Representatives of the New York State Banking Department were on the defensive Sept. 22 when members of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers questioned them about a proposed education requirement at the group's convention in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.Barbara Kent, the department's director of consumer services and financial products, told the general session that no one thinks it is a bad idea to provide education, but that the banking department is in a tough position because it is trying to cut its budget by 10%. This would be difficult if the department were adding the administrative costs of an education program, Ms. Kent explained. The department is not against education, she said, but it has to be done in such a way that it "does not get bogged down" and has real significance. Kenneth Bielemeier, deputy superintendent of the department's mortgage banking division, added that the department's educational thrust has been aimed at consumers, not the industry. He noted that the department does bring in new brokers for a half-day meeting where the department explains what it expects from them.

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