Michael Brinkman is an account executive with Mortgage Assurance Inc. and is the current president-elect and treasurer of the Greater Midwest Lenders Association (GMLA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with Brinkman regarding his work with the multi-state trade association.
How and why did you get involved in your association? And can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I started with the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals, the forerunner of the GMLA, about six years ago. At the time, I worked for Lawyer’s Title, and I got my LO license and went into wholesale. During my first year with the association, I was responsible for the intern program and I worked with certain colleges to arrange for kids to receive college credit while interning with broker/owners in the marketplace. Since then, I served on the executive board of directors.
But unlike other state associations, the GMLA is somewhat different in its structure. How is your group set up?
Unlike other associations that focus on a single state, the GMLA consists of multiple states—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin. We also operate under a model that involves a board of governors that helps to direct our board of directors to initiate their agenda.
What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
The biggest issue recently has involved the anti-predatory lending database in Illinois. Although in the last five to six years, there has been an improvement in the loans we’re doing, all loans still have to go into the database and mortgage professionals are required to go through monthly and quarterly audits. The costs of this are obviously passed on to homeowners, while mortgage professionals have to spend extra time entering all of this information.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
The intern program. Throughout the year, we work with 16 city colleges to identify interns. We are also working with veterans looking for new careers. These individuals served our country and we have the opportunity to pay them back and get them into our industry.
What is GMLA’s association with NAMB?
We were–and still are, in a sense–an offshoot. We have always been a part of NAMB. But our agenda is our own agenda in the Midwest. We have a 100 foot view of what is on the ground, while NAMB has a 3,000 foot view. We do look to NAMB for help in working with AMCs.
What are the housing markets like in the states represented by the GMLA?
We are seeing increases based in pockets, though much is weather related. We are a little low on inventory: we are seeing an average 45-day inventory in some areas, while others there is maybe a 60- to 90-day turn time.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].