I want to begin this month’s President’s Corner with an update from our meeting with the Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Raj Date. John H.P. Hudson, NAMB Government Affairs Chair, Roy DeLoach, NAMB Lobbyist, and I went to Washington, D.C. to meet with Mr. Date at his request. This stemmed from a letter I wrote to him concerning his remarks about mortgage brokers. It was ironic that our meeting took place on the day that the CFPB released their 1,100-page document on the new Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) rules.
Our meeting with Mr. Date at the CFPB went very well. The impression that I got was that the CFPB seems rushed to make dates that have been set up for them by the Dodd-Frank Act. The people there are very smart, however, they do not have any practical mortgage experience and this hurts when they are trying to make decisions based on what goes on in the mortgage business. We continue to work with them and address many questions that they have. Stay tuned for more information coming from our Government Affairs Committee about these items.
In many of the past articles I have written, I have stated that many times on Capitol Hill, we are asked how many members we have. Our membership numbers always seem to hover around the 5,100 mark, fluctuating up and down each month. What I do not understand is why people are not joining, especially when all of this stuff is happening in D.C. and it affects all originators. NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals is the only non- profit organization that represents you, the mortgage originator, in Washington, D.C. We are constantly looking out for your best interests, and we do this as a volunteer organization. No one on the board of directors, the chairperson of any committee or any committee members receives compensation for their time, their energy and their efforts. So I ask the question … why haven’t you joined yet? It cannot be the cost because as a Platinum Member, the cost is only $120 per year. And many of you spend that much in a weekend going out on the town or to dinner. Just $10 per month gets you information, gets you involved, and gives you a voice in Washington, D.C. Just $10 per month makes you part of an organization that believes in ethical and professional behavior and makes you part of the team. It also makes you eligible to attain the NAMB Lending Integrity Seal of Approval that can be displayed for all of your current and potential customers to see. This Seal helps homebuyers find hard-working and ethical mortgage professionals. To earn the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval, professionals must undergo a rigorous process—complete continuing education, pass a criminal background check and pledge to adhere to a strict code of ethics, best business practices, and an ethics grievance review process.
In addition, you get one of the best Government Affairs teams that works to protect you, the mortgage originator. We fight for you and your business. Countless hours are put in by our team that reviews reports, rules and anything that comes out of the House, the Senate and the CFPB to name just a few of the countless items that are dealt with by our Government Affairs team. John H.P. Hudson, Government Affairs Chair, and Rick Bettencourt, Vice Chair, are two dedicated individuals who give countless hours to make sure that you, the mortgage professional, are informed and up-to-date with everything from all of the agencies.
And while we are on the subject of committees, Kay Cleland and her group of regional vice chairs of the NAMB Membership Committee are working hard to put together different programs that will benefit all NAMB members. They are also calling new members to welcome them to the NAMB family and the results have been very well-received. And if you have any questions about your membership, please check the NAMB Web site at NAMB.org for your vice chair and reach out to them. They are capable of answering almost all of your questions on your benefits and membership with NAMB.
As many of you are probably not aware, NAMB has developed a for-profit side called “NAMB PLUS.” NAMB PLUS is the side of NAMB that handles our Strategic Alliances that benefit all NAMB members in the form of programs, benefits, insurance, bonds, etc. that make your day-to-day operations and such a better experience. These benefits save you, the NAMB member, money on all kinds of things, from insurance to office supplies. There is a separate board of directors that oversees all of these aspects of this side of the business. Currently, there are three members (vice president, past president and a director) of the current NAMB board of director, including Donald Fader, NAMB PLUS president, along with John Councilman and Jim Pair. The other four positions of the NAMB PLUS board are comprised of members from the membership ranks of NAMB, including Nathan Pierce of Utah, Kelley Hamilton of Colorado, George Burkley of Indiana, and one other member that will be named shortly. These people comprise this board and work independently of the NAMB board. These positions are a yearly position and will be elected each year.
You can also see changes in the new NAMB NATIONAL Conference in December. We have contracted with a company called Agility Resources Group of West Hartford, Conn. Vincent Valvo will oversee the event planning of this year’s conference. We are currently securing some great speakers and great talent to share information, and help make each of you better originators and more productive. We are also working on having someone speak about developing a Facebook Page or Web site on the spot, and you will walk home with this completely done. The dates for this year’s inaugural NAMB NATIONAL Dec. 7-10 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Start planning your trip today and be on the lookout for those cheap fares.
I have been in this position for nearly nine months, and I am hoping that many of the changes that we have made to committees, the board, the by-laws, etc., have been for the better. NAMB seems to be running smoother and at a better pace, and it seems that you, the member, are happy with these changes.
We are about to make another big change and that is the NAMB Web site. As you all are aware, your User Name changed to your e-mail address a few weeks ago in preparation of this transition. By the time you read this, we should have all of the changes made and you should be seeing these changes in your everyday life. A lot of time has been put into this by Joel M. Berman and Beverly Koondel of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. They are working with our provider to make sure that when we go live, everything is completed. So be looking for this to happen shortly after the first of August, and I hope that you are pleased with the changes.
On a final note, I am making one more push for all of you to join NAMB. This is my goal to get each of you who read this magazine to become members. Membership is something that I do not take lightly and as your president, I appreciate everything that you as a member do for this organization. So why not ask your fellow originators, appraisers, title people, processors and owners to step up and become members. It is time that we all become part of the solution and stand together and make a statement. We can accomplish more things together than as individuals. Now is the time to join me and let’s show everyone that mortgage professionals will not be taken lightly. We are a group of professionals that are standing together. Now and in the future!
Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS is president of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. he may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]