Written By: Stacey Sprain
I want to start out by wishing each and every one of you a very happy new year! I hope you were able to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of our demanding industry to enjoy some time with family and friends over the holidays. We all deserved it after the hard work and many hours we all put in making 2010 a very successful year! Please know that you’re hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed last year- your efforts were appreciated by many and in one way or another your contributions helped better the lives of current homeowners and new homebuyers everywhere. What a great feeling that is – you should be very proud of your accomplishments in 2010!
As I like to do at the start of each year, I will be offering out some of my favorite lists of “freebies.” “Freebies” are various websites, resources, tips and materials that provide helpful, valuable and important information you can all use to expand your own knowledge, expertise, and skills. These “freebies” come in many various forms which may include but may not be limited to websites, pamphlets, booklets, recordings, subscription opportunities, and some materials can even be requested in bulk at no cost to you or your organization. Over my many years in the business, I have personally utilized many of the resources and/or materials I will be referring you to as they have helped me expand my own knowledge and understanding about various topics and have allowed me to become both an informed mortgage professional as well as an informed consumer. I love these resources and hope you find them just as helpful and valued as I have. Enjoy!
My Favorite Freebies for the First Week of 2011: Consumer Information Materials from the Federal Reserve System
You can access the main page of the Federal Reserve Site athttp://www.federalreserve.gov/. I think it’s interesting and important to have a working knowledge of what the Federal Reserve is and how it affects our mortgage industry. FRB provides a helpful booklet called Federal Reserve System Purposes and Functions which you’ll find at http://www.federalreserve.gov/pf/pf.htm. It’s an interesting read when you have some spare time on your hands!
My favorite part of the FRB website is actually the Consumer Information Section. I can’t tell you how much I learned when I was new to the industry by simply reading through a lot of the materials that are offered at the site. Go tohttp://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/default.htm to access the Consumer Information Page and you’ll see what I mean. I have actually referred my own friends and family to various material on this site because so many valuable topics are covered in the consumer booklets, pamphlets and brochures that are maintained and offered. There are even kid-friendly educational sites and materials offered because it’s never too soon to start educating our children about finances, banking, budgeting, saving money and about their own education. Where do you think our teachers get some of their lesson plans for schools? You’ll see them right at the website!
Topics covered and links to the resources follow:
• Personal Financial Education Site – For Childrenhttp://www.federalreserveeducation.org/
• Federal Reserve Kids Page- Available in Spanish too!http://www.federalreserve.gov/kids/
• FRB 5 Tips Series- Brochures that Provide 5 Important Tips on Various Subject of Interest to Consumers
• Consumer Education and Information on Bank Accounts and Bank Services
• Consumer Education and Information About Credit Cardshttp://www.federalreserve.gov/creditcard/default.htm
• Consumer Education and Information About Credit, Credit Reports and Credit Scores
**Includes booklets, pamphlets and brochures on topics like Credit Repair, Dealing with Debt, Background Checks, Identity Theft, How to Improve Credit Scores, and Recent Regulatory Rule Changes Regarding Credit, How to Get Free Credit Reports Annually, How to Contact the Major Bureaus etc.
• Consumer Education and Information About Identity Theft
• Consumer Education and Information About Vehicle Leasinghttp://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/leasing.htm
• Consumer Education and Information About Mortgageshttp://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/mortgages.htm
** Includes booklets, pamphlets and brochures on topics like Avoiding Foreclosure Scams, Home Equity Lines of
Credit, Various Types of Mortgages, Shopping for Mortgage, Rate Locks, Refinancing, Settlement Costs, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, Fair Lending Rights, and Interest Only Products.
• Consumer Education and Information About Personal Financehttp://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/personalfinance.htm
Other important resources found at the FRB website include access to important regulatory information such as:
• S.A.F.E. Act http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/safeact.htm
• Various Banking Regulations such as ECOA, HMDA, CRA, Privacy of Consumer Information, Recordkeeping Requirements, FCRA, TILA, and other bank-specific lawshttp://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/reglisting.htm
The Federal Reserve Board allows bulk orders, often in quantity of up to 100 copies for many of the materials listed above as well numerous options for ordering.
• Refer to ordering options and instructions page athttp://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/order.htm.
• Go to http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/orderform.pdf to access to official order form which you can fill out, fax or mail in for processing
• Phone in your request by calling 202-728-3245
If you are interested in subscribing to receive free email alerts from the Federal Reserve, subscribe athttp://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/subscribe/notification.htm.
Enjoy all of these “freebies” from the Federal Reserve System!
About The Author
Stacey Sprain - As an NAMP® staff writer, Ms. Stacey Sprain is currently a NAMP® member in good standing, and is a NAMP® Certified Ambassador Loan Processor (NAMP®-CALP). With over 15+ years of mortgage banking experience, Stacey is also a Quality Control Manager for a major mortgage lending institution. If you would like to become a volunteer writer for us, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.