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Written by
Noel Cookman

The Incredible Shrinking Mortgage Industry - What It Means To You

Published On 
February 18, 2014

What does the Incredible Shrinking Mortgage Industry

mean for you and your clients?

From The National Real Estate Post (read the full report here)

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there’s 218,100 real estate credit employees working in the field, and that’s a 1.9% decrease over last year and .8% down from last month. So what’s it all mean? The MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) was predicting as much as a 32% drop in business this year.”

Workers in my industry encourage each other by saying “as more and more originators leave the industry, this situation leaves us with less competition.” In my view, this is so much “whistling in the dark” as the raw economic realities also tell us that those who are left will be competing over a smaller piece of the pie. Besides, I do not mind competition. In such an environment, disciplined and industrious workers can do well.

Add to that the animus that the CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) has toward all mortgage industry workers and we have the principle of diminishing returns. As compliance burdens grow and the actual hours required for taking and processing a mortgage loan increase, and as the compensation (pay) for that same loan decreases or even stays the same, the modern loan originator approaches the age-old question “is it worth it?” *At some point, a less risky profession that provides any compensation becomes more attractive.


But, that’s a glimpse into what it means for me. So, what does it mean for you (the family law attorney) and your clients (really, every potential borrower out there)?

Here’s the inescapable principle – it means the same thing to you and your clients as it means to me. Less service and access to housing finance money even while new accommodations are being made for lending. In other words, the diminished access to mortgage money is not because there is less money to lend – it’s because there are fewer professionals to accommodate the need in an efficient, cost-saving manner.

Yet, I am an anomaly in this industry. While the business outlook looks grim for all but a few top-producers, I have found a service that I love performing and is continuing to grow – helping your clients through the intersection of divorce and mortgage finance. I am truly a blessed and fortunate man.

So, while virtually all other home-owners (borrowers) are at a greater disadvantage than they were several years ago, YOUR CLIENTS ACTUALLY HAVE A STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE. They are miles ahead of their counterparts in the general society. It may not sound very modest but . . . they have me as a go-to mortgage lender. I have specialized in mortgage lending to the divorce community for nearly 12 years now.

For you clients to access this STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE IN THE HOME FINANCE MARKET they only need one thing…

for you to tell them “Call Noel Cookman today.”

It’s that simple.

Your clients respect you. They listen to what you say. They take your advice. I know it may not seem like it at times. But, trust me; you are on a professional pedestal. When you tell them – with confidence and urgency – to call me, they do it. And their demeanor is remarkably different from those potential customers who call because of a reference from anyone else, even from a friend.



Noel Cookman


*Here’s another thing that most people do not think of – those achievers and top producers (the industry workers who are appreciated by their customers for performing well and much sought after) are more apt to shift their talents to another enterprise that rewards them more handsomely. This creates a “brain drain” of sorts. Think of it this way – we are moving toward the mortgage industry of Barney Frank’s dreams, that of the originator who sits in a cubicle, copying information onto forms and complying with mountains of government regulations and earning $30,000/year. What level of service and performance can the consumer expect from such an arrangement? I am not speaking with tongue in cheek. Already, we here of 3 month waits for regular loan closings at the big banks….those entities who hire cubicle-workers to take phone calls and process loan applications. (And that is only one of many problems we are hearing).

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