Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Survival of the Fittest Mortgage Originators

Today was the deadline in Michigan for Mortgage Originators to register or be illegal!

On April 1, 2008, the state of Michigan passed a law called the, “Loan Officer Registration Act” (LORA) that required all mortgage originators to register with the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR).

The law was passed to root out the “bad apples” in the mortgage business that helped contribute to the housing crisis by putting people into loans they couldn’t afford. Loan originators working for federally chartered institutions are exempt from the state law, but all brokers must comply.

The state had to extend the original January 1st, 2009 deadline to April 1, 2009, due to some issues with fingerprinting.

What’s interesting is that even with the extension, the number of complying originators was very small. OFIR sent out a memo to all mortgage brokers on February 24th, 2009 titled, “Alarmingly Low Number or Mortgage Loan Officer Registration Applications Received by OFIR”. OFIR noted that they expected 10,000 applications, but as of that date had received less than 1,000 applications with only 55 being approved.

On March 27th, 2009, OFIR sent out a warning letter titled, “Loan Officer Registration, Loan Officer Notification, and Loan Officer Enforcement”, warning of coming investigations and penalties for noncompliance.

So, where are we at the deadline?

Well, as of the close of business March 31st, 2009 OFIR’s website showed only 1,490 mortgage originators are registered to legally originate mortgages in the state of Michigan.

Several consumers recently found out the mortgage broker they were dealing with, Capita Management Group in Southfield, was operating without a license. OFIR issued them an “Order to Cease and Desist” on March 19th, 2009.

So, if you’re looking to buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage, you might want to make sure that the loan originator you’re working with is operating legally.

By the way, feel free to look me up on OFIR’s list of REGISTERED mortgage originators.

1 comment:

  1. Let's say, Bring it on!!!!! It sure is a time for us to stick together. I really enjoyed the lunch meeting and I look forward to the ones in the near future. Soon we will have the challenges with the appraisals being controlled by the banks. We will survive this too. I look at it this way that every time we are given some more changes,we work through them & it raises the bar for even greater success.
    We will just be making ourselves unique, their will be less of us, and the door will be wide open for us to allow our passion for assisting buyer's to shine through.
    Thanks Drew for the insight.