Mortgage Roundtable - Part II

This is part II of a series of questions I asked a group of real estate professionals about the state of real estate lending in 2009. Click here to read Part I of the Leavenworth Mortgage Roundtable

Our panelists include:

Michelle Wilson of Alpine Mortgage. You can find her on the web at

Darel Ansley of Peoples Bank in Wenatchee Washington. He blogs on Active Rain and has been a guest contributor here.

William Doom of Columbia Mortgage Capital in Gig Harbor who blogs at you can follow him@Ymplanner

Rhonda Porter of  Mortgage Master.  She blogs at and is a contributor on RainCityGuide . You can follow her on twitter @mortgageporter.

Tom Vanderwell of  Fifth Third Bank, blogs at You can follow him @tvanderwell

David Gibbons of Zillow.  Zillow provides real estate data about houses and house prices. You can follow him @davidgibbons


4.What reforms in the real estate lending industry will have the biggest impact in 2009?

Michelle:  It will be very interesting to see how Obama and lawmakers choose to allocate the remaining $350 billion in TARP funds, in addition to the $825 billion fiscal stimulus plan that is currently in the works.  

DarelMost of the reforms are actually positive. The major one is the removal of the programs like 'Option ARMs' which allowed people to get upside down in a house fast, and also threw too much gasoline on the Real Estate fire, which led to unsustainable growth rates, and ultimately a hard fall. One negative change is the addition by Fannie Mae of high fees for anyone buying rental properties, no matter how much money they put down. For instance, even a buyer who puts $300,000 down on a $400,000 multifamily property will have to pay 2.75% in extra loan fees on top of everything else. These buyers provide housing for a lot of people, and I believe they are being unfairly penalized.

William: See New Guidelines

Rhonda: I'm concerned about the new guidelines for ordering appraisals. Many loan originators will have little if any contact with the appraiser. The system may be similar to that of how appraisals are ordered with VA loans--you have no idea who that person is going to be or what their level of service is. 

Tom: Tightening lending requirements, reducing mortgage fraud and reducing appraisal abuse. There were too many times when an appraisal was "manipulated" by too many parties to the transactions and that ran prices higher than they should have. For those of us in the business a long time, that's something that is hard to adjust to, but it's a necessary evil. 

David: Nation-wide loan officer licensing should have a positive impact on lender ethics and borrower trust. It's not about rubber-stamping lenders but it does give us a way to keep out those lenders that can't maintain honest standards.


5.Are there reforms that didn't happen that still should?

MichelleI would like to see FHA roll out the proposed zero down HUD insured mortgage that has supposedly been in the works for some time.  FHA has consistently required full job/income disclosure on purchase financing and I believe there is a place for zero down, even in the current lending environment.  Those young professionals with excellent education/job/line of work and good credit should be eligible for zero down financing.  

DarelI don't see any dangerous lending programs out there anymore; so the only additional changes I would like to see is the punishment of the big investment banks that created all these crazy financial derivatives and drove the economy to near collapse. If you look at it like a drug distribution cartel, they were the drug lords, Countrywide was a distributor, and mortgage brokers were the dealers on the street. People have gotten mad at the dealers, and slapped the hands of the distributors, but we have bailed out the drug lords. I am not for long trials and investigations, we should have just let them collapse and go bankrupt, the normal market punishment for making bad choices in business.

William: The tightening may have gone a little too far; we will see loosening in 2010. For now guidelines are tight and we will live within them

Rhonda: Any person who takes a residential loan application as a mortgage originator should be under the very same legislation regardless of what type of institution they work for: bank, mortgage broker, correspondent lender, credit union, etc. Currently much of the legislation is focused on mortgage brokers because they are an easy target lacking the same lobby power the banks have. Consumers should be able to rest assured that regardless of who is taking their loan application, they have the same duty, obligation, responsibility and liability regardless of the type of institution they work for. 

Tom: That's a topic for about two days of conferences, but I'd say there are a couple of them:
Secondary Market reform - the fundamental shape of the secondary mortgage market has and will forever be changed. There will be a substantial difference in the way mortgages are packaged and either they will go the route of permanent and complete nationalization or smaller and more diverse "not too big to fail" little fannies......

Banking Industry - the banking world is essentially bankrupt and we have yet to see even a glimpse of the changes that are coming down that track.

David:  We need more transparency in the mortgage industry at the transaction level. I would like to see a public registry for all GFE's. This may sound like a radical idea but Zillow Mortgage Marketplace has proven that it's possible. Quotes on Zillow are made public without jeopardizing borrower's privacy and we've learned that when quotes are public, lenders are keen to hold their peers accountable and they will clean up their act. 



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I enjoyed reading your work! GREAT post! I looked around for this... but I found you! :) Anyway, would you mind if I threw up a backlink from my site to your site?

Michelle Wilson of Alpine Mortgage replies: Should all lenders be treated the same in WA state as far as licensing goes? I believe there should be a fair playing field. However, that being said, some lenders and brokers have always adhered to higher lending practices and standards. As a reputable local Bank and Broker in the Greater Seattle Area for over 20 years, Alpine Mortgage has been upholding the highest level of Correspondent lending practices and Fannie Mae lender approval requirements. I do agree there should be a strict industry licensing policy for required knowledge regarding program, legal and ethical standards pertaining to mortgage lending practices. Upon entering the mortgage business in 2002, it shocked me to discover the lax licensing requirements for mortgage brokers. As a Fannie Mae approved lender, Alpine has always maintained the highest level of standards in licensing requirements, but it surprised me that smaller brokers and banks were not held accountable to minimal lending standards and practices. The recent additions to Washington State licensing requirements will help weed out the unethical brokers and lenders who contributed to the so-called “mortgage crisis”. More education requirements and increased structure will lead to a stronger foundation for lenders, and strict licensing requirements should serve to accomplish this. How transparent should GFE’s be? What role do Rhonda’s tweets play versus the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace? Transparency lies in how the GFE (Good Faith Estimate) is presented to the borrower. At Loan Application, I go over every line item on the good faith estimate. I explain the reality of the costs involved and even educate my borrowers on how to shop for a mortgage loan by “comparing apples to apples”. Full disclosure is critical, but making the good faith estimate any longer (like the 4 page disclosure required last year) will only add to overwhelming the borrower with redundant information. I agree with Rhonda’s tweets versus the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. In my opinion, any advertisement of rates/costs is to give the consumer a basic overview or ballpark snapshot of what is available in the marketplace.

David, loan originators can also broadcast their rates via twitter, like I do. I prefer this over the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace because it takes away the Loan Originator beatting up another Loan Originator over $50. I respect what Zillow's trying to accomplish for the consumer...however I feel it encourages unprofessional behavior with LO's. Just my 2 cents for what ever it's worth. ;)

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Allyson and Geordie Romer

Leavenworth real estate agents - Allyson and Geordie Romer

For over a decade, Allyson and Geordie have been serving clients in the Leavenworth-area real estate market. Together, they work tirelessly to stay on top of the regional market and present the most relevant opportunities to their clientele.

When not in the office, they can be found exploring the endless recreation opportunities of the area in all of its seasons.




Geordie provided excellent real estate representation! We appreciated his detailed knowledge of the market, his up front and honest approach, and his negotiation skills.
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Laura Anderson



As “west siders” looking for a getaway near Leavenworth, Geordie provided insight … his knowledge of design features important in a “snowy winter wonderland” was appreciated. Thanks Geordie!
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Geordie made this somewhat complicated transition easier for us…going above and beyond to help us work through issues that came up during the sale of our parents home. We appreciated his knowledge, attentiveness to details and his willing spirit.
Our family is grateful for Geordie!
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Geordie was great in every way. We have been looking in the Leavenworth area for some time, and Geordie was absolutely the best for local knowledge, history and depth on neighborhoods, developments and the local market trends. He was very quick to respond (even when he was on his vacation) and worked very diligently to get all of our questions answered in a very timely fashion. We would recommend him highly to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. Very friendly, and helped us navigate all of the local options before we made an offer on the property that we purchased. Thank you, Geordie!

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As reviewed on Zillow  – 

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