Featured Industry Leader: Howard M. Dyal, President, Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals – NMP Skip to main content

Featured Industry Leader: Howard M. Dyal, President, Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals

Phil Hall
Oct 13, 2016
Howard M. Dyal is president and principal broker at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Prodigy Home Loans and president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP)

Howard M. Dyal is president and principal broker at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Prodigy Home Loans and president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with him regarding his work with this FAMP chapter.

How and why did you get involved with the Jacksonville chapter of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I was a member for many years as a spectator, so to speak. I became actively involved after I had seen one too many rogue loan originators mistreat a customer, which in turn, gives all of us a bad name. So many times we turn our heads, but do nothing to correct the wrongdoings because we simply do not want to have the regulating agencies to come into our shops. I had enough and decided to see what FAMP could do to bring more integrity into our industry.

I joined the local FAMP board four years ago, was asked to be the vice president the next year with the responsibility of arranging speakers, and then served as president over the next two years. Although I felt I was drinking from a fire hose that first year, I had several seasoned board members that knew the ropes and what I needed to do. Without them, I would not have survived my first six months, let alone the following two years.

I also became involved at the state level and have met many great colleagues in our industry. That has opened my eyes to many opportunities and helpful experience I may have never been exposed to.

Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join your association?
Many of them join for the continuing education that FAMP provides through our associated foundation. Locally, we have strived to provide our members with valuable timely updates on products and services and meaningful speakers at our monthly meetings. We hold workshops on evaluating self-employed income, condominium financing, bring in speakers on sales training, Web site and social media efforts, time management and any other content that is meaningful to our membership.

Many LOs are in smaller shops or even lone soldiers working out of remote locations, and our FAMP Association provides them with valuable information they may otherwise miss. I cannot tell you how many times that I have been able to ask a fellow LO about a situation they have already faced and handled and vice-versa. We share a lot of information back and forth. I have found it more valuable than I ever imagined.

What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and is there any item on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
Our local chapter, as well as the others around our state, contributes to our two Political Action Committees, one for the state and one for the federal legislature. Our state PAC has been very active in supporting members of the legislature who support our industry. We have a procedure in place for the local chapters to request financial support for both state and federal candidates that we support.

In Florida, we visit our state legislators every year in Tallahassee to make sure they not only know how we feel about various legislative issues, but to also let them know we are here to help them understand any of the complexities involved in our industry. Who better to know than those who work in it day by day? We also have a good relationship with the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) and invite them to speak each year at our Annual Convention and Trade Show. We have been very fortunate to be involved in updating and rewriting legislation that regulates our industry in the state as the rules have changed numerous times in recent years.

What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
That’s a tough question to answer, because without the other members on my board and executive committee, I would not have been able to accomplish anything. As a whole, however, we have made great strides to offer our membership usable, valuable information.

We used the “Build it and they will come” philosophy. Based on a board member’s recommendation we added a “Product Update” segment to our monthly meetings, where a member who is involved in the underwriting end of the business keeps us all up-to-date with the most recent changes to the agencies’ never ending changes. We compare and contrast Fannie Mae versus Freddie Mac rules and where they fit better. We offer real-time training on relevant topics that can offer the member an advantage in closing more loans. As quickly as the rules change around us, it is important to know the rules and underwriting overlays in order to be a proficient professional. Our membership meetings provide that edge to our members.

The other accomplishment we have been able to implement is more current policies and procedures on how we run our association. For years after the Great Recession, some very brave and dedicated FAMP members kept the association afloat however they could. That resulted in little turnover and not a lot of new blood or ideas. Bless them for doing what they did. However, I feel that we are now emerging as a re-energized group of dedicated individuals who are collectively supporting their industry and each other: A true trade association that is supporting its industry.

In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
That is a great question. As a whole, those of us who made it through the recession are an “older group.” I think that the recession wiped out so much of our industry that we are still rebuilding.

The amount of regulation that we have to work within, albeit mostly necessary, puts such a burden on the small businessperson that it is almost prohibitive to enter the industry. So many of the younger people start at depository institutions where the budgets and volumes may be higher. Little do they know that it may be much more lucrative in the broker world than they ever would imagine.

I am always looking for young, bright people to join my staff and have been fortunate enough to find a few. Perhaps our association should be more involved with career fairs and that sort of effort to get the word out that we have a great industry that can be very lucrative to individuals willing to put in the time and effort to build a book of business.

How would you define your state's housing market?
Florida is popping, to say the least. Of course, there are areas that have still not enjoyed the recovery that most have, however, those areas existed even before the recession. Sales are booming in the more desirable areas, new construction is doing very well, at least in northeast Florida, and many of the former foreclosures have worked their way back into the market and have been consumed.

More importantly, I think, the low interest rates that have been available for much longer than I would have expected have enabled us to lend to more and more borrowers. In addition, credit underwriting guidelines, although still more restrictive than pre-2008, are becoming more reasonable as a new set or data points are being established with regard to what parameters dictate if a loan product is stable or not. There are some non-agency lenders back in the market that have really helped those good borrowers who had the unfortunate experience of having a foreclosure or short sale that was beyond their control.

The recession took away the ability of some of our most qualified borrowers to repay their mortgages, and that skewed the results for the whole. Now that we have ways to lend to people just a year or more out of a historical event that was beyond their control, we can help them have homeownership once again. That is a blessing for them and great for the broker industry.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].

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