From the Editor
by tony stasiek, editor
Inthe Past Month
NEWS FROM THE INDUSTRY AND ABROAD
BEING THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PIECE OF FINANCIAL LEGISLATION IN MORE THAN 70
YEARS, THE DODD-FRANK WALL STREET REFORM AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
CERTAINLY BRINGS WITH IT A SLEW OF CHANGES FOR THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY.
But while researching it for this month’s Scotsman Guide, we noticed another industry adjustment — one that’s not in the act’s more than 2,300 pages.
As you’ll notice in Richard Smith’s comprehensive analysis of the financial-reform bill in
this issue, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, long third-party originators’ lobbying and education outlet, now prefers to be called “NAMB — The Association of Mortgage
Acronym affectations aside, the name change is the latest in a shift we’ve seen for at least
a year. Proof? Just flip back two pages to our Events Directory: Numerous state associations
have been ditching “brokers” from their name. State groups that prefer “professionals” now
include those in:
Fed survives — and grows —
in financial-reform regulation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Federal Reserve survived
with its power intact and then some in the financial-reform
bill that President Barack Obama signed this past July 21, a
former bank governor said.
“Basically, they ended up winning almost on everything
that counts,” said Laurence Meyer, a former Fed board governor who now works at Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, a
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is the
first significant expansion of Fed powers since the Employment Act in 1946, which gave the Fed its modern-day focus
on employment, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In the bill, the Fed becomes the chief regulator for companies, including banks, that are so large their failure would
create chaos in the marketplace. It also joins a council of
regulators to guide such businesses through orderly liquidations, if necessary.
For more on the financial-reform bill, see Page 24.
Contrary to rumors, the financial-reform bill does not ban the word “broker.” But in many
minds, it does put brokers’ duties in jeopardy — not great news for the nonprofit orgs they
support. Smith’s article breaks down the fact and fiction of the reform act on Page 24.
Another reason for these associations’ nomenclature tweak: simple marketing, which is the
focus of September’s Scotsman Guide. From our Lead Article (Page 19) through our Tools and
Tips section (begins on Page 38), this month’s authors share numerous ways mortgage folks
can promote and grow their business — no matter what they call themselves.
Speaking of changes: This marks my final issue of Scotsman Guide. Please welcome new
editor Ivanna C. Sukkar ( firstname.lastname@example.org) to this space, beginning with October’s magazine. Until then, thank you for your support — and stay in touch (I’m not going far):
New-home sales jump in June
as pending, existing-home sales fall
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sales of new single-family homes increased sharply this past June compared to May, the U.S.
Commerce Department said. But they also marked the
slowest June on record for new-home sales.
Pending and existing-home sales decreased between May
and June, according to the National Association of Realtors,
because of the cessation of a federal homebuyer tax credit.
New-home sales jumped 23. 6 percent and have increased
in three of the past four months. Compared to June 2009,
however, home sales were off 16. 7 percent.
Sales of existing U.S. homes, including condominiums, co-ops and townhouses slipped 5.1 percent in June, though
they were 9.8-percent greater than in June 2009.
Pending home sales: Sept. 2
Existing-home sales: Sept. 23
New-home sales: Sept. 24
FTC: Debt-settlement firms can’t
accept prepayments after Oct. 27
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) said companies helping consumers dig out of debt
would be barred in the future from accepting payment
The rule change applies to for-profit, debt-relief firms and
goes into effect Oct. 27, The Washington Post reported.
By Sept. 27, debt-relief companies must be upfront about the
cost of their debt-reduction services and offer consumers an
estimate of how long it will take to benefit from the program.
5 YEARS AGO
… in October’s Scotsman Guide
• Wholesale vs. retail: Why your
decision may not be clear-cut
• How to promote smooth
• What nonmortgage products
could do for your business
• A peek inside Pennsylvania’s
From September 2005’s
“When you set up your Web-marketing
tools, notify everyone in your database
with a letter, fax, postcard or preferably,
e-mail. Then send a press release to
relevant media; they cover anything that
provides legitimate information to the
public for free.”
… and much more.
Online? Check out current and past editions of
Scotsman Guide at scotsmanguide.com.
— MARK BOERSMA, SYNERG Y SOLUTIONS INC.
“THE INTERNE T HAS CHANGED —
HAS YOUR MARKE TING?”
View this article and others in our free article
archive at scotsmanguide.com.
Countrywide settles a number
of investor lawsuits
LOS ANGELES — U.S. mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. and its accounting firm have agreed to pay $624
million for allegedly deceiving investors, court papers show.
The lending giant, which Bank of America bought in 2008,
did not admit guilt as it settled several investor lawsuits
filed at the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
The lender agreed to pay $600 million, while accounting
firm KPMG agreed to pay $24 million, The Los Angeles Times
reported on Aug. 3.
The lawsuits claimed that Countrywide, with the backing of KPMG audits, failed to disclose how precarious the
firm’s finances were as the housing boom turned to a bust
two years ago.
The settlement was subject to court approval as of press
time; Countrywide still faces other investor lawsuits filed