Friday, December 21, 2007

One last post before the drunken sing us into 2008.

It's December you say?! I know the mortgage industry has had its share of press as of late but I have been asleep at the wheel here on this ol' blog. I did attempt a post in November but gave up, I imagine its title "Random rants on the mortgage meltdown inspired by Jose Cuervo." had nothing to do with the writer's block I was experiencing. At the risk of scaring a few of you away I am willing to share an excerpt as some of it may prove to be educational...

"I admit as I sit here nursing my margarita this evening my mind is reeling on all that is a buzz in the mortgage world these days and honestly short of becoming a chain smoking, cursing, raging witch of an alcoholic I can't keep up! But seriously, unless you live under a rock it is inescapable... Oprah, 5 o'clock news and then some, the paper, the Internet, it [the mortgage meltdown] seems to be copy editors' favorite subject. I mention Oprah only because I caught part of a show last week on TIVO and Suze Orman preaching to a single mother who has lost her house that she is blessed. A house is a house but a home is what you make it... I get that! I have been tested enough times in my life (and I know there are many more tests to come, thank you) to make that connection. Suze has some great advice, I have loaned out 9 steps to financial freedom to many a friend, but where did the collar come from? Sorry Pastor John : )

From my perspective as a "Mortgage Broker" we have taken a large portion of the blame for what is happening in the housing market and what is lacking in the media frenzy is that yes, mortgage brokers are loan originators but not all loan originators are are mortgage brokers. As a broker I am required to be fingerprinted and pass a background check. As a broker I am required to take a 20 hour course and pass a test to be licensed, to maintain that license I am required to complete 20 hours of continuing education every 24 months. As a broker I am required to disclosed yield spread premium (YSP). Loan originators employed by banks or "Mortgage Bankers" are not required to do any of the above, The big question is: why would you want to do business with someone who isn't? Predatory lending is not limited to the bad actors playing the role of a broker. Take a look at Ameriquest, Countrywide and even more bewildering KATU's report."

Now sober, with that said I plan on keeping a close eye on HB 3915 which would require a National Registry of ALL Mortgage Originators, higher standards for ALL Mortgage Originators, and preserves YSP which allows consumers to finance points and fees, and a Mortgage Originators the ability to be paid for services performed. Like most bills it is not perfect so I have some concerns I will follow. You too can track it here.

Otherwise, I am lucky in this market to have a pipeline. I owe a big "Thank You!" to those this year who have given me a shot after stumbling upon my blog. To those of you who haven't you should ; ) Have a blessed Holiday Season and peace in the New Year.