Ed­i­tor’s Note

National Mortgage News - - Contents -

win­ter is wind­ing down, and that means con­fer­ence sea­son is in full swing in the mort­gage in­dus­try. These events are a great op­por­tu­nity for mort­gage pro­fes­sion­als — not to men­tion your fa­vorite jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the in­dus­try — to get a first­hand view of the most press­ing is­sues and trends fac­ing lenders and ser­vicers.

For ex­am­ple, the re­cent nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in Cal­i­for­nia and Texas were top of mind among ex­ec­u­tives at the re­cent Mort­gage Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion’s Ser­vic­ing Con­fer­ence. The pro­duc­tive di­a­logue at the event ad­dressed ser­vicers’ many chal­lenges as­sist­ing bor­row­ers in need, in­clud­ing how to im­ple­ment ac­tion plans for dis­as­ter re­sponse to com­par­ing strate­gies for loss mit­i­ga­tion and avoid­ing fore­clo­sure.

Con­fer­ence agen­das are also a great bell­wether for where the in­dus­try is headed. Take last year’s MBA An­nual in Den­ver, where for the first time in re­cent mem­ory, the bro­ker/whole­sale chan­nel was a fea­tured topic at the in­dus­try’s largest con­fer­ence.

Don’t look now, but the bro­kers are back. Their resur­gence is be­ing fu­eled by lenders with a de­sire to feed their orig­i­na­tion ma­chines re­turn­ing to the whole­sale chan­nel, along with a new breed of mort­gage bro­ker that’s tech savvier and more so­phis­ti­cated than its pre­de­ces­sors that flour­ished dur­ing the hous­ing boom.

Case in point: dur­ing a panel I par­tic­i­pated in at a re­cent mort­gage tech­nol­ogy con­fer­ence, a millennial-aged bro­ker in the au­di­ence asked a se­ries of in-depth ques­tions about ap­pli­ca­tion pro­gram in­ter­faces, or APIs, and soft­ware de­vel­op­ment kits, or SDKs, the tools that devel­op­ers use to build in­te­gra­tions and fa­cil­i­tate data ex­changes be­tween tech plat­forms.

As this month’s cover story ex­plains, whole­sale lend­ing can be a very suc­cess­ful en­deavor, as the chan­nel so­lid­i­fies its re­bound from the depths of the hous­ing bust. And with many of the new bro­kers en­ter­ing the busi­ness from other orig­i­na­tion sec­tors, the shift marks a re­verse of the “bro­ker-to-banker” mi­gra­tion that oc­curred in the wake of the cri­sis.

While whole­sale lenders and bro­kers are still far re­moved from their hey­day, the chan­nel has a much brighter fu­ture than many fore­saw just a few years ago.

Austin Kil­gore

Ed­i­tor in Chief

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