Proposed RESPA Reform

When I read the news on HUD’s proposed reform of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) I was skeptical. Cathy from Sequim challenged me to read the 96-page federal register document so we could all figure out what’s going on. I am here to tell you that there is one very good change coming out of this proposal. In fact, it’s so good that I am borderline hopeful that this change might do what legislation is suppose to do and what HUD forgot to do when they signed the original version of RESPA in 1974. But first, the changes that will have many, but not all mortgage brokers screaming bloody murder:

HUD wants to make the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) look the same, no matter where homebuyers apply. Right now there are many off-the-shelf (OTS) software systems that make the GFE look different from company to company. Also, some OTS software can be modified. Some fees, for example, the Yield Spread Premium (YSP), are shown down at the bottom of the form, below the “total costs

Let's Do Away with Loan Origination Compensation

Following up with Tim’s post on getting rid of YSP, I thought I’d share my idea on just getting rid of commissions being paid to a Mortgage Originator all together.  Why stop at the misunderstood yield spread premium when the current system is flawed.   Why should be we be compensated based off of what size the loan amount is when we should be paid based on how much work and time is invested with the client.

Mortgage Professionals should be compensated based on how many hours they spend with each client.

  • This would eliminate steering to other mortgage products which might be more lucrative.
  • Assure that consumers would receive plenty of consultation from their Mortgage Professional.
  • Mortgage Professionals would be compensated for helping consumers with their credit, debt and asset management scenarios regardless of whether or not they ever finance a home using their services.
  • If a consumer really needed to reach a LO after hours or weekends; they could pay overtime to the Mortgage Professional.
  • Mortgage Professionals would change their directive from how many millions in loans they are originating to how much time is spent with each consumer.
  • Consumers could freely select one Mortgage Professional to help with getting ready to purchase or mortgage a home and another to finance the loan with no strings attached or hard feelings from the LO.   Perhaps some Mortgage Professionals would become specialist in such areas.
  • Consumers could select various Mortgage Professionals based on their experience which would be reflected in their hourly rate of pay.   This falls in line with suggestions that Jillayne has made on a having a tiered system of Mortgage Professionals.
  • No more YSP.  (Even though this is silly because mortgage bankers receive compensation on the back end and are not required to disclose it).
  • True Mortgage Planners and Consultants instead of “Originators”.

A big argument I would have against this is that I would not want someone to not call me because they’re afraid of the bill that would follow after I provide hours of advice.

Your thoughts?

Let Brokers charge what they want. Do away with YSP.

Couldn’t the whole yield spread premium (YSP) debate with all the trimmings end with a simple solution such as allowing the broker to charge whatever they want? Let the free market sort it out. Certainly lenders would have to be on board and do away with incentives or change them somehow, but it seems to me that everyone is making it so complicated.

Yes, compliance issues, licensing and fair dealing issues are important and should be implemented in some manner.


  • Just disclose up front what the compensation is based on the interest rate or program the borrower qualifies for. Therefore…….
    • No more the need to attend sales seminars on learning how to overcome objections, which will allow more time to attend seminars on how to provide sterling service.
    • No more awkward moments for the loan officer attending an escrow singing when the borrower questions that “YSP thingy.”
    • No more loan officers asking escrow “how will you explain YSP” to the borrower, as if escrow’s response somehow dictates whether or not they will receive future business.
    • No more agents having to watch helplessly at their clients becoming frustrated or stressed out due to lending problems associated with YSP’s and the completely preventable situation where a transaction spirals out of control at the last moment.
  • How about lenders just have a simplified schedule of programs and rates that the borrower can choose from and if they pay a higher interest rate they receive a rebate that can be used on their behalf. How about just turning the PC monitor around and showing the consumer the several programs available and then have a good old fashioned counseling session. It would save every single moving part in a transaction a lot of grief. And it would save transactions from failing at the last moment because a “nuclear bomb disclosure” by a lender about the yield spread premium a loan officer is earning that freaks out the borrower.

I can just about darn near guarantee that if a consumer knows where all the chips are on the table, they would have no problem moving forward with a transaction. Give a consumer the very best rate they can qualify for, at the very lowest fee structure you can, with all the chips clearly on the table and Bam! you have a happy client, fostering long-term value.

When will someone just give the consumer what they want? Somebody is working on it and they are going to will be very successful. Is it really more complicated? If so, sound off.

The Mortgage Witch Hunt

Just in time for Halloween, officials from various levels of government are gathering together over the [photopress:salemexamof.jpg,thumb,alignright]frightful happenings going on in the mortgage industry. Home values were going down, mortgage payments were on the rise and consumers did not contact their mortgage professional for advice. Some were provided opportunities to own homes by using “non-traditional