NAMB Rocks Cleveland with Model State StatuteMichael SimonNAMB, License, Broker, continuing education On the morning of June 16, at a special press conference during the 2002 National Association of Mortgage Brokers Annual Convention, NAMB 2002-2003 President Armand Cosenza Jr. and Immediate Past President Joseph Falk publicly introduced the association's Model State Statute for Licensure, Pre-Licensure Education and Continuing Education, a comprehensive proposal to better serve borrowers through an increased commitment to pre- and post-licensing for mortgage professionals. The statute, representing more than a year of tireless efforts by the NAMB Board of Directors, the Delegate Council and a host of internal committees, including the Model State Stature Task Force, has four basic principles: ++To establish a basic licensing requirement; ++To establish a pre-licensure education requirement; ++To establish a continuing education requirement; and ++To apply to all mortgage originators. Mr. Falk, in his last major act before bidding farewell as NAMB President, agreed to continue the effort, bringing the initiative directly to consumer groups, such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR), and state politicians, attorney generals and regulators, in an effort to eventually push the proposal through Congress. Mr. Falk had spearheaded the initiative after he took the presidential reins at the 2001 NAMB Annual Convention. In an emotionally-charged speech at the NAMB General Session, Mr. Falk outlined his motives. "Crooks, scoundrels, felons and thieves, NAMB gives you fair warning--get out. We don't want you in our business," he asserted. "President George W. Bush has outlined his three-point platform for National Housing Month: 1) downpayment assistance; 2) affordability; and 3) consumer education. Today, NAMB adds a fourth." Following suit with legislative successes in his home state of Ohio, Mr. Cosenza proceeded to outline a number of surprising statistics, declaring that, out of nearly 2,000 applicants, more than 770 have failed the state's recently-implemented initial background check. "Out of those," he continued, "approximately 150 will be ultimately denied a license. That's 150 potential predatory lenders who are not going to be operating in Ohio." With the Model State Statute initiative, NAMB plans to replicate Ohio's success on a national level. Upon returning to the podium, Mr. Falk ran down some more of the disturbing, and often overlooked, statistics that led to the writing of this proposal: ++Only 15 states require individual licenses for brokers; ++Only 12 states require individual licenses for lenders; ++Only 12 states require continuing education for brokers; ++Only eight states require continuing education for lenders; ++Only six states require pre-licensure/registration education requirements for brokers; and ++Only four states require pre-licensure/registration education requirements for lenders. "NAMB believes that this initiative will help diminish instances of predatory lending and improve the overall competency of the mortgage industry in every state, and NAMB urges each of their 45 state affiliates to adopt the concepts contained in the Model State Statute initiative," said Mr. Falk. "I am committed to seeing this matter through to fruition and will personally monitor the progress of each state." Calling upon the same convictions that saw him through such a successful term over the past year, Joseph Falk truly made his final day as NAMB President memorable and, hopefully, long-lasting and far-reaching. For a downloadable version of the Model State Statute for Licensure, Pre-Licensure Education and Continuing Education, visit www.NAMB.org.