Saturday, November 13, 2010

SAFE Test and NMLS licensing: Consumer Benefits Outlined

As I have mentioned in a previous Blog post, I have successfully passed my SAFE Exam (July 2010) and am licensed within the NMLS system (NMLS #263702).

What I find interesting (and perplexing!) is that NOT all Mortgage Loan Originators (as we are now ALL called) are required to have an NMLS license, and take the National SAFE Exam.

Both regulatory systems were designed to protect the consumer. Some mortgage professionals are exempted from regulation and don't have to test and be licensed??????

This is definitely a time for the age old adage:  "Let the Buyer Beware!"

I am posting an excerpt from an article by Joffrey Long which underscores the importance of consumers working with Mortgage Loan Originators who are SAFE and NMLS compliant:

Still of concern, however, are the Act’s gaps.  Not all loan officers are required to complete pre-license training and to pass a comprehensive licensing exam, enabling the use of legislative loopholes.
Here’s how:
Loan officers who work for Federally chartered banks or credit unions DON’T have to take the exam or the pre-license training.  So unless your loan officer works for a certain type of company, you’re really no saferLawmakers decided to trust the banks to properly screen and train their originators.  Hmmm, do you trust the banks?
To find out if your loan professional is really qualified,  has undergone required training and passed the exam - a little due diligence may be necessary.
First, ask for their license number and what agency they’re licensed by.  If they work for a bank or Federally chartered credit union, they might tell you they don’t have to be licensed.  If they tell you what license they work under, you can check on that licensing authority’s website for their license history.
But be careful.  Whether you’re buying foreclosed homes, looking for home refinancing, or you’re a first time homebuyer, you need to speak with a real financing expert.  

About Joffrey Long
Joffrey Long provides mortgage lending and real estate advice and insight for homebuyers, real estate investors and investors in mortgage loans.  He’s a mortgage lender and real estate investor himself, and has been in the industry for 34 years.  He’s also called upon to testify as an expert witness in mortgage related litigation matters.

Remodeling your home? Return on your investment dollars!

These numbers are courtesy of the National Board of Realtors and will give you a good idea of where to put your remodeling dollars when you begin thinking of starting your next project. :)

% Return of $ Spent                Remodeling Project
102%                                         Kitchen (By far, the best return of money in value given!)
77                                              Bathroom
73                                              Deck (enjoy those summer days more with this % return!)
71                                              Siding
69                                              Home Office (my personal favorite remodeling project!)
68                                              Windows (Federal Tax Rebates end soon!)

If you would like to explore refinance options to cash out some of your equity to finance a remodeling project, call or e-mail me.  :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Marty, thanks for the excellent experience! Closing November 3, 2010

We were introduced to Marty about three years ago when we bought our current home. 
The experience was wonderful and we have referred colleagues and family to Marty since then. 

Marty takes the time and care to review several scenarios to determine what would work best for a mortgage or a refinance. A year or so ago, I reached out to Marty to see if it made sense to refinance at that point. He ran numbers for me and said that a refinance did not make sense unless we planned to stay in our house long term. 
I am pleased with his integrity - he could have easily processed a refinance for us and earned money on the refinance. 

Marty spends time to build long term relationships with clients. We had heard nightmares from others that it was nearly impossible to get a mortgage or a refinance in the current market. 
We had an excellent experience and are so thankful to Marty and his team for making it so easy to refinance.

Niels and Tara Hansen