From the editor
BY RANIA OTEIF Y, EDITOR
BY RAYMOND FLEISCHMANN
for Susan Valente, 2012 was one of the busiest years
of her career at the State Employees Credit Union of
Maryland Inc. — and she didn’t have any say in the matter.
“We’re member-service driven, for sure,” Valente says.
“So, with that, we have to make sure that we service
all of our members. you can’t tell someone, ‘We’re not
going to do your loan because we’re too busy.’ It just
doesn’t work out that way. you just have to get it done.”
Like many mortgage professionals, Valente’s business
thrived during the refinance boom. In 2012, she closed
more than $90 million worth of loans, nearly double
her volume from the year before. Her number of closed
loans soared, as well, jumping from 247 in 2011 to 506
in 2012. When it comes to closing that many loans,
it’s not surprising that speed and efficiency are of the
“I get the job done very quickly with our members,”
Valente explains. “I can qualify someone through the
automated underwriting system in less than an hour.
If you work at that speed, and you work a lot of hours,
that’s how you’re able to get that amount of loans done.”
In discussing her recent success, Valente also points
to the unique advantages of working for a credit union.
although some mortgage originators close loans from
all around the country, Valente’s business comes only
from Maryland and its bordering states — Virginia, West
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.
— a territory that doesn’t hold her back in the least.
“although we are the State Employees Credit Union,
we’re not only for the state employees,” Valente says,
“but when you have a member coming in who’s getting a
2.125 percent interest rate on a 10-year fixed, obviously
they’re going to tell their coworkers. So, there are times
when you’re working with three or four people who work
within the same department.”
beyond that, Valente also touts the degree of intimacy
inherent in a credit-union atmosphere.
“[Our members] like to be able to walk in and put a face
to someone’s name,” she says. “The members come
into the bank, they say ‘hi’ to you — it’s not like you’re
talking to someone who might be in California. you’re
making a relationship with that person.”
STATE EMPLOYEES CREDIT
UNION OF MARYLAND INC.
NO. 53 MOST LOANS CLOSED (2012)
for the fourth year in a row, we compiled what we
believe is the industry’s most comprehensive list of the
nation’s top mortgage originators, brokers and more.
View Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2012 rankings at
The Sky didn’T FaLL on Jan. 10.
Despite all the apprehension around the slew of the Dodd-frank Wall Street reform and
Consumer Protection act regulations that came into effect this past month, it has been
business as usual for mortgage brokers and originators.
Many may argue that the real impact won’t be felt immediately, and that may be true. but it’s
also important to remember how the mortgage-industry players who survived the past few
years of increased regulatory scrutiny and tightened lender criteria have developed a unique
set of skills to embrace and cope with new realties.
In fact, even a decision by the U.S. federal reserve to reduce asset purchases has been on
the cards for so long that many mortgage companies have developed strategies that help
them handle the inevitable increase in interest rates and its impact on their client base.
Does that mean the mortgage industry is now immune to shocks? absolutely not. but it is
definitely more resilient and efficient in dealing with changes — especially when they are
foreseen and known as regulatory changes. Today’s
industry has come to value knowledge, analytics and
a thorough understanding of market trends. That is
where Scotsman Guide comes into play, providing educational resources and informed insights into today’s
top market trends.
In this edition, we have several authors discussing
many of the regulations that have come into effect recently and their potential impact on doing business this
year. We also zoom in on a topic of interest to almost
everyone in this business: loan-originator compensation. alston & bird LLP’s r. Colgate Selden explains the
regulations and terms of loan-originator compensation
on Page 27.
This edition also has a focus on niches — these are
specialty loans, property types or products. for example, take a look at the benefits of working with U.S.
Department of agriculture loans as explained by Inlanta Mortgage’s Laura Leonhard on Page 55. Exploring new niches and adding them to your
portfolio can be a way to develop more business and increase your volume and number of
closed loans this year.
Speaking of deal volume, if you’ve entered your data for our Top Originators 2013 rankings,
make sure you don’t miss our verification deadline on feb. 14. The rankings will be published
in april’s edition, so don’t be left out.
In addition, your company probably needs to get these verifications out of the way as soon
as possible because it’s time for our Top Mortgage Lenders 2013 rankings. for the second
year, we will be ranking lenders based on retail loan volume and wholesale loan volume
(including correspondent lending and warehouse lending facilities). Hard-money lending
volume also will be ranked. The entry period runs from feb. 10 to March 14. Keep an eye out
for our e-mail reminders and updates at scotsmanguide.com/TopLenders2013.
finally, Scotsman Guide would like to welcome two new associate editors, Victor Whitman
and Kurt Stephan, to our editorial team. Stephan and Whitman bring a wealth of journalism
and editing experience to Scotsman Guide Media, and we are confident that their knowledge will contribute to bringing you more engaging content and an overall better product.