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Changes in Regulations Governing the Mortgage Broker Market

A considerable amount of a mortgage broker’s salary is based on the commissions they receive for completing a loan transaction.  The market continues to increase in competitiveness, since mortgage brokers now has access to wholesale markets and because of the lower overhead involved with running a brokerage firm.  Access to wholesale markets means a mortgage broker can get loan approvals from some of the largest lending institutions in the country.  A mortgage broker can instantly adjust interest in order to compete with other firms for clients.  Also, they don’t have to follow the fixed profit margins of larger firms and this flexibility has allows mortgage brokers to take over a very large share of the mortgage market.  Lending rates are constantly changing and a mortgage broker will do well to compare the day’s rates before deciding on the best lender for their clients.

On the flip side mortgage brokers face somewhat stricter regulations regarding what they have to disclose.  One example of information that a mortgage broker has to disclose and a bank usually does not necessarily have to is the yield spread premium.  Brokers make money because they set the interest rates of mortgages above the wholesale prices.  The yield spread premium is the money paid to the broker based on how much higher the interest is set above the wholesale rates.  Another even stricter mortgage broker requirement is to provide the customer with a Good Faith Estimate, which outlines in detail all the costs associated with the mortgage.  Since all mortgage brokers must provide their clients with this information it is an excellent way to compare offers between different brokers.

Recently enacted laws regarding mortgage brokering have done much to help consumers.  There are now standards in place that a mortgage broker must comply with when charging a client fees.  To avoid having the mortgage deemed as a “High Cost Mortgage” the mortgage broker must keep the fees charged under a certain threshold.  In every state except California a mortgage broker does not have a fiduciary responsibility, financial liability for giving bad financial advice,  to act in the best interests of their client.  A word to the wise looking to purchase a mortgage outside of California is to shop around.

It is especially important to be extremely cautious with the high occurrence of mortgage fraud reported by the FBI.  If a broker asks you to falsify documents, for example your monthly income, then you need to cut ties with them immediately and report this activity to the authorities.  Another area where a dishonest mortgage broker may seek to defraud a borrower is by refusing to reveal their yield spread premium or some other illegal hidden fee before the deal has been closed.  The federal government is working hard to put an end to these sorts of dishonest mortgage practices and with the help of well-informed consumers these type of predatory lenders can be stopped.  Using the information in this article can help you to choose a reputable mortgage broker to handle your loan.

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