Pickel Urges Brokers to Reach 'Underserved'

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A. W. Pickel, the outgoing president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, has issued a personal challenge to mortgage brokers to fill the needs of certain underserved communities in America.At the group's annual convention in Salt Lake City, he quoted a line from the movie Spiderman that said with great power comes great responsibility. Mortgage brokers, by virtue of their dominant market share, "have a great responsibility," he said. His first challenge to fellow brokers involved Native Americans. "These people need home loans," he said, noting that just 1,269 loans have been made on Native American lands as of 2002. "We need to help these people." Mr. Pickel's second challenge called on brokers to supply homes to rural America. "The key is, brokers can go where banks cannot," he said. "It takes a lot of money to put up a brick-and-mortar branch for a bank. But all I need and all you need is a laptop and a car." Finally he called on mortgage brokers to help expand homeownership in the colonias, Hispanic communities along the Mexican border. While singling out those three areas, Mr. Pickel added that there are other groups and other ethnic minorities that mortgage brokers need to reach out to. Mr. Pickel also used the opportunity to denounce the use of the terms subprime, nonprime, and alternative loans, saying these should really be called "choice" loans. Conforming loans fit into a small box, while choice loans fit a larger definition, he said, holding his hands wide apart.

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