Note from the Founder by Robert Pegg

by 05 Dec 2008
The month of December is traditionally a slow period for the mortgage industry, especially for brokers and wholesale lending in general. Now add in the brutal downturn this market has likely ever seen, and suddenly past winter months look like boom times ? or does it? Let me describe what I have actually been witnessing in the trenches of our specific loan originating industry, because it seems to be quite different than what is being reported. We?ve just arrived back from Las Vegas after attending the NAMB West expo. We had a great time, and met with many industry insiders. The turn out was much better than expected and so was the overall sentiment from the attendees. There were also some painfully obvious vacancies from this year?s expo as compared to prior year?s events i.e. vendors such as Indymac Bank and Countrywide Home Loans. Loan modification companies were out in full force, picking up this vacant vendor space. In my own interest of understanding where our market is today, I made it a point to ask each broker or loan officer visiting our booth how their business was coming along. Nine times out of ten, I received positive answers ranging from ?pretty good? to ?we are the busiest we have ever been?. In fact, I don?t think I heard from anyone who said they were doing poorly. You could attribute this sentiment to a number of variables ? less competition, rates, reduction in home values, or simply folks just hyping themselves in desperate times in order to make themselves not look like the ?last of the Mohicans?. Either way, there is absolutely no reason or benefit for them to tell me otherwise. Another reason I doubt this was just ?hyping? themselves, is my own relationships with a few loan originating shops located in the state of Virginia. Before I go into this I want to offer a small disclosure - market performance is regional and can/will depend on many factors. Whew, I?m glad I said that ? I can just imagine the flurry of emails pointing this out to me if I hadn?t. Now, as I was saying, these loan originators consist of a few different broker/net branch shops and one contract loan processor (CLP). All loan origination shops have reported back with a definite increase in volume this month. Their reasons? Purchases of distressed or foreclosed properties using primarily FHA financing. In addition, the CLP, who services approximately three loan origination shops, has reported increased volume as well. At last count, the CLP pipeline had nearly 30 loans, which is a record set since this CLP started processing loans altogether four years ago. This volume was in the pipeline before current rates hit a bottom in late November. They would all like to take credit for their own influx of volume by pointing out their superior service or talented LO?s, which very well may be the case. But, I would be willing to bet, if you were to scrape away this basic human reaction to success you would quickly realize that there is an overall DEMAND for YOU ? the loan originator. Keep up the fight, Robert Pegg



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