Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Friday, January 22, 2010

Does Your Mortgage Guy (or Lady) Know What He’s Doing?

I was reading the NY Times recently and came across an interesting article. It has to do with the professionalism and knowledge of mortgage loan originators. As you might imagine, this affects my business so it piqued my attention. The ability of a loan originator to get transactions closed cuts down on headaches and frustration for buyers--and their realtors.

It seems that something called the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) was passed by Congress in July 2008 and required states to pass legislation requiring the licensure of mortgage loan originators. The SAFE Act mandated that state agencies participate in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) and that mortgage brokers meet national standards in order to obtain a license.

Testing began in summer 2009. Now that results are starting to trickle in it appears a substantial of mortgage brokers have a lot more work to do to meet standards. Some 10,000 people have taken the tests and more than 30% failed the federal portion. The number of failures on the applicable state portions was slightly less – 27%. All in all, that’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

I would like to think Arkansas’ brokers are a cut above those dismal test results. At least our area did not suffer the horrendous housing collapse that occurred in many states where many unqualified borrowers were given loans they had little ability to repay.

Nineteen states have offered the tests to date, including Arkansas where tests began November 1, 2009. So far I haven’t been able to find results specific to Arkansas.

When a buyer asks me for recommendations about the best place to obtain a mortgage, I usually refer them to few trusted people at local companies who have done a good job in the past for my clients. I don’t necessarily trust some of the on-line lenders that advertise frequently on TV. Sometimes you get a good loan originator, sometimes not.

The other thing to look for is whether you are dealing with a mortgage broker or a bank. A bank will process the loan according to its guidelines. Sometimes they keep the loan and sometimes they will sell it to another lending institution. A mortgage broker has a lot of “investors” (usually banks) to whom they will sell the loan. Some have better relationships with their investors than others and are better able to exert pressure to get problems solved and the transaction closed. Banks who regularly sell their loans also need to have such relationships, but even the experience (or lack thereof) of loan originators within their own institutions can sometimes make or break a transaction.

A proven track record speaks volumes. A good, experienced, and knowledgeable loan originator is important, and the same is true for the realtor you select.

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