NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals kicked off its 2013 Legislative & Regulatory Conference this weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn Capitol in Washington, D.C.
NAMB Director Don Fader opened the event, welcoming guests and agents, before breaking down the true meaning of the trade group's mission over the next few days in D.C. and introducing the details of Sunday afternoon's Compliance Symposium. Fader served as the moderator for speakers from Lenders Compliance Group (LCG), including Directors of Legal and Regulatory Compliance Michael G. Barone and Wendy Bernard, Director of Agency Relations Alan J. Cicchetti, and LCG President Jonathan Foxx. LCG is a risk management firm consisting of professionals with proven knowledge, experience and expertise in mortgage banking who have worked at some of the largest loan originators in the country, as well as federal and state agencies.
Kicking off the symposium, Foxx discussed the importance of compliance and how all mortgage-related businesses must be up-to-date regarding compliance and procedures. Foxx described the concepts of a mortgage, and how using policy and procedure describe the foundations of a mortgage. Foxx outlined an approach that involves being proactive in utilizing a policy that is appropriate for implementation by adhering to guidelines and enforcement mechanisms. Companies that set up two- to four-page documents that meet mandatory fundamental concepts for examiners are referred to as "Manual Mills." These companies might be providing a service, however, an off-the-shelf approach isn't something an examiner will be pleased with. Foxx noted that many examiners do, in fact, keep track of what compliance regulations are in effect for multiple businesses. In having the same compliance rules and regulations, multiple businesses put themselves at risk for heavy scrutiny by examiners.
Throughout the day, the speakers highlighted the do's and don’ts of establishing and abiding by proper compliance guidelines. The speakers also detailed some of the characteristics of what constitutes an insufficient policy, a policy that may not conform to an institution's business model, one that does not contain comprehensive regulatory guidelines, and one that does not outline specific procedures.
In order to assist those in attendance with creating a proper policy, LCG reps shared a PowerPoint-aided presentation on what current policies and procedures are. Foxx outlined that every policy statement should include regular updates, procedures, changes in procedures, forms, disclosures and mandated guidelines. The essential concepts at play are the basics of mortgage risk management. The group also detailed ways in which a firm can prep and prepare for a visit from regulators.
The group of 100-plus on hand for the Compliance Symposium walked away from the event with a new skill set ... one that can be taken back from the event and brought back to the office and implemented immediately in order to prevent issues down the line. The event also served as an ideal spring board for the following two days of the Legislative & Regulatory Conference where NAMB members and mortgage professionals from across the nation would learn about additional rules and regulations governing the industry. The 2013 Legislative Conference is highlighted by Tuesday's Lobby Day where mortgage professionals will take to Capitol Hill and meet with their senators and representatives and discuss the issues relevant to today's mortgage marketplace and the continued growth of local small business in keeping the American dream of homeownership alive in local markets nationwide.