National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) president John Councilman wrote a letter to President Obama after his speech at Lawson State Community College, urging the President to update his speech to reflect the current state of the mortgage industry. In his speech, President Obama spoke of the important role the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has played in helping the U.S. recover from the financial crisis. However, according to Councilman, in an effort to praise the CFPB, the president signaled out mortgage brokers as “unscrupulous.”
"It is my hope, as our President, that you will speak more positively of mortgage brokers," Councilman said in the letter. "They are providing the most cost-effective origination channel, the widest variety of programs, and the best customer service. I believe you can honestly be assured that mortgage brokers provide a wonderful alternative to the large banks."
Councilman stressed that no one has worked more diligently to prevent another financial crisis than mortgage brokers. He says the NAMB has worked with state legislators to pass laws to regulate mortgage brokers and mortgage originators and in July 2008, Congress passed the S.A.F.E. Act with input from the NAMB. This act licensed all non-bank mortgage originators. After this, the Federal Reserve created an anti-steering rule with NAMB input. According to Councilman, all of these happened before the creation of the CFPB.
“Today, mortgage brokers stand as the safest channel for consumers seeking a mortgage. Mortgage broker and other non-bank originators are the only licensed, tested, fully educated mortgage originators,” the letter said. “Bank originators have less rigorous requirements as well as less stringent criminal background standards. In its recent guidance on mini-correspondents, the CFPB concluded that mortgage brokers offer “important consumer protections” not available to consumers through other channels.”
The NAMB president ended his letter by asking President Obama to encourage the CFPB to “level the playing field for all mortgage originators.”
“The maintenance of a competitive mortgage market was called for under Dodd-Frank but has not been realized,” Councilman said. “There are instances where mortgage brokers are unable to help lower-income borrowers due to current regulations, making the borrower’s only choice a large bank, if they receive a loan at all.”