NRMLA Announces Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional Credential

image The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association announced that it’s developing a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional-Loan Origination credential.  For the past year, a committee of a dozen industry professionals and lawyers have been meeting to design the accreditation process and prepare the exam.

“Our organization’s viewpoint is that our first responsibility is to protect the consumer—and this new designation will provide seniors and their children with every assurance that they are dealing with educated, well prepared professionals,” said Peter Bell, the president of NRMLA.

According to the press release, candidates will have to meet a threshold of requirements that include 12 hours of education and pass a CRMP exam.  Later this year candidates will be able to sit for the exam but professionals can receive credits towards their education requirements by attending classes at the upcoming NRMLA Road Shows in Chicago and Orlando.

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All candidates must participate in a workshop called “Ethical Issues and Business Practices for Reverse Mortgage Lenders,” an interactive demonstration of NRMLA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility administered by Bell and the organization’s legal counsel, James Brodsky.

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  • The best way these Bozos could protect the consumer is to require all Bank and Mortgage Executives to take the exam, as well. It certainly wasn’t the lowly loan originators who caused those “toxic assets”. Once again the Sons of Bitches at the top wish to focus the blame on others.

  • It seems like a good idea, after all, the higher the bar to entry, fewer people who are in it for a quick buck will be in the industry. If protecting the consumer is the goal, it doesn’t seem that forcing a RM exam on a bank executives would really guarentee the education of the consumer since they don’t interface or speak with the borrowers.

  • Yes, Matt, the key word is “seems”. My point is the plan doesn’t go far enough. The G-4 Boys are the ones that make the operational decisions that dramatically affect all Seniors. Did you ever hear of an executive
    complain about the excessively high credit card interest fees some of you Senior clients are being charged, which in many cases are the reason for a an FHA HECM. I guess for some having a Washington D. C. lobbby group hang some stamp of approval around their neck is important. As for me, I’ll match my integrity and knowledge about the Senior living conditions that
    encourage an FHA HECM with anyone on the panal– including that Wonderkind, Peter Bell.

  • This certification effort began some time ago and I have had some conversations with some of the parties involved. Now that that group of volunteers has done its research and presented its recommendations, the question is how NRMLA will present it to the field and at what price.

    If it is perceived as a designation to create NRMLA membership dues and/or other revenue, it will fail to be seen as a truly professional designation, a voluntary declaration of and commitment to specialization. That would be a dis-service to the folks who spent their own time and money trying to develop the standards. We hope that the NRMLA members/lenders who offer wholesale lending to originators working for NRMLA non-members will have a strong voice in how the rollout proceeds versus a NRMLA branding crusade led by Peter Bell.

  • Virtually any certification one seeks and receives is acquired with the benefit of having learned something new that one did not know or fully understand beforehand. Attending trainings, webinars, and preparing for an exam almost always increases the body of knowledge of the trainee. This is a good thing. Can it be done without seeking a certification? Of course. But the “carrot” of the certification is an incentive that pushes the seeker beyond mere mild curiosity and “convenience learning” towards a level of formality and intentionality not normally devoted without a lasting incentive.

    A nationally recognized certification is something to aspire to, and signals to others that at the very least, one devoted a significant amount of time, effort, and money towards becoming the best and brightest one can be.

    How we use what we learn — whether ethically and professionally or not — is another question and is not guaranteed by the certification. But it does increase the probability among those who obtain the certification that more of us will conduct ourselves at least as ethically and professionally as we do now, and likely even more so, armed with whatever else we learn and the prestige, rights, and appurtenances we garner — that can be lost by improper behavior — from the preparation and successful completion of a rigorous, standardized exam.

    Besides, I like acronyms next to my name in my email and letter salutations. Having another one — CRMP — will tickle me pink 😉

  • Seems like the new FHA law about registration and licensing which takes affect in July, 2009 with the education and testing requirements attached to it would suffice. NRMLA has been working on a certification process for years and now FHA has done it.

  • I think this is a perfect example of NRMLA ensuring that the emerging reverse is several steps above the convetional mortgage industry.

    Peter Bell & his team continue to fight for improvements in this indusytry in the worst of times…

    Kudos to NRMLA!

  • This has been the slowest joke in the industry yet. It will be meaningless yet we will all have to pay up or take a chance of losing business to someone else who has the worthless designation. Another pay-to-play designation. And unfortunately the scammers will simply get this designation to justify their knowledge. Great.

    If they are truly almost ready…it shouldn’t take but another year or two.

  • It seems that our industry does not learn from past mistakes. We’ve seen just how ineffective & irrelevant NRMLA is; so here they are attempting to become relevant. NRMLA simply wants to increase revenue while its memberships dive & carry some sort of value while their existence is of minor significance or effect. Look Mr. Bell, everyone wants to feel important. I’m sure you are an important person, to your family & loved ones, but to the industry…you are worthless. It’s time to step down, shut the doors, & find a real job…like so many of us in this industry. Our jobs, if you think about it, are really not that important…they are very simple & of little value. Anyone, I repeat, ANYONE, can be a worthwhile or worthless loan officer. We try so hard to feel important & of some worth, by attending silly seminars & going through modest efforts to receive certifications. ANYONE can do our job…& that just may be the problem? Do we really need certificates? Education? Ominous or portentous leaders? They will help us & our industry? Uh…NO. This industry is what it is because of one word…GREED! Enough said. Greed drives this industry, from the top to the bottom. Anyone can do this job, because it is driven by greed. You don’t even need a high school diploma to be a loan officer. Just a little bit of greed.

  • Wouldn’t you think that NRMLA would want every person that works with RM’s to be educated for the benefit of the seniors via free training for anyone that will sign up for it? I’m not even opposed to requiring it for consistency’s sake, but couldn’t NRMLA pay for this with that $15 NRMLA fee that they get on every file? What do they do with all that money, anyway? Isn’t it time they used it to benefit the RM industry?

  • I’d like to see what is presented in the coursework. Does it make the designation one which states would recognize and which would deal with some of the legislation we are seeing on the state level?

    If so, sign me up! I’d rather be regulated by the industry rather than pushed and shoved around every time the legislature in my state gets up in arms over some loan originator taking advantage of seniors. I get up in arms over some of the stories, too. But I’d rather work for a credential IF it ends the stampede of state legislation that could suffocate us as originators.

    So hey, Peter, when is “later this year” and what are the additional requirements besides an ethics course and sitting for the exam? Is there an experience requirement? Are you lobbying the states to make the credential one which will be recognized in all the states and American territories? Roll out the WHOLE enchilada so we know what we’re looking at.

  • For the record, once and for all, NRMLA does not receive $15 per loan on every loan made — or any loan for that matter. The fact that gets continually repeated on this website just goes to show that some posters are very highly misinformed and out of the loop for getting correct information.

    Once upon a time, but ending several years ago, a handful of seller-servicers (not all)contributed $15 per loan to NRMLA’s press outreach activities. That was back in the days when the organization and industry volumes were both much smaller. That program, which was initiated over ten years ago, generated much positive publicity about reverse mortgages that really grew consumer acceptance substantially, outting reverse mortgages on the map.

    Now onto the CRMP program. Once again, several commenters have posted to this site without having any idea what they are talking about.

    The program is being put together with leadership and guidance from Professional Testing, Inc., a top notch consultant in knowledge measurement and certification, and is being designed to confrom to the ANSI standard for accreditation of certifcation programs. NRMLA is investing heavily in this effort (over $250,000 before it will be completed), but the credential will ultimately not be a NRMLA credential. It will over time be handed over to an independent body that will oversee the credential.

    To get started, a 9-member Independent Certification Committee (ICC) has been seated to govern the process. No NRMLA board members sit on the ICC. over the next several years, the initial members of the ICC will be replaced by new members have earned the credential, elected by those who hold the credential.

    Continuing education (12 hours within two years of sitting for the exam) is one of the threshold requirements for those wanting to take the exam. however, that requirement will not have to be met through NRMLA courses (although earning some of those hours through some of our course offerings will be an option.) Other threshold requirements, in addition to the continuing ed) include:
    -at least two years in the RM business for loan originators and five years for others;
    -at least 50 loans originated (for the LO’s, of course)
    -proper licensing in states where the individual works;
    -a thorough background check;
    -particpating in our NRMLA Ethics Symposium.

    There’s so much more to tell, but I don’t have the time to do so right now.

    In closing, let me say, one of the things that irks me to no end about this site, is the nasty negative tone of a handful of posters whom seem to often dominate the discussion. Bad attitude and misplaced anger are two problems that perhaps can be forgiven. Perhaps some folks just can’t control themselves. Spreading misinformation, perpetuating things that are untrue, personal attacks, etc. don’t deserve any forgiveness.
    Perhaps the editors of RMD could take a more active role in editing and verifying posts to assure their accuracy.

  • Guess the truth hurts.
    Time to get a real job & close the doors Mr.
    RMD does a great job in providing unbiased information to us who do truley care about the industry & are not driven by GREED! Liars, Damn Liars, & Politicians. Lobbiests are politicians that are not chosen by the people.

  • Hey, Peter Pan Tinker Bell, I’m curious what you get paid ultimately from the backs of Loan Originators, for your great expertise as a Washington D. C. lobbyist. What you are reading, fellow, are the actual thoughts of real people working in the field with Seniors–doing the work that makes your job even possible (notice I didn’t say necessary). You (like so many others in Washington D.C.) would just love censorship, wouldn’t you. Just keep quiet and keep the money coming–that’s your motto. I’ll bet you’ve never done an FHA HECM ever yourself–please tell me I’m wrong.

  • AMEN Mr. Nelson!! There are thousands who feel the same way. I NEVER post my thoughts, but I am so tired of the greed. I am so tired of the lobbiest & politicians…I couldn’t resist. Glad we got under your skin Mr. Bell. Now, get a real job!

  • I stand by what I said in my original post. I think Peter Bell has some good points as well.

    However I do have a question. Where does the NRMLA per file charge go that some of the lenders charge? If not to NRMLA, then where? Please advise so no one gets this confused again.

  • I would much prefer NRMLA spend its time preventing reductions in our payouts, onerous counseling rules and regulations and Fannie Mae from jerking around the margins and making liars out of perfectly honest loan officers whom disclosed a PLP.

    Is that too much to ask Peter?

  • Sorry guys, I’m completely disgusted.

    Making personal attacks against somebody on a public forum without posting your own names (and without citing any specific evidence) is absolutely unacceptable.

    I can’t imagine what you think you have to gain by smearing somebody in a public forum.

  • Okay, Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Mktingreverse. Sit on your self-righteous soap box & defend the unrighteous.

    These are not personal attacks in a public forum on a public individual, but warranted gripes & complaints…just like yours. Oh my gosh, it’s just so horrible; we are not singing koombyah…I am disgusted. puke. Give me a break! Quite being so dramatic. We are just voicing our opinions…not personal…no one said anything about anyone’s sex life or personal life. Quite blaming your parents for the way your life is…take responsibility for yourself & quite blaming others. That is personal, because you made it personal!! By the way, my name is Engrid Joblaski from Redlands California. Quite defending the powerful & stand up for what is right!
    Or, be a part of our silent majority & speak up when necessary.

    “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.“

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    Thomas Jefferson

  • Mr. Bell:

    1) I’m surprised that you didn’t contribute any information here re the Fannie Mae margin increases that many of us were very upset about.

    2) My guess is that those in the financial industry who got us into this financial mess were educated and knew what they were doing to those who didn’t understand or were misled. Can certification stop unethical practices? I thought HUD counselors were protecting seniors against fraud.

  • I Care,

    Calling somebody “unrighteous” and then in the next sentence claiming the attacks aren’t personal tells me you are too dimwitted to have a constructive debate with.

    I could rebut every sentence in your response, including your total misunderstanding of quotes you pulled from Thomas Jefferson, but quite frankly, why bother?

    I’m sorry your life is so empty you feel the need to spew your vitriol; maybe if you were nicer and more constructive in your criticisms people would have more positive reactions toawrds you and your life would get better.

    Have a nice weekend.

  • Well someone is certianly having a bad day/life here. I’m sorry but we happen to be in the financial products business and therefore we will see our share of those driven by greed.

    By and large, I think most of those who are unethical don’t have the patience to do reverses and frankly with the capping of origination fees combined with the decrease in home values there isn’t enough money here to satisfy them.

    That said NRMLA, serves a role in it’s interaction with Federal, state agencies and strategic interest groups like the AARP. They have had varying degrees of success in pressing an agenda favorable to senior homeowners and those of us who serve them.

    The new test is fine with me if it, as would appear, adds a layer of legitimacy to what we do in the eyes of the client. I would say that the qualifications should be more reflective of the loan officer experience e.g., two years as a full time loan originator OR 50 loans. I studied reverses for 8 months before I ever did a loan and I’ll guarantee you I knew enough by then to pass an exam and provide excellent service

    As for crucial issues that continue to plague our industry, the current status of the MIP is of primary concern. Given the fact that the FHA has now come out with a new ‘clarification’ of the non-recourse loan definition (less non), it seems especially glaring that it has not been capped or modified with a deferred payment approach by now. The fact that the MIP can reach $13K with the new loan limit, could not be a worse advertisement for the common complaints about the high cost of a reverse.

    It seems that the burden to improve the program is falling upon originators once again. It’s time to see the focus shift to areas that are more relevant to the consumer’s perceived value of our product.

  • Well said The Critic … so much negativity in these postings. So many speak before becoming informed and what is worse is those of you doing it do not even realize how off base you are. This is not meant to blast those who are guilty but rather intended as a call to action. Please do all of us a favor and drop the negative tone and be more constructive. Yes there are many things that need to be addressed to continue to improve this industry and the service provided to the senior and those of you spewing so much baseless negativity are part of the problem. How about acting professional and joining the ranks in being part of the solution.
    Food for thought!

  • Thank you, Peter Bell, for at least giving us an idea of what the program will look like.

    One question that didn’t get answered: Is NRMLA lobbying the states to make this designation recognized as a standard so that when there is a problem with originators, they are self-policed rather than all originators suffering legislative backlash?

    Incidentally, I also support NRMLA’s goals, even though I sometimes disagree with the views espoused.

  • Dear Critic, I did receive a very thorough and informative explanation of the MIP dilemma from Mr. DeMarkey. I do understand the issues it represents for lenders and insurers etc, but a partially deferred payment structure still seems feasible from what I gathered. At this point anything would help in taking the sticker shock out of closing costs.
    I’d like to hear more as well.

  • I’m currently selling Professional Designations (capitalized to express importance). I have no official (not capitalized to express a lack of respect for anything called official) standing nor am I recognized by any federal or state agency but I’m currently selling Professional Designations nonetheless.

    Today’s special is the Reverse Mortgage Master of Self Proclaimed Knowledge designation. It includes a certificate and wallet size identification card stating that the bearer is entitled to unlimited misplaced respect. The fee is $11 plus shipping and handling. No education or common sense is required to qualify (I say qualify to heighten the importance of this meaningless distinction in order to increase the cost to you. After all, if you knew anyone could get one would you pay me eleven bucks?) If you’re a little short on money $15 a file will do. I know that $15 a file is more than $11 but some of our designees never close a loan anyway so who really cars. If you act now I’ll include a lapel badge displaying the bust of a bald eagle surrounded by the words Reverse Mortgage Master. What an impressive figure you’ll strike. Dazzle those seniors as they lean toward you, squint then look up and say, “Oh, you must be from the Government and you’ve come to save me”. Think of the stories you’ll be able to make up and then tell over and over again proclaiming your prowess with 78 year-old ladies with bad vision and no one to talk to. You’ll be the envy of every bar room buddy and social misfit you’ve ever had.

    We’re a very respected company that first created the word Senior and when added to the rather pedestrian “Loan Officer” created a false sense of experience that has led more borrowers down the wrong path than the Judas goat. We’re also are the company that added the word “officer” in order to convey a subliminal image of someone in charge, a leader and someone that should be looked upon with respect and admiration. Yes, that’s us. We are the master’s of deception, fraud, misplaced respect and the creators of the great equalizer for the uneducated, the Professional Designation. We make a nobody into a somebody for only $11. But remember, without you, we couldn’t make this deception and fraud a reality. Without you, our Professional members, (we’re all members of something right?) how could we carry this deception forward? Without you wearing our meaningless (to everyone other than you) designation how could we create such an false illusion of competency? Remember we specialize in making those without any skills or training appear to be a Master of the Universe but without your continued participation in the fraud it just wouldn’t work. And work it does. As you can see by adding two words “Senior” and “Officer” we have been able to elevate even the lowest of the low, the mere neophyte in his first day on the job into someone that towers above all others in terms of self-proclaimed experience (Senior) and leadership (Officer). You may also know us as the company that will bestow the word “Professional” upon anyone at any time for a small fee. We’re proud to say we don’t care if you went to Yale or Jail we having a Professional (capitalized to express importance) designation for you.

    Had enough yet? We’ll it Friday and I thought perhaps I’d give you all something to laugh a little about. Professional designations bestowed by trade associations are nothing more than big belt buckles. It’s big, it’s shinny, it looks important but if it was so important why does every jack off in the room have one. Let’s face it these designations are nothing more than seflegrandizing masturbation designed to tell the losers that have them that they’re winners. And for $11 I can make you a winner. Act now! That’s right, send me a check. For less than a 12 pack you can roam the earth as only a man god should but first you’ll need a Professional Designation, a pocket size ID card and lapel pin. If you don’t know what a lapel is that’s OK. The pin can be used as an earring or a nipple piercing. Act now and we’ll even include a secret decoder ring.

  • You can’t read a book by it’s cover. If clothes make a first impression, your’re dealing with shallow people. I wouldn’t dress to insult someone but I want to be comfortable. It doesn’t matter how many degrees some people have they still can’t get anything right. There are moral people and immoral people and a test about RM isn’t going to make the immoral moral.

    There are people who finish at the bottom of the class in school and still are drs and attys etc. misrepreprsenting people all their life. Lots of business school grads don’t know how to make money.

    The insurance business requires a difficult test and I’ve met a lot of morons in the business.

    If there will be some really good information, it would be worthwhile. I don’t see any deception available if the people are independently counseled.

  • I’ve been in the financial services business (insurance, investments, estate planning, etc.) for over 20 years. During that time I’ve been the top producer for my B/D multiple years consecutively. I’ve taught classes at the school my B/D offered to reps. I took the time and spent the money to learn my craft. As a result of my effort (and a strong background in marketing) I rose to the top. I taught insurance programs to some of the brightest estate planning attorneys in the country.

    During all of that time I never got any of the industry credentials. I knew a lot of people that had them. A lot of them were the lower producing reps in the industry. They thought that they had to have the alphabet behind their name to give themselves the confidence to go make a sale. After all, this is a business and businesses survive on sales. Don’t get me wrong, there is great information in the course work needed to get some of the credentials. At the same time there are credentials popping up just to make someone money selling them.

    I gave up my securities license last year in order to get into the RM business. I met with too many people who had older relatives in financial straits that I could not help with traditional financial tools and suggesting that they look into a reverse mortgage didn’t get them there. These people need guidance to get what will actually change their lives.

    What shocked me about this industry is the lack of regulatory consistency across the nation. I live in Ohio and this is a state that regulates every industry to protect consumers, from massage to mortgage. If you are going to be a loan officer working with a mortgage broker you must attend 24 hours of classroom instruction followed by an exam. This is not a cake walk exam like some I’ve seen on the insurance side.

    Some former colleagues of mine contacted me about getting in the business with me. I said sure, let me check requirements in your state. They live in Arizona and I was shocked to find out that there are NO requirements. Just send in the employment papers to the broker and they are in business.

    It seems to me that instead of focusing on a third party certificate the states should be looking at some standardization of qualifications to get in this business. Ohio also requires annual CE in order to maintain your license, plus the $100 license fee.

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