President's Message

 

Message from FAMP President Linda Knowlton



What's in a Name?


This quotation is a profound one that suggests that names themselves do not hold worth nor meaning, and they simply act as labels to distinguish one thing or person from another.

THIS is what FAMP stands for - A distinguished difference between licensed originators. A professional standard which a FAMP must adhere to. What is a professional? The term professional refers to anyone who earns their living from performing an activity that requires a certain level of education, skill, or training. There is typically a required standard of competency, knowledge, or education that must be demonstrated (often in the form of an exam or credential), as well as adhering to codes of conduct and ethical standards.

This is the true definition of a FAMP Member.
To be a member of FAMP is to understand the History of FAMP.

The Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers was officially incorporated July 7, 1960.

Florida’s mortgage brokering act originally was based on the private lending market. The current law refers to private investors as “non-institutional investors”. Although they play a smaller part in today’s overall loan production, the non-institutional investor fills the void when the sub-prime market will not fund mortgages to persons who have credit problems.

The late ‘60s and early ‘70s evidenced an age of national reform. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act all came to fruition. Government sponsored enterprises, created by Congress in the early 70s, were authorized to invest in mortgages and funds were raised through the sale of mortgage backed securities. Prior to that time the Government National Mortgage Association, GNMA, who administered the FHA programs, was one of the major sources of mortgage funding.

The Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers founded the National Association of Mortgage Brokers in 1973. Yes, you read that right, Florida mortgage brokers saw the need for a national organization to organize mortgage brokers from across the United States. NAMB staged it first national convention in Atlanta in 1975. The majority of the attendees were Floridians. Walter Smith, one of FAMB’s past presidents, became the first president of the National Association. In 1983 John Yessayan (1983 president) , Don Roberts (1984) and Herman (HY) Weisser (1983) took the national association to Washington, DC. FAMB provided the seed money to help establish the presence needed in DC. Floridians new that our industry and profession would need a national presence to legislatively protect our profession.

In 1990 members of FAMB were appointed by Comptroller Gerald Lewis to serve on the Sunset Task Force covering the re-write of FS494. Between 1988 and 1989 members of the Executive Committee, the MBA of Florida and the Department also worked with a facilitator discussing the manner in which the statute could be re-written. The 1990 version of the Florida Mortgage Brokerage and Lending Act has since become a model for many states.

After the passage of FS494 members of the FAMB were appointed by then Comptroller Robert Milligan to serve on the 1995 task force review of the statute. FAMB has played an important role in educating the brokers. Members were appointed to serve on the state review committee for restructuring the prelicensure exam. In 2001 FAMB was instrumental in requesting the legislature to institute continuing education for brokers and originators. Our state was one of the first to require CE credits for license renewal and since then, with the passage of Dodd-Frank all of the states require education.

Members of the Government Affairs Committee and Executive Committee have testified before Congress during the national reform of RESPA and TILA in 1992- 1994. Our members have consistently monitored mortgage laws. Had it not been for their involvement, far-reaching laws could have stifled the mortgage business in Florida. FAMB served on a coalition to write the Florida Fair Lending Act. Unlike many other states that passed very onerous predatory laws, the Florida law was structured utilizing the same triggers as Federal Law, thus lenders remained viable in our state.

During 2007 several changes occurred in Florida’s Crimes and Fraudulent Practices Statute as well as FS494. Working with the legislature, we were able to provide additional consumer disclosure protection in FS494. The changes will enable consumers to better understand the mortgage process. We supported the changes to the Fraudulent Practices Statute. These changes make it a felony for schemers to fraudulently mortgage and sell real properties.

In March of 2008, the Association, in keeping up with the times, acquired the d/b/a Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals (FAMP).

Our work is never ending. Your association is constantly looking for ways to protect brokers and loan originators legislatively and to enhance the benefits we provide as an association. One rule in politics and legislative activity is don’t just show up when your hair is on fire. Know one knows who you are, how does your business work, what is going on; the education curve is too steep and our profession will be harmed. Professional associations, like FAMP, take the time to create relationships with legislators and regulators so when the time comes we have a relationship with those that can help correct hurtful legislative ideas coming through Tallahassee. Think of an insurance policy, you don’t need it until need it and need it now.

Recently, FAMP Delegates went to Tallahassee to meet with legislators on your behalf. It is critical to keep these lines of communication open to legislators and regulators. If you are not in Tallahassee explaining your business year in and year out, you will be forgotten about. No other mortgage industry player will be there looking out for our interest – Banker, Lender, Real estate brokers, title, appraisers. No, you have to be there to protect yourself. Legislators and regulators need to know your name. That is what’s in a name. Lastly, lets not be so naive to think our competitors are not looking for any opportunity to hamper or implead our mortgage broker business model. We are the best delivery channel for mortgage products and are fierce competitors, work all weekend if needed and as we all have experienced at Friday about 5pm, that call from your Realtor friends asking for a pre-qualification letter! Why do they call the mortgage broker at 5 p.m.? you know why.

If you are already a FAMP member, thank you for your commitment to your chosen profession. For those who are not members, is $99 to protect your profession is too much? Join FAMP today at ourfamp.org. What’s in a name? FAMP members know the answer to this question.

Thank you for supporting your industry! 

Linda Knowlton - Your FAMP President
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