i received a lot of apologies at the mortgage bankers association (mba)
annual conference in october.
And no, no one stepped or spilled on me. I don’t believe anyone was even late for a meeting.
The “sorries” and “I really hate to do this, buts” instead prefaced attendees’ thoughts on
mortgage brokers and the wholesale channel. Example: “No offense, but third-party originators? They’re certainly not in a good spot right now.”
Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for sensitivity. But at times, this tiptoe around hurting a broker’s feelings felt a little unnecessary. For one, I’m a magazine editor — which I guess does
warrant its own pity party, for other reasons. And on a larger level, gloom-and-doom forecasts for third-party originators are less than a surprise. They’re almost expected.
I get these folks’ caution, though. I’ve felt it myself — most notably, upon my first read of David
Olson’s article on Page 20 of this month’s Scotsman Guide. Was the Access Research president
too negative in his analysis of the wholesale channel? Would it really take 10 years for brokers
to recover their industry position? And who really stays in one job for 10 years anymore?
I shopped the article around the office for feedback. I got shrugs. The general sentiment:
“Seems like it’s accurately summarizing the situation. Shouldn’t alarm anyone.”
I don’t think we were being cynical. We’re certainly neither cheering on a broker apocalypse
nor adopting a passive resistance to it. We’re stating the facts. Because the fact is, there’s
more to the story.
I’m thinking back to one MBA conversation in particular. Early in the evening, at a table generally shielded from the hotel-bar cabal that only trade shows can spawn, I heard the requisite
broker-related apology, followed by references to dry wells, horizon expansion and toolkit
But then one of my tablemates turned to another and asked: Who closed your family’s last
Who would you call to refi?
“Well, my broker.”
And where would you go for a quick, straight answer and the most-attractive rates?
“Well, my mortgage broker has never let me down before.”
Likely, that broker will have that chance again.
… in January’s Scotsman Guide
• Our call for Top Originators 2009
submissions ( scotsmanguide.com/
• Short sales vs. loan mods:
Which are more lucrative?
• Q& A with FHA’s David H. Stevens
• Spotlight switches to a
• New ways to market yourself in 2010
… and much more.
Online? Check out current and past editions of
Scotsman Guide at scotsmanguide.com.
Envision a divine
You should regard the loans you
facilitate or originate not just as
money loaned for the purchase
of bricks and mortar. Rather, con-
sider them seeds planted in a
divine, co-creative process that al-
lows buyers to take one more leap
toward manifesting the lives they
hold in mind.
In the Past Month
The recession is over — at least
according to economic-growth report
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Commerce
said the economy grew 3. 5 percent in the third quarter of
this year, the first gain since the second quarter of 2008.
Forecasters had predicted growth of about 3.2 percent
in the quarter ending Sept. 30, driven largely by federal
stimulus spending and increased business investment.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the economy had
contracted for four consecutive quarters. But growth in the
most recent quarter suggests the worst recession since the
Great Depression has passed, economists said.
Forecasters expect weak growth in the next t wo quarters
and no substantial improvement in hiring until mid-2010,
the Times reported.
Gross domestic product: dec. 22
Pending, existing-home sales continue
rise while new-home sales drop
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In September, pending home sales
increased for the eighth-straight month, and existing-home sales jumped for the fifth time in six months, according to the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, new-home sales dropped 3. 6 percent in September,
heading in the opposite direction of expectations, the U. S.
Commerce Department said.
Pending home sales, representing contracts signed for
home purchases, increased 6.1 percent in September,
with the index reaching 110.1 — its strongest reading since
The existing-home-sales figures were the highest since
But new-home sales went the other way, dropping to 402,000 —
7. 8 percent less than in September 2008. These sales had
increased 9. 6 percent in July and fell flat in August.
Pending home sales: dec. 1
Existing-home sales: dec. 22
New-home sales: dec. 23
Fannie and Freddie refi volume
falls between August and September
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced
that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan refinances dropped
from 358,689 in August to 262,037 this past September.
Refi volume has been decreasing each month since this
past June, according to the FHFA.
Refinances through the Making Home Affordable Refinance Program also decreased from 32,142 to 23,503
month to month.
Between January and September, Fannie and Freddie’s
refinance volume is 3.52 million loans.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Refinance Volumes: dec. 2
Congressional panel seeks records
from larger lenders in investigation
WASHING TON, D.C. — A Congressional panel has opened an
investigation into U.S. mortgage lenders to explore their roles
in the financial crisis and possible influence-peddling.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
is seeking information from a variety of lenders, including Country wide. One point of focus is Country wide’s VIP
program, The Hill newspaper reported on Oct. 23. The
panel plans to subpoena records on the program, which
has written mortgages for members of Congress, including
Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N. Y.), committee chairman.
The panel also plans to look into records at Wells Fargo, JP-Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Residential Capital and others.