Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over two decades of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. Shmuel provides a uniquely holistic approach to comprehensive real estate and financial matters that goes well beyond any single transaction. Shmuel is an award-winning financier recognized for maximizing the short-term and long-term objectives of his client. As a contributing writer to many local and regional newspapers and publications, his insights have been featured in the media for many topics, including mortgages, personal finance, appraisals, and real estate trends.
We recently embarked on a campaign to hire additional mortgage consultants as we execute our expansion goals for 2018. This week I got a call from a recruiter who caught a glimpse of one of our advertisements, and wanted to find out more. He was intrigued by the offering, and began asking very detailed and specific questions about our available sales positions. As I responded to his inquiries, he began asking for more and more information. Finally, he stopped me and wondered aloud how he would be able to quantify such skills if he were to offer it to his database of available candidates. I simply replied, “We are not looking for One Trick Ponies.”
I explained that in the ‘global’ mortgage industry, I am sure it is easier to identify a list of basic qualifications and responsibilities, and hope that candidates filter themselves before they apply for the position. At many lending firms, if an applicant meets a few basic prerequisites they would probably be offered a job immediately, because everyone is looking to hire “salespeople.” However, in most organizations, these loan officers become one-dimensional originators, who aren’t given the necessary training, the adequate tools and the satisfactory resources to truly succeed as a “good mortgage originator” in my book.
I thought I would use the opportunity to help readers understand what to look for as they compare mortgage and loan professionals for their financing needs. For starters, it is important to realize that mortgage consultants (ie: loan officers, mortgage originators, sales people, etc) are licensed individuals who have taken the necessary prerequisite hours of education, and have passed State and Federal examinations. That is only true however for non-depository mortgage companies (mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers), but does not apply to federally insured or chartered institutions, such as banks, thrifts, and credit unions.
Per the NMLS, the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System, which is the organization that manages mortgage licensing and registration, mortgage loan originators of depository institutions must merely be registered in order to conduct business, and that registration is not limited to a particular state. But in my humble opinion, the contrasts and differences between these licensed vs registered loan originators don’t start and end there. Regrettably, it is also not limited to just depository versus non-depository lenders either. I can think of many non-depository lenders, who are household names with their fancy SuperBowl ads and tv commercials, that employee licensed originators who are unqualified to be helping people with their mortgage needs. Unfortunately, I am not being cynical and sarcastic when I make such bold statements.
A “good mortgage originator” is someone who needs to be able to review financial documents such as tax returns, paystubs, and bank statements and fully comprehend their delicate nuances. They need to know what additional upfront paperwork is needed if a mortgage applicant is self-employed, be it with K1 revenue, Schedule C income or a newly formed corporation. They need to know what large deposits on a bank statement trigger disqualification, and what can be overlooked or simply explained with a letter. A good originator needs to have a good understanding of their local marketplace with a network of professionals that they can call upon to help obtain supporting items for appraisals, inspections, flood requirements and so much more.
I have not even addressed the need for a respectable mortgage consultant to know all of the available conventional, non-conventional, FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA loan parameters, and how they compare and contrast to one another. In fact, many banks don’t even offer all these products, which is a separate topic for a different time. These are but a few of the many credentials that a “salesman” is trained, guided, and taught at Approved Funding so that they are not merely a “one trick pony” who quotes mortgage rates, and moves on to the next applicant.
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