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NAMB Wraps 2013 Lobby on Capitol Hill

Robert Ottone
Mar 21, 2013

NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals has wrapped up its 2013 Legislative & Regulatory Conference in Washington, D.C. Day one of the event featured a Compliance Symposium geared toward bringing attendees up to speed on the latest regulations that govern the mortgage business. Presented by Jonathan Foxx and the crew from Lenders Compliance Group, the session detailed what is necessary for mortgage professionals today in order to maintain compliance in an ever-shifting mortgage marketplace. Day two of the event kicked off with a presentation from Bart Shapiro, current principal at Offit/Kurman attorneys, formerly with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Shapiro gave a behind closed doors look into the CFPB, Dodd-Frank Act specifications and other rules and regulations. While material and regulations from the CFPB can be quite nebulous, Shapiro was able to explain, in greater detail just how the bureau goes about their business. "Often, it used to be that you had savings and loans, the money stayed locally. Now, with the market being larger, certain markets are involved and how do you manage the risk?" Shapiro asked in response to a question regarding risk management and the difficulties through the years. Like the opening day of the conference, compliance and risk management was still a popular topic. Shapiro talked extensively about compliance and risk, as well as the costs associated with managing such aspects of a business. "There is a group organized within the CFPB to aid in implementation of such aspects," Shapiro said. After a brief intermission, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute Edward Pinto took the podium to discuss Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reform. Pinto outlined concepts related to FHA reform, including problems with loans and claims. "We found that the FHA's policies put working-class families out on a tightrope," Pinto said, going over statistics pertaining to the average family's financial difficulties. Pinto's presentation included some comical jabs at the FHA, where he illustrated the FHA's inconsistencies in covering claims and rates. His findings, available at NightmareAtFHA.com took years to accumulate and encompasses a great deal of data. Pinto's study is incredibly in-depth, interesting and proves valuable in understanding FHA policy and regulation. Pinto's solution to the FHA problem is simply "stop financing failure." His plan includes providing a balanced down payment, loan term, FICO and debt to income to achieve a meaningful equity and a Claim Termination rate of 6.5 percent. "The FHA should be doing responsible lending. The key is not to support failure," Pinto reiterated, to close his part of the keynote session. The keynote was followed by Roy DeLoach, NAMB's lobbyist, who discussed plans for the visit to Capitol Hill. What is clearly the most important aspect of the 2013 Legislative Conference, DeLoach outlined the minimal changes with the Dodd-Frank Act, which was the topic du jour of the conference, along with compliance. "We tried to do this in June of last year and it hit a big wall. This time we took that bill, massaged it enough to protect the brokerage company and to protect the affiliate companies, as well," said DeLoach. Hopes are high for the new bill. The new scenario revolves around compensation and smoothing out the road between the broker and the borrower. By outlining the talking points for those heading to Capitol Hill, better preparedness looks to be the best tool in ensuring the passing of this new bill. On day three of the event, state representatives from the NAMB spent time with their elected officials, aids and chiefs of staff to discuss the NAMB's proposed adjustments to current legislation. Delegates from various states associated with the NAMB passionately discussed the proposed change, which essentially helps provide more options for the consumer, while not allowing the Too-Big-Too-Fail businesses to gain even more power at the marketplace. The highlight of the day was perhaps Rick Bettencourt, CRMS of Mortgage Network taking point in chatting with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Chief of Staff, Dan Geldon. Sen. Warren, famous for being pro-consumer, also one of the developers of the CFPB, would prove to be a powerful ally in the drive to change current legislation. Geldon listened intently to Bettencourt as the adjustment was explained and outlined. The elected officials NAMB members met with all seemed interested to hear what the NAMB delegates had to say, and were even interested in learning more about the organization. Ideally, the walk on Capitol Hill will prove to be a win for the NAMB and, more importantly, for the consumer who is working to achive the American dream of homeownership. Scenes From the NAMB 2013 Legislative & Regulatory Conference March 10-13 in Washington, D.C. Credit all photos to Robert Ottone  Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Chief of Staff, Dan Geldon (center), meets with NAMB reps in D.C.   Rep. Peter Gallego (D-TX), second from left, meets with reps from NAMB's Texas delegation NAMB Director Donald E. Fader, CRMS welcomes attendees to the 2013 Legislative & Regulatory Conference   Members of the group representing the California Association of Mortgage Professionals gather for a photo   John Stevens, CRMS addresses the NAMB Delegate Council Meeting   Caitlin Thompson, Legislative Correspondent for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, discusses industry-related issues with the Texas delegation    Jonathan Foxx of Lenders Compliance Group (right), presenter of the Compliance Symposium, is welcomed to D.C. by NAMB Director Donald Fader   Members of the Texas delegation pause for a photo prior to lobbying on Capitol Hill    
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