Important Notice from NYAMB's President

Attention all Members and Affiliates of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers:

As a follow up to my message earlier today this letter is to inform the membership that your association is currently working carefully with your regulators and other industry partners in response to the current world health crisis and the effect that this may be having on your businesses to date and in the unforeseeable future.

I have received calls and emails from many of you asking for advice and or input on a number of areas that are a concern to all of us so I will attempt to address the most immediate concerns of New York Mortgage Brokers in this letter and then follow up later this week with additional information as necessary. 

Please stay tuned to these Important Notices so that you can stay on top of the direction of your industry as we all move through this together.

Question : Are NYS Mortgage Brokers considered essential Businesses?
Answer : Yes, according correspondence received today from the NYSDFS, Mortgage Brokerage is an Essential Financial Service. 
For Consideration : NY Mortgage Brokers must carefully consider the risks to the public when operating their business and the recommendation from the CDC to work from home should be the current standard of practice for most mortgage brokers. If you are a (1) person operation the current law exempts you from the stay at home provision. NYSDFS has issued emergency guidelines for working at home. Employees may NOT conduct any “face to face” business with consumers from any property other than the licensed location. However, employees will be allowed to take mortgage applications from a secure, remote location such as their own home. You are required to adhere to the regulation regarding the safety of all consumer data. Remote users will be required to implement the same standard for operation as would be expected in the office and should follow all policies and procedures. 

Question : Will NY Mortgage Brokers be granted extensions of important regulatory dates?
Answer : Yes, NYSDFS has issued the following extensions: See Temporary Order of Relief
For Consideration : NY Mortgage Brokers should make every attempt to provide the reports as soon as possible. This crisis will eventually subside, and mortgage brokers should be ready to focus on what could be a surge of business.

Question : Will the Association be providing guidance on how to respond to the NYSDFS request for Emergency Preparedness?
Yes : NYAMB will provide important data for your response that NYAMB members may use as a template to personalize their individual responses.
For Consideration : Simply copying the template as your response will NOT be acceptable since your response must be tailored to the size, scale, scope and complexity of your business operations. Many brokers should find the template very helpful. The template will be out very soon.

Question : Can NY Mortgage Brokers take e-signed applications?
Answer : Not Recommended at this time but NYAMB has been in contact with the Deputy Superintendent NYSDFS and we will be asking for this to be implemented as soon as possible. Please stand by for further information.
For Consideration : Brokers can email encrypted application packages to borrowers and offer free FedEx Return or courier pick up & drop off services. FYI, Calyx Software has an excellent e-sign solution with all the necessary reports and documents needed for a fully integrated e-signed mortgage application but the NYSDFS has NOT, as of this date, officially approved this or any other e-signed application program for NY Mortgage Brokers. 

Question : Will settlement agents in NY be able to provide e-closings or video closings?
Answer : Yes, but settlement agents must pay strict attention to the requirements. See Executive Order:
For Consideration: Be sure to check with your attorneys, title companies and lenders to make sure closing documents signed in this manor will be acceptable. 

Question: Will the NYSDFS consider adjusting the threshold for rates to avoid many smaller loans from becoming high cost or subprime loans?
Answer : We are currently asking the NYSDFS this question and hope an adjustment can be made.
For Consideration : A subprime home loan is one in which the initial interest rate or fully indexed rate, whichever is higher, exceeds by more than 1 ¾ percentage points the average commitment rate for loans in the NE Region with a comparable duration to the duration of a home loan as published by Freddie Mac in its weekly Primary Market Survey (PPMS) posted in the week prior to the week the lender provides the Loan Estimate. With rates of the past week being so low the next index will present a substantially lower rate than rates that are currently available. The small NYS thresholds could become problematic if rates continue to move erratically up and down. NYAMB is proposing an increase to the thresholds to prevent small loan lending business from deteriorating in areas such as Upstate NY. 

Question : Is it true that Real Estate brokers cannot show homes in NYS?
Answer : Yes, it is true that Realtors can not show properties, but many brokers are doing virtual showings and still making sales. 
For Consideration : Mortgage Brokers can encourage Real Estate Brokers to keep sending us clients to prequalify so that they have a long list of well qualified clients work with as soon as the showings begin. The re-opening of homes to the public will likely cause a surge of business. Real Estate brokers can avoid the last-minute scramble for pre-qualifications and be ahead of the curve on this with their Mortgage Broker partners.

Question What about the future of my business?
Answer : There will most definitely be a future for Mortgage Brokers but waiting for the future to happen around you should not be an option.
For Consideration : Mortgage Brokers should start future business today by encouraging applications and getting borrowers approved in advance. When the rates do drop and the surge of business does come, loans already in the pipeline will close relatively fast, providing mortgage brokers with what will likely be a quick infusion of revenue. 

Question : Will there be any financial assistance for NY Mortgage Brokers?
Answer : Stay tuned as Congress continues to work through several options for small businesses to keep employees and continue to operate. 
For Consideration : The Small Business Administration is working on products for small businesses such as the majority of NY Mortgage Brokers. Be sure to check:  
Small business loans with forgivable terms are being discussed as are other options. For employees that option for unemployment there appears to be some discussion on options for full pay during the crisis as well as extended benefits. NYAMB will continue to keep our members informed as Congress offers programs that may benefit our members. 

Question :  Will NYAMB continue to conduct Continuing Education for NYS and Federal Licensing?
Answer : Yes, if necessary, NYAMB will be offering the entire course on-line and members will continue to enjoy the most thorough presentation of this material available anywhere.
For Consideration : NYAMB Members will receive priority and special pricing for all NYAMB on-line continuing education classes. Be sure to watch for announcements on classes and stay tuned to future important notices regarding continuing education.

Question :  Will NYAMB still be hosting the Spring Regulatory and Compliance Conference?
Answer : Yes, NYAMB is working now to provide a complete virtual conference on-line with a full array speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. Totally tuned to your business today, NYAMB will address the very latest issues most important to NY Mortgage Brokers with a variety of industry experts speaking on every topic to keep mortgage brokers regulatory compliant and financially healthy for the future.
For Consideration : Be sure to join in on this completely novel opportunity to be one-on-one with the best of the best in the business! Experts will be discussing how successful Mortgage Brokers are building business even in the toughest of times. Get your information directly from the source and keep your business viable long into the future.  NY Mortgage Broker Members attending will receive, at NO ADDITIONAL COST, their certificates of training for Sexual Harassment, Whistle Blower & Cyber Security as well as the most complete update on any NYSDFS Revised or Modified Rules and Regulations. This is a “MUST” for all NY Registered Mortgage Brokers. Details to be announced. 

The New York Association of Mortgage Brokers will continue to stay vigilant for their members throughout this difficult time and members are encouraged to call me personally anytime with questions or comments on anything that concerns them. 

I will continue to collect as much information as possible from the industry, NYSDFS, NYS Legislature and the CFPB and disseminate it to our members as soon as possible. Our industry has been through much and now we have an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience once again. Please be positive, stay healthy and keep watching for additional information from your NYAMB

Mark Favaloro, NYAMB President
Aamtrust Mortgage
Registered Mortgage Broker NMLS 44622
NYS Dept of Financial Svcs
19 Clifton Country Road Suite 3C. | Clifton Park NY 12065
Office: (518) 384-2274 |Cell: (518) 366-0096
Fax: (518) 207-0345 |Email:
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