Employment Ideas for Laid Off Mortgage Workers

Current estimates project the number of mortgage industry workers that will lose their jobs to be 100,000 or more. Here are some job hunting ideas for those resilient folks who love mortgage lending and want to ride out the storm by making a lateral move within the industry.

Consider looking deeper into the big three information service companies (we use to call them the title insurance companies: Firstam, Fidelity, Landam) and check out all the job openings in your state.

[photopress:fired_1_2.jpg,thumb,alignright]If you are an underwriter, consider becoming an independent mortgage compliance consultant. You can help existing mortgage firms move up a notch with training and compliance. But that would mean you will actually have to talk with retail mortgage salespeople and pretend like you are enjoying the conversation. This would be a daily thing and requires your blood pressure and HDL/LDL cholesterol readings to be at or within a healthy range or, alternatively, you should prepare to show an active prescription for Lipitor. If you can’t stomach working directly with retail mortgage salespeople, then consider a position in auditing and compliance at a major bank or lender in your hometown. Someone will have to help write and enforce the ever-changing tighter lending guidelines. However, your real talent may be of use as an independent expert witness for law firms in mortgage broker and shareholder lawsuits. Underwriters, don’t leave the business. We need you now more than ever. Besides, who’s going to help re-assess the risk on all those collateralized debt obligations? Nobody knows what anything is worth right now. You ought to be cashing in on those jobs.

If you are a loan processor, consider joining an independent contract processing company, or forming your own company. If you are a really good loan processor, consider becoming a retail mortgage salesperson yourself. The very best loan originators start out as processors. You will be better than the competition in your hometown because of your knowledge in state and federal laws governing mortgage lending. Trust me on this.

If you were an entry-level worker, such as an assistant or receptionist, you might seek employment as an assistant to a top-producing retail mortgage salesperson or real estate agent. Title companies routinely hire entry-level folks and a background in lending will help. In fact, you might even know more about title insurance than some of the sales reps. If you’re good looking, and by that I mean “hot,” consider a job as a title rep. Am I being too cynical? I don’t think so. But maybe title isn’t the place for you. If you have masochistic tendencies, perhaps escrow is more up your alley.

Traditionally, when the retail side of lending turns soft, jobs open up on the other side; the dark side of mortgage lending. Consider job openings with trustee service companies (these are the companies that help lenders foreclosure), or check out opportunities for jobs in the foreclosure and loss mitigation divisions of local banks and loan servicing companies. Also, there are bound to be job openings for default counselors with non-profit associations. Start by going to HUD.gov, click on the link “talk to a housing counselor