Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Can Part Time Loan Officers Be Successful?

This question can be answered in two ways, but first one would have to ask themselves why they would be working as a loan officer part time. If you already have experience in the business, and you understand the ins and outs of mortgages, you may do fine. But if you have a lot to learn, and are new to the industry, you may not find that you are learning at a pace that brings you any substantial income for quite some time. There are mortgage companies out there that can assign other more experienced loan officers to be your "mentor" and help you learn some of the lingo and more popular products.

If you have another job, you may be pressed up against deadlines that you can't realistically meet. I have read about a man who is actually in the mortgage industry, stayed in a hotel with a wife, two kids, and a cat for five weeks while waiting for his loan to close through a moonlighting loan officer before finding out that it was causing him to sleep most of the day. He gave the loan to a co-worker and his loan was closed in 4 days. Although it is true that there are full time workers that accomplish part time volumes, and part time workers that generate full time incomes successfully, it is generally a good idea to focus on one thing, and do it well. Many times, a new homeowner's dreams are becoming reality at this point in their life, and a good mortgage professional is there to ensure that things are going smoothly and quickly.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I Wanna Buy a House NOW!

Today's mortgage products reflect more and more who we are as a people, as a whole unit, as Americans. Interest Only for example, or I/O, has become a popular trend for people who would not otherwise be able to afford a home. I/Os sound more like "rent to own" from a lender instead of a private owner. You pay the mortgage payment (just the interest) monthly, but no money towards the actual purchasing of the house until the predetermined interest only period expires. With rent to own, you pay the owner for a predetermined period of time, then begin to make payments towards the purchase. With many of the new mortgage trends, uneducated buyers don't really know what they are getting into, or that they'll be further behind than they planned.

Many of the new products sound like gold to the untrained ear. But to the fully informed consumer, mortgages sometimes sound more like layaway at Wal-Mart, But more recently consumers have become okay with making payments without actually getting to purchase the product. The difference is you get to live in it while you pay large fees, but still don't have to pay a penny towards equity. This also means that if you sell or default, there is no money actually paid on the house - sometimes for up to ten years. "Don't pay off your house just yet, that's too expensive. You can just pay us a giant monthly fee (but less than you would pay for the house payments), and we will own it for you until you can afford it."

It's not just the house, it's the cars and big-boy toys in the garage and dozens of pairs of boots and strappy heels in the closet. I remember watching sitcoms and cartoons when I was a child, and an image of a cute little girl in pig-tails pops into my mind, smiling and asking for something she wants, bashfully fluttering her long eyelashes. Mom or Dad says no, and she immediately turns into a horrid monster - jumping up and down and screaming, "I want it now, Now, NOW!" It's an image I once thought to be funny, but it has become an ugly American reality today. In fact, that behavior has nearly become habitual, and has infected not only the American people, but is exemplified and encouraged by the very core of our government, and has led to one of the greatest unnatural disasters in our history - overspending. The aftermath is the debt. Think about it, earthquakes and hurricanes are devastating, but the aftermath involves an enormous task of cleaning, repairing, rebuilding, and new building standards. Sound a bit like credit and debt solutions?