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Originators Certifiable

NAMB, MBA offer certifications

November 7, 2007

By SAM GARCIA


Loan originators can enhance their image with a seal of approval from various mortgage organizations.

For a payment of $300 and agreement to adhere to a common set of principles, originators can be certified as an Upfront Mortgage Broker. Members of the Upfront Mortgage Brokers Association agree to establish their fees at the beginning of transactions in exchange for providing prospective borrowers access to wholesale rates throughout the process.

The model was the brainchild of Jack M. Guttentag, founder of GHR Systems Inc. and Professor of Finance Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, according to his Web site.

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers unveiled Monday a Lending Integrity Seal of Approval for its members. The program will be administered through state affiliates of the Washington, D.C.-based group.

The designation requires the holder to be licensed by a state regulator, pass a criminal background check and follow a code of ethics and business practices, according to an announcement Monday. Other requirements include the submission of three business references, attendance at specialized training courses and agreement to utilize the trade group's formal ethics grievance review process.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage threw its support behind NAMB's programs.

"NAMB's Lending Integrity platform stands out as such because it provides a high national standard for mortgage brokers and their loan officers," a Wells Fargo executive was quoted as saying in NAMB's press release.

The seal is expected to be available for display to qualified brokers sometime in early 2008.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, through its CampusMBA subsidiary, is now offering a Certified Loan Officer designation. CLOs can be designated at three levels, with the highest level involving a comprehensive exam.

A CLO, who must have at least four years' experience originating residential mortgage loans, pays a registration fee starting at $300 for MBA members. Subsequent course and exam fees are also required.

Among the five Web-based or print-based courses which must be completed are Introduction to Secondary Marketing, Real Estate Law, and Ethical Decision Making for Mortgage Bankers.

CLOs must complete five points of continuing education every two years, MBA said.

"The designation, which is certain to become the nationally recognized certification for residential loan officers, shows the industry and consumers alike that the holder is a dedicated and knowledgeable professional," CampusMBA said on its Web site.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: [email protected]


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