Recently someone posed this question on Facebook: “What do you think the most important word in the mortgage business is?” And that got me thinking.
Wouldn’t it be nice if mortgage originators didn’t have any competition? We really would provide the best rates, costs and services for all consumers…really, I promise! Ok, we all know the supply and demand story!
Recently, former head of the MBA, David H. Stevens simply stated “consumers benefit by a diversified mortgage industry.” I agree with Mr. Stevens and applaud the efforts of all mortgage associations and origination channels whose mission is to help industry professionals serve consumers in a dynamic business. If we really want to be professionals, (not just use the term loosely) we need to put consumers first, respect the profession, respect each other, support one another and differentiate ourselves with knowledge and expertise. Federal and state mortgage associations all have different structures, purposes, membership and agendas and there is much to be learned from each other. We are stronger together when we compete fairly.
Nobody likes to be “shopped” or lose a customer, but, that was the whole point of TRID. Professionals need to provide consumers with information to make informed decisions. Consumers should be able to have reasonably accurate information to compare costs and services in order to make a decision about their finances, independently of originator pipelines.
In the CFPB’s April 2019 statement on TRID the statutes state, “If the creditor does not know the precise credit terms, the creditor must base the disclosures on the best information reasonably available …” under § 1026.17(c)(2).”
Are we all so busy that we can’t get it right? Are these costs a big secret? Do we have to wait for a magic button, to send disclosures, that overstate or understate items we, as professionals should know how to calculate? If all Loan Estimates were issued with the “best” information, instead of the “fastest” information, consumers would win and competition serves its purpose. Isn’t that what we want?
In low interest rate environments, refinances are the low hanging fruit; the competition then heats up! Frustrating as that may be, when originators are being shopped, it is a win for consumers. Knowledgeable professionals learn and educate consumers how to weed through the good, the bad and the ugly…all while maintaining INTEGRITY; which happens to be the word of the day! What’s your word? firstname.lastname@example.org .