"First of all, are you like a real estate broker, in addition to your specialist title? Are you a consultant /broker or just an educational resource? What is your fee for consultation?"
First of all, I am not a real estate broker. I am a Correspondent Lender and I am a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS).
As Correspondent Lender, we fund a majority of our loans in our credit line. We process, underwrite, prepare loan documents and fund a majority of our loans at our office located in King County, Washington. Since we’re taking the upfront risk, we receive better pricing than a typical broker. The loans are sold to lenders after closing. We also have the ability to broker mortgages when necessary. Typically a brokered loan is going to be a mortgage that is too unique to be in our credit line (such as subprime or alternative mortgages). A brokered loan may have more fees than one closed as a Correspondent. There are more "Mortgage Brokers" than "Correspondent Lenders" out there…it’s expensive to be Correspondent (but worth it)!
My DFI License "title" of 510-LO-32047 is also something that will be earned (officially ofter the exams take place starting next month). Mortgage Brokers in the state of Washington are required to become licensed (as Correspondents, we’re not quite banks and not quite mortgage brokers, so we fall into this new state law). What this means to the consumer, if the work with a Licensed Loan Originator is that they have:
Passed an extensive exam.*
Cleared a background check from the FBI and DFI.
Must continue their education by means of clock hour course requirements.
If someone is working with a Loan Originator who does not have a license, such as a banker or credit union LO, they have not met (nor are they required to meet) the above requirements. (*Again, the exam will not be available until next month).
To be a CMPS, you must pass an exam consisting of 100 questions (different from DFI’s test) and are held to additional ethics beyond what other loan originators strive for. A Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist has gone through extensive training on mortgage planning and is doing so voluntarily in order to distinguish themselves over the rest of pack of Loan Originators knocking at your front door for a chance to sell you a mortgage you can’t resist. The CMPS designation is beyond what is required to be a Mortgage Professional.
An education resource is what every Mortgage Professional (regardless of what we call ourselves) should be! This is my favorite part of the question I was emailed. And I’m very flattered that this is how she interpreted me. In my opinion, a Mortgage Professionals first responsibility should be to make sure the consumer fully understands the mortgage process and what their options are so the borrower/buyer can make an educated choice as to what their mortgage will be. Sometimes, that choice might be to wait a few months once some credit issues are cleared up or more funds are in hand. There may be no mortgage involved at all.
How am I paid? That will have to be a new post! Stay tuned.