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Wayne King is president of Katy, Texas-based Encompass Lending Group, and for the past two years, has served as president of the Greater Houston Association of Mortgage Professionals (GHAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Wayne about his work within the mortgage trade association field and the general state of housing in his market.
How and why did you get involved in your association? And can you share the track within your association that led to the presidency?
I became involved with NAMB early in my mortgage career in 2004 at the urging of my broker at the time, Gayle Fortson from Truemark Lending. I have remained a member of NAMB since 2004, while increasing my activity and involvement through the National Conference, Legislative & Regulatory Conference, and becoming a member of the Delegate Council in 2014. I became an active member of the local chapter (GHAMP) in 2011 as a board member. Since that time, I have served as secretary, president-elect and president of GHAMP since 2013.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your market should join the association?
The mortgage profession is made stronger through education, shared ideas and actively lobbying the regulatory bodies within the mortgage profession. NAMB and GHAMP both play a dynamic role in each of these areas.
I am a believer that you should support any association that supports your profession. If you earn your living in that industry, it only makes sense to support the associations that fight for your rights. The local association provides members the best outlet to protect the mortgage industry and grow in their profession.
What role do you feel your association plays in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
The association’s role is crucial in providing information to its members and conveying tangible ways to communicate to their elected officials. Currently, we are informing and encouraging our membership to contact their senators and House representatives requesting support for HB 3393, The Mortgage Fairness Act of 2015. This bill provides for a technical correction to the current definition of the three percent cap on point and fees for QM loans as these are being “double counted” based on the current definition. This adversely impacts low- to moderate-income borrowers as it eliminates the financing options available to the consumer. Informing members of legislative activity affecting them is a vital role of the association.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Education for the members of the association has been a keystone of my tenure. The association has been able to deliver quality meetings that included industry leaders and regulatory officials. The focus on education has led to increased membership and guest participation. In addition, the membership has been well-informed of regulatory activity and how they can play in active role in supporting industry causes.
What has fueled this is my personal participation at the NAMB Legislative & Regulatory Conference over the last four years in Washington,. D.C. Each year, I was able to lobby on behalf of NAMB and GHAMP to support the mortgage industry. I am very proud to represent Texas on Capitol Hill and will continue to do so in the future.
As an affiliate of NAMB, how has that added towards the overall agenda for the mortgage profession nationwide?
NAMB does an excellent job keeping me appraised of current events in the mortgage industry by providing speakers, conference topics and consistent communication relevant to the mortgage professional. Through the information provided from the national association, I am able to keep GHAMP members up-to-date with all of the industry changes that occur daily in the profession. Therefore, the local members remain on the “cutting edge” when it comes to industry initiatives.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
Greater awareness of the industry at a younger age is essential. Engaging current mortgage professionals to volunteer at high schools and colleges would create a greater desire to pursue a career in the industry directly out of college. Education and college recruitment play an essential role in growing the profession through younger talent. This starts with college campuses at their Career Days. In doing this, we can attract talent that would otherwise choose different career paths.
To retain this talent, the industry needs to provide adequate training and support. In addition, industry professionals need to organize in a way that brings the mortgage profession to national prominence. Finally, changing the perception of the mortgage professional to that of a trusted advisor will show young people how our industry makes the dream of homeownership a reality.
This is a great industry to become a part of with flexibility and excellent income potential.
How would you define the state of housing in the Greater Houston market?
We are currently in a seller’s market and will continue this trend in the short term. This is primarily due to the shortage of inventory in the Greater Houston area. Obviously, the cost of oil is a growing concern, which will impact the market through layoffs that could reduce the amount of homeowners and potential homebuyers. However, due to the inventory shortage, we are insulated in the short-term from this impact on the market.
With the potential for the Federal Funds Rate to rise in late 2015 or 2016, the likelihood for market turbulence is high in the coming year!
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].