Slideshow 8 Takeaways from the 2015 Regional Conference of MBAs

  • March 18 2015, 12:35pm EDT
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From interest rate movements to new disclosures and vendor management challenges, the recent Regional Conference of Mortgage Bankers Associations in Atlantic City touched on myriad hot-button topics the mortgage industry faces this year.

Rates Will Go Down, Not Up

The Federal Reserve Board will not raise rates at its June meeting, and quite possibly not all during this year, predicted industry consultant Barry Habib. "Would the Fed risk strengthening the dollar even more" by raising rates? Habib asked rhetorically.

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Falling Oil Prices Hurt More Than Help

Because of the drop in oil prices, producers are shuttering operations and laying off workers. The $12 per week consumers are saving at the gas pumps is too little to prompt growth in large purchases, Habib added. Image: Fotolia

Originations Will Suffer from Fewer Servicers

Proposed capital standards for nonbank servicers will hurt firms that only originate loans, said Bill Cosgrove, CEO of Union Home Mortgage and chairman of the national Mortgage Bankers Association. For the market to work, there needs to be someone willing to service loans, and "egregious" requirements will drive nonbank servicers out of the business. Image: Fotolia

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New Disclosures, New Timelines

Some lenders are panicking about the implementation of RESPA/TILA reforms that take effect in August, said HomeBridge Financial Services CEO Peter Norden. Aside from the new forms, the biggest change is that consumers must receive the new settlement statement three days before closing. But realistically, lenders need to send the Closing Disclosure to consumers seven days in advance to ensure compliance, Steve Gottheim, the American Land Title Association's legislative and regulatory counsel, said during a presentation. Image: Fotolia

GSE Reform Could Lead to Higher Rates

An overhaul of housing finance will be a huge task, and Congress needs to come to grips with its impact on the secondary market, particularly the relationship between mortgage bond pricing and interest rates on home loans, former Ginnie Mae President Joseph Murin said. Without federal guarantees behind mortgage securities, he estimates mortgage interest rates could rise 200 to 300 basis points. Image: Thinkstock

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Too Little, Too Late

While the Obama administration's decision to cut the FHA's monthly mortgage insurance premium shows its willingness to address the industry's future, the overtures have come too late in the president's tenure to spark more comprehensive reforms, added Robert Couch, another former Ginnie Mae president. Image: Fotolia

Don't Start Paying Loan Officers Overtime

All the Supreme Court did in its Perez v. MBA decision is remove one type of exemption for originators to consider if an employee is entitled to overtime, said Ken Markison vice president and regulatory counsel for the Mortgage Bankers Association, the losing side in the case. Image: Thinkstock

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Treat Vendors Like Employees

Regulators expect lenders to monitor the activities of outside vendors as if they were their own employees. Plus, they need to measure and categorize vendors by level of risk, said industry consultant Regina Lowrie. Image: Fotolia