Finding out what really matters Gasper has long since experienced a reversal of fortune, now working at Madison Mortgage as a VP and mortgage loan originator. Earlier this year, he joined officials from United Wholesale Mortgage on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor to celebrate National Mortgage Brokers Day. He was invited to participate … [Read more…]
Many predicted that COVID-19 would cause real estate markets to crash. But now, after one full year of economic uncertainty, U.S. housing markets seem hotter than ever. What gives? On today’s State of the Market podcast, Aaron and Matt Amuchastegui discuss what’s driving rapidly rising property values. Tune in and get their thoughts on whether or not we’re in a bubble. Plus, you’ll hear about the insane cost of lumber right now, the political implications of population shifts, and more.
Listen to today’s show and learn:
- The insane cost of lumber right now [2:29]
- Americans willing to pay more for existing homes than new builds [3:50]
- Manhattanites opt for Brooklyn over Florida [6:54]
- The political implications of population shifts [8:51]
- Forbearance rates continue to drop [12:15]
- Businesses report major labor shortages [15:20]
- A potential fix for the unemployment problem [20:20]
- Blockchain’s place in the real estate industry [23:22]
- Matt’s advice for today’s homebuyers [25:36]
- Final thoughts [27:10]
Matt Amuchastegui has had the pleasure of working in many different industries and positions throughout his career. He has learned the trades of residential home building carpentry, construction management, commercialized construction such as building highway bridges and steel buildings, has worked in inside sales, worked as a purchasing manager, mortgage loan originator, held his real estate license in both California and Arizona, and finally he is currently working as a Real Estate Broker in the great state of Oregon.
Matt has been able to apply many skills from all of his past jobs, as well as his education from the University of Oregon to what he is currently doing. Matt prides himself in customer service and strives to make sure everyone that he works with, upon the completion of their transaction, feels as though he provided them with the utmost care, attention and customer service. It is also imperative that when he was involved with management and scheduling, that he built solid relationships with the employees and other contractors to help keep them on schedule and within their budget. Business, at any level, in Matt’s opinion is about respect and relationships.
Matt has enjoyed helping people find their dream homes and has also really enjoyed the business side of negotiating sales contracts. Learning to value homes and determine how much they were currently worth and would possibly be worth in the future was also something that served to be an asset for him. Having the opportunity to work in all fields related to home acquisition, sales and management has helped Matt to be versatile in his ability to take on any task!
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Thank You Rockstars!
It might go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: We really value listeners like you. We’re constantly working to improve the show, so why not leave us a review? If you love the content and can’t stand the thought of missing the nuggets our Rockstar guests share every week, please subscribe; it’ll get you instant access to our latest episodes and is the best way to support your favorite real estate podcast. Have questions? Suggestions? Want to say hi? Shoot me a message via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Email.
The Community Home Lenders of America (CHLA) has compiled a new document it is calling the “consumer mortgage bill of rights,” based on a series of different actions and proposals it has made to companies and federal agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) since 2021.
“Perhaps more than any other financial product, mortgages offer a wide array of specific consumer protections including RESPA, TILA, TRID, LO Comp, HOEPA, servicing rules, and many others,” CHLA said in a statement regarding the document.
“These rules apply whether the lender is a bank or a non-bank; although, consumers have significantly more protections with non-banks in the realm of licensing requirements and CFPB supervision. Despite these protections, there are still several gaps and loopholes that must be closed, as outlined in this Consumer Mortgage Bill of Rights,” CHLA added.
The document includes seven items, included in full below. They begin with the outlined right as interpreted by CHLA, an underlying communication the organization sent that outlined that right and a recommended action to put it into practice:
- The Right to Say No to Abusive Trigger Lead Solicitations. Consumers should be in control of deciding whether to receive dozens of solicitations after mortgage credit pulls.
CHLA: November 2022 Letter to CFPB and July 2023 Letter to Congress.
ACTION: The FTC should create a true opt-in option when a credit report is pulled.
- The Right to Robust Competition in Mortgage Services Market. One company should not have quasi-monopoly pricing power or be able to utilize practices like tying.
CHLA: June 2022 Letter to FTC/DOJ and February 2023 Letter to ICE.
ACTION: The FTC should continue its opposition to the ICE purchase of Black Knight.
- The Right to Affordable Credit Report Pricing. Last year FICO used its monopoly status to raise credit report prices 400% while simultaneously offering sweetheart deals for a few large lenders.
CHLA: November 2022 Letter to FHA and FHFA asking them to bar these price hikes.
ACTION: FICO should rescind the 400% price increase and price all lenders the same.
- The Right to Robust Dual Compensation Consumer Protections. Loan originators acting as realtors should be licensed, free of conflicts of interest, and with full disclosure.
CHLA: March 2023 Letter to CFPB recommending these consumer protections.
ACTION: The CFPB and/or states should mandate the consumer protections above.
- The Right to Obtain a Mortgage Through a Qualified Mortgage Loan Originator. Loan originators at banks are exempt from basic professional qualifications requirements including the SAFE Act test, independent background checks, and continuing education.
CHLA: October 2021 Letter to CFPB on SAFE Act parity.
ACTION: The CFPB should require all loan originators to meet these requirements.
- The Right to Have Pricing Parity Requirements Apply to All Loan Originators. Loan originators at mortgage banks are prohibited from varying their loan fee for different borrowers; however, a loophole allows mortgage brokers to use different channels to vary loan fees.
ACTION: The CFPB should close the LO Comp loophole for mortgage brokers.
- The Right for All Borrowers to End MI Premiums When Loans Hit 78% LTV. The HPA mandates an end to mortgage premiums for most loans that pay down to 78% LTV.
CHLA: May 2022 Sign-on Letter Calling for an end to FHA Life of Loan Premiums. ACTION: FHA should end Life of Loan Premiums (put in place in June 2013).
The accompanying CHLA letters can be viewed at the organization’s website.
While there is a fair amount of protection for consumers engaging in obtaining mortgage financing, there is always room for improvement according to Scott Olson, executive director of the CHLA.
“Consumers obtaining a mortgage loan enjoy more consumer protection than with any other financial product – however we can do better,” he said. “CHLA’s ‘Consumer Mortgage Bill of Right’s’ identifies the most common mortgage abuses along with effective, practical solutions to provide full protections.”
Here is what you will need to do to complete this process: Visit the NMLS registration portal and request an account Choose the individual option Provide the information required and submit the application 2. Complete NMLS pre-license education Becoming a licensed MLO in California requires you to finish the 20-hour SAFE pre-licensing course, as well … [Read more…]
With the news of the Federal Trade Commission opening an investigation into OpenAI and its technology ChatGPT’s potential harm to consumers just this week, it appears that the tool faces its first serious regulatory hurdle just as mortgage professionals are beginning to embrace it.
Since the technology’s debut last year, real estate players have rushed to boost their artificial intelligence bona fides. Redfin and Zillow have incorporated ChatGPT plugins to serve prospective homebuyers, while some lenders have touted their own AI chatbots.
But ChatGPT specifically has already suffered from one security vulnerability exposing chat history titles of other users. The FTC says it intends to investigate whether OpenAI “engaged in unfair or deceptive privacy or data security practices or engaged in unfair or deceptive practices relating to risks of harm to consumers.”
Cybersecurity firm Cyberhaven earlier this year suggested 11% of the data employees paste into the software is confidential.
Massive tech players and mortgage giants like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have placed restrictions on ChatGPT in recent months over concerns that confidential data could be exposed. The Mortgage Bankers Association said it doesn’t have specific guidance around ChatGPT. The National Association of Realtors said in a statement one of its goals is to create policies on AI use and educational materials for Realtors, but the work is in its infancy.
Lenders who spoke with National Mortgage News said their companies don’t have specific policies around use of chatbots but are proceeding with caution.
“If people were going to start [using personally identifiable information] then yeah, you need to have some policies and procedures,” said Kristin Hess, a mortgage loan originator with CMG Home Loans in Middletown, New Jersey. “But I don’t think we need to go that deep. I don’t think we need to just put that much detail in.”
Hess posted on LinkedIn in June a certificate that she’d completed an introduction to ChatGPT course online with edX, an online platform that offers training courses. She uses ChatGPT like Google to find more relevant search results and to write unique marketing posts. But she doesn’t enter what she described as customers’ six points of financial and personal identifying information including names and Social Security numbers.
OpenAI’s potential use of personally identifiable information that has been entered into ChatGPT is at the heart of the FTC’s investigation.
“Whoever’s information is in prompts that you give ChatGPT, they didn’t necessarily consent for you to do that,” said Jordan Roe Bingham, CEO of LendSafe, a Salt Lake City-based cybersecurity company. “You are giving that information to the company that owns a chatbot and they’re using that for their own reasons and their own purposes.”
Mortgage professionals should stick to doing generic, non-PII type of work in open AI models, said Rutul Dave, co-founder and chief technology officer at mortgage fintech Maxwell.
“You cannot just say, ‘Alright, I’m going to offload this [information] to some other third-party and then I’m just going to get the benefit of it,” said Dave. “That doesn’t work in the highly regulated, compliant industry that mortgages are.”
Raymond Grewe, a branch manager for Paramount Residential Mortgage Corp. in the Greater Baltimore area, said he uses ChatGPT sparingly, but not for many mortgage functions. He said he’s used the chatbot for scripting messages. Other lenders said they have used the chatbot to check grammar and edit paragraphs of text.
“I always feel weird about putting third-party information into a system like that,” he said. “I personally used it for creating some scripting.”
ChatGPT has limited information beyond 2021, and can’t provide users answers about current mortgage rates or home prices. Grewe expressed interest in Bing AI, the new AI chatbot tied to Microsoft’s search engine that can provide real-time information. Microsoft is also a $10 billion investor in ChatGPT.
Grewe said he’s an “early-to-mid” adopter of ChatGPT, and said his firm leans into tech heavily, a distinction amid a generally tech-averse industry. Grewe questioned aloud whether the technologies could eventually replace loan officers, or at least help speed the mortgage underwriting process.
The industry’s biggest lenders haven’t publicly integrated ChatGPT into their operations, while smaller entities like InstaMortgage have enhanced their own AI for customers. ChatGPT may not be ready to originate a mortgage, but originators will continue to utilize the chatbot.
“I’m authentic. I do create my own content,” said Hess. “That’s how this ChatGPT has really helped me because now I have what I want to do, but maybe I don’t know the proper wording for it. So that’ll help me so I can connect with the right people…It’s the way of the future and I don’t want to stay stagnant in the past.”
The Community Home Lenders of America (CHLA) submitted a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in support of changes to the loan originator compensation rule, telling CFPB Director Rohit Chopra that the current rule’s “inflexibility” in certain areas is a “detriment” to consumers.
The letter calls for increased flexibility in LO compensation restrictions, which would “[benefit] consumers without opening loopholes that would allow for anti-consumer practices,” according to the letter.
The CHLA is calling for “for flexibility from the strict prohibition against variations in LO compensation” in three areas, according to the letter: state housing finance agency (HFA) bond loans; “truly competitive situations” in order to enable a lender to match a price offer; and error on the part of the loan originator.
State HFA bond programs are more complex than other single-family loan options, which means that HFA loans are more expensive to manufacture.
Prior to the implementation of the CFPB LO comp rule, it was common for lenders to absorb the higher costs by reducing the fee to the originator. However, the CFPB rule does not currently allow for this.
“The inability to reduce loan originator compensation to offset HFA production costs under the current LO Comp rule harms consumers by discouraging lender participation in these vital programs,” the CHLA states in the letter. “Moreover, because HFA loans are generally more costly to underwrite and therefore less profitable, providing LO comp flexibility for such loans does not create financial incentives to steer borrowers to higher-priced loans.”
The CHLA also contends that “an overly restrictive limitation that compensation may not vary” interferes with the broader objective of increasing competition and consumer choice.
“Many lender groups have for some time argued for targeted flexibility for loan originators in this situation, typically asking for such flexibility when there is ‘demonstrable price competition,’” the letter states.
To address this while ensuring “demonstrable price competition,” the CHLA recommends five criteria to address concerns while also allowing for comp reductions: an agreed-upon compensation schedule between the lender and originator; facilitating borrower comparison shopping after the current lender has provided “substantial assistance” with finding the right loan option; the original lender matching the offer of the competitor; a lender not making regular use of this flexibility; and logging that all preceding requirements have been met.
In regard to comp reduction for LO mistakes, the CHLA says that a lender should have the authority to reduce compensation based on the cost incurred by the mistake.
“This is based on the simple principle that loan originators should take financial responsibility for their errors,” the letter states.
The CFPB issued an official request for comment in March as it conducts a review of Regulation Z’s mortgage loan originator rules. The goal for the CFPB is to understand the economic impact the rules have on smaller businesses in the mortgage space.
Some mortgage professionals see unconventional homebuyers as the “difficult ones.”
And, truth be told, those with more complicated financial situations can make the home loan qualification process longer and harder these days.
Enter: creativity in lending. The conventional home loan that often requires a stellar credit score and a hefty down payment isn’t the only option. Mortgage brokers — who can shop countless loan products from any wholesale lender they choose — have access to a variety of alternative home financing options. That’s all to say, “unconventional” financial situations aren’t so difficult when you have “unconventional” home loans.
Emily Tolbert, mortgage loan originator at Motto Mortgage Signature Plus, relies on alternative financing options for many borrowers. “I have seen dreams come true for self-employed people who cannot qualify for a conforming conventional loan. One of my clients struggled to qualify for the home he wanted when using his tax return income calculation. After speaking with him about the Bank Statement Loan program, I gathered 12 months of bank statements and had his income calculated at around 3 times the tax return amount. This allowed him to increase his purchase power and get into a home he now loves.”
You want to expand your homebuyer pool. You want to encourage your clients. You want them to know that homeownership might be for them… right… now. Alternative home financing knowledge can do that.
Our top 5 alternative potential home loan options
1. The Home Loan for the Self-Employed (AKA: The Bank Statement Loan)
Your homebuyers might not get a paycheck from “the man.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re out of the mortgage loan game. A Bank Statement Loan may allow them to qualify with their actual cash flow instead of their tax documents.
2. The Home Loan for the City Dweller (AKA: The Jumbo Loan)
Do your buyers need a bigger mortgage loan for a home in a more expensive part of town? Many mortgage program loan limits fall short of home prices in high-cost areas. That’s where a jumbo loan might help. They’re designed to offer home loan amounts above the limits established for many other mortgage programs.
3. The Home Loan for a First Investment Property (AKA: The Cash-Out Refinance)
Have any budding investors or side hustlers in your pipeline? Reaching out to chat about potentially using their home equity to buy an investment property can expand your opportunities too. Their equity might be high right now and so are rent prices. Just saying.
4. The Home Loan for the Budget-Conscious (AKA: The FHA Loan)
Your clients have probably heard of that “more obtainable home loan” option, but they might not know it by name. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan was created to make homeownership more accessible. Applicants with lower credit scores may be able to qualify (as compared to a conventional mortgage loan) and the minimum down payment requirement is just 3.5%.
5. The Home Loan for Retirees (AKA: The Asset-Based Loan)
Are your retired clients ready for their next homeownership chapters? They don’t necessarily need to let a fixed income bookmark their plans. An asset-based mortgage loan program might allow them to qualify for a home loan using existing wealth like home equity, stocks, certificates of deposit (CDs), and 401Ks.
Loan knowledge = more homebuyers
Sure, the market is picking back up. And sure, bidding wars are becoming less of a “battle.” But home affordability remains a major challenge in the housing market (we know we’re preaching to the choir here). By brushing up on some “unconventional” home loan options, you can help guide your homebuyers to the purchase they’re hoping for.
Because let’s face it. As many times as we (the mortgage people) tell homebuyers to speak with a mortgage professional as the first step in their homebuying process, we all know they’re going to you, their agent, first. And that’s kind of a great thing… especially when you can explain what’s possible.
Hi. We’re Motto Mortgage. We’re a mortgage brokerage franchisor – that just means we’ve put a mortgage business together for you. With Motto, you can get an additional revenue stream and your customers get in-house home loan services. Plus, we’ll help with the heavy lifting so you can grow your business without having to take your eyes off your real estate brokerage.
Each office in the Motto Mortgage network is independently owned, operated, and licensed.
This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a Motto Mortgage franchise. It is for informational purposes only. We will not offer you a franchise in states or other jurisdictions where registration is required unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration requirements in your state (or have been exempted therefrom) and a Franchise Disclosure Document has been delivered to you before the sale in compliance with applicable law. New York residents: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can be made by prospectus only. Minnesota Reg. No. F-8089. Motto Franchising, LLC, 5075 South Syracuse St #1200, Denver, CO 80237, 1.866.668.8649. © 2023 Motto Franchising, LLC.
MD: When I started this journey as a mortgage loan originator, I set a personal goal to average at least two to three loans a month. Right now, however, I am getting ready to close a dozen loans in 45 days. I put in the time, and I nurtured my pipeline, and these results prove … [Read more…]
Today we’ll review East Coast based mortgage broker “Silver Fin Capital,” which says it’s the #1 rated certified lender in New York based on LendingTree reviews.
The company has also been ranked the #1 lender across LendingTree’s nationwide network four times since inception in 2005, and landed in the top-10 rankings eight times.
Additionally, they pride themselves on never having a complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau, while maintaining an A+ rating.
So clearly they’re making their customers happy and striving for perfection when it comes to customer satisfaction, which is a big plus.
Assuming they also offer low mortgage rates with limited fees, they could be a good choice if you need a mortgage on the East Coast.
Let’s discover more about them.
Silver Fin Capital Fast Facts
- Mortgage broker that offers home purchase loans and refinances
- Founded in 2005, headquartered in Great Neck, NY
- Has 60+ wholesale lender partners in its network to choose from
- Currently licensed to do business in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and New York
- A LendingTree Certified Lender for the year 2021
- Pride themselves on having zero complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
As noted, Silver Fin Capital is a mortgage broker, which means they connect homeowners with their wholesale lender partners.
This allows them to shop your loan scenario and mortgage rate with a variety of their partners all at once to land you the best possible rate with the fewest fees.
At last glance, the company said it had more than 60 wholesale lender partners in its network, meaning they should have lots of options to both shop your rate and find a suitable loan program.
The company got its start back in 2005, and is headquartered in Great Neck, New York.
They are currently licensed to do business in just four states, including Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and New York.
Aside from their flawless BBB rating, they are also a LendingTree Certified Lender.
This means they’ve demonstrated a commitment to employee development with at least half of their loan originators certified (while also earning high marks from LendingTree customers).
How to Apply for a Home Loan with Silver Fin Capital
- First call them up or fill out a short contact form on their website
- A loan originator will then discuss loan options and rates with you
- They offer secure document uploading to speed up the loan process
- Unclear if they offer a fully digital mortgage application or eClose options
To begin, you can either call Silver Fin Capital up directly or fill out a short contact form on their website.
If you go the online route, a licensed mortgage loan originator will promptly contact you to discuss loan options and provide a personalized rate quote.
Once you speak with a loan officer and intend to move forward, you can proceed to filling out the mortgage application.
It’s unclear if they offer a fully digital application, but my assumption is you’ll be able to complete most tasks electronically, whether it’s eSigning documents or uploading documents.
They do have a page dedicated to secure document upload, so once you are approved, you’ll easily be able to share files to satisfy any outstanding loan conditions.
Based on their stellar customer satisfaction ratings, Silver Fin Capital probably makes it super easy to apply for and manage your home loan from start to finish.
Loan Programs Available at Silver Fin Capital
- Home purchase loans
- Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, and streamline options
- Home renovation loans
- Conventional loans
- Jumbo loans
- FHA loans
- VA loans
- Reverse mortgages
- Interest-only home loans
- Fixed-rate options: 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
- Adjustable-rate options: 3, 5, 7 or 10 years
One plus to using Silver Fin Capital is their extensive product menu. This is a benefit to using a mortgage broker, as they have not one lending menu, but dozens.
In fact, they say they’ve got 60+ lender partners to choose from, meaning you should be able to get your hands on just about any type of home loan that exists, regardless of your property type.
They should have you covered whether it’s a home purchase, mortgage refinance, renovation loan, or even a reverse mortgage.
You’ll also be able to get anything from a conventional loan to a government-backed loan (FHA or VA) to a jumbo or interest-only mortgage.
The one major loan type they might not have is USDA loans, which are reserved for borrowers in rural areas.
In terms of specific loan programs, they offer both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages in a large variety of loan terms.
You shouldn’t face too many restrictions in this department, and brokers also tend to be good at funding difficult scenarios, whether you’re self-employed or experienced a recent credit event.
Silver Fin Capital Mortgage Rates
While Silver Fin Capital doesn’t advertise its mortgage rates on its website, they will have numerous options for you to choose from due to their many wholesale lender partners.
Instead of showing you rates from just one company, they have the ability to shop your rate with dozens of lenders simultaneously to find you the best combination of rate and fee.
They also say they structure most loans where the lender pays them directly, meaning you won’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket if that’s your wish.
But even though they’re a broker who can shop on your behalf, it’s still recommended to compare two or three brokers to see what they can offer.
It might be possible to find better pricing, or negotiate more effectively if you can pit two brokers against one another.
Silver Fin Capital Reviews
On LendingTree, they have a perfect 5.0 rating from 700+ customer reviews, along with a 99% recommendation rate.
The company is also one of just eight Certified Lenders on the LendingTree platform for the year 2021.
Over at Zillow, they’ve got a similarly stellar 4.95-star rating out of a possible five from 120+ reviews, with a good chunk of them saying the interest rate received was lower than expected.
Additionally, they’ve got a 5-star rating on Google from about 125 customer reviews, which tells us they’re consistent in the customer satisfaction department.
Lastly, they are an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau and currently have an ‘A+’ rating based on complaint history.
And as mentioned, they’ve never had a complaint filed against them with the BBB.
In summary, Silver Fin Capital could be a good choice for both home buyers and those looking to refinance, who prefer a more hands-on approach from a broker.
Their ability to shop rates on your behalf is also a plus if you’re not one to put in the time yourself.
Silver Fin Capital Pros and Cons
- Offer a simplified and streamlined mortgage loan process
- Can shop your mortgage rate with dozens of lenders all at once
- Lots of loan programs to choose from thanks to their many lender partners
- Excellent reviews from past customers across all ratings sites
- A+ BBB rating, accredited business (with no complaints filed)
- Mortgage glossary and mortgage calculators on their website
The Perhaps Not
- Only licensed in four East Coast states
- Do not disclose mortgage rates or lender fees
- They won’t service you loan after closing
(photo: KMR Photography)
The CFPB wants to assess the economic impact of the rules on smaller business entities, according to a request for comment.