to refer credit challenged clients to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies for assistance. The HUD-approved housing counselor will make an assessment on whether the client needs more in-depth credit counseling and provide this service in-house or refer to a certified credit counseling agency. There has been an increase in the number of consumers preparing for a new home mortgage and making an easy referral process available for mortgage professionals is needed. The plan is to set up a referral system where the loan originator is inserted into the HCA database as the referring partner and the consumer will sign an agency permission document to allow the loan originator to check on the referred clients’ progress. HCA’s are required to provide three sources available for a loan when the client is “mortgage ready.” But loan originators who keep in touch with the client and the HCA will know when these clients are ready to purchase and can keep the realtor apprised of the clients “mortgage readiness.” If a fee for service cost is incurred by the client at the HCA, the loan originator could provide a credit towards closing costs to compensate for these costs.
 
This effort will start with a limited number of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and certified credit counselors. An outline of steps on how a loan originator can be inputted into the referral data base for a client and a letter of permission signed by the client for each HCA that allows the loan originator to check on the client status is being tested now.
 
I will be at the Tampa Bay Homeownership Fair on Saturday, March 3 where HCA’s will meet consumers preparing for homeownership first. After it is determined that the client is ready to talk with a mortgage lender, they will be sent to us, the mortgage professionals.
 
Isn’t this the way it should be … that consumers are prepared for homeownership first? Isn’t that what ForeclosureCreditFix.com is doing—fixing a problem ahead of signing a contract?
Will keep you updated on how it goes … stay tuned!

Pam Marron, a loan originator at Innovative Mortgage Services Inc.Pam Marron (NMLS#: 246438) is Senior Loan Originator with Innovative Mortgage Services Inc. (NMLS#: 250769) in Tampa Bay, Fla. She may be reached by phone at (727) 375-8986, e-mail PMarron@InnovativeMortgage.onmicrosoft.com or visit HousingCrisisStories.com, CloseWithPam.com or 8Problems.com.

This article originally appeared in the February 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 
The 35th Emerald Anniversary Regional Conference of MBAs, at Harrah’s Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ, is offering a great program to celebrate 35 years
If you are concerned that your competitors will be at the 35th Annual Regional Conference Of MBAs, you are correct. While that is one good reason not to miss this important event, there are many others as well. Yes, it is a great deal, and you do get more for your money than at most conferences. Consider the unmatched residential conference’s exhibit hall with lunch, a significant program designed to make you more competitive and profitable in 2018, two lunches, two receptions (one in the beautiful pool area), two breakfasts and more. All of this is available for a single, modest fee that is only possible because of the support of our exhibitors and sponsors, including our Platinums.
 
This year, our Conference is more important than ever before given the dramatic changes envisioned for our regulated industry. While we anticipate a reduction in regulation and a change in the manner in which new regulations may be vetted and the way in which guidance may be utilized (for example, the administration has indicated that guidance from federal agencies may not be used as the basis for enforcement), the Conference will provide expert insight on these and related topics.  And the manner in which state regulation may play an increased role will also be discussed at the Conference. 
 
We are excited about our new approach to Thursday’s program (with no increase in cost to Conference attendees!) which provides the time needed to deal with, “A close look at the future of mortgage lending and where you fit in.” Our expert panel includes a current employee of the CFPB and other experts , each of whom are highly regarded and sought after as speakers around the Country (see program at mbanj.com). Each will have the presentation time needed so attendees can fully comprehend the latest information and nuances on subjects such as  the transition/transformation of the CFPB, potential development of QM and ATR, the PHH case and its implications for mortgage originations, HMDA’s revised data points, GSE reform, TRID and much more!
 
And following that important session, we are adding a reception and lunch with a speaker who is dealing on the Hill and with federal regulators on a regular basis who can give you a truly inside view on what is happening in D.C. and how you will be impacted on many of the key issues you are concerned about. You don’t get many opportunities to get this kind of input.
 
We all recognize that a lot is happening that will impact mortgage lenders and others in businesses related to mortgage finance, all of whom should not chance missing this year’s Regional Conference … which will be better than ever! So come and help us celebrate our Emerald Anniversary. We have the Yellow Brick Road as a theme this year for several reasons, one of which is that the Wizard of Oz was born the same year that MBANJ was—1939! The other is to say that while the wizard can’t help you do more profitable business, the Regional Conference can so get on the road to the Regional and we will see you in Atlantic City in March!

E. Robert Levy Esq. is Executive Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey E. Robert Levy Esq. is Executive Director of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey. He may be reached by phone at (732) 218-1801 or e-mail rlevy@offitkurman.com.

 
Marketing compliance rules in our industry are notoriously tough to get right,
Marketing compliance rules in our industry are notoriously tough to get right, and getting it wrong can have serious consequences for both the loan officer and the lender. Given this tough regulatory atmosphere, it surprised me to learn that it could be as much as half of all mortgage marketing material has not been reviewed by anyone at the company it belongs to. That’s a huge risk!
 
We surveyed 10 mortgage marketers. The consensus among them was that around 50 percent of mortgage marketing is not reviewed for compliance … or for brand adherence, content, grammar or any other reason for that matter. That’s millions of mortgage marketing impressions every year that don't get reviewed by the organizations they represent.
 
Think about this for a minute: Lenders, who are on the hook for the marketing loan officers do, are not reviewing their own loan officer’s marketing materials. Content with the company name on it goes out the door with no one checking whether it violates any laws or adheres to brand standards. Lenders are at risk of being fined millions of dollars, yet a lot of the time they're crossing their fingers and hoping. How did it get this way?
 
This rogue marketing is done by loan officers doing their best to meet expectations. Top producing loan officers are an entity unto themselves. How could they not be? They are responsible for self-sourcing their business, which means their personal brand is everything. After all, they're entrepreneurs, right? They call their own shots. It's up to them to identify Realtor partners, find new customers, nurture existing relationships, and market their brand and unique selling proposition.
 
Marketing compliance rules in our industry are notoriously tough to get right,A loan officer’s ability to connect with people on a personal level is why they can make a million dollars a year. Lenders think, “We can’t tie their hands and require them to market within the rigid lines of the compliant marketing box, right?” So, they look away. They cross their fingers and hope.
 
In a recent interview with Dave Savage from Mortgage Coach, Garth Graham from Stratmor stated more than 54 percent of mortgage lenders still do not have a system in place to manage customer communications. It's 2017 and we still have large lenders, with widely distributed sales forces, who don't have a tool in place to manage marketing content. They’re not even trying to control their marketing content. Or, they have a tiny, understaffed marketing department that can't possibly keep up with the daily demands of a hungry sales force, and the compliance team can't keep up either.
 
It’s an unholy trinity of demand. Sales people demand effective, unique messaging that can be sent "right now." Marketing wants brand consistency, well-formed communications and specific calls to action. Compliance wants boxes checked, disclaimers added and the minutiae covered.
 
It's an impossible situation to manage without a system. A customer relationship and marketing platform, on its own, will not magically solve the marketing compliance issues lenders face, and they do face some real challenges when it comes to getting LOs to take marketing compliance seriously.
 
For one, loan officers look down the street and see other LOs doing things their compliance teams won’t let them do. So, they roll the dice. Technically, they’re liable too, but the risk/reward math is easy.
 
Sometimes the challenge is internal. Marketing approval processes, guidelines and turn times are not clear to the loan officers, or are inconsistent. It’s hard to abide by company marketing standards when the rules are not communicated or the process doesn’t work.
 
These challenges often prompt loan officers to send marketing materials out without approval. Loan officers’ marketing errors can land a lender in hot water, but lenders are giving them practically no choice when they make it hard to comply.
 
Here are just a few recent errors or omissions we have seen on marketing material sent by rogue loan officers:
 
►No NMLS number (individual and/or branch)
►No physical address on an e-mail
►Opt-out mismanagement
►Improperly-sized logos, including the Equal Housing Lender logo
►Trigger terms (e.g., a 30-year fixed must be disclaimed)
 
Any one of these could put a lender in a bad spot and these types of violations happen frequently. That leaves us with one question: What can lenders do to bridge the gaps between sales, marketing, and compliance to make mortgage marketing work?
 
I talked to The Knowledge Coop's Ken Perry about it. Since 2003, he has trained people throughout mortgage organizations large and small on compliance, including marketing compliance. He is in the unique position of working directly with loan officers, marketers and compliance teams, which allows him to hear all the stakeholders’ perspectives. Here’s what Ken has to say:
 
The Knowledge Coop's Ken Perry When I got into the mortgage industry as a loan originator years ago, I understood immediately the way things work around here: Salespeople drive income and operations people try to keep them from burning the company down.
 
The relationship between compliance and loan originators in many companies has become like a parent and child relationship–an overprotective, overreactive parent and a rebellious, trouble-seeking teenager to be more precise. So how do we fix problem marketing in the face of this dynamic? Three things: Training, Monitoring and Consequences.
 
First, lead with training. I talked to a marketing compliance professional who was so frustrated by her “idiot loan officers” (her words, not mine). She was telling me how none of them do it right and all she does every day is say “no” and send the marketing pieces back to the LOs.
 
I asked her, “Have you told them what right looks like?” She seemed confused. I told her that it seems odd that she spends all day telling people when they do it wrong, but gave zero thought to teaching them how to do it right.
 
This industry would benefit immensely from clear, simple training that encourages originators to do marketing right and explains clearly what that looks like. Think about all the time wasted saying “no,” or “that’s wrong.” She’d recoup two hours of her day just by training better.
 
Second, monitor originators. If you don’t know what they are doing, how can you make sure they are doing it right? You can use a third-party for some monitoring, especially social media. For instance, Optimal Blue just released some slick social media monitoring software that could play a part in your compliance monitoring.
 
You can’t stop there though. Every now and then just Google a loan originator’s cellphone number or e-mail. The results will show anywhere they are advertising online. You will find some crazy things so be prepared.
 
Not monitoring is not an option. It’s like me telling my daughter I demand that she cleans her room, but then never checking to see if it is clean. I guarantee you it would never be clean!
 
Third, define consequences. The CFPB is adamant about this one. They want all companies to hold their originators responsible for marketing violations. Think about parenting again. If I give my kids boundaries, and they break them without consequence, I can’t expect them to learn or change their behavior. Teaching LOs what is and isn’t okay must be backed up by a corrective action policy. And you must enforce it.
 
I worked at a company where they were having trouble with employees forwarding inappropriate chain e-mails (remember those?). We had a policy, but no related corrective action. We trained them on the policy, but the e-mails continued to flow. We monitored their activity, so we saw how bad the problem was, but that only made us complicit as the e-mails continued because we knew it was happening but did nothing to stop it.
 
Finally, we rolled out a new zero-tolerance corrective-action policy. We told everybody that if they sent out even one inappropriate e-mail or went to one inappropriate Web site, they would be fired. And we did. We fired one of our top producing loan officers. That was the last e-mail we dealt with. People learned that we were serious.
 
I am not saying you should have zero tolerance for marketing mistakes, but I am saying that people need to know what happens when they violate policies and laws, and that the company will follow through, regardless of the LO’s production.
 
Done right, a marketing compliance system makes your compliance and marketing people a resource who loan officers rely on to help them grow their businesses the right way. They don’t have to be the “Fun Police.” The best thing you can do to grow your marketing presence without adding risk is to incorporate training, monitoring, and corrective action into your marketing system. The choice is yours: invest in marketing compliance now or take a chance and pay the fines (or even go out of business) later.
Brent Emler is Director of Sales and Marketing at Velma.com, a customizable marketing software provider exclusive to the mortgage industry. With a background in business finance, Brent has a unique understanding of the modern lending climate and keeps his finger firmly on the pulse of leading trends. Since diving into the industry in 1998, Ken Perry has been a relentless innovator in the mortgage and real estate world. His company was one of the nation’s first training companies to be approved by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) to provide pre-licensing and continuing education for originators.

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 
The 40 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40
In our eighth annual “40 Under 40” feature, you will find a list of the top mortgage professionals under the age of 40, as voted on by their peers, who exemplify professionalism and top production in today’s housing market. Despite the rough waters of the U.S. economy and the ever-shifting landscape known as the mortgage industry, these 40 professionals have persevered in a time of regulatory uncertainty.
 
In assembling this list, we at National Mortgage Professional Magazine took some criticism when we began this endeavor. Many felt a list of this nature ignored many, and others felt that a list of this type is a “Thing of the Past,” while some even cited age discrimination, but we firmly stood by our decision to assemble this group. Like their industry pioneers before them, these individuals are the ones who carried the torch of professionalism in the year 2017 and beyond.
 
We’d like to congratulate all of the following individuals named to our “40 Under 40” list for 2017—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.
 
Ben AndersonBen Anderson
Executive Loan Advisor and Branch Manager
RPM Mortgage, a Division of LendUS
Orange County, Calif.
BenAndersonGroup.com

Ben Anderson is a Branch Manager at RPM Mortgage, a division of LendUS and a top-ranked mortgage professional. He has funded $1.4 billion in mortgages since 2010, including $242 million in 2016 alone. Since 2011, Ben has assisted more than 2,500 families.

Christian BestChristian Best
Broker of Record
Magnum Opus Federal Corporation
Philadelphia
MagnumOpusFederal.com

Christian Best is an award-winning Mortgage Broker, recognized within his industry for exceptional expertise, strict ethical standards and delivering unmatched benefits to his clients. Respected as a leader in his community, he partakes in philanthropic endeavors to advance people of color.

Jay BoandJay Boand
Director of Correspondent Lending
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG)
Corona, Calif.
PRMG.net

There aren’t many who have worked at Countrywide, Bank of America and PennyMac that have achieved as much as Jay Boand. His operations background, combined with his ability to effectively communicate make him a powerful leader.

Kelcey BrownKelcey Brown
Executive Vice President
WebMax LLC
Turnersville, N.J.
WebMaxCo.com

Kelcey Brown spearheads strategic initiatives, acting as the key advisor to the president on critical changes in the competitive landscape and digital mortgage technology market. He has 10-plus years of experience with mortgage and real estate technology. He is a Navy veteran.

Michael CookseyMichael Cooksey
Founder
The Cooksey Team
Dallas, Texas
CookseyTeam.com

Michael Cooksey founded The Cooksey Team, one of Mid America Mortgage’s most successful branches. With 16 years of experience and nearly $1 billion in funded loans with Mid America, Michael understands how to execute a successful mortgage transaction. Utilizing The CORE Training methodology, Michael coaches his staff and other mortgage and RE professionals to become top producers. Cooksey Team LOs average six closings per month (industry average is 2.4) and $250,000 annually. Total expected branch volume for 2017 is $300 million.

Adam CunninghamAdam Cunningham
Area Sales Manager
Carrington Mortgage Services
Anaheim, Calif.
CarringtonWholesale.com

Adam Cunningham focuses on the broker relationship. Training, development and education are what Adam brings to every broker he works with. He has 12 years in the industry … dedication drives his success. Adam is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach and is a Circle of Excellence winner. With his unique approach, Adam effectively and successfully runs Carrington’s top West Coast inside sales team.

Sarah DeCiantisSarah DeCiantis
Chief Marketing Officer
United Wholesale Mortgage
Troy, Mich.
UWM.com

Sarah DeCiantis leads UWM’s marketing, public relations, advertising, social media, creative and CRM that have established the company as the gold standard of the wholesale mortgage industry. Sarah has been a key driver behind UWM's strategic approach to marketing, transforming it from sales support to a driver of sales growth. She spearheaded the launch of UWM’s new industry-changing Web site and introduced the Marketing Toolbox to help brokers.

Mark S. FisherMark S. Fisher
Mortgage Loan Originator
United Northern Mortgage Bankers Ltd.
Bronx, N.Y.
UnitedNorthern.com

Mark S. Fisher has been a great example to the next generation of mortgage professionals. Entering the mortgage business at the age of 23, Mark has consistently seen double-digit growth. At 29, he is on track to end 2017 with $65 million in volume. A 2010 Fordham University Gabelli School of Business Alumni, Mark graduated during one of the worst economic periods of our lifetime. Since then, through his work ethic and strategy, Mark has served countless families achieve their goals of homeownership.

Vanessa FrischVanessa Frisch
Senior Mortgage Banker
Wintrust Mortgage
St. Paul, Minn.
WintrustMortgage.com/Library/Get/Profile/1312/Profile

Vanessa Frisch has been a mortgage banker for 12 years, starting at 20 years of age. Having been with Wintrust for more than eight years, she is the face of Millennial originators, having closed more than $30 million. She was a featured speaker at Sales Mastery 2017 and special nominee by Todd Duncan. She is also a Top President's Club member at Wintrust.

John P. HamamehJohn P. Hamameh
Chief Compliance Officer/General Counsel
Class Appraisal Inc.
Troy, Mich.
ClassAppraisal.com

John P. Hamameh has been in the real estate/mortgage space since he was 16-years-old, and with Class Appraisal since 2012. On top of being a licensed attorney, John is also a licensed Real Estate Broker, which gives Class Appraisal the unique perspective of wanting deals to get closed, but doing so compliantly. John was named Top Corporate Counsel by Dbusiness Magazine and is always centering his focus in on how Class Appraisal can create more efficiency and expediency, but doing so while navigating the legislative confines of a highly regulated mortgage industry.

Kelly D. HaneyKelly D. Haney
Area Manager
Mortgage Financial Services
Flower Mound, Texas
KellyDHaney.com

Kelly D. Haney began his multi-faceted career in the mortgage industry in inside sales. He quickly advanced into loan origination and sales management, which enabled him to gain excellent skills in loan transactions, client relations, team leadership, and training and development.

Colton HansenColton Hansen
Vice President of Business Development
TRK Connection
Salt Lake City
TRKConnection.com

Colton Hansen is responsible for leading TRK Connection’s new business efforts and client/vendor relationship management. Prior to TRK, Hansen was Manager of Vendor Relations for SSM Hub and worked in business development for Salt Lake City-based Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.

Andy W. HarrisAndy W. Harris, CRMS
President
Vantage Mortgage Group Inc.
Lake Oswego, Ore.
VantageMortgageGroup.com

Andy W. Harris, CRMS is President of Oregon-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. Andy strongly encourages all Mortgage Loan Originators to embrace self-education and independent origination. He believes now is the best opportunity in history for the wholesale lending channel.

David J. HostermanDavid J. Hosterman
Branch Manager/Loan Officer
Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC
Denver
CastleCookeMortgage.com/Loan-Officer/David-Hosterman

Recognized as his company’s top-producing loan officer from 2014-2016, David J. Hosterman is currently the top Loan Officer for 2017. In 2016, he closed 288 units for $76,426,994. David has co-managed the top branch for the company since 2014.

Alex JimenezAlex Jimenez
Branch Manager
Hancock Mortgage Partners LLC
Franklin, Tenn.
HancockMortgage.com/AJNashville

Alex Jimenez is focused on serving veterans and helping them navigate through the mortgage process. He has also dedicated himself in training others across the nation as an Instructor for Military Mortgage Boot Camp.

Kyle KamroozKyle Kamrooz
Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Cloudvirga
Irvine, Calif.
Cloudvirga.com

Kyle Kamrooz has 18 years of executive experience in mortgage lending. Before founding Cloudvirga, he was Executive Vice President of Skyline Home Loans. He also founded Sage Credit, which he built into a nationwide mortgage company that processed $7 billion-plus in loans annually.

Erica LaCentraErica LaCentra
Marketing Manager
RCN Capital LLC
Glastonbury, Conn.
RCNCapital.com

Included on last year's list of the "Next 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch,” Erica LaCentra joined RCN Capital in 2013, and her efforts have rapidly expanded RCN’s customer base and elevated the company to a national brand. Erica is a current member of AAPL's Education Advisory Committee which serves as a vital resource, assisting AAPL leadership in the planning, producing and maintaining of comparable and uniform information specific to the private lending industry. She has also had multiple teaching/speaking roles at industry trade shows and events.

Altaf LalaniAltaf Lalani
Account Executive
REMN Wholesale
Newport Beach, Calif.
REMNWholesale.com

Altaf Lalani is one of the most hard-working people at REMN. With every dip the industry takes, he perseveres and thrives. His unique ability to connect to the broker community and help educate them is what makes him so successful. Lalani joined REMN Wholesale in 2015 and quickly rose to be in the top five for sales, two years in a row. Located in Newport Beach, Calif., Altaf's region extends much further to the West Coast and beyond.

William LedesmaWilliam Ledesma
Senior Loan Officer
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group (PRMG)
Doral, Fla.
WilliamLedesma.com

William is a seasoned mortgage professional specializinCg in Florida's ever-changing residential real estate arena. South Florida has been home from the beginning for William, and helping others own their home there is more than a job, it's a labor of gratitude. "Experience should be a resource of wisdom for those around you," this is William's motto. In such regard, he's always willing to help others with challenging files, thus becoming a key contributor within his office and the local lender community.

Steve LevineSteve Levine
Vice President, Divisional Retail Production
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG)
Davie, Fla.
PRMG.net

Steve Levine is one of the most successful retail platform builders in the industry today. He has created a legacy of successful operators, that follow his principles of profitability and efficiency, thus creating a loyal following of colleagues daily. As a former owner of a regional mortgage banker in South Florida, he learned how to run a business. His business acumen, along with his easy-going demeanor, allow him to obtain, train and retain dozens of incredible branch managers.

Cherie LynchCherie Lynch
Marketing Manager
Class Appraisal
Troy, Mich.
ClassAppraisal.com
Cherie Lynch was born and raised in Detroit. She spent many years in the fashion industry, traveling throughout the United States. She returned to Michigan to attend Wayne State University and get her degree in fine arts. Cherie is the engine that drives Class Appraisal's marketing efforts. Cherie does a great job of telling the Class Appraisal story through her posts, articles and blogs.

Benjamin MadickBenjamin Madick
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer
Matic
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
MaticInsurance.com

Ben Madick is Co-Founder of Matic, a digital insurance agency that helps lenders and LOs better integrate homeowner’s insurance into the lending process. Matic provides bindable quotes from highly-rated insurance carriers in seconds for faster loan closings.

Reno ManueleReno Manuele
President
Neighborhood Loans
Lombard, Ill.
NeighborhoodLoans.com

Reno Manuele serves as President of Neighborhood Loans. As the company continues its emergence in the residential lending community, the vision Reno established has resulted in higher customer satisfaction rates, more educated clients and a foundation for inevitable growth. Reno’s industry contributions include incorporating an intuitive marketing approach by implementing industry leading technologies. This has enabled Loan Officers and Realtors to better service the needs of their customers, clients and referral partners.

Laura MartellLaura Martell
Marketing Manager
Mountain West Financial Inc.
Redlands, Calif.
MWFInc.com

As marketing manager for Mountain West Financial Inc. (MWF), Laura Martell oversees advertising, Web sites, social media and brand development. As an industry veteran, Martell understands everything from retail to wholesale and sales to operations; and earned a bachelor’s in fine arts degree in graphic design from Cal Poly Pomona.

Bob MeloneBob Melone
Loan Officer
radius financial group inc.
Norwell, Mass.
BobMeloneTeam.com

Bob Melone entered the mortgage lending industry 13 years ago. Before joining radius, Bob served as a combat medic in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003. He currently resides in Hanover, Mass. with his wife and two children.

Bryan MillerBryan Miller
Assistant Vice President, National Accounts
United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM)
Detroit
UWM.com

Bryan Miller is United Wholesale Mortgage’s ambassador and key support system to the company’s highest producing clients. His extensive mortgage knowledge and overwhelming success as one of UWM’s all-time top producing Account Executives gives Bryan the tools to successfully assist key account clients daily. Internally, Bryan provides ongoing coaching to UWM’s Account Executives, with a focus on growing their business and creating strong relationships with their broker and correspondent partners. Bryan is well-positioned to help UWM’s clients successfully achieve their business goals because he is a repository of the industry’s best practices.

Brett MillsBrett Mills
Producing Area Manager
Academy Mortgage Corporation
Layton, Utah
AcademyMortgage.com/LO/BrettMills

Brett Mills is a recognized industry leader and Duane Shaw Achievement Award recipient, Academy Mortgage Corporation’s highest honor given for professional excellence and community service. He serves on several industry boards within Utah and is a Falcon in the Air Force.

Andres J. MunarAndres J. Munar
Co-Founder
Keystone Alliance Mortgage
State College, Penn.
KeystoneAllianceMortgage.com

Andres J. Munar started in the industry in 2006. He leads a team of amazing professionals set to close more than 200 transactions in 2017. He and his team share a servant leadership vision which allows them to execute at a high level. As Co-Founder of Keystone Alliance Mortgage, Andres and his business partner have built a company with 20 employees helping, more than 500 families in the past three years.

Aaron NinnessAaron Ninness
Branch Manager
New American Funding
Greenwood Village, Colo.
AaronNinness.com

Aaron Ninness started in the mortgage industry when he was 16. He is a top producer and runs the top branch for New American Funding. He has a balanced life for his family and activities. He is a prolific speaker and has a YouTube channel for educating the consumers on homeownership. He also teaches the mandatory classes that the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) requires for Colorado Realtors.

Jim PaolinoJim Paolino
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
LodeStar Software Solutions
New York, N.Y.
LodeStarSS.com

Jim Paolino founded LodeStar Software Solutions in 2013 at 27-years-old. He is also the Chief Sales Officer at Res/Title, a national title agent, in addition to serving as LodeStar's Chief Executive Officer. He was also a member of 2016's Top 40 under 40.

Katy ParsonsKaty Parsons
Mortgage Advisor
Finance of America Mortgage
Portland, Ore.
FOAMortgage.com/KParsons

Katy Parsons has been originating for five years, and in that time, has made quite an impact on her clients, but also the industry. She instantly brings levity to any situation while representing a level of professionalism the industry desperately needed. Katy revived the Mortgage Revolution conference, which showcases leading mortgage technology while raising money for charity, and coordinates similar industry events around the country. She’s featured on shows like The National Real Estate Post … stay tuned to see what’s next!

Peter PescatorePeter Pescatore
Chief Operating Officer
Jet Direct Mortgage
Bay Shore, N.Y.
JetDirectMortgage.com

Peter Pescatore is an experienced Chief Operating Officer with a 20-plus-year history in the banking industry. Skilled in all aspects of the residential mortgage market, he is a strong business development professional with a bachelor of science from St. Joseph College. Peter is a direct endorsement underwriter and licensed Mortgage Loan Originator. He has been a key factor in the incredible recent growth of Jet Direct Mortgage.

Cari (Burris) PinkertCari (Burris) Pinkert
Chief Operating Officer
Nationwide Appraisal Network
Oldsmar, Fla.
Nationwide-Appraisal.com

Under Cari (Burris) Pinkert’s leadership, Nationwide Appraisal Network (NAN) has emerged as one of the top appraisal management companies (AMCs) in the mortgage business. Cari works to improve performance through technology that drives efficiency and provides a competitive advantage to clients and business partners.

Joe PuthurJoe Puthur
President
Mortgage Coach
Tampa, Fla.
MortgageCoach.com

Joe Puthur’s professional contributions put financial security and affordable homeownership within reach for millions of borrowers across all economic backgrounds, and has propelled hundreds of originators to career success. His charitable efforts have helped alleviate hardships for thousands of individuals nationwide.

Evangeline ScottEvangeline Scott
Certified Mortgage Planner
Finance of America Mortgage
Folsom, Calif.
TeamScottLoans.com

Evangeline Scott is known for outstanding service. You can count on her to look out for your interests and keep you informed throughout the process. Her experience, honesty and hands-on approach shines through with each client she serves.

Laura Kay SheelyLaura Kay Sheely
Vice President of Mortgage Production
MidwestOne Bank Home Mortgage
Iowa City, Iowa
MidWestOne.com

Laura Kay Sheely has worked in mortgage lending since early 2000. Her success has come from being highly professional, personally-driven and by leading teams of producers to reach their own growth goals. She serves on the Iowa Mortgage Association Board as the President-Elect.

John G. StevensJohn G. Stevens
President
NAMB
Highland, Utah
NAMB.org

John G. Stevens is the Vice President of National Business Development for Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG). His LinkedIn profile is in the top five percent viewed worldwide, and he has been awarded Mortgage Professional of the Year by NAMB and the Utah Association of Mortgage Professionals (UAMP). John is an Honorary Colonel in the PGPD and a Paul Harris Fellow award winner for Rotary.

Ryan StewmanRyan Stewman
Founder/CEO/Hardcore Closer
Break Free Academy
Addison, Texas
HardcoreCloser.com

Ryan Stewman, the “Hardcore Closer,” a five-time best-selling author, podcaster and blogger is infamous for rapidly growing sales via powerful advertising and marketing. A salesman turned Chief Executive Officer, Ryan helps high-net-worth performers adjust their business plans resulting in windfall profits.

Joseph R. VillaniJoseph R. Villani
Senior Vice President of Correspondent Sales
The Money Source
Melville, N.Y.
TheMoneySource.com

Joseph R. Villani arrived at The Money Source with a background in financial services and a client-centric approach. He quickly rose to be a sales leader for one of the fastest-growing Fintech companies by increasing correspondent sales by over 30 percent.

Justin WisemanJustin Wiseman
Associate Vice President and Managing Regulatory Counsel
Mortgage Bankers Association
Washington, D.C.
MBA.org

Justin Wiseman is Associate Vice President & Managing Regulatory Counsel for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He oversees legal/regulatory issues and manages MBA's litigation coordination function. He has been commended for his leadership on the development of the MBA One Mod and TCPA campaigns. Prior to joining MBA, he clerked in Federal District Court in the Middle District of Tennessee. He attended Emory Law School, and previously worked with the Center for Strategic and International Studies on European and Transatlantic security issues.

The Next 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch …
Due to the numerous submissions we received for the “40 Under 40” list, there are those who continue to make 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:
►Aaron Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Accumatch Property Tax Intelligence
►Dr. Ian Ashton, Branch Manager, Caliber Home Loans
►Christopher Brower, Senior Mortgage Banker, Jersey Mortgage Company
►Zachary Dawson, Director of Credit Risk, Fannie Mae
►Matt Demorest, Owner, HomeSure Lending
►Chris DeRosier, Mortgage Loan Consultant, John Adams Mortgage
►Michelle Dugan, Loan Originator, Movement Mortgage
►Mike Eshelman, Vice President of Marketing, First Direct Lending LLC
►Derek Fertig, Branch Manager, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
►Corey Gee, President, Perennial Funding LLC
►Michael Gonzales, Branch Manager, Open Mortgage
►Chasity Graff, Owner, LA Lending LLC
►Jordan Higgins, Vice President, Correspondent Sales, Verus Mortgage Capital
►Nick Hunter, Chief Operating Officer, River City Mortgage LLC
►Dan Hutzelman, Chief Executive Officer, River City Home Loans
►Bob Jones, Senior Vice President, Alternative Mortgage Sales Channels Manager, BBVA Compass
►Brian W. Kempf, Vice President-Senior Loan Officer, George Mason Mortgage LLC
►Juliana Krijan, Chief Operating Officer, Jungo
►Eric Kulbe, Regional Manager, Guild Mortgage
►Micaela Lumpkin, Vice President and Head of Term Loans, CoreVest Finance
►Lisa Lund, President, Lund Mortgage Team Inc.
►Jim Mitzel, Branch Partner, Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.
►Stacy Mohr, Senior Vice President of Capital Markets, Mountain West Financial Inc.
►Michael Most, Senior Loan Officer, Chase
►Amber Parr, Mortgage Loan Originator, The Mortgage Firm
►Christopher R. Picone, Owner/President, PRS Capital Group LLC
►Jason Price, Product Manager, ReverseVision
►James Prince,  Vice President of Sales, 1st Financial Inc.
►Hailey Rice, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Village Mortgage Company
►David Spektor, Chief Technology Officer, LodeStar Software Solutions
►Staci Stanley, Mortgage Consultant, Fairway Independent Mortgage
►Ed Stojancevich, Loan Officer, A&M Mortgage Group
►Scott Tennant, Branch Manager, Hometown Lenders LLC
►Jason Turner, Area Vice President, AMCAP Mortgage-North Houston Branch
►Craig Ungaro, Chief Operating Officer, AnnieMac Home Mortgage
►Angie Vance, Mortgage Loan Originator, Gulfside Mortgage Services
►Ariana K. Veloz, Branch Manager, Loan Simple Inc.
►Brandy Whitmire, Branch Manager|Mortgage Loan Originator, HomeBridge Financial Services Inc.
►Troy P. Williams, Branch Manager, Skyline Home Loans
►David Yurovchak, Sales Manager, loan Depot
►Adam Zima, President, Champions Mortgage

 
While we all “hope”2018 will be another good year for the real estate and mortgage business, I think we all realize deep down inside that “hope” is truly not a strategy. As I have coached Originators this year and have spoken around the country, I have found that everyone has goals, but few truly accomplish them.
 
There are many reasons why these goals are not accomplished, and I hope you will read this article to avoid making these same mistakes. Perhaps the main reason for failing is that we don’t have an actual goal. You cannot just say you want to do well … it must be quantified, it must be written down and it must be planned.
 
Go back and re-read the previous entry before you move forward
You cannot just “hope” to have a good year or achieve any goal. Instead, you must clearly state it and create a sound plan to attain it. Maybe, most importantly, you must have a way to track your progress and see if you are on track or if you have gotten off track somehow.
 
Here’s an example … I will earn $100,000 in 2018. Notice I said “will” not “want.” I will get to this subtle yet important distinction later.
My average commission is $2,000 from an average loan of $200,000 at 100bps. I now know that I need to do 50 loans a year or five a month (accounting for fallout) and one per week.
 
Now for the hard part … how?
Unfortunately, many Loan Officers come up with the first part, but never get to the hard part which is actually “planning” where these deals will originate. It’s nice to say that you want to earn $100,000 and that you need 50 loans in order to do so, but now the big question is “How will you generate them?”
 
You need to think of your business as a four-legged chair, meaning you should always have at least three to four marketing methods you are always working on. The reason to think about this as a chair is because a chair with just one or two legs will crumble, but a chair with four legs is very solid.
 
Here’s an example from my own production:
 
1. Realtors
2. Referrals from past clients and other referral sources
3. Publicity, articles, radio, TV and books
4. Direct to consumers: Direct mail, Facebook and Webinars
 
Important note: I did not say 34 … I said three or four marketing methods!
All too often, we find ourselves coming up with the next big idea or the next shiny object and going down a different path. When you try to do everything, you will likely your find yourself doing nothing!
So … let’s talk about the three words no one else mentions that are critical to every Originator’s success. Are you ready? I mean really ready because you cannot simply read this and benefit, but you truly need to ponder and consider, and think and act.
 
►Conceive
►Believe
►Achieve
 
Let me break each of these down for you. They are from the popular book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, who said a person can accomplish whatever they can conceive, believe and achieve. If you miss any one of these key ingredients, you cannot succeed!
 
Step 1: Conceive
We have spent the entire first part of this article discussing how to conceive and actually break it down into steps that are attainable. If you just glanced over that part, go back now with a highlighter and write this plan down.
 
Step 2: Believe
This is going to sound harsh, so get ready for some no BS advice. I have watched Originators for the past 30 years who succeeded when they had everything stacked against them, while others who had every advantage simply withered and left the business.  It’s actually been a topic that has always fascinated me and I have dedicated my life to studying.
 
I want you to write this down …
“You will only achieve to the level of your current self-image.”
 
Ever see someone do really well, better than expected and then melt down? It may have even happened to you?
 
The reason is that the person exceeded their self-image. To put it in our terms, let’s say you want to close $12,000,000 and you have a month where you close $2,500,000. I can bet you that the next few months, you will close $1,000,000 or less because you have performed over your current self-image. Just because you closed $2,500,000 one month does not make you a $30,000,000 producer.
 
“You will act and perform consistently with your self-image.”
Keep in mind … this does not happen consciously, but rather, under the radar subconsciously.
I could and probably will write a book just on this topic, but for now, really take some quiet time to make sure your goals are in sync with your self-image of who YOU are … not who you “want to be,” but who you truly are.
 
Step 3: Achieve
We are now finally at the last step, and while I have quoted a book by Napoleon Hill earlier in this article, I have to also give you a warning: You cannot just Think and Grow Rich. You must actually act.
 
Now, don’t misunderstand me, you must have positive thoughts. In fact, you will act according to your thoughts, whether positive or negative. The point though is that you now have a written goal, you know what you must do to achieve that goal. Hopefully, you even have the time to believe it. But, you won’t achieve without action. Not to sound corny, but it’s true when you hear that you must work your plan and plan your work.
 
Here’s to a great 2018!

Brian Sacks is a nationally-renowned mortgage expert who has career closing of more than 5,924 transactions Brian Sacks is a nationally-renowned mortgage expert who has career closing of more than 5,924 transactions for more than $1 billion. He has trained, consulted and coached tens of thousands of loan officers and company owners over the past 32 years on how to close more loans, make more money, and still have a life. Brian is the host of "Top Originator Secrets," which can be seen weekly on Mortgage News Network and on his blog. You can get more information and grab your free report on "How to Get Agents Chasing You" at TopOriginatorSecrets.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.