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National Mortgage Lending Conference Provides Takeaways
DALLAS (8/23/13)--A record number of credit union attendees received mortgage lending takeaways at CU Members Mortgage's 16th annual National Lending Conference in Dallas, July 15-16.

The conference's theme was "Diving Deep: A Quest for Mortgage Success," with speakers and networking events to help attendees better prepare for an ever-changing mortgage market. Topics covered included the latest mortgage-related regulations, economic projections, underwriting red flags and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) servicing changes.

Here's a recap of some of the conference sessions:
  • CU Members Mortgage President David Motley's "Navigating the Latest Regulations." Motley focused on seven new CFPB rules that will go into effect within the next six months: Ability to Repay, Qualified Mortgage, Escrow Account, Appraisals and other Valuations, and Loan Originator Compensation. Most will impact credit unions' daily operations, which means credit unions should be making policy decisions now on how to implement the guidelines, Motley said.
  • Texas A&M University's Research Economist Dr. James P. Gaines' "Fishing for Answers: Economic Review and Projection. The economy has slowly recovered with home sales and construction, car sales and retail sales increasing, but uncertainty looms with health care costs in 2014, Gaines said. The economy is leaning more heavily on housing as the country emerges from its recession. He also discussed the Fed's exit strategy and why home prices are on the rise.
  • CU Member Mortgage Vice President of Direct Lending Matthew Abbink's "Secrets of Cs: Underwriting Red Flags that Sink Your Loans." Red flags that can sink a credit union's lending program include capacity (employment, debt-to-income ratio, income), cash (deposits, account ownership, verifications), collateral (1004/appraisal, property inspection, automated valuation models, business process outsourcing), credit ("thin" credit, disputed accounts, contingent liabilities, foreclosures, undisclosed debts), and character (experience, intuition).
  • CU Member Mortgage Senior Vice President of Loan Servicing Tim Neer's "Staying Afloat in the Servicing Abyss." Neer provided a CFPB update on the latest changes in servicing that will be effective Jan. 10. The changes cover servicing transfer notices and nine areas of servicing: periodic statements, interest-rate adjustment notices, prompt payment crediting and payoff statements, force-placed insurance, error resolution and information requests, general servicing policies and procedures, early intervention with delinquent consumers, continuity of contract with delinquent consumers, and loss mitigation procedures.
  • Ben Rogers, research director for Filene Research Institute, shared insight into changing a credit union's mortgage approach for a changing population.
  • Credit union executives also shared their best practices in mortgage lending in a panel. Senior Director of Consumer Lending Sales and Business Development Tim Johnson from Arizona FCU, Phoenix, shared his experience in launching a front-line incentive program, and how several key changes such as offering an online mortgage application helped his program soar.
  • Blaine Rada, CUNA Mutual Group Mortgage Insurance's customer training manager, discussed growing credit unions' purchase market with a focus on what it means to be a purchase market specialist.

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