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Tiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals
Tiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsTiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with her regarding her work with the state trade group.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track that led to the leadership role in this group?
I had been working in a real estate law firm/title company since college and joined MAMP in 2013 or 2014 as an opportunity to network with industry professionals. I began to participate in many of the events and Hal Tippets, our Past President, asked me to join the Board. This is my third year as a Board member, and I was just re-elected as President in August for my second term.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join your association?
MAMP has an incredibly strong educational component. Each year, we host 10 Breakfast Meetings and one full-day expo. We have industry leaders come and speak, we offer training, economic forecasts, insights into federal and state regulatory matters, among other things. We try and plan topics that will help both front office (Loan Originators) and back office (Underwriters, Processors) learn and grow in their business. We also host great networking events throughout the year and a wildly successful Charity Golf Tournament. We try to keep our members engaged by bringing them together on a regular basis and providing them with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in the industry. We also like to make sure our members have fun at our events–it keeps them coming back for more!
 
What role does MAMP play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
We stay in tune with what is happening on a federal and state level. Since we are continuing to grow as an organization, we are hoping to put in more of a presence at the legislature. In the past, we have coordinated with other real estate and industry organizations in Maine to support or oppose legislation as necessary. We are hoping to roll out our own association Lobby Day soon.
 
The Maine legislature just came out of a short session this summer, so there wasn’t anything big introduced at this time. We’ll be headed back into the regular session this fall. This past spring, we participated in the MBA National Advocacy Day and met with members of each of our state’s congressional offices to talk about S.2155, GSE reform, flood maps and the CFPB. It was a great experience!
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
On the whole, we have continued to grow from year to year, adding new member organizations and increasing our organization’s budget so that we can enhance our programming and events. The Board has really raised the bar in the last year on event planning, but I wouldn’t take credit for that either. I have been pushing for a little more Millennial generation presence on the Board and in the organization, and I think that has been successful. I am hoping to continue our trend of increasing diversity among member companies and individual members and to keep reaching out to bring new, younger members into the organization.
 
Tiffany Dembowski is Assistant Vice President and Underwriting Counsel at Fidelity National Title Group in Portland, Maine, and President of the Maine Association of Mortgage ProfessionalsWhat is synergy between your organization and other industry trade groups?
With the assistance of Joshua Wolfe, our Executive Director, our Board tries to stay engaged with what is happening on a national level with other organizations. Many of our members also participate directly in NAMB and MBA. We have worked with MBA on state advocacy matters in the past and they have also graciously allowed us to borrow some of their staff to speak at our meetings and at our Expo.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I don’t think that recent graduates have the opportunity to learn about the mortgage industry as a career option. For me, I wound up in the industry after college when I began as a paralegal at a real estate law firm–so in a very roundabout way. I think a key part of increasing the number of young people in the industry is getting out there and demonstrating that this is an area where there continues to be job growth and opportunities.
 
In Maine, we’ve worked with The University of Southern Maine to attend their career fairs and events. Our organization is incredibly diverse, including both banks and mortgage companies, but also appraisers, attorneys, mortgage insurance companies, settlement agencies and title insurance company. So, when we’ve participated in local job fairs, we try to demonstrate the diverse opportunities available by bringing different representatives to talk to students about what’s out there. 
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
In Maine, real estate is second in state GDP, after healthcare and we have one of the highest homeownership rates in the nation. The drive for homeownership in Maine is incredibly strong. Maine is an incredibly diverse states as far as the real estate market is concerned. Overall, Maine home sales have set another record this year for the numbers of homes sold and home prices continue to go up. In southern Maine, inventory is lacking so buying can be a challenge, but prices continue to increase. In northern and eastern parts of the state, the overall home prices are slower to rise and properties in these areas seem to stay on the market for much longer.

Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Aaron Benton has joined the company's Hilton Head, S.C. branch as a Loan Officer
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Peter Jose has joined the company's Freeport, Maine branch as a Loan Officer serving the Portland area. Jose brings to Mortgage Network five years of mortgage banking experience in the Portland area, where he is a long-time resident. Most recently, he served as a Loan Officer for Residential Mortgage Services.
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Peter Jose has joined the company's Freeport, Maine branch as a Loan Officer serving the Portland area
 
"We're happy to have Peter join our southern Maine team and believe he will be a valuable part of our continued success here," said Dean Gilbert, Manager of Mortgage Network's Freeport branch.
 
"I'm very pleased to become a part of the Mortgage Network team, which has an excellent reputation throughout the industry," said Jose. "Mortgage Network has a comprehensive menu of loan products to suit just about any customer, whether it's a first-time homebuyer or an existing homeowner looking to refinance. The Portland real estate market is a microcosm of the national market, with rising prices due to a scarcity of homes for sale. In this highly competitive environment, prospective homebuyers need to be armed with financing before they begin shopping so they'll be ready to strike when their dream home becomes available. Getting pre-approved early in the process is the best way to be prepared."
 
Jose is an active volunteer in the Portland area, where he donates his time at a local animal shelter, as well as at the Portland Ronald McDonald House.

 
City leaders in Portland, Maine, are debating whether to impose a $5,000-per-room fee on new hotel construction to finance local affordable housing developments
City leaders in Portland, Maine, are debating whether to impose a $5,000-per-room fee on new hotel construction to finance local affordable housing developments.
 
According to a report in Portland Press-Herald, the new “hotel linkage fee” would apply only to new hotels being built and would not be applied retroactively to the 2,850 hotel rooms across the city’s lodging sector. City officials anticipate approximately 400 hotel rooms will be built in Portland by 2020, and the proposed fee would generate $2 million in fees.
 
“That’s real money,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said.
 
The fee being recommended is the result of a study conducted by the Greater Portland Council of Governments which found that Portland is adding hotel rooms much faster than the national average.
 
From 2013-2016, the number of hotel rooms increased by 14.6 percent, compared to the national average of 2.9 percent, he said. The research also showed that hotels have a return on investment that’s three to five times greater than other commercial sectors, including restaurants, retail and office space. And even with that growth in hotel rooms, nightly rates and the revenue per room-night have continued to increase.
 
“Clearly the data suggests that the hotel market is one of the most lucrative in Portland and that’s partially why we’re seeing so many hotel proposals in the city,” said Planning and Urban Development Director Jeff Levine. The city currently has 2,850 hotel rooms, with hundreds more in the pipeline, he said.
 
Levine added that hotel developers would have the option of avoiding the fee by providing one low-income housing unit for every 20 hotel rooms either on-site or at another location.
 
Local hotel developers have angrily questioned why their industry is being targeted as the sole cash source for new affordable housing, and Mayor Ethan Strimling stated he preferred widening the linkage fee to all commercial properties.
 
“I certainly support going more broadly, but I’m ready to support this so we can get this in place,” Strimling said. “I don’t want the Planning Board going backwards on this or feeling pressure from the hotel industry to reduce the fee below what’s being recommended.”

 
The 2018 New England Mortgage Expo recently wrapped up at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
The 2018 New England Mortgage Expo recently wrapped up at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. The event brought together the New England area’s top lenders and speakers for a day of networking, speaker sessions and education.
 
Kicking things off, J. David Motley, Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), headlined a panel discussion, where topics ranged from the latest happenings in D.C., to the newest trends in the industry.
 
Throughout the day, the Exhibit Hall was open for business, as nearly 80 of the industry’s wholesalers, software providers, and service providers were on hand to chat and demo their latest product offerings.
 
Concurrent sessions were held throughout the day, on a variety of industry topics. Dan McGrew, COO of Pavaso, presented “The Digital Mortgage Experience That Changes Everything,” addressing the proliferation of the digital mortgage experience. Richard J. Bryan of QuickSilva discussed how to assemble the ideal team in his session, “Yes You Can! How to Find, Hire and Maximize Top Performers.” Mortgage fraud that has plagued the industry was addressed by Mike Krone, Vice President of Kriss Law, during his presentation, “Scams, Shams and Cons: How the Fraudsters Are Going After Your Mortgage Proceeds.” The rise of the Millennial market was tackled by Sarah Federico, SVP of Sales for Xinnix, in her insightful presentation “Millennials in the Mortgage Business.”
 
The afternoon continued as Jeffrey Tesch, Managing Director of RCN Capital, discussed ways in which to diversify your product offerings during his presentation, “Boost Your Business With Fix & Flip Loans and Private Lending.” To piggyback on the previous session on fraud, Colleen M. Caposella, President of CATICPro Inc., detailed safeguards against cybercrime in her session, “Cyber Security Awareness: Strengthen Your Business.” Brad Smith, Managing Director of Renovation Sales with Home Point Financial, explained the ins and outs of renovation lending during his informative presentation. The CMBA Legislative and Regulatory Update featured a panel of legal experts discussing what’s in store for the industry over the next 12 months.
 
After a buffet lunch inside the Exhibit Hall, the breakout sessions convened, as Marissa Blundell, Principal and COO with CLA Bankers Advisory presented “2018 HMDA Impact on Fair Lending Compliance.” Mark Daniels, SVP of Sales and Marketing for Info-Pro Lender Services, discussed escrow processing in the New England region during his presentation. Meghan Handy, Marketing Manager for Embrace Home Loans, tackled emerging social media trends in her session “Social, Mobile and Local: Digital Marketing for Loan Originators.” The afternoon concluded with a forum discussing the Dodd-Frank Act and the CFPB, moderated by, from the University of Connecticut, Stephen Ross, Professor of Economics, and Phillip A. Austin, Chair of Public Policy.
 
Attendees walked away from the event, armed with a wealth of knowledge to carry into 2018, benefitting from the knowledge and ideas brought together for the one-day New England Mortgage Expo. 
 
Anthony Pepe -- Residential Home Funding
Scott Koondel of Mortgage News Network stops by the Residential Home Funding booth for a chat with Anthony Pepe
 
Brad Smith, Managing Director of Renovation Sales with Home Point Financial, details the ins and outs of renovation lending during his Breakout Session
Brad Smith, Managing Director of Renovation Sales with Home Point Financial, details the ins and outs of renovation lending during his Breakout Session
 
Reps from REMN Wholesale on the Exhibit Hall floor of Mohegan Sun
Reps from REMN Wholesale on the Exhibit Hall floor of Mohegan Sun
 
The crew from United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) were on hand at the New England Mortgage Expo to detail their company's product offerings
The crew from United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) were on hand at the New England Mortgage Expo to detail their company's product offerings

 
 
 
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Aaron Benton has joined the company's Hilton Head, S.C. branch as a Loan Officer
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Linda Murray has joined the company's Portland, Maine, branch as a Mortgage Loan Officer serving the southern Maine regionMortgage Network Inc. has announced that Linda Murray has joined the company's Portland, Maine, branch as a Mortgage Loan Officer serving the southern Maine region.
 
Murray, who grew up in Portland and now lives in Scarborough, brings six years of local real estate finance experience to Mortgage Network. Before joining the company, she served as a mortgage originator for Maine Capital Group and also worked in marketing and business development for two large local title companies.
 
"I'm so happy to have this opportunity at Mortgage Network,” said Murray. “I was drawn to the amazing culture and leadership from the executive level down to the local team players. The company has a great reputation for being customer service-centered and that's what is most important to me. I look forward to continuing to serve borrowers and homeowners in my community."
 
Murray is deeply involved in the community and spends a great deal of her personal time giving back to military veterans in particular. In 2016, Murray started a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called K9s on The Front Line, which adopts shelter dogs and trains them to become certified post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) service dogs, and gives them to Maine combat veterans free of charge. To date, the organization has provided nearly 80 dogs to veterans.
 
"People like Linda are the reason our borrowers continue to talk about their experience with Mortgage Network long after their loan is closed," said Dean Gilbert, Manager of Mortgage Network's Freeport branch. "I've known Linda for almost five years and she is truly dedicated to helping others, both in her work and her personal life. Beyond her track record with clients, what I've seen her do for others in the community is just amazing. I am excited to welcome Linda to our team and believe she will be a valuable part of our continued success."

 
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Aaron Benton has joined the company's Hilton Head, S.C. branch as a Loan Officer
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Sean Doucette has joined the company as a Mortgage Loan Officer serving the central Maine area, bringing more than 15 years of banking and mortgage experience to the company.
 
"Experienced mortgage professionals like Sean Doucette are why we have so many happy borrowers at Mortgage Network," said Julie Poulin, Mortgage Network Branch Manager. "His track record and dedication to borrowers and homeowners in the Central Maine area makes him a valuable part of our continued success."
 
Most recently, Doucette served as Loan Originator for Key Bank. Prior to that, he managed Northeast Bank for 10 years. Born and raised in the Lewiston, Auburn area, Doucette served on the Board of Directors for Senior's Plus, an aging and disability resource center in Western Maine. Doucette earned his Mortgage Loan Origination Certification from Xinnix Academy and has a BA in Business Management from the University of Maine.
 
"Houses in central Maine move fast due to a shortage of inventory," said Doucette. "Most sellers won't sign a purchase agreement unless financing is in order, so homebuyers need to get pre-qualified right away. I am thrilled to be joining Mortgage Network, a lender with an excellent reputation, impeccable customer service, and a commitment to get loans closed quickly and on time.”

 
Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP)
Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP)Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with him regarding his work with this trade association.
 
How and why did you get involved with the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals? Can you share the track within the association that led to the leadership role?
I was recruited to serve as a Director in 2008 for the Maine Mortgage Bankers Association. I was relatively new to the marketplace at the time, although I had been involved in exhibiting at industry conferences and had joined both the Maine Bankers Association and Maine Association of Mortgage Brokers. Around 2009 and 2010, the Maine Association of Mortgage Brokers experienced some attrition due to market conditions, and it was proposed to combine the two organizations. I participated on the Steering Committee, and out of that, came a new organization, the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals.
 
I served as a Board Director for several years, and chaired the Membership Committee for a period of time. In October of 2013, the Board nominated and selected me to become President, and I have been reappointed every year since.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join MAMP?
I believe members join our organization to stay connected, have access to industry information and educational opportunities, and to have a stronger political voice. Our mission is to educate, advocate and promote best practices in the mortgage industry in the state of Maine. We host nine breakfast meetings during the year, a wonderfully successful charity golf tournament, and also host an expo each year in November. We partner with other mortgage organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut in planning and promoting regional events such as the New England Mortgage Bankers Conference, and we partner with the national Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
 
We strive to help our members understand Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules and guidelines, as well as state and national legislative issues. We make sure to support legislation that benefits the industry, and come out against what we view as harmful. And, ultimately, we make sure that we, as an industry, do what its best for the borrower.
 
Hal Tippetts is a sales manager at Stewart Title in Portsmouth, N.H., and president of the Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (MAMP)What role does your association play in the federal and state legislative and regulatory environments, and are there any items on the current agenda you would like to highlight?
The Maine legislative session came to a close, and there was not a lot of legislation concerning us this year, for which we are grateful. In years past, we dealt with legislation that threatened to make the foreclosure process more difficult, and we came out against condo homeowner association super-lien capability. This year, we supported a bill that put Maine more in line with federal law allowing appraisal management companies (AMCs) to continue doing business in the state.
On a federal level, we send at least three members each year to participate in the MBA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. The national issues we are watching include GSE reform and the over-burdensome regulatory environment imposed by the CFPB and other federal agencies.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with MAMP?
As a group, I think we’ve grown significantly. MAMP is now up to 70 member organizations, and our budget has increased. We also have an increase in diversity in our membership, with credit unions, mortgage brokers, local and national banks, and affiliates that are very active in our organization. We have increased the number and overall quality of events available to members, and have improved our advocacy efforts.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
It’s a great question. Our Executive Director, Josh Wolfe, is in his 20s, and with his guidance we’ve tried to look for opportunities in recruiting Millennials. We partnered with the University of South Maine with a booth at their recent job fair. We made an effort to reach out and help Millennials understand that the mortgage industry is a great place for a career, and that there are a lot of entry-level jobs in the industry.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
The market is healthy and moving forward. We are currently a strong purchase market, and there is still refinance business continuing. However, in some areas–particularly southern Maine–we are struggling with the inventory issue. But we have been busy.

Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
 
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Aaron Benton has joined the company's Hilton Head, S.C. branch as a Loan Officer
Matthew Poulin has rejoined Mortgage Network Inc. as a Loan Officer in the company's Auburn, Maine branch officeMatthew Poulin has rejoined Mortgage Network Inc. as a Loan Officer in the company's Auburn, Maine branch office. Poulin will be responsible for serving homebuyers and homeowners throughout the Auburn, Lewiston, Brunswick, Bath and Topsham, Maine areas.
 
Born and raised in Lewiston, Maine, Poulin is experienced at originating and processing conventional, non-conventional, government, reverse residential and rehab mortgage loans. Poulin worked at bMortgage Network from 2015 until January 2017 and most recently served as a consumer retail lender for Mechanics Savings Bank.
 
"Mortgage Network strives every day to provide the best options for borrowers, which was the main reason I decided to rejoin the Mortgage Network family," Poulin said. "I am delighted to be 'home,' and I look forward to continuing to help my neighbors find the best financing that works for them."
 
Poulin is involved in youth sports and community activities. He is a Lewiston Baseball & Softball Little League Board director and volunteers for Junior Achievement of Maine and Read Across America in Lewiston. Poulin is also member of Uplift LA's Outreach Committee and was recently honored as one of Uplift LA's 40 Under 40. Poulin is the Head Coach of Central Maine Community College's men's hockey team, the Head Coach of the Maine Gladiators bantam youth hockey program based in Auburn, and the Assistant Coach of the two-time state champion Lewiston High School Blue Devils varsity hockey team.
 
"It feels great to have Matt back at Mortgage Network," said Lorimer Trafton, Mortgage Network District Manager. "Mortgage professionals with Matt's expertise, professionalism and dedication to the community are truly rare."

 
The 2017 Maine Mortgage Expo will be held Wednesday, November 15 at the Double Tree by Hilton, 363 Maine Mall Road in South Portland, Maine.
 
The 2017 Maine Mortgage Expo is an event that offers attendees dynamic speakers, networking opportunities, and access to exhibitors designed to help you and your business grow and succeed. With lower rates and a larger facility we are expecting a record turnout this year and we want you to be a part of it! Past presenters have included William Lund (Maine Bureau of Consumer Protection), Roger Ilsley (Essent Guaranty Inc.), and many others!
 
For more information, call (207) 712-0402 or visit MortgageMaine.com.

 
Motto Franchising LLC has announced the sale of its 100th Motto Mortgage franchise
Motto Mortgage, a member of the RE/MAX Holdings Inc. family of brands, now includes mortgage brokerage franchise opportunities in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine and New Mexico.
 
“We continue to strategically increase the number of states in which franchises are actively being sold,” said Motto Mortgage President Ward Morrison. “We’re the first national mortgage brokerage franchise in the country, and my team is eager to bring the Motto Mortgage model to these four additional states. Our continued growth is truly exciting.”