Soon consumers will be able to access the NMLS to gain information about mortgage loan originators. The SAFE Actrequires that all residential mortgage originators be registered on the NMLS system (LO's who work at banks are only registered and LO's who work at non-depository mortgage companies are held to a higher standard with clock hour requirements). The public will be able to access the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry's data (NMLS Consumer Access) beginning January 25, 2010. I'm wondering if it will have any impact on how a mortgage professional is selected.
Most of the data available is what you would expectsuch as contact and employer information, job title and of course the LO's NMLS Unique ID number. The NMLS will also reveal the employment for the past ten years and legal names the individual has used since they were 18 years old.
I'm actually very proud of my resume. My ten year anniversary at Mortgage Master will be on April 1, 2010. If you look further back, you'll see that I worked 14 years in the title and escrow industry and changed employers about every five years. How will a consumer view a mortgage originator who has made several moves over the last ten years? Will the NMLS show if a mortgage company went out of business or why the mortgage loan originator left the company (if it was voluntary or not)? I don't have an issue with the employment data being available, although 10 years is a long time. Most of us have our information plastered all over the internet on sites like LinkedIn or Facebook anyhow. Consumers should know if a mortgage originator has been in the business 10 days, 10 months or 10 years.
I am remarried and I changed my name with both of my marriages. So if you look back on my record, when I was 18 my last name (maiden) was Christopherson; I married in my early 20's and became a Witt and I married again (on April fools four years ago) and became a Porter. Will a consumer think I'm not a good mortgage originator because I've had more than two names (I divorced once)? What if I was unlucky in love and married 5 or 6 times? Does that make a difference? Will the new system reflect if a name change happened because someone was widowed? This will impact women more than men since men tend to not change their names for purposes of marriage. I understand that the NMLS is disclosing this information due to fraud…but will this information impact a consumers selection?
It will be interesting to see if a home buyer or person in need of a refinance utilizes this information (or if spammers do). Data that I think would be useful (but does not appear to be included) would be the percentage of types of loans originated–does the LO have experience with FHA loans, jumbos or new construction? How about the performance of the mortgages the LO has originated? Information that would help consumers get an idea of a mortgage originators expertise and skills instead of how many times they've been married or job hopped.