Make Your Voice Heard! This year will be more important than ever! Our NAMB Legislative Conference in Washington DC is just around the corner February 22–24 at the Hyatt Regency. This is truly an incredible experience and will be very exciting this year with our New President’s administration just beginning! Please consider going and supporting your industry. You will be very glad you did! Go to namb.org, register and book your hotel NOW...
President Fred Arnold & President Barack Obama are looking for your constructive suggestions on what steps need to be taken by the new administration to correct the mortgage and housing markets, and thus our economy. Many of you have great ideas and this is your chance to help make a difference. Please send your outline to John Holmgren, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We face tremendous challenges in 2020; our Government Affairs department needs your help with participation in our monthly contributions. PLEASE consider giving between $10 and $100 per month to help cover our legislative expenses and activities. It’s easy and painless! Go to our Web site cambweb.org and sign up on our home page to make your contributions to preserve and protect our businesses for 2020!
Fred Arnold CMC (CAMB President), “Smitty” Ed Smith (CAMB President-elect), and George Duarte CMC (GA Vice Chair) met with some of our industry partners recently in Sacramento in order to forge a better understanding of our collective common interests and create a strategy for promoting a unified front to our state regulators and legislators. In particular, that correct implementation of the Federal SAFE Licensing Act could provide a positive outcome to raise professional standards within the mortgage industry and at the same time provide legislators a win for consumer groups as well. A WIN, WIN for all parties!
“Get 3 & It’s Free”: Great News, as of January 1st, 2020 if you recruit 3 new CAMB members we will refund your annual membership dues! New members recruited must include at least 1 Professional OR 1 Affiliate member. Does not include support staff memberships and cannot be combined with the 5 star office 20% discount. Refund does not include the NAMB portion of your annual dues. For questions or further details email email@example.com or call (707) 252-2700.
More Great News! Through negotiations with our NAMB (National Association of Mortgage Brokers) partners, our CAMB leaders have worked out a deal to extend our renewal period without a NAMB dues increase until March 31st, 2020! Many thanks to our President, Fred Arnold CMC and our NAMB board member, Ginny Ferguson CMC for all their efforts. Please renew ASAP and encourage others to join before your NAMB portion of your CAMB annual membership dues increases on March 31st, 2020! It’s easy and convenient, simply go to our Web site cambweb.org, enter your membership number and password. If you don’t know your membership number, please send an email request to Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They brought in a total of 50+ new and renewing members at their Jan 14th Chapter event on Loan Modifications. Awesome job!
New Member Benefits: Granza loan officer marketing system – on our Web site for members only as of Jan 30th. Go to cambweb.org member benefits. Look for lots of new additional member benefits in the upcoming months!
PHOI, Preserving Home Ownership Initiative: Get engaged helping consumers understand their mortgage terms, work with their lenders to achieve lower mortgage payments and promote positive recognition for CAMB. These events have been featured on television and at our local chapters around the state. Mary Harman has also arranged monthly events with HUD in Santa Ana that are published on the HUD Web site. These events are promoted and sponsored by other entities of our industry like CAR, CORE Logic, and HUD. To get involved please email Mary Harman at email@example.com.
Also look for Jack Williams (past CAMB president), Mary Harman (community service chair), Gary Sibner (DRE), Herman Thordsen (industry attorney), and others traveling to different chapters throughout the state with the latest dos and don’ts on everyone’s favorite subject, Loan Modifications! These events have had great attendance from our members and our industry.
Upcoming Chapter Events: Tuesday Feb 10th “Loan Mods the Right Way” Silicon Valley Chapter (register at www.acteva.com/go/svcamb). March 31st An Evening with Bill Dallas on “The Gift” at the North Bay Chapter. Please go to cambweb.org for listings of chapter leaders for more information and our CAMB Master Calendar.
Chapter leaders please don’t forget to place upcoming events on the CAMB master Web site calendar! That way we can help promote your events to members and non-members.
Public Relations: CAMB’s annual member market survey 2020 is now closed. Thank you to those members who participated in the survey – your feedback is valued. The PR Committee, chaired by John Holmgren, will be reviewing the survey results and generating a response. Contact John Holmgren with questions. Additionally, if you have any personal media contacts and relationships, please forward that information to our PR Committee Chair, John Holmgren, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sales & Marketing Conference: CAMB is actively working on a collaborative event with CMBA (California Mortgage Bankers Association). The projected date is mid-April 2020. Please stay tuned for more details about the date, location, and schedule.
July 10, 2008
California Association of Mortgage Brokers
State Bills Status Report
By George L. Duarte, CMC
Government Affairs Regional Vice-Chair
The State Assembly has had a change of individual leadership, with new Assembly Speaker Karen Bass from Los Angeles, and Sen. Don Perata from Oakland remains President Pro Tem of the Senate; both remain with solid Democratic Party majorities. However, there seems to be some serious static between the Assembly and the Senate, the cause of which is not entirely clear, but this has had a beneficial effect on the bills that CAMB has been watching and fighting. Apparently, a political climate exists such that bills are not put forward or debated on their merits or their benefit to Californians, but based on what legislator has put them forward, from what committee, and pushed by whatever lobbying group with a particular axe to grind, no matter how unrealistic the intent or result of the bill. Gridlock is a sorry state of affairs, indeed.
Fortunately, CAMB has been a direct beneficiary of this situation. CAMB, in coordination with other industry members, has been lobbying hard in “the building”, and have brought about very significant revisions to the 2 main bills of most extreme danger to our business and California consumers- AB 2880(Wolk) and AB 1830 (Lieu).
AB 1830 passed the Assembly and was sent over to the Senate, where it had its final revision on June 25th, it was withdrawn from the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 26th. One of the main features of the bill that remained after the revisions was that it created a class of “higher cost” loans, with triggers only 3 percentage points over the corresponding Treasuries for first loans, and 5 points over the corresponding Treasuries for seconds. These features would have made current Jumbo fixed rate loans fall under this category. Even with all the revisions, it was a bad bill for Californians. It was withdrawn by the bill’s author because it was the opinion of a legislative analyst that if the bill passed, it would most certainly be in conflict with current and proposed changes to the Federal Reserve’s Reg Z; TILA; and HUD’s RESPA reform. So we are only temporarily reprieved from this battle, we will see this again after the Federal Reserve and HUD finalize their new regulations, probably next session. Needless to say, CAMB was “Opposed” to this bill.
AB 2880 never made it out of the Assembly, where it died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 22nd, having been last amended on April 10th. This bill also had many onerous features remaining, even after having been revised 3 times. This bill was directed at DRE mortgage brokers specifically, and among other things would have required a surety bond of $100,000 be posted by mortgage brokers. Additionally, the bill would have codified that mortgage brokers are “fiduciaries” of the consumer, which exists now only in case law; would have prohibited mortgage brokers from receiving compensation for placing borrowers in loans with higher rates than what they would have qualified for; would have prohibited a broker from contacting a client for a one year period after the closing of the loan, unless the client contacted the broker first, and would have had the broker civilly liable to the borrower for damages, and authorized a court to impose punitive damages to the borrower. CAMB was and is “Opposed” to this bill, we don’t know if it will be resurrected at some time in the future.
SB 1053(Machado) is a bill that CAMB had initially opposed, but with working with Sen. Machado’s staff, the CAMB position has been changed to “Support with amendments”. In the latest proposed version, not yet even officially posted, there would be 3 new reports that would be required to be produced by DRE mortgage brokers and given to the DRE, annually or bi-annually, depending on the quantity of loans the broker’s office does. The first report, an “Agreed Upon Procedures Report” is to be prepared by a CPA annually, if greater than 100 loans is produced, or bi-annually (every 2 years), if more than 8 and less than 100 loans are closed. The concern with this report being done by a CPA firm only, it will be expensive. Efforts are being made to expand the authorized entities from CPA’s, who know nothing about the mortgage or real estate business.
The second report “Business Activities Report” is also new, would be required annually, and names the employees of the broker; production figures, commissions paid, total compensation earned, and other details. The third report “CPA Trust Fund Report” applies only if the broker has a Trust Account with a balance of more than $250,000. If anyone has this, they are nuts.
AB 2359(Jones) is a bill that CAMB was “Opposed” to, however there have been substantial revisions to this bill on May 27th , and will be reviewed by CAMB for possible change of position.
AB 2105(DeSaulnier) is another bill that CAMB has an “Opposed” position on, it expanded the “mandated reporter of elder abuse” to include DRE licensees, however there was a substantial revision to this bill on June 25th that removed DRE licensees from this expanded requirement, leaving only Dept. of Corporation and RML licensees still on the bill. CAMB will review our position on this bill as well.
Those are the bills of major interest to CAMB in the California State Legislature at this time, Federal Bills and Regulatory changes will be under separate cover.
If you want more information about these issues or about CAMB’s government affairs efforts, please contact the CAMB Government Affairs team at (916) 448-8236 .
In a special CAMB announcement on July 16, 2008, CAMB President Fred Arnold, CMC, announced another historic accomplishment by the CAMB legislative team in representing the interests of the mortgage broker community of California.
The FHA and GSE loan limit increases included in the Economic Stimulus Package of 2008 expire at the end of the year. With California exhibiting high cost homes in most of the state, it falls on our congressional delegation to maintain those limits. Currently, the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed differing versions of a housing reform package (H.R. 3221). The House version maintains loan limits in high cost areas of the country at the temporary $729,750 level, while the Senate version reduces maximum conforming and FHA loan limits to $625,000. In addition, the House bill maintains the area loan limit formula at 125 percent of an area’s median home price while the Senate bill reduces the area cap to the equivalent of an area’s median home price. In some areas of California, the Senate language could result in a more than $100,000 decrease in the current FHA and GSE loan limits. Accordingly, CAMB has endorsed the House version of the bill.
The CAMB Government Affairs team, led by Ed Smith, Jr. and with the help of our federal lobbyist Lesli Gooch, Ph.D., have been working with the California congressional delegation to make the temporary loan limit increase permanent. With CAMB’s input, Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D-Walnut Creek) and Congressman Gary Miller (R-Brea), two champions of the lending industry and California homeowners, created a letter to those leading the housing reform effort, which highlighted the importance of the House language to California. Reps. Tauscher and Miller circulated the letter for the California delegation to sign.
Due to the quick action of the CAMB Government Affairs team to reach out to the California congressional delegation, within days the Tauscher-Miller letter gained the signatures of both of California’s U.S. Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and signatures from 50 of the 52 members of the House who represent our state. The lone holdouts were Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Wally Herger (R-Redding).
The House and Senate are expected to achieve final compromise on the housing stimulus package sometime next week and the CAMB Government Affairs team will continue to press to make the temporary loan limit levels permanent.
Fred Arnold had this to say about the letter signing campaign: “CAMB volunteers have historically been successful in presenting our case to members of Congress. But this success in creating unanimity of our congressional delegation demonstrates the power of what we can do when we work together. In this time of limited resources and an unfavorable legislative climate, we have once again proven our resiliency and resolve to do what is best for the California Mortgage Broker and the homeowners of our State. I invite all loan agents and affiliates throughout the State to join in our efforts as we fight to survive.”
If you want more information about this issue or about CAMB’s government affairs efforts, you can contact the CAMB Government Affairs team at (916) 448-8236 .
Courtesy of: Theresa Ballard, Chief Executive Officer, BFO Solutions
The News Channels and the internet has been quite active in the last couple of days with information about the Federal Reserve Board's approval of a final rule on an amendment to Regulation Z. The final rule was issued on Monday July 14, 2008 and was designed to prohibit unfair, abusive or deceptive mortgage lending practices. The rule also established new advertising and disclosure requirements.
- Compliance with the new rule is mandatory for all applications received after October 1, 2020. The exception to this date is the portion of the rule dealing with Impound (Escrow) Accounts. The Impound (Escrow) requirement has an effective date of April 1, 2010 for site built homes and October 1, 2010 for Manufactured Homes.
- All mortgage loans will have new advertising requirements. Advertising must contain additional information about rates, monthly payments, and other loan features. The rule specifically bans seven (7) deceptive or misleading advertising practices, including representing that a rate or payment is "fixed" when it can change.
- A new category of "higher priced mortgages" was established. This new category includes virtually all closed-end sub-prime loans that are secured by a Borrower's principal dwelling.
- Ability to pay must be established for the Borrower. The rule will prohibit a Lender from making a loan without regard to the Borrower's ability to repay the loan from income or assets. The ability to pay will be established in part, by using the highest scheduled payment in the first seven years of the loan. To prove that a Lender has violated this prohibition, a Borrower not need to demonstrate that the violation was part of a "pattern of practice."
- Stated and No Income loans will not longer be allowed for loans falling into this new category of loans. Income and assets must be verified for all loans that fall into the new category of loans.
- The rule will ban any prepayment penalty if the payment can change during the initial four (4) years. For other higher priced loans, a prepayment penalty period cannot last for more than two (2) years.
- The rule requires loans within the new category of loans have Impound (Escrow) accounts for property taxes and homeowners insurance. Opting out of impound accounts will no longer be an option, for this category of loan. The good news is that the Borrower will have an ability to cancel the Impound (Escrow) account after one (1) year.
- Lenders will be required to credit payments to the Borrower's account as of the date the payment is received.
- Lenders must provide a payoff statement within a reasonable period of time and will be prohibited from "pyramiding" late fees.
- Lenders and Brokers are prohibited from coercing or encouraging an Appraiser to misrepresent the value of a home.
- Creditors must provide a Good Faith Estimate of loan costs, including a schedule of payments within three (3) days after the Borrower applies for any mortgage secured by the Borrower's principal dwelling; to include loans such as home improvement loans to refinance an existing loan.
Trade group says raising the limits on FHA and conforming loans could quell a possible recession
- 47 percent of brokers say recession possible due to housing crisis
- April-June, 2008, best time to buy a home
- Housing prices to decrease slightly in 2008
- Loan qualification will be more difficult as lending standards tighten
SACRAMENTO, CA (December 17, 2007) – The California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) today issued its Sixth Annual Mortgage Forecast projecting that the 2007 "Credit Crunch" and the continued tightening of lending standards could drive the state into a recession next year if the limit for conforming loans is not raised in California. Housing prices across California are projected to decline slightly offering first-time homebuyers a window of opportunity to realize the American Dream of homeownership. For home shoppers, the second quarter of 2008 is likely to be the best time to get a good deal on a new or existing home.
"While home prices will continue to decrease into 2008, more stable loan products will reappear for consumers looking to purchase a home," said Pete Ogilvie, president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. "CAMB members are optimistic that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan will resurface in popularity with the assistance of the necessary federal reforms that will raise the loan limit to meet the needs of California's borrowers. In order to keep our economy strong, the federal government needs to recognize California as high cost state in order to help consumers qualify for stable loans and avoid a possible recession."
CAMB surveyed its membership during the month of November, 2007, a majority with more than a decade of experience. Survey highlights include the following:
- Thirty-one (31) percent of members believe that April-June of 2008 will be the best time to buy, while 28 percent believe January-March will be the time. Others (21 percent) felt that October-December would be the right time with the remaining 19 percent predicting July-September.
- Forty-eight (48) percent of members believe that housing affordability will get a little better in 2008, while 17 percent believe that affordability will get a lot better. 15 percent of members predict that housing affordability will get a little worse, while 12 percent say it will stay the same, and 7 percent feel it will get much worse.
- When asked if the current housing slump will create a recession in 2008, 47 percent said yes.
- Fifty-nine (59) percent of members believe that qualifying borrowers for loans will be more difficult in 2008. Due to tighter lending standards, borrowers with less-than-perfect credit, who could have easily purchased a home previously, will find it more difficult to qualify for a home loan in the next year.
- However, finding a loan product for a qualified borrower will be more difficult say 41 percent of members surveyed. With high housing prices still high and lending standards constricting, many products have evaporated that would have helped borrowers get into homes.
- Sixty (60) percent of those surveyed believe that cash-out refinances will decrease in 2008 as homeowners will be wary of refinancing at their homes' current market value if prices should continue to decline.
- Fifty-five (55) percent of those surveyed feel that the FHA loan will return to popularity in 2008 while others felt that products such as mortgage insurance (18 percent), temporary buy-downs (13 percent), non-prime (11 percent) and VA loan would rise in popularity.
"2008 will be the year of market self-correction, and should also reward those who have been waiting for affordable housing prices" said Ogilvie. "Forty-three percent of our members feel that the real estate market will not fully rebound until 2020. In order to stem the tide of a possible recession, CAMB is calling upon state and federal legislators to designate California a high cost state, which will increase the limit for conforming loans in California and provide a more stable mortgage product for consumers. CAMB has been a champion for consumers since its inception and will continue the fight in 2008 to keep the dream of homeownership alive for Californians."
Consumers with mortgage questions are encouraged to contact CAMB's toll-free consumer information hotline at 1-866-999-5508 to be connected with a local member or visit the Web site at cambweb.org.
The California Association of Mortgage Brokers is a non-profit organization representing more than 4,000 industry professionals throughout California. CAMB provides ongoing education to industry members, maintains high ethical and professional industry standards, and supports efforts to increase consumer understanding of mortgage broker services. Additional CAMB information can be accessed via the Internet at www.cambweb.org.
(Sacramento, November 20, 2007) – Today, Pete Ogilvie, CMC, President of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB), released the following statement regarding Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to streamline procedures with lenders to help keep more subprime borrowers in their homes.
"The California Association of Mortgage Brokers has been a champion for consumers since its inception, and we feel Governor Schwarzenegger's actions today outline the best possible plan for allowing consumers to stay in their homes. CAMB has been at the forefront of this issue since it began, and has aggressively called upon lenders to create procedures that will give borrowers who are struggling to make their payments the resources they need to modify their loans and stay in their homes.
CAMB applauds the Governor for his continued efforts to lobby Congress to raise loan limits for FHA and conforming loans in California. These efforts will greatly benefit homebuyers, making the American Dream of homeownership more attainable in California."
Members of the media who would be interested in speaking with CAMB president Pete Ogilvie regarding Governor Schwarzenegger's remarks should call Clay Merrill at 916-448-5802.
Brokers Available to Discuss What Consumers Need to Know Before They Sign on the Dotted Line
CAMB released ten consumer protection tips to aid consumers interested in using alternative loan mortgage products to finance their home. These tips have been created by CAMB's member brokers as a tool to help consumers know and understand the advantages and pitfalls of using these specific products, which include adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), Interest-Only loans, and Option ARMs.
CAMB is warning consumers to be aware of advertisements that encourage consumers to refinance their homes in order to pay off holiday debt. Numerous advertisements have been appearing across the state in mailboxes and on fax machines offering loan programs with various incentives from free appraisals to no loan fees. The same advertisements also claim to offer loan programs with rates as low as 1 percent and some are even lower. These ads also state that consumers with poor credit or a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure can get approved for these loans.
CAMB issued its annual Mortgage Forecast projecting that interest rates will remain favorable in 2007 with the rates likely to remain within one percent (1%) of current low levels. Additionally, recent homebuyers (within the last several years) who used an interest-only or adjustable rate mortgage are turning to fixed rate loans as they refinance and take advantage of equity. However, despite the recent stabilization of the housing market, many new buyers are still forced into alternative loan products due to high housing prices. Finally, for home shoppers, the first half of 2007 is likely to be the best time to get a good deal on a new or existing home.
CAMB released its Consumer Education and Protection Worksheet geared towards educating consumers on all types of mortgage loans. As part of its efforts to curb predatory lending practices, CAMB has produced this worksheet for proprietary use by its membership as they assist consumers in securing mortgage loans. The worksheet is also available in both English and Spanish to service the needs of California consumers.
Mortgage "Check-Ups" to Prevent Financial Decay
With 36% of people with adjustable rate mortgages worried about making their payments, according to a new AP poll, the California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) provides key "check-up" signs for every homeowner, regardless of the type of loan they have.
Click here for CAMB's Consumer Tips
As part of an ongoing effort to promote the highest standard of industry professionalism and consumer protection, the California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) released a thirteen page report outlining the "best practices" for consumer protection in the mortgage industry. The report details a vision of how government, industry, and consumers can work together in the coming years to curtail abusive lending practices by unscrupulous lenders.
Download Consumer Protection Action Plan (pdf)
The California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) hails Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and members of the California State Legislature as CAMB-sponsored consumer protection legislation (AB 790 and AB 2890) were signed into law.