By David Lykken
Special to MPA
The Federal Housing Authority has had a ruling in effect for a number of years that it is considering changing. As it is in the process of editing its rules, the FHA
has opened up the floor to comments from the industry on what to do to improve its guidelines. As industry leaders, we need to take action and seize this opportunity. The results could be a big difference for the industry—and for the economy.
As of right now, the FHA requires a minimum of three years experience for DE underwriters. However, that experience must also fall within the last five years. That means that if someone is out of the market for five years, they are automatically disqualified. There are a number of legitimate reasons that a person may be out of the industry for such a short period of time—education and child rearing probably being among the most common—but the absence from the industry doesn't necessarily mean the inability to take part in it again.
What we need are softer guidelines that allow the DE underwriters to jump back into the business. Perhaps there could be courses or certifications for reentry; perhaps the time period could be pushed out to seven to eight years. There are many ways in which the terms can be modified to allow the industry to fill DE underwriter positions. The more we are able to bolster our FHA teams, the better we are able to help consumers who need it most. So let's take action and do what we can to grow the industry on this issue. It's a small way to make a big difference.
A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently, he started producing a 1 minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across the United States.