The new bonding amounts
Previously, mortgage brokers had to obtain a $50,000 to meet state requirements for licensing. HB 143 increases this amount threefold-to $150,000. As for mortgage lenders, the old bond amount was $150,000, which has now been raised to $200,000. Whether you’re a lender or broker, you may need to post another bond amount if the licensing authority deems it necessary.
Other changes introduced with the new bill
Besides the bond amount increase, House Bill 143 brings a number of other new rules for mortgage professionals in Georgia. Most notably, the new legislation allows brokers and lenders to cancel their previous surety bonds directly in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry, rather than with the surety provider.
The impact of House Bill 143
Due to the bond amount increase, one of the immediate impacts of the new legislation for Georgia mortgage professionals is that their licensing costs have risen. The surety bond price depends on the bond amount that needs to be posted, which often means that brokers and lenders have to set aside more for their bonding.
While this is true in the general case, you can also exercise a higher level of control over your bond price by improving your financial stats. Your bond premium is determined on the basis of factors such as your credit score, business finances, and assets and liquidity. It can be as low as 1% of the bond amount if your profile is solid. In the same time, the price can go as high as 10% if you have problematic credit.
The National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers of America (NAMMBA) will hold its Inaugural National Conference, Thursday-Sunday, April 6-9, 2017 at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead, 3405 Lenox Road Northeast in Atlanta, Ga. NAAMBA Chief Operating Officer Marcia Davies will open the conference with a keynote address on April 6.
NAMMBA is a national trade association dedicated to the enrichment and betterment of women and minorities who work in the mortgage industry. The association’s core mission is to increase the engagement of women and minorities in the mortgage banking industry at local, state and national levels. NAMMBA works to enhance the careers of women and minorities in the mortgage industry by hosting professional development programs that offer continuing education, training and networking opportunities.
Industry veteran Tony Thompson, CMB founded the NAMMBA in 2016 and serves as chief executive officer.
“These are exciting and challenging times in the mortgage industry,” said Thompson. “We expect the landscape to change dramatically in the next two years and beyond, with regard to the many ways that mortgage lending will transform the U.S. economy. Our Conference will provide a forum for discussing, developing, and executing strategies that ensure minorities and women will play key roles in the industry as it expands—as officers and executives as well as customers.”
The NAMMBA Conference is expected to draw 500-plus attendees, representing various sectors of the industry: Financial executives, government leaders, housing development entrepreneurs, national sales speakers and others. The range of topics covered during the conference will include:
►Understanding the changing demographics of today’s homebuyers
►Post-election regulatory environment
►The future of technology in the mortgage industry
►Sales strategies for loan originators in an ever-changing market
Conference speeches and panels will feature some of the finest thought leaders in the mortgage industry. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the industry’s future, as they will also obtain knowledge about resources available to help them launch and cultivate their careers. Overall, the Conference is designed to reflect NAMMBA’s commitment toward supporting the development of individuals who are in the mortgage industry or interested in moving their careers in that direction.
NAMMBA is gaining traction all over the nation, with active chapters in Atlanta; Augusta, Ga.; Dallas; Houston; Boston; Raleigh, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Fairfax, Va.
The Atlanta metro area’s housing market is experiencing something of a seesaw, with fewer home sales but more expensive home prices.
According to data from the Atlanta Realtors Association that covers the 11-county market, there were 5,232 residential sales in the Atlanta metro area last month, down seven percent on a year-over-year basis. And the local housing inventory totaled 16,509 units in July, a year-over-year decline of 1.2 percent, with 5,199 new listings, an 11.1 percent decline from June and a 6.9 percent from a year ago.
However, the median sales price in July was $250,000, up 6.4 percent from July 2015, while the average sales price was $307,000, up 3.4 percent from the previous year. But Lane McCormack, president of the Atlanta Realtors Association, was not concerned about the increased sales prices.
“While the median sales price continues to rise, Atlanta is still one of the most affordable cities in the U.S.,” McCormack commented.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced it is charging a Georgia couple with housing discrimination for refusing to rent an apartment they owned to a single mother and her son. HUD’s investigation alleges landlords James and Ella Collier denied one woman’s application because she had a 14-year-old son and that they had a “NO CHILDREN” stipulation in multiple lease agreements with other tenants.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying or limiting housing to families with children. This includes waiving pet restrictions for assistance animals.
“It’s quite simply against the law to deny a person housing simply because they have children living with them,” said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to take enforcement action whenever the rights of families are violated.”
The case came to HUD’s attention when the woman filed a complaint alleging that the Colliers, owners of a number of rental properties in East Point, Ga., refused to rent an apartment to her after learning she had a 14-year-old son. In August of 2013, the woman noticed a “For Rent” sign in the window of one of the Colliers’ properties and sought information from the landlords and was asked a series of questions related to her employment and her family size. The woman told HUD that Ella Collier said she “would not rent to applicants with children.”
HUD’s charge further alleges the Colliers inserted discriminatory language into multiple lease agreements of other tenants stipulating, “NO CHILDREN.”
HUD’s charge will be heard by a U.S. Administrative Law Judge unless any party to the charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. If an administrative law judge finds after a hearing that discrimination has occurred, he or she may award damages to the complainants for their loss as a result of the discrimination. The judge may also order injunctive relief and other equitable relief, as well as payment of attorney fees. In addition, the judge may impose civil penalties in order to vindicate the public interest. If the case is heard in federal court, the judge may also award punitive damages to the complainant.