Mortgage brokers are an endangered species. Before the financial crisis, they touched almost three of every four new mortgages. Today, it is closer to one of four, and still declining. The causes are many and include the post-crisis swing to FHA loans, which many brokers aren't eligible to handle, and new disclosure and licensing regulations that put brokers at a disadvantage. In addition, their public esteem and political clout have suffered from the bad press associated with their role in the market frenzy that preceded the financial crisis. To some degree, brokers have gotten a bum rap, since they had nothing to do with the erosion of underwriting standards that paved the way for the crisis. However, they were eager participants who profited from the frenzy, and their pricing policies have long been suspect. Many observers say, "Good riddance," but I don't share that view. Aside from dysfunctional pricing, which can be remedied (see below), mortgage brokerage ...
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