A new association, the National Association of Mortgage Professionals Inc., has been formed to "[raise] the professional standards of the industry in an effort to bolster consumer confidence."The Irvine, Calif.-based association said the NAMP seal, the Mortgage "M," will serve as the "gold stamp of approval" for the industry. The NAMP said its Mortgage "M" program will qualify mortgage and loan professionals by requiring them to pass a series of credential checks in order to become a member. The credential checks will verify that an applicant has a valid license, is continuing education within the field, abides by and promotes the NAMP Code of Ethics, and passes a background check. Credentials will be confirmed annually, and the confirmation will include a check to ensure that the person is a member in good standing. "Consumers have lost faith in the lending industry as a whole, and we need a solution in place that will improve the way people experience the loan process -- NAMP does just that," said Michael Lefevre, founder and chief executive officer of NAMP. The association can be found online at http://www.namp.org.

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