Mention the word “mortgage broker,” “bank” or “lender” and many people today cringe. Most are not even sure why because what they hear has not really been their experience with a home loan. How did an industry that dominated the finance arena become such huge targets for every housing issue in the past few years? I believe it has to do with two simple words that pack a tremendous amount of value and definition in them: “Trust” and “Integrity.” I have always taken pride in those phrases and have even put them above financial gain and prestige as many of you have done as well. Unfortunately, when money can be made, people of lesser values make things difficult both in life and in business. Proving your integrity is not a written document, it is the action behind your words. It is taking the extra step in your professional career, going the “extra mile” for a customer, or assisting a business partner when you do not have to. The National Association of Mortgage Brokers has always been a leader in this area by creating a true certification program which requires knowledge, experience and professionalism before any formal, national licensing. NAMB listened and has created the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval for the benefit of its members to set NAMB mortgage professionals apart from the crowd. The collective actions of a profession can reflect upon you, and how you respond personally can determine how you succeed in your business. It isn’t easy for consumers to see and find integrity today, but you can reflect the difference with actions and knowledge by remaining an NAMB member and renewing or obtaining a certification today. The accomplishment will always be yours and the recognition is easily shared with all. Pava J. Leyrer, CMC, CRMS, is president and owner of Heritage National Mortgage Corporation in Grandville, Mich., and Certifications Committee chair for the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.