It's no joke. Today marks my eleventh year as a mortgage originator for Mortgage Master Service Corporation. When I began in 2000, the only mortgages I originated were FHA, VA and conventional. I was really fortunate because I had developed many strong relationships from being in the title and escrow industry for 14 years and that "JVs" had not yet really popped up. I was fortunate.
The "jv's" I'm referring to are the joint ventures by several of the big real estate companies to create their own mortgage, escrow and/or title companies. Broker owners like to do this because they have a captive audience with their real estate agents and the JVs create a great deal of income for them. Many broker owners do everything in their power to steer business to their in-house joint-ventures.
When I began in the mortgage industry, a great deal of my business was helping first time home buyers in areas like Federal Way, Des Moines and Renton since most of the agents I worked with as a title rep were in South King County. Many of my first clients, I still work with today. I'm so greatful to the agents and home owners who have referred business to me over the years.
I'm also thankful that I began my mortgage career BEFORE subprime mortgages plagued our industry. Don't get me wrong, I still believe that for the most part, there are no bad mortgages (I never originated an option ARM and the few stated income loans I did, my clients actually made the income); there is bad applications or uses for the mortgage coupled with bad (or no) advice. Subprime loans were misused by borrowers, loan originators, real estate agents and appraisers who lacked a moral compass or justified bad decisions by "every one else is doing it…it must be right". Subprime made up a small portion of business for clients who found themselves in a "subprime situation" and/or who did not want to take the time to work on what ever was causing them to be "subprime" for qualifying (lack of credit, income or assets). I would say many became lazy and impatient. Fueled with rising home prices, many lost reason. I do think subprime will come back…disguised under a different name, like "non-prime". And there are many qualified home owners who could use a little "sub-prime" guidelines to help them keep their homes.
Today, new rules created by the Fed regarding how I may be compensated will go into effect. This was suppossedly created to help predatory lending by not allowing LOs to increase a rate to make more commission. I'm totally fine with having my income no longer a part of the conversation. I am bothered that with how the Fed has structured this rule, mortgage originators can no longer use their commissions to help out with borrowers closing costs after the loan is locked (paying extensions, for example). Consumers will wind up paying for what the Fed (and Frank Dodd this summer) has done.
I do plan on sticking around in the industry for at least another eleven years assuming our industry is not regulated to death. I love being a mortgage originator and helping people meet their financial goals and desire to be home owners. Thanks to everyone for your continued support, your referrals and for reading my blog.
PS: One more reason why April Fools is special to me: Five years ago today, I married my sweet heart.
I hope your April Fools is as happy as mine!