There is one thing for certain, mortgage banking will have an interesting future. Although much is still unknown until the latter part of 2011, I cannot recall a more challenging time. To own a mortgage company at a time when major historical political and economic events are occurring on a daily basis is exciting, at least.
Our industry is not the first to experience devastation followed by complete overhaul. It has happened before and will again. One commonality of such events is a flurry of information and legislation that makes it very difficult to make sense of what our future holds. The amount of changes mortgage bankers will face is unprecedented, and how those changes play out, and what new requirements will look like, will affect the way the mortgage business is done for decades to come.
We had an opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill a few times this year. We remain committed to be involved with our trade associations, law makers, and lawyers to offer a voice during the process of interpretation and implementation that will affect everyone involved in mortgage production. My only question is “why aren’t there more of us”?
This is a pivotal time for everyone in mortgage. None more so than the originator. The rules swirling around the subject of compensation change are so ambiguous that our industry is grappling with basic interpretation. At a micro level I must get asked at least once a day “what is this going to mean to me”? I think what is most puzzling is the passive approach of those that would be most affected are taking. The Mortgage Action Alliance, MORPAC and various other voices in congress have made it all too easy for mortgage professionals to activate and make their voices heard. Our numbers are strong and involvement low. These crucial formative months are of paramount importance. Especially with the recent power change in congress ready to take things in a different direction. The stage is basically set to influence things.
It’s funny. I was at the CMBA Compliance conference recently in Irvine, California where Deb Bortner, the Ombudsmen for NMLS from Washington State was speaking. She said, matter of factly, the reason the mortgage industry has been materially impacted while those depository banks and realtors have been largely spared is simply due to the fact you (mortgage industry) have such a weak lobby. My question is why? Especially when it comes to Loan Originators. From the disjointed licensing environment to the basic way they earn a living, everything will change. When II talk to agents, at least in my office, about getting involved especially financially I usually get a defeated look. Why? We are a formidable as a group. I believe I’ve heard that if everyone in mortgage gave just $50.00 per year we would have one of the most powerful lobbies in congress. And, can you imagine what 300,000 well placed emails sent to your appropriate members of congress might mean right now. MAA makes that as simple as a few key strokes.
I don’t mean to sound tutorial, I am just amazed at how little it would take to have a meaningful impact if only it were for basic organization. Until that happens these times wrought with change are more likely to bring challenges than reprieve. Especially for the originator.
-Written for the CMBA-