WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS!
A Report from NAMB National
September 13-15, 2014
By Wendy Bernard
What happened in Vegas at NAMB West was so exciting that it can’t stay in Vegas, but instead must be shared every single CMA Member! Now, I must confess this was my first time to Vegas and in addition to the conference, the town was buzzing because it was the scheduled weekend for the Floyd Mayweather fight; but what was really thrilling was the over 2000 attendees and to be a part of the positive energy that permeated the conference, demonstrating that mortgage professionals are here to stay and are clearly among the most resilient people in business today. It was terrific to walk through the exhibit hall and reconnect with NAMB members, lenders and brokers alike celebrating NAMB’s 40 Years as a professional advocate for the mortgage industry.
In addition to attending NAMB council and delegate meetings, I learned a great deal from many industry visionaries discussing key topics in many of the standing room only break-out sessions. These sessions ran the gamut from Realtors® discussing innovative networking and collaboration strategies (RESPA Compliant of course); compliance professionals discussing the need to establish robust Compliance Management Systems (CMS) and how brokers can comply with the new regulations in a manner that makes sense for the size and scope of their company and respective operations; tips on running a successful mortgage company in challenging market conditions; opportunities in the non-QM mortgage marketplace; tips, secrets and techniques of successful mortgage loan originators, including expansion in online marketing and strategic relationships with borrowers and referral sources; and that was just day one!
I also learned that the average mortgage professional is 55 years old with over 20 years in the business. NAMB is focused on building on the new energy of the industry to bring in the new generation of mortgage professionals to continue to innovate and revolutionize the industry. Recruiting concepts included best use of social media and gamification to expand opportunities for a new generation of mortgage professional.
Being a compliance attorney, I was also thrilled to hear directly from the CFPB on issues such as the new GFE/TILA integration rules, as well as the mini-correspondence business model. One take-away to industry was that the CFPB is not seeking to dismantle opportunities under the mini-correspondent model, but instead cautions brokers to understand its full operational and compliance requirements if considering the mini-correspondence business model. Incidentally, the CFPB’s representative was Brian Webster, Originations Program Manager and former mortgage loan originator. Jim Dunkerly, President of FirstFunding also described the ways in which wholesale lenders support the broker community and confirmed the CFPB’s support for both the broker and mini-correspondent channels. Overall, NAMB National was a positive experience and everyone seemed to agree that it was indeed an extraordinary event.
I am grateful to have represented the Connecticut Chapter of NAMB, the Connecticut Mortgage Association (CMA). I encourage you to join the voices that advocate for your business. Don’t stay home and complain, fight for the business you believe in. Participate and be a part of the change you want in the industry. As we say in the CMA, the more members…the louder the voice!
Wendy Bernard is the Organization Counsel for The Connecticut Association of Mortgage Professionals, a Director of Compliance at Lenders Compliance Group, and the Managing Partner at The Bernard Law Group. For more information contact Wendy Bernard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-805-4521.