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Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA)
Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine spoke with Dean regarding his work with the state trade group.
Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA) 
How and why did you get involved in the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association? Can you share the track that led to your leadership role in the group?
“If you’re working in the mortgage industry in Rhode Island, it’s because RIMBA has been working for you.” That phrase is exactly what led me to getting involved in RIMBA. I began as a Board member 10 years ago (frankly, I should have committed much earlier in my career) and served as the organization’s Vice President before being named President in 2016.
 
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join RIMBA?
Three different reasons … First, to advocate for industry-related affairs and issues, particularly on the legislative side. This is hugely important to all of us. Second, to network with industry peers and colleagues. And third, to become informed and educated in the pursuit of excellence in their career. There are other reasons, but these are the big three.
 
What role does RIMBA 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 have a dedicated Legislative Committee focused on proposed bills being sponsored and discussed in the Rhode Island General Assembly. Our state is quite political and we have an inordinate amount of legislative activity for a state of our size. The RIMBA team stays on top of it all. Our legislative season just wrapped up and the largest issues we faced were all centered around workplace-related legislation, equity pay, paid time off, things like that.
 
On the national side, we work closely with the MBA using weekly updates and as-needed ‘Call to Action’ instructions for our members.
 
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
Building brand awareness, improving advocacy and relevance for our organization. RIMBA’s membership growth, educational sessions, communication protocol, committee depth and industry engagement has improved by 30 percent over the last 18 months. We have made great strides.
 
Dean Harrington is Chief Executive Officer at Shamrock Financial Corporation in Rumford, R.I., and President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA)What is synergy between RIMBA and the national MBA?
Principally, it’s a legislative connection. We participate annually in the MBA Legislative Day in D.C. and stay in constant contact with the national MBA on all matters facing our industry. We also have a nice balance of educational content that MBA plays a big part in.
 
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
That is the big question, isn’t it? We can’t all be my age in this game! Candidly, we need to be willing to invest in young people. That means hiring, training and developing the next generation of mortgage professionals realizing that the payoff in doing so is tomorrow, not today. This is both a leap of faith and a challenge with today’s narrow operating margins.
 
I’m skeptical that we can get curriculum advancements with local colleges and universities, programs that can help build the next consumer finance professionals. I think we have to own this issue ourselves. RIMBA is set to pilot a “Mortgage University” cooperative program to go about solving this collectively. Stay tuned.
 
How would you define your state's housing market?
Typical of the nation’s housing market at this point … plenty of buyers, but not enough sellers.
 
People ask, “Why don’t we have inventory?” and my answer is, “Because we don’t have inventory.” Is that circular logic? Sure, but truth is, until people see homes for sale that they want to buy, they aren’t’ likely to put their own on the market. Obviously, we also didn’t build enough middle-income housing in the last decade either, so we’re all feeling that as well.

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 named Chris Horley Manager of its new Newport, R.I. branch office. Horley brings 23 years of mortgage banking experience in the Rhode Island area to Mortgage Network.
Mortgage Network Inc. has named Chris Horley Manager of its new Newport, R.I. branch office
 
"Given his long experience serving borrowers and homeowners in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Chris is the perfect person to head up our newly established Newport office," said Jesse Kenner Branch Manager of the Mortgage Network Providence, R.I. office. "He's a welcome addition to our team and will be a valuable part of our continued growth and success."
 
Most recently, Horley served as a Senior Loan Officer for Citizens Bank. He is a lifetime Rhode Island resident and has lived the past three years in Newport. He is an active affiliate member of the Newport County Board of Realtors and the Newport Chamber of Commerce.
 
"The success and career satisfaction I have achieved in my career as a mortgage loan officer is a direct result of being able to help people achieve the dream of homeownership or to improve their financial situation to create an even better home," Horley said. "Homeownership is a lifetime experience and I will use my experience and high-touch service to ensure a memorable process. By joining Mortgage Network, I'll be able to provide the best experience to my customers."

 
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 Jack Flynn has joined the company as a Loan Officer in its Providence, R.I. branch. Flynn brings to Mortgage Network more than 18 years of mortgage banking experience in the Greater Boston and Rhode Island area. Most recently, he was a Loan Originator for loanDepot.
Mortgage Network Inc. has announced that Jack Flynn has joined the company as a Loan Officer in its Providence, R.I. branch
 
A U.S. Army veteran, Flynn has served in the Rhode Island Army National Guard for more than 25 years. He is an affiliate member of the Newport County Board of Realtors, serving on the Community Outreach Committee. He is also a member of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors and the Northern Rhode Island Board of Realtors, where he is a member of its Education Committee.
 
“We’re happy to add an experienced and dedicated mortgage professional like Jack to our New England team,” said Jesse Kenner, Mortgage Network’s Providence, R.I. Branch Manager. “We’re confident he will be a valuable part of our continued growth and success.”
 
“I am thrilled to be joining Mortgage Network and look forward to helping all clients, particularly first-time homebuyers and veterans, find the right financial solutions for their situation,” Flynn said. “The local market is particularly challenging for people looking to buy their first home as there are a lot of prospective buyers and only a limited number of homes. The best advice I can give in these circumstances is to come in and talk to us first and get preapproved for a mortgage so you’ll be ready to act when you find the right home.”

 
Frank O’Donnell, Senior Regulatory Compliance Analyst-Project Coordinator/AVP; Dennis Hardiman Embrace Home Loans CEO; and Claudia Mobilia, Senior Vice President of Operations (photo credit: Charlotte Saul)
Embrace Home Loans recently held its first-ever sales conference in Newport, R.I. More than 300 Loan Officers, Processors and other industry professionals learned productivity, social media, marketing and personal growth strategies.
Attendees learned how to leverage Embrace's MBS Highway sales tool to increase production and how to leverage new loan programs, such as HomeReady for low- and moderate-income buyers.
 
Steve Richman, a highly recognized sales trainer with Genworth Mortgage Insurance, spoke about the need for mortgage professionals to avoid common business clichés and the need to focus on updating their business plans to improve communication and differentiate themselves from competitors.
 
In the photo above, Embrace conducted a Charity Happy Hour, where attendees voted for vendor’s choice of charitable organization. The organization that won the most votes was the Keri Anne O’Donnell Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships and grants for young people to further their education in the performing arts. Pictured here, from left to right: Frank O’Donnell, Senior Regulatory Compliance Analyst-Project Coordinator/AVP; Dennis Hardiman Embrace Home Loans CEO; and Claudia Mobilia, Senior Vice President of Operations (photo credit: Charlotte Saul).

 
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

 
 
 
The nation’s smallest state is enjoying an oversized housing boom, according to new data from the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
The nation’s smallest state is enjoying an oversized housing boom, according to new data from the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
 
During June, single-family home sales experienced a 10.2 percent year-over-year spike while the median sales price soared 12.2 percent from a year earlier to reach $275,000, the highest level in nearly since September 2007. Condominium sales increased 5.6 percent from June 2016 while the median sales price rose to $212,500, a 2.2 percent increase. 
 
“It has taken us 10 years to approach those levels again but this time, home prices aren’t predicated on a speculative market fueled by sub-prime mortgages,” said Brenda L. Marchwicki, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. “Instead, high demand and a lack of inventory is driving prices up. Last year was a record-breaking year for sales and this year, the momentum has kept going. Homes are being sold almost as soon as they hit the market. Buyers need to be prepared to act quickly, especially at the lower price levels.” 
Following a first quarter in which Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions added 12 new account executives
Following a first quarter in which Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions added 12 new account executives, the company is continuing its aggressive growth by becoming licensed in Rhode Island, launching a Correspondent Channel and adding five new AEs to help brokers grow their business. Lisa Lee joined Angel Oak in Salt Lake City; along with Mike Wilson in San Diego; Stacy Eads in Birmingham, Ala.; Chris Farruggio in Phoenix, Ariz.; and Tricia James in Orange County, Calif.
Following a first quarter in which Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions added 12 new account executives, the company is continuing its aggressive growth by becoming licensed in Rhode Island
 
Lee said, “Angel Oak is able to offer brokers an option for their customers to get into the home of their dreams or to help them achieve their immediate goals, rather than turning customers away. It’s exciting to be with a ‘Pioneer of Non QM’ in this new generation of mortgage.”
 
“Angel Oak’s growing reputation for being the leader in Non-prime mortgage loans, prompted me to take a closer look at the organization,” said Eads. “I’m very excited to be a part of the Angel Oak team and now able to provide these programs to my colleagues. I look forward to spending the next chapter of my career with Angel Oak, where providing great service, outstanding programs and closing loans are goals shared by the entire staff.”
 
Steven Winokur, chief marketing officer for Angel Oak, said, “The understanding and acceptance of non-QM programs has become more widespread throughout the lending landscape. We have seen this in conversations with brokers and investors, as well as from account executives looking to join us. We’re excited about these new AEs and along with the launch of our correspondent channel, expect continued great things in the coming months.”

 
Bethany Johnsen has joined Mortgage Network Inc. as a loan officer in the company’s Providence, R.I. office

Bethany Johnsen has joined Mortgage Network Inc. as a loan officer in the company’s Providence, R.I. office where she will be responsible for serving homebuyers and homeowners throughout the state. Johnsen brings 15 years of industry experience in the Rhode Island area to Mortgage Network, including an extensive background in real estate sales. A Rhode Island native, Johnsen joined Mortgage Network from Simsbury Bank in Warwick, R.I., where she was a mortgage loan originator. Prior, she spent 12 years as a Realtor in Rhode Island before transitioning to mortgage lending with Bank of America. Johnsen earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Rhode Island College.

“Bethany brings an impressive professional background to Mortgage Network’s Providence office,” said Jesse Kenner, manager of Mortgage Network’s Providence branch. “Few loan originators have her extensive direct experience in real estate sales, giving her valuable perspective in working with real estate professionals and homebuyers in the area. She is uniquely positioned to add tremendous value to each transaction, creating the excellent customer experiences that Mortgage Network is renowned for.”

Johnsen noted that New England home sales are promising for 2016, particularly in Rhode Island.

“Single-family home sales were up nearly 10 percent by the end of 2015, and based on industry research we expect first-time buyers to play an especially important role in the market,” said Johnsen. “I am looking forward to using all of my real estate and financial experience to help borrowers realize their homeownership dreams and to providing the industry’s best service to the real estate community. I am thrilled to be part of Mortgage Network’s team of experts in my home state of Rhode Island.”

Newport Rhode Island Newport Bridge Pic

A large number of homeowners and renters living in the Ocean State are drowning under the costs related to their housing, according to the 2015 Housing Fact Book released by HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University (HWRI).

Using the metric that defines housing cost burden as spending more than 30 percent of one’s income on residential needs, the new HWRI report determined that half of all Rhode Island renter households and about one-third of mortgaged homeowner households are burdened by housing costs. And being mortgage-free is no protection from this dilemma, as the report added one in five homeowners that no longer have to repay a home loan spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

The situation has become worse over the years. HWRI found there was a 33 percent increase among mortgaged Rhode Island homeowner households considered cost burdened between 2000 and 2013. During the same 13-year period, cost burden levels rose 40 percent increase for homeowner households without a mortgage and 38 percent in renter households.

“Our analysis of additional indicators found that the state’s low vacancy rate, low rates of new housing authorized by building permits, and high costs of construction have resulted in housing costs that are high relative to incomes in Rhode Island,” said Nicole Lagace, director of HWRI. “For the past decade, these housing costs have outpaced the incomes for Rhode Islanders at all income levels ... These housing cost burdens decrease the purchasing power of many Rhode Islanders and hold back the state’s economy. Policymakers need to advance housing affordability as a public policy priority and invest in housing as an economic driver for Rhode Island.”

The nation’s smallest state is seeing an oversized spike in foreclosures. According to a new report that will be released later today, Rhode Island experienced a 30 percent year-over-year increase in foreclosure deed filings during the fourth quarter of 2014 and a 10 percent increase in 2014 versus 2013.

The new report, which was compiled by Roger Williams University’s HousingWorks RI research group and obtained ahead of its release by the Providence Journal, also found that 11,609 residential foreclosure deeds were filed in the state between 2009 and the end of 2014, representing 6.5 percent of all residential properties carrying mortgages.

“Nearly 16 percent of Rhode Island mortgages are underwater,” the report stated, adding that the Ocean State “has the second highest percentage of serious delinquent mortgages in New England (Maine was first) and ranks fifth in the nation.” The report also cited data compiled by Cigna that determined Rhode Island ranked fourth in the nation for homeowners who are paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

The Rhode Island municipalities that experienced the highest rise in foreclosure deed filings were Westerly (a 150 percent increase), Hopkinton (143 percent), Tiverton (107 percent) and Exeter (100 percent). In the capital of Providence, the affluent East Side of the city saw a 19 percent drop in completed foreclosures last year, while the rest of the city saw a 24 percent increase.