INAMB Carries the Spirit of AmericaBy Eric C. PeckAnnual, Convention, Indiana, Exhibitors, Trade Show
Despite the terrorist attacks of the previous week, the Indiana Association of Mortgage
Brokers pulled off their 11th Annual Conference and Trade Show,
Sept. 19-21, with stellar results. More than 1,000 mortgage
professionals made the trip to Indianapolis for the three-day
conference, and approximately 70 of the industry's top companies
and vendors displayed their latest product lines and services in
the jam-packed Indianapolis Roof Ballroom.
Using the facilities of the Embassy Suites Hotel in the heart of
downtown Indianapolis, the INAMB Board and staffers assembled three
days chock-full of education, entertainment, golfing and
networking, including a golden opportunity to "get rich quick" and
walk away with $5,000 in cash from the Reverse Raffle.
INAMB's annual extravaganza launched on Wednesday, Sept. 21 to a
mix of education and golf. Those wishing to fulfill their
continuing educational requirements took to the books for a day of
RESPA, TILA, commercial loan brokering, marketing and residential
mortgage lending courses. Meanwhile, on the greens of the nearby
Coffin Golf Club, conference attendees teed off at one of the
state's finest courses in friendly competition. Day one concluded
with a networking cocktail reception for exhibitors back at the
hotel. Attendees took advantage of the two-plus hour reception to
re-acquaint themselves with old friends and establish new business
ties. Many partygoers used the cocktail reception as a springboard
to a night in downtown Indianapolis, continuing well past the
scheduled 9:00 p.m. conclusion.
Day two of the convention provided attendees with a "great bang"
for their admission buck. Education was available all day long as
INAMB faculty member all-star Bob Sweeney of Union Federal Bank
delivered his second of three eight-hour residential mortgage
lending classes. Over a three day span, approximately 50 mortgage
professionals sharpened their basic industry skills with a full 24
hours of RML School. Other attendees took advantage of an
informative session discussing business ethics and techniques to
run a more professional operation.
As exhibitors began setting up their respective booths for the
INAMB Exhibition and Trade Show, attendees had the option of
participating in two outstanding and informative roundtable
discussions. Tom Ward of Majestic Mortgage Corporation began the
discussions with his "Permission Marketing Techniques" session. Mr.
Ward stressed the importance of customer referrals and retention in
today's active mortgage market and explained how mortgage
professionals could maximize their individual marketing creativity.
"The relationship to the consumer must equal the commitment you are
asking for," explained Mr. Ward to his captive audience. Mr. Ward's
presentation was especially relevant to Indiana mortgage
professionals in light of the state's new telemarketing law. As of
September, 2001, there were 200,000 Hoosiers currently on the
state's "Do Not Call" list. When the law takes effect this January,
anyone in violation will be subject to a $10,000 fine for a
first-time offense and a $25,000 fine for second-time offenders.
This session was definitely "required listening" for all Indiana
Back for a second consecutive year to expound on the importance
of business ethics, was Dave DePodesta of Union Federal Bank with
his roundtable discussion, "Cleaning Up the Industry/Eliminating
Broker Fraud." Mr. DePodesta's usual co-presenter is Lee Ann Butts,
also of Union Federal, but she was unable to make the event. Mr.
DePodesta went solo and began his session by handing out a thick
binder full of various types of fraud and the "red flag" warning
signs of fraud in a mortgage transaction. Many of the examples
described involved loan flipping and the doctoring of loan
documents. A few notable facts presented included:
++20-25 percent of all residential foreclosures are
++most cases of fraud involve a number of industry-related
professionals within the loan process, from the real estate agent,
to the title company, to the broker, etc.;
++the term "con" derives from the word "confidence;" a con
artist's first step is to gain the "confidence" of their target;
++the fifth digit on 98 percent of all Social Security numbers
is an even number, only two percent are odd integers.
These factors, among others, were followed by Mr. DePodesta's
underlying statement, applicable to all steps of the mortgage
process--"If it just doesn't make sense, then it's most likely a
case of fraud."
The INAMB Exhibition and Trade Show began promptly at 2:00 p.m.
on Thursday, Sept. 20, featuring the mortgage industry's finest
vendors and service providers. A strong sense of patriotism and
American pride was in the air as exhibitors ornately decorated
their booths with red, white and blue. INAMB Sponsors Bank One Home
Loan Services, M&I Home Equity and Archer Land Title had prime
exhibit space on the stage area in the Indiana Roof Ballroom as the
aisles filled up throughout the exhibit hall.
Attendees meandered and made deals at Indiana's veritable
mortgage flea market, where they viewed online opportunities at the
@mortgage booth, picked up some free newspapers at The Mortgage
Press Ltd. booth, viewed demonstrations of the latest loan
origination software at the Byte booth, and contributed to the
INAMB Political Action Committee fund at the INAMB PAC booth.
Attendees had the opportunity to be automatically entered into
drawings for the INAMB raffle by having their Trade Show Maps
stamped by exhibitors. When an attendee visited every booth on
their map, the completed product was then turned in to the INAMB
PAC booth where it would hopefully be drawn later for prizes. The
girls of Archer Land Title tirelessly baked fresh cookies all day
long for attendees to snack on as deals were closed, and new
business contacts were established and re-visited throughout the
Up and down the exhibit hall, INAMB PAC members, including the
association's Executive Director Amanda O'Daniel and PAC Trustee
Kathi LaPointe, sold Reverse Raffle tickets. For $20 per chance,
attendees had an opportunity to win more than $7,500 in prizes at a
drawing held at the INAMB Comedy Club later in the night. With the
12 in 500 odds, I liked my chances, so I splurged the $20 and
bought ticket number 411. Unfortunately ticket number 411 wasn't
among the 12 winners pulled by INAMB President Steven Clark later
on, but Doug Howie was the owner of the 500th ticket pulled and
earned the night's top dollar prize of $5,000. A special thanks to
Steven Clark and INAMB Secretary Jim Parsons, two Reverse Raffle
winners who turned around and donated their winnings to the INAMB
When the festivities in the exhibit hall began to wind down, it
was time for the association to recognize a select few of its
outstanding individual members for the year 2001. INAMB
President-Elect A. Joseph Salpietra, along with co-emcees Steven
Clark, INAMB Treasurer Margaret Huddleson and INAMB Immediate Past
President/PAC Chair Chuck McLean, announced the winners from the
stage area. INAMB honored Co-Brokers of the Year Robert Gregory and
Rich Hall of Ace Mortgage for their accomplishments and
contributions to the association. To a tremendous round of
applause, the two accepted their trophies and thanked the
association for the honor. Next up, INAMB had special plans for its
Lender/Vendor of the Year, Clark Gramelspacher of CitiMortgage Inc.
As Clark was announced as the winner, he was surprised by his
parents, Rose Marie and Gene, and girlfriend Jeanette from Jasper,
Ind., whom the association had picked up earlier in the day.
Needless to say, Clark was completely shocked. After the accolades
and thank-you-speeches, exhibitors brought forth their booth prizes
to the stage area, including Palm Pilots, DVD players, golf bags
and more, as Chuck McLean and Joseph Salpietra announced the more
than 40 winners. Congratulations to all who did not go home
As attendees filed out of the exhibit hall, many took the
opportunity to soak in a night of fun at the INAMB Comedy Club.
Sponsored by Investor's Titlecorp, those in attendance snacked on
hors d'oeuvres and laughed the night away as the Reverse Raffle
winners were sporadically announced.
The event concluded Friday with another opportunity for mortgage
professionals to gain continuing education credits. Courses offered
on Friday included nation's fair lending, a primer in sub-prime
origination and another opportunity to catch Bob Sweeney's
residential mortgage lending school.
The success of the INAMB 11th Annual Conference and Trade Show
was a surprise to many, with the shroud of sadness of the events
the week earlier. All of the exhibitors were on hand with no
cancellations, and with a crowd in excess of 1,000, it was
"business as usual" for the Indiana mortgage industry.