Mortgage broker turns the tables on disability tax dilemmas

How you can make an impact on legislation too

Mortgage broker turns the tables on disability tax dilemmas

In the world of mortgage financing, turning conversations into impactful legislation isn’t your everyday task. However, for Brendan McKay (pictured), owner and senior loan officer at McKay Mortgage Company and serving member of the Broker Action Coalition (BAC), it’s become somewhat of a specialty, particularly due to his impact on providing benefits to disabled beneficiaries through the HB 809.

Speaking to MPA, McKay said that the process begins with identifying a problem. And, in his role as a mortgage broker, he observed a snag in the system where disabled veterans, though tax-exempt, were still burdened by taxes due to timing issues.

“I started talking to other mortgage professionals I knew, who also care about legislative issues, pointed it out to them and asked ‘what can we do to fix this?’” McKay told MPA. “One summer, and less than 12 months later, the Governor of Maryland was signing it into law.”

McKay’s story is a testament to the power of conversation and the impact individuals can have in creating change, particularly when armed with viable solutions.

“Where I see the role of individual loan officers, mortgage brokers and just people when it comes to advocating, is just being out there and spreading awareness,” said McKay. “It’s not only talking about problems, although that’s certainly part of it - it’s even better if you have a solution.”

How mortgage professionals can take action

Now, in his role as chief advocacy officer, McKay aims to empower more people to engage with their local and state politicians. He encourages individuals to realize the power they already possess and to take steps to address issues that matter to them.

“Most people think that their local or state politicians see them as inaccessible,” he said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Local and state politicians - even your congressional representatives in DC - are incredibly accessible. If you email them about something, you will hear back from them - especially if you actually have a solution to the issue. I want to encourage more people not to be more empowered, but realize how empowered they already are.”

The current legislative agenda includes tackling trigger leads, particularly House Bill 4198, which has bipartisan support. McKay highlights the industry-wide consensus against trigger leads due to their invasive nature and violation of data privacy.  

“Everything we come to you with is going to be focused on how it benefits or helps the consumers, not how it helps mortgage brokers,” said McKay. “Because what’s good for the American consumer is good for the mortgage broker.”

Another significant challenge on the agenda is the FHFA’s 15 basis point surcharge on third-party originated loans. McKay revealed the results of a data study that disproves the claimed risk disparity between brokered and retail loans. He argued that this surcharge disproportionately affects first-time homebuyers and individuals from underserved communities, going against the FHFA’s mission to assist these groups.

Key to success in the mortgage industry

For McKay, the key to success in the mortgage industry is gaining operational knowledge. He believes that having a holistic understanding of the industry, from guidelines to process building, provides a competitive advantage. 

“My selling point as a brokerage is low prices, and just being a mortgage broker gives us an advantage there,” McKay said. 

In the last four years, McKay has witnessed a transformation in technology accessibility for smaller-scale operations. He encourages mortgage brokers and originators to embrace new technologies, citing examples like for pipeline management. And, according to McKay, breaking old habits and adopting more efficient technologies can enhance productivity and even provide more time for personal pursuits.

“I would encourage all originators, and especially mortgage brokers, to look into some of the technology that’s available,” he said. “We use for all of our pipeline management - you can build out automations and pipeline management and all these different things way beyond just a simple CRM. That would have been impossible for a four person company to have done as recently as five years ago.

“Jump on that stuff and it’ll increase your efficiency, your productivity and just let you spend more time with family. I highly encourage people to break their old habits and open their mind to new and easier ways of doing things - even if it makes them a little uncomfortable initially.”