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'Brokers have always been complacent and lazy'

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Mortgage Professional America | 17 Sep 2014, 08:36 AM Agree 0
An MPA reader criticizes brokers for not working hard enough to defend their own interests
  • jnvaz | | 17 Sep 2014, 09:41 AM Agree 0
    Stating that brokers are lazy and uniformed is representative of most of the non broker community as well as the regulators. As a broker having to maintain the same level of compliance and documentation and being subject to the same audit requirements has created an overwhelming job load. Brokers are making less than bankers and therefore do not have the resources or staff to be as involved in fight and continue to make a living. Im guessing that most brokers--like us--have previously jumped in the ring in the past and dedicated time, resources, and funds to the cause--only to be totally ignored and even blamed for all evils in the state of the union address by our well versed in mortgage industry president. At this point we are struggling to keep alive and dedicating time to fight we cant win-until the democrats get their hands out of everyone's pocket and move over for republican led regulation. Apparently the reader / slammer is just as ignorant and mis informed as the brokers he points the fingers at.
  • eam0313 | | 17 Sep 2014, 09:45 AM Agree 0
    the reason brokers cannot get involved is because for years we have been hanging on by a thread financially. we do not have huge companies with cushy jobs that allow us to even be out at these events. we as owners have been forced to write mortgages to maintain our companies. we are busy out hustling a mortgage to stay open and feed our families and offer our employee's a chance to do the same. Banks are not constricted to a 3% rule yet the broker is. in reality the way QM is calculated we are in fact constricted to less than 3% and with wholesale lenders (banks) fearful to be too close to the rule they set maximums for us at 2.5% at most and 2.75% at some. so essentially based on a $200,000 mortgage the broker can make a maximum of $5,500 yet the bank can make a maximum or $6,000 upfront and unlimited SRP which is usually about another 3% for a grand total of $12,000 available to be made. so if you ask why the broker is not involved, the answer is we cannot afford to be involved. we are competing to maintain employees who demand a higher compensation in the current times because banks/lenders are offering them higher splits because they have more funds to play with. to keep our employees the broker must give up more to them. thus again squeezing the broker even tighter.
  • Tim | | 17 Sep 2014, 09:46 AM Agree 0
    Personally, I have responded to every poll put out by NAMB. However, when you are facing an 800 pound gorilla CFPB that has made it very clear that is does not value what we do, how hard we work and repeatedly discusses how we are the scourge of the industry, there is little reason to respond. They don't care what we think anyway and we know it.
  • Sheila | | 17 Sep 2014, 09:54 AM Agree 0
    Experienced, ethical, small brokerages are doing what they always have: taking care of their customers. In this, heavily regulated, environment, we work more hours to do it already, without spending time at industry events where we are not heard anyway. It is hard not to be frustrated and even complacent (when it comes to defending ourselves) against a government fed by large companies with big pockets who can spend lobby money to defend their interests, against us. As indicated by the fact that brokers are the only ones most of the new regulations are pointed at, it seems fair to say that we are a threat and that the money and resources are directed at what the big banks see as leveling the playing field for themselves. How can a small company fight that? Banding together as NAMB sounds great but what have we really accomplished against the big money to this point?
  • | | 17 Sep 2014, 09:57 AM Agree 0
    Michael needs a last name to be held accountable for his words. Brokers are the most educated group in the industry. Sure, there are a few questionable ones still out there, but significantly more that fled to other models and operate on ignorance.
  • | | 17 Sep 2014, 10:05 AM Agree 0
    I have been a mortgage broker for over 16 years. I work hard with long hours like the other mortgage brokers. We have been the scapegoat of the mortgage crisis which is still a dark cloud around us today. I am not complacent nor lazy and I don't appreciate the comment. If I had an opportunity to defend my profession, I certainly would do it. Who is going to listen?
    Janis Chenery
    Gold Star Mortgage Services
    MC-1371
    NMLS#272253 www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org
  • Griff | | 17 Sep 2014, 10:18 AM Agree 0
    I can't say that brokers are lazy. I know I'm not. What I see is that NAMB could do a better job of reaching out to every mortgage broker and asking them to join up. I don't mean a random email, but how long would it take someone from the state level of NAMB to pick up the phone and call all brokers? The NAMB fee is not significant; there is no reason every broker should not belong to NAMB. How about NAMB help connect brokers? I live in a fairly populated area, but I can tell you there are few real mortgage brokers. Most companies are mortgage bankers and they don't care about brokers. They may have the privilege of acting like a broker in some transactions, but because they get to charge whatever they want, just like a bank does, they could not care less about the broker business.

    NAMB needs to take a hard look at why only 5300 folks belong. I think they'll find there is not enough attention at the local level.
  • Harry | | 17 Sep 2014, 10:44 AM Agree 0
    I became a "Third Party Originator" (TPO) in 10/1976. One of the first in the USA. I originated 90% & 95% conventional mortgages for FHLMC seller/servicer lenders. Before the S&L industry collapsed in 1987, I enjoyed a very nice living. After FNMA allowed seller/servicers to originate mortgages and sale TPO mortgages to FNMA, my world changed. I've seen many changes over my 42 year career, but the Dodd/Franks law was a disaster for the TPO. The federally regulated banking industry (Funding Lenders) does not disclose rebates as the TPO is required to deliver to consumer. This lack of disclosure lowers the APR disclosed on the banking industry GFE and give them an unfair advantage over the TPO. The banking industry would jump up and down with joy, if the the TPO would disappear permanently. There are good and bad representatives throughout our society and there have been plenty of bad players on the banking side. The TPO plays an important role in providing the real estate buyer/owner with competitive rates and mortgage process information. The feds and banking industry are doing their best to eliminate the TPO competition. Harry Jensen www.freeandclear.com
  • Joe | | 17 Sep 2014, 10:46 AM Agree 0
    Start small. Make the bank originators take the same test. We are the only industry I know of in America where two workers perform the same function and only one has to be qualified. If I wanted to be a stock broker, I would have to pass the series 7 regardless whether or not I worked for a depository institution. The qualification standard is the weakest link in the equal application of the law problem that the current standards have.
  • | | 17 Sep 2014, 11:12 AM Agree 0
    As a broker for over twenty years and a banker for the last 7 seven years, i have always joined associations that protect our interest. NAMB is $50 to join. If every broker (over a million of you) joined, believe me, this would not have happened. I guess some of you feel that is too much of an investment. If you remember, if you have been in the business in the nineties, they were going to take away our SRP. CAMB at that time, put together a letter writing campaign and the Feds back down. they were swamped with letters and post cards from our Association in California and throughout the country. This is how it works. I have seen the Little League syndrome in our business for so many years now. A few that care and the rest who don't, as long as my son can play, I will let everyone else do the work.
    I don't think lazy is the term, but apathy is a better term. Shame on all of you for not being involved and congratulations to all who have joined and got involved.
  • glen | | 17 Sep 2014, 11:43 AM Agree 0
    the slammer is a douchebag. end of story.
  • SBHarkness | | 17 Sep 2014, 12:55 PM Agree 0
    I have to agree begrudgingly! As a broker for 21 years that had been standing on the tallest chair, screaming at the top of my lungs that we needed to make our voices heard since 2008 and very few of you took notice. That being said, I would like to go back in time when brokers had the lion's share of the business. Nothing that the mega-banks could do as far as advertising with their endlessly deep pockets seemed to matter, why? I submit to you it is because the brokers did a better job taking care of the needs of the local community. They did this at a lower rate and cost; consumers are not stupid, they did their shopping. What happened to destroy the broker was the mortgage market meltdown which the mega banksters saw an opportunity to blame on the mortgage brokers. This despite the fact that it was the banks that invented these mortgage programs that are now called "liar mortgages." It was the banks that underwrote the mortgages the broker submitted! It was the banks that sold these into the financial markets. In fact, it was one particular bank, Goldman Sachs, that exacerbated this situation for their own financial gain. They were largely responsible for AIG failing which started the domino's falling. They did this by greatly undervaluing the mortgages they were holding despite the fact they were performing (people were making their mortgage payments). The used their behemoth size to pressure other banks to do same. AIG was forced to pay out billions on mortgages that as I said were performing. This strategy could of taken Goldman down too but the mega banksters had that covered. They had their people on both parties put in place over years of selective campaign contributions to make sure they would always be taken care of. Hello Robert Rubin.. When Congress should of been voting to bust these banks up into more manageable sized players they did they opposite tapping the US Taxpayer to bail out AIG. The taxpayer money went in the front door and out the back to Goldman Sachs and others. Now they are just putting the last few nails in the coffin of the mortgage broker but I am afraid very little can be done until we get clean up campaign finance contributions, get rid of lobbyist, and lets not forget term limits.
  • John Councilman | | 17 Sep 2014, 01:11 PM Agree 0
    Just a quick note... Michael, who accused brokers of being lazy... some are but nearly 50% of NAMB membership are originators for bankers who are also heavily impacted by no longer being allowed overage and limits on retirement account contributions. My take is that people are so busy disclosing, re-disclosing, processing and reprocessing, that they can't spend a lot of time on anything else. I will say that we must have been at different conventions. Everyone I talked to was incredibly upbeat at NAMB National. People were volunteering to man committees by the dozens. Exhibitors were ecstatic. Even the CFPB was talking level playing field. You can't help but be encouraged. I'm excited!
  • Michael | | 17 Sep 2014, 01:26 PM Agree 0
    There have been many great comments here.

    Now that most of you are mad as hell at Michael..... Get off your LAZY butts. walk away from your apathy, join your state associations and NAMB!!!

    Oh Yeah.... and put your anger to work and get involved. Don't just sit around and bitch or complain. NOTHING is going to change unless you each get involved!

    And for those of you who have been active fighting our political battles ... THANK YOU. Yes there are many hard working and active brokers. Unfortunately the active ones are outnumbered 100 fold by those who will always sit on the fence and let the rest fight the battles. And for those of you who think you are too busy trying to stay alive to get involved with your state and national associations.... don't be surprised when you find yourselves unemployed. Because if you don't get actively involved the banks and direct lenders will put you out of business.

    We all as mortgage brokers and mortgage officers MUST take an active stand and require our wholesale partners take a stand for us and quit hiding behind Dodd-Frank and the CFPB. Require that they put their money and clout in our corner. Use only those wholesale lenders that don't do retail or set up branches. If your wholesale lenders won't stand with you DON"T use them. Support only those who support you!

    I have been a broker for over 30 years. I have worked for mortgage bankers, brokers, and started my own company 25 years ago. I had 5 branches and 40 mortgage officers working for me all over the state. At one time I was a board member for our state chapter. For more years than I care to think about I beat the bushes trying to get mortgage brokers and their mortgage officers to join their state and national associations. ALL TO NO AVAIL!!! Even during the good times when I didn't have a mortgage officer making less than $150K a year, I couldn't get any of them to spend a couple bucks on membership and get involved. Ditto for the other mortgage brokers I pleaded with. I will say it again.... MOST mortgage brokers and most mortgage officers are cheap and lazy. This is not just my opinion but the opinion of the majority of the mortgage broker owners I have known during my career, and your state and national associations will tell you the same.

    Again....for those of you who have been actively involved...thank you.

    Now for those of you who haven't figured it out... I am Michael.... Michael Grant, president of AmeriBanc Mortgage.

  • | | 17 Sep 2014, 02:50 PM Agree 0
    I have been in the mortgage industry for past 10 years and become a broker with my own company about 4 years ago. I am currently a member of both NAMB and CAMP and appreciate the work they both do. The challenge is not enough brokers get involved and I understand that as brokers including myself we are limited in time but at the very least becoming a member to either association and paying fees helps to fight the cause on behalf of mortgage brokers. Both associations provide valuable information through emails and workshops they organize. Just like any industry we have lots of hard working, intelligent, dedicated professionals who put provide great service to their clients and we also have some bad apples. So go out there and joint your local state and national association and pay your fees and understand change takes time and energy!

    I attend NAMB conference and was very appreciative to NAMB its board, lenders and providers for workshops and information provided. Thank you!
  • Laura | | 18 Sep 2014, 05:01 PM Agree 0
    To add to the comments already made, let's not forget the full time job it takes to log, record, and complete the quarterly NMLS report! Just another evening job I have to do to maintain accurate records. On weekends this fall, I will need to squeeze-in the "annual continuing education" required to renew the NMLS license. "Brokers have always been complacent and lazy"??? Ryan Smith, I challenge you to walk in my shoes for a month! You wouldn't last a week.
  • Michael | | 25 Sep 2014, 10:58 AM Agree 0
    Following up after my original comments....

    Please note that when Ryan Smith quoted me he said, "An MPA reader criticizes brokers for not working hard enough to defend their own interests". Many of the commenters missed the most important part of my comment and his...."Not working hard enough to Defend Their Own Interests".

    Instead many got their bloomers in a dither about "Not working hard" and missed the point entirely. Neither Ryan nor I said anything about not working hard to make a living, or not working hard to stay in legal compliance, or any of the day to day things we do to serve our customers. Those of us who are "professionals" in this industry do indeed to these things and work hard.

    BUT... as professionals... as an industry... we brokers and our mortgage officers have dropped the ball big time when it comes to getting involved fighting those who want to make our lives difficult and put us out of business. We have NOT supported our state and national associations in the fight to protect our jobs. The few who are fighting this fight are NOT enough. They CAN'T do it by themselves. We need EVERY mortgage broker and their mortgage officers to get actively involved. Letters need to be written, phone calls made, and pressure applied to our Senators and Representatives to change these laws or get voted out of office.

    For this I have said, and until I see a real difference will continue to say... Mortgage Brokers are Complacent and Lazy when it comes to protecting and fighting for their interests. Sadly I wish it wasn't so. Because if things don't change we brokers will be come extinct, and the only place you will see a mortgage broker will be in a museum.
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