Written By: Theresa Furzland, Op-Ed Writer
I know I’ve brought this subject up before, but as we come to the end of another year and look back over the fiascos of 2010, it just seems to me that now more than ever we need to revisit the basics.
When I was in high school, my favorite subject was English and I took every class I could and generally it was my “easy A” (This from a girl who “flunked” Home Ec). In my senior year, I took English 101. I did this to force myself to remember the basics. I always loved the challenging classes but tend to struggle with the “simple” things...like punctuation.
My example of failing the foods class is a perfect parallel. I “failed” because when I transferred schools my “cool” class of outdoor cooking, became “Home Ec” and the teacher wanted me to read a 5 pound cookbook from cover to cover and write reports. I said “no thanks” and took an F. Ironically, as my children have grown, I have found that I enjoy cooking and have found that actually sitting down and reading the instructions in my husband’s old Fannie Farmer cookbook has taught me how to teach myself to cook meals we both love. A treat for him after being the “head cook” for the household for twenty years.
So it’s really not a surprise that I find myself seeing the parallels in the state of our business these days. I’ve been doing this for over 25 years now and have loved the challenges. I know it seems a strange thing to say in these trying times, but this job is fun! I found it more frustrating to try to talk customers out of the “easy deals” back in the day, then I do in today’s atmosphere of only the golden needle in the adequately documented haystack gets approval. It’s harder work, but much more rewarding.
But the bottom line is, amidst all the changes, regulations, agency audits, underwriting overlays and documentation snafus of 2010, as we look forward to how best to meet 2011 we would be best served by reminding ourselves of the importance of those basics.
What are the basics? Mortgage 101
First and foremost is education. Whatever your job description is – read it, review it and make sure you know it. Take any classes that pertain. If it’s been a while, renew your education.
Know the regulations. Whether you are subject to testing and licensing or not, it is good practice to know the Federal and any applicable State regulations and laws.
The same goes for investor/agency guidelines.
And finally, review your own “basics”. The best defense as we move into the unknown New Year is a solid foundation. Your strength is your foundation. Keeping your basics (life, love, health, happiness) sound and arming yourself with knowledge (education), you have the tools that you need to address any and all challenges of the future.
About The Author
Theresa Furzland - As an op-ed writer, Theresa Furzland has 25+ years of experience ranging from origination, processing, closing and post closing. She is currently a producing Branch Manager for LendSmart Mortgage, LLC and own and operate Willow Wood Mortgage Services, Inc.