As I look ahead to getting ready for the NAMB 2013 Legislative & Regulatory Conference, I am drawn back to my first experience in Washington. I traveled to D.C. with a delegation of about 20 from my home state of Indiana. In those days, everyone went to the Ledge Conference. This is where we got to go and talk with our legislators about the mortgage business and what was going on. Many times, we were meeting with staffers and trying to explain to them what we were doing and how we were doing it. Most of us were followers, with some designated people doing most of the talking and the others listening and lending support. It opened my eyes to see that almost all of the aides were very young, younger than I both myself and the other attendees. I remember asking myself, “Are these young people actually running the country?” I was shocked at the presence and understanding that most of them had.
Now, we look forward to 2013 and we are again mounting a charge to D.C. to discuss several items that can make a difference in what we do in our everyday life. We are at a crossroads that makes it again an important reason that you need to attend this conference. Our Government Affairs Committee Chair John Hudson has an article here in this month’s NAMB Perspective that will discuss exactly what we are doing and what we need to say when in D.C., but we need people to show up and help us on our quest. There are 435 Congressmen and Congresswomen and 100 Senators that we need to reach. What better way to help than to be that constituent who lives in the district to go and visit their elected official. You can go into their offices and talk with them about how these rules will impact you in your job and how it will affect your friends and neighbors in your district.
What better way than to talk with those who represent you. NAMB will have packets for you to go and distribute, but you have to get there and register for the event. Go to NAMB.org and register today. You can make your hotel reservations there as well. So get on board and help us help you by coming to Washington on March 10-12. Make sure that you arrive on Sunday to attend the compliance portion of the conference from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., presented by Jonathan Foxx from Lenders Compliance Group. This is a very important session that you need to attend, and it is free with your Conference Registration of $99.
It is that time of year again that we start to look for new board members to serve NAMB. We are in need of people who want to get involved, but there are a few things that you must first need to know. To start, you have to be a member of NAMB. We are now a fully volunteer-run organization that requires you to be a little more involved than before. We have two meeting per year that require you to be in attendance, the Legislative & Regulatory Conference in Washington, D.C. in March, and the NAMB National that will take place in September or October. Your room is covered at these events, but not your flight and travel. All other board meetings and conference calls are done at your office for convenience. Depending on the committee that you are on, the amount of time you need to devote to doing things to make the association run will vary. I hope that if you know of someone that you feel would do a great job or even if you feel like this is a task you would like to take on, please feel free to contact Jim Pair at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an application.
We are still in the fight of our life in the government affairs arena. Items of the qualified mortgage (QM) and the loan originator (LO) compensation rules are still being reviewed as I write this. Watch the NAMB Web site (NAMB.org) and the NAMB Government Affairs e-mails for updates and potential “Calls to Action” on certain things we need your help on. I know we are always saying this, but YOU are what makes NAMB so successful in the grassroots campaigns and getting information out there to members and non-members. You do make a difference each and every day, and I thank all of the members for helping us do our jobs … thank you for being a member.
Our current Government Affairs Committee Chair John Hudson will be handing over the Government Affairs Committee to Rick Bettencourt at this year’s Legislative Conference. John has done an excellent job for us and has given up countless hours for our association, most of which he will never get back. As president of NAMB, I want to publicly thank John for all of the time and effort he has devoted to the Government Affairs team. As he prepares for the birth of his first child, he really is not going away. He will still be a member of the GA team, just stepping back to help his wife in this great experience that he is about to encounter. Those of us who have grown children can think back to what it was like when we were just beginning our families. We wish John the very best.
Rick Bettencourt, our new Government Affairs Committee Chair, hails from the great state of Massachusetts. For those of you who remember Denise Leonard, Rick follows in these footsteps of those people who love government affairs. Rick has worked closely with Denise over the years in the Massachusetts Mortgage Association (MMA) and shares her passion for the GA Committee. I know he will do an excellent job as he has worked very intensively with John over the past to prepare for this job. I look forward to working with Rick over the next several months.
As I conclude this February edition, I am invigorated to go to Washington, D.C. again. It seems that every time we go there, we get a great response to our issues and our needs. Please make sure that you join us and help us make a difference. We can only do it with your help. And remember, if you are not a member of NAMB, now is the time to make a difference and join today. Go to NAMB.org and become a member today!
Donald J. Frommeyer, CRMS is president of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.