Tough regulations slash broker numbers

by MPA14 Nov 2014
As the number of licensed mortgage loan originators increases across the nation, one state is experiencing a massive decrease in brokers. Oregon has lost around two-thirds of its mortgage brokers since the housing bust.

An examination of data from the Oregon Employment Department showed in 2006, the average annual employment of brokers was 3,133. In January, it had dipped to 924, but increased slightly in June to 993, according to

Dakota Gale, owner of Portland's Green Mortgage Northwest told the website that when housing prices peaked, some "people were making $500,000 just pulling credit reports, basically.” However, in the current market he said brokers work harder to keep their business as lending standards have become stricter.

However, nationally, the number of licensed mortgage loan originators (MLOs) has increased, according to data from NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System). During the second quarter the number of state-licensed MLOs increased to 323,137 compared to 281,337 the same time last year and 207,187 in 2012.


  • by Bruce | 11/14/2014 10:23:38 AM

    The numbers may be a little deceiving since some banks register people who don't actually do mortgages, just refer to customers to their mortgage department like tellers, etc.

  • by Hardworking & Ethical in Oregon | 11/14/2014 11:31:10 AM

    Basically just pulling a credit report?!!! Dakota, are you kidding me?! I've been Licensed in Oregon & Washington since 2002 (and in Finance since 1972). Brokers do a full analysis for their customers (& Property) long before Underwriters even touch the file. We look at the FICO, determine credit worthiness, calculate DTI, LTV, review property values and try to be realistic on valuations via Public Record of property & like properties (within a given area). We review valuation trends in the area. All this before our clients spend the money for an Appraisal. And then of course, we figure out which program best suits our clients needs. And, of course anticipate and address any matters that may be misinterpreted or outside of strict definition of Underwriting overlays. My files have gone from being 2" thick to more than 3" thick. Much of this stems from repetitive, redundant paperwork regulators now require. Regulations have NOT made the paperwork or process more Consumer friendly at all! If anything the ream of paperwork is intimidating and confusing to the Borrowers. The drop off of Loan Originators in Oregon may be that, Oregon has more Licensing requirements, the costs are higher, more hours of CE are required and their Department of Finance is very, tough on Brokers. Addressing perceived Licensing Deficiencies is an ongoing challenge. It would almost appear that the State of Oregon would like the Entrepreneurial spirit of Brokers to disappear entirely and leave only (old school) Retail Banks to process Mortgages. No one I know, that is a Loan Originator in Oregon, has submitted a mortgage package based on just a Credit Report. Granted, I am certain there still are a very few Loan Originators in Oregon that simply throw paper against the wall to see what sticks but, they are few and far between. And, they don't stay in the business very long.

  • by Bsquare | 11/14/2014 12:56:03 PM

    Hardworking, Im with you. Ive been doing this for 27 yrs and only operating as a mortgage broker are your legal rights to proprietary knowledge discarded. How often does a client, whom had be denied at a bank, come to you for a mortgage and your quietly laughing knowing that institution would never do that mortgage. On the other hand these folk will.

    That knowledge is really why we are getting paid. Yes, there is the paper work, and yes it is intensive. Why are many leaving, simple cost. Work at a bank and the licensing fee is, what $85 per yr, and for a banker/broker its closer to $850-$1600 per yr. Worse, if your the company owner. Continuing education in multiple States and then multiple fees.

    Some ask, why do we still need a broker. Im seeing more and more people preferring to use a broker. As the individual fees increase, using a one stop shop that uses multiple sources for funding, minimizes consumer expense and depletes underwriting times.


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?