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OrigiNation: Independence

Andy W. Harris
Nov 24, 2015

The word “independence” seems to have lost meaning over the last few years in our industry. It’s as if most mortgage loan originators (Los) forgot they work for their client, not the company where they choose to place their license. They also seem to forget that their employer (company) doesn’t really actually employ them, but their client does. As a result, the LO indirectly employs those who work for the employer (company) since they bring all revenue through the consumers closed loan. Sound confusing? It seems to be for many.

I understand company branding and culture. I also understand those that are newer in the industry or working at most depositories call on company-generated leads or walk-ins, but that is not what I am talking about. I’m talking about those of us that are experienced, tenured, have a solid book of referral business and production. Those of us that are self-made and don’t rely on others or company-generated business. Why have many of us lost our independence and so quick to chase shiny objects or be influenced by others?

My question is about responsibility and accountability. I believe a licensed LO should know more than any employer they choose to work for, any manager or other non-originator in the industry. I believe that we should be self-educated and influenced by what we independently learn rather than influenced by anyone else to develop our beliefs. I feel this is vital with how we communicate with the public during such an important financial transaction. We owe it to our clients to be experts without egos.

So what are your thoughts? Do you rely on your employer or others when trying to understand changes, regulation, or operations in the primary residential mortgage market? Or, do you self-study, attend conferences, read and get involved to develop your own views? Do you think that the individual LO should be the most industry-educated since they communicate to the consumer and public directly? I personally do and feel we need better, more independently informed LOs than ever before. Share your opinions for next month’s OrigiNation!

To have your stories or topics considered in future editions of “OrigiNation,” please e-mail me with “OrigiNation” in the Subject Line at [email protected] These can be confidential or your name and company can be referenced if you wish.

Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431, e-mail [email protected] or visit

This article originally appeared in the September 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

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