A Message From NAMB Government Affairs Committee Chair Mike Anderson, CRMS
Dec 31, 2010
The Government Affairs team of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) has been very active so far this year and has had some significant impact with lawmakers and regulators in Washington, D.C. The most recent victory is the recently released appraisal independence announcement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Fannie Mae. NAMB has fought hard and had several meetings with FHFA/Fannie Mae to stress the importance of appraisal independence and portability. Well, they listen to us, and on Oct. 14, the announcement was made and appraisal portability was included.
NAMB was invited to attend two very important meetings this year. The first meeting was the Future of Housing Conference hosted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). The intention of the meeting was to gather thoughts and ideas of the future of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and housing finance in general. NAMB presented a position paper on our thoughts for where the GSEs’ role should be in the future, which can be found on the NAMB Web site, www.namb.org.
We also stressed how we must get underwriting back to some sort of normalcy and bring back some common sense. We discussed the overlays in underwriting and stressed how they are slowing down the recovery of the U.S. housing market. They made it clear that more meetings will be scheduled and that NAMB will be invited back to the table on this very important issue.
The second meeting in September was with a very small group of industry leaders held at the Treasury with Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, and the newly appointed head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Elizabeth Warren. You can all count on a new simplified combined Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Truth-in-Lending (TIL) no later than July of 2011. The meeting went very well and NAMB was very instrumental in the proceedings of the meeting and we received a lot of face time. The outcome of the meeting was for a simple-to-understand GFE and TIL. NAMB stressed doing away with the annual percentage rate (APR), which drew quite a bit of conversation that, in the end, most agreed the APR is very confusing and very difficult to understand and explain to a borrower. More meetings will be scheduled in the months ahead and NAMB will be invited back to the table to participate.
We are also working extremely hard on the new Fed rule on loan originator compensation. I cannot discuss the plans at this current time, but rest assured, we are working on a plan. We are extremely concerned that this rule places mortgage brokerage companies and their loan officers at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. We have scheduled meetings with executive branch agencies to discuss our concerns, including the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Now is the time to attend NAMB/WEST 2010 in Las Vegas in early December to participate in the Government Affairs planning session where we will discuss our goals and directives for the remainder of the year, especially now that we have the results of Election Day. Your voices are important and please plan on attending for your opinions matter to us.
I would like to close with a crucial cry and plea … the loan originator has predators preying upon us in the form of regulators and lawmakers who do not understand our business. They are chipping away at our livelihood and our futures every day. The number of loan originators has decreased considerably from three years ago. According to Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), there are approximately 143,000 licensed loan originators in America today. Here is the sad part, of that 143,000, only approximately 5,000 are members of NAMB … yes, 5,000! This sends a signal to lawmakers! If you do not care enough about your industry or profession to join it and protect your interests, then why should anyone in Washington, D.C.? I can assure you that NAMB cannot continue the fight on Capitol Hill with only 5,000 members. We need 20,000 members minimum to really be effective in a big way. We will not be able to pay for the lobbyists to fight and represent our livelihood without more members. A national association is very crucial when dealing with Washington, D.C. and individual states cannot be as effective without a national force behind them. NAMB has an excellent reputation on the Hill and Roy DeLoach is very respected in Washington, D.C. I am afraid that without more members, we cannot retain such a high profile person to lead the way. It cannot be a matter of cost. NAMB dues are $120 for mortgage brokers and $50 for originators—a bargain price to protect your livelihood.
My plea to you is to join NAMB and recruit new members and we will do the fighting if you simply do your part and that is “Protect Your Industry and Join NAMB!” Please visit www.joinnamb.org and show how much you care about the profession you choose to make a living in.
Mike Anderson, CRMS of Essential Mortgage in Baton Rouge, La. is Government Affairs, PAC Chair and Board Member for the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB). He may be reached by phone at (225) 297-7704 or e-mail [email protected]
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